German men and Norwegian women win World Cup relays in Sweden

German men and Norwegian women win World Cup relays in Sweden{mosimage}Axel Teichmann’s strong finish helped Germany win a World Cup cross-country ski relay Sunday. Norway, anchored by Marit Bjorgen, captured the women’s event. The Norwegians haven’t lost a women’s World Cup relay since last February when they finished second at La Clusaz, France.

Bjorgen and Teichmann had won individual classical races the day before click here for the story). The event was held more than 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle in temperatures of nearly four below zero. The World Cup meet was moved to Gallivare because of lack of snow in Ostersund.

Teichmann broke away on the home stretch, finishing 1.8 seconds ahead of Italy in the 40-kilometer relay that included two classical style and two freestyle legs. Also on the German team were Jens Filbrich, Tobias Angerer and Rene Sommerfeldt, last season’s overall World Cup champion.

Russia finished third but was disqualified after one of its skiers made an improper track change. France was awarded third place, 25.1 seconds behind Germany. The Germans were timed in 1 hour, 33 minutes, 37.4 seconds. Teichmann won the 15K classical-style race Saturday.

Bjorgen, who won the 10K classical race Saturday, skied the last leg for a team that also included Kine Beate Bjornas, Vibeke Skofterud and Hilde G. Pedersen. Pedersen, 40, is the oldest skier on the World Cup circuit.

Norway’s winning time was 52 minutes, 51.9 seconds. Finland was 4.1 seconds behind, while Germany finished 30.4 seconds back. -The Associated Press

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