Hoffmann edges World Cup champ Sommerfeldt in 30km; Swenson 31st for U.S.

Hoffmann edges World Cup champ Sommerfeldt in 30km; Swenson 31st for U.S.{mosimage}USSA — Austrian Christian Hoffmann won the final men’s World Cup race of the cross-country season Sunday, topping World Cup champion Rene Sommerfeldt of Germany by 19.1 seconds in a 30km freestyle race.

American Carl Swenson was 31st and teammate Kris Freeman 33rd in sunny weather after a week of snow and fog.

Hoffmann finished with a time of 1:07.32.8 after taking the lead at about the 20m mark on the hilly 2006 Olympic course. It’s his second win of the season.

“The guys were close the whole time and just missed being in the points [which go to the top 30 finishers],” said U.S. head coach Trond Nystad. Swenson’s time was 1:10.51.5, 1.6 seconds out of 30th. Freeman finished in 1:10.58.3, ending the season 44th in the points after producing the best U.S. results in 20 years.

“We’re taking it one step at a time,” Nystad said. “We took a big step last year and this year, we made more progress, were more consistent … and had six people scoring World Cup points against full World Cup fields, which is the most in years.”

Also for the U.S., Andrew Johnson was 61st, David Chamberlain 70th, Lars Flora 73rd and Justin Freeman 76th.

“Conditions were slow — we had some dirty snow — but it was a good race,” Nystad said. “This is a hard course with some tough hills.

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