Italian Paruzzi clinches title, teammate wins race; U.S. skier gets first points

Italian Paruzzi clinches title, teammate wins race; U.S. skier gets first points{mosimage}USSA — Rebecca Dussault overcame a snowstorm hitting the Piemonte Region of Italy and a mid-race fall to earn the first World Cup points of her career Saturday, finishing 28th in the final women’s race of the season, a 15km freestyle in Pragelato.

Sabina Valbusa of Italy won the race and teammate Gabriella Paruzzi took the World Cup overall title. Valbusa led all the way to win in 36:56.5 with Russian Julia Tchepalova second in 37:22.5. Dussault, the SuperTour champion, crashed on a downhill but finished in 40:41.2.

“Rebecca had a bad fall on a downhill but if she’d stayed on her feet, I’m sure she’d have been top 20,” said head coach Trond Nystad. “For her first season back after a couple of years off [to marry and have a baby], it’s been outstanding … and she’s only getting better next season.”

The cross country schedule concludes Sunday with men’s 30km freestyle.

Cross-Country World Cup
Women’s 15km Freestyle
Pragelato, Italy
March 13, 2004

1. Sabine Valbusa, Italy, 36:56.5
2. Julia Tchepalova, Russia, 37:22.5
3. Katerina Neumannova, Czech Republic, 37:25.8
4. Hilde G. Pedersen, Norway, 37:55.4
5. Valentina Shechenko, Ukraine, 38:20.7
28. Rebecca Dussault, Gunnison, Colo., 40:41.2

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