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Canmore X-C: Scott wins second event in less than a week

Canmore X-C: Scott wins second event in less than a week{mosimage}CANMORE, Alberta – Canada’s Beckie Scott won Saturday’s 15-kilometer classical World Cup cross-country event, her second victory in less than a week and fourth straight podium finish to move her into third in the overall standings.

Scott, awarded gold in the women’s Olympic combined pursuit at Salt Lake City after Russians Olga Danilova and Larissa Lazutina were disqualified for doping, also claimed second in Thursday’s 10-kilometer race and a first and second place in weekend events in Vernon, British Columbia.

”I knew I had it pretty much sealed up,” Scott said. ”Unless I crashed, I was going to win this race. It’s fantastic to do this at home.”

Germany’s Tobias Angerer won the men’s 30-kilometer classic in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 10.9 seconds. He had taken the World Cup lead with his third-place finish in Thursday’s 15-kilometer freestyle race.

Norway’s Frode Estil was second in 1:18.11.4 and Germany’s Jens Filbrich was third. Kris Freeman was the top American, 20th.

”It was a fantastic race today,” Angerer said. ”I had perfect skis. It’s nice to have two people on the podium.”

The victory Saturday moved Scott up one spot to third in the World Cup standings and further boosted her confidence heading into her third Olympics. She is thrilled to be performing so well in consecutive weekends before home fans.

The crowd chanted ”Beckie! Beckie!” and waved Canadian flags of all sizes. When she crossed the finish line after skiing through the stadium with fans lining the course’s last stretch, the 31-year-old Scott smiled and raised her poles.

”It think it was a dream,” Scott said describing her recent form on home snow. ”It’s something I might have imagined doing, but not something I was expecting. I’m extremely happy to be able to rise to the occasion and do well here.”

Scott won in 45 minutes, 2.2 seconds to edge Tchepalova (45.06.9), and from early on the two women were well ahead of the rest of the pack.

With temperatures dipping below -15 degrees Celsuis (5 Fahrenheit), Claudia Kuenzel of Germany finished third, 50.9 seconds behind Scott.

American Wendy Wagner was 29th. Wagner’s time was 48:41.4, with Kate Whitcomb edging Lindsay Williams in a photo finish for 36th place while Abi Larson was 39th, Lindsey Weier 40th and Alison Crocker 41st.

Freeman, a diabetic who self-injects insulin about a half-dozen times daily, was eighth at the end of the first lap but slowed as the race continued. In a race where the first six racers were less than 10 seconds apart, he finished in 1:18.38.6. James Southam was the next U.S. man, finishing 39th in the field of 68.

‘Wendy had a good race and Kris was right in there again – he follows those guys to the door, but he just hasn’t been enough to close the deal. He needs a little extra’ U.S. head coach Trond Nystad said, ‘but he’s clearly healthy and he’s doing what he has to do … staying with the top guys, and that’s fine. He’s only small margins away and he’ll get there.’

The cold clearly hobbled some skiers. ‘About a half-hour into the men’s race, the sun went down behind the mountains and it got really cold, and that stopped some of the racers. It was pretty miserable at that point’ Nystad said.

He praised the expanded waxing crew, which had to handle 27 athletes for the two weekends of World Cup racing in Canada. In addition to the national staff, the waxers included technicians from the Factory Team, Rossignol skis, three-time Olympian Justin Wadsworth (Scott’s husband), former U.S. development coach Chris Grover of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation and Northern Michigan University coach Sten Fjeldheim.

– The Associated Press/USSA

World Cup cross-country results
15 km classical

1. Beckie Scott, Canada, 45 minutes, 2.2 seconds.
2. Julija Tchepalova, Russia, 45:06.9.
3. Claudia Kuenzel, Germany, 45:53.1.
4. Viola Bauer, Germany, 45:54.2.
5. Kristin Steira, Norway, 45:57.1.
6. Sara Renner, Canada, 46:01.9.

30 km classical

1. Tobias Angerer, Germany, 1 hour, 18 minutes, 10.9 seconds.
2. Frode Estil, Norway, 1:18:11.4.
3. Jens Filbrich, Germany, 1:18:12.9.
4. Mathias Fredriksson, Sweden, 1:18:18.2.
5. Rene Sommerfeldt, Germany, 1:18:19.0.

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