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Demino XC: Finn Roponen nabs win No. 1

Alexander Legkov of Russia and Riitta Liisa Roponen of Finland each won Saturday for the first time in cross-country World Cup events.

DEMINO, Russia — Alexander Legkov of Russia and Riitta Liisa Roponen of Finland each won Saturday for the first time in cross-country World Cup events.
    Legkov won the men's 30-kilometer event, while Roponen took the women's 15-kilometer freestyle.
    Legkov, who had been runner-up in four races this season, clocked 1 hour, 14 minutes, 5.4 seconds at a new course at Demino, Yaroslavl region, 350 kilometers north of Moscow.
    The Russian was in the leading group through the entire race and beat Emmanuel Johhier of France at the finish line by just 0.5 seconds.
    Overall World Cup leader Tobias Angerer of Germany was 1.1 seconds behind in third place and retained his overall lead with 662 points after eight of 20 races.
    Legkov is second with 467 points, followed by Tor Arne Hetland of Norway with 432.
    In the women's race, Ropponen's 39:22.0 was 1.4 seconds quicker than Olympic champion Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic. Aino Kaisa Saarinen was 10.4 seconds back in third.
    Ropponen's only other podium finish was when she was second over the same distance in La Clusaz, France, in December.
    Overall World Cup leader Virpi Kuitunen of Finland finished fifth, 18.1 seconds behind, to retain her lead with 867 points after eight races.
    Marit Bjoergen of Norway, who skipped the race, is second with 634, followed by Neumannova with 512.
    The World Cup event is the first in Russia since the International Ski Federation stripped the country of races because of badly organized runs in the Kavgolovo, Leningrad, region in 2003.
    The event concludes Sunday with the men's and women's 1.2-kilometer sprint races.

— The Associated Press

Demino women's cross-country World Cup results

Women’s 15 km freestyle
1. Riitta Liisa Roponen, Finland, 39 minutes, 22.0 seconds.
2. Katerina Neumannova, Czech Republic, 1.4 seconds behind.
3. Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Finland, 10.4.
4. Evgenia Medvedeva, Russia, 11.2.
5. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland, 18.1.
6. Sabina Valbusa, Italy, 31.0.
7. Kristina Smigun, Estonia, 39.8.
8. Olga Savialova, Russia, 42.5.
9. Evi Sachenbacher Stehle, Germany, 44.4.
10. Arianna Follis, Italy, 44.9.
11. Natalia Korosteleva, Russia, 46.0.
12. Irina Artemova, Russia, 1:05.0.
13. Helena Erbenova, Czech Republic, 1:11.8.
14. Elena Vedeneeva, Russia, 1:12.0.
15. Katrin Zeller, Germany, 1:19.6.

Overal World Cup standings (after 8 of 20 races)
1. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland, 867 points.
2. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 634.
3. Katerina Neumannova, Czech Republic, 512.
4. Petra Majdic, Slovenia, 466.
5. Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Finland, 448.
6. Valentina Shevchenko, Ukraine, 399.
7. Riitta Liisa Roponen, Finland, 343.
8. Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, Germany, 268.
9. Vibeke Skofterud, Norway, 262.
10. Arianna Follis, Italy, 223.

Men’s 30 km freestyle
1. Alexander Legkov, Russia, 1hour, 14 minutes, 5.4 seconds.
2. Emmanuel Johhier, France, 0.5 seconds behind.
3. Tobias Angerer, Germany, 1.1.
4. Pietro Piller Cottrer, Italy, 2.6.
5. Jean Marc Gaillard, France, 3.3.
6. Rene Sommerfeldt, Germany, 3.4.
7. Vincent Vittoz, France, 3.7.
8. Ivan Arteev, Russia, 4.4.
9. Evgenji Dementiev, Russia, 12.2.
10. Sergej Shiriaev, Russia, 13.0.
11. Roland Clara, Italy, 16.4.
12. Christian Hoffmann, Austria, 19.1.
13. Giorgio Di Centa, Italy, 19.7.
14. Valerio Checchi, Italy, 20.4.
15. Serguei Novikov, Russia, 24.1.

Overal World Cup standings (after 8 of 20 races)
1. Tobias Angerer, Germany, 662 points.
2. Alexander Legkov, Russia, 567.
3. Tor Arne Hetland, Norway, 432.
4. Eldar Roenning, Norway, 388.
5. Evgenji Dementiev, Russia, 290.
6. Siemen Oestensen, Norway, 240.
7. Petter Northug, Norway, 231.
8. Jens Filbrich, Germany, 230.
9. Sami Jauhojaervi, Finland, 228.
10. Franz Goerling, Germany, 220.

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