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Nove Mesto X-C: Lind and Sidko win sprint events

Nove Mesto X-C: Lind and Sidko win sprint events{mosimage}NOVE MESTO, Czech Republic – Bjoern Lind of Sweden won the men’s event and Russia’s Alena Sidko took the women’s race Friday in a World Cup cross-country meet.

Lind won the 1.2-kilometer sprint, followed by Peter Larsson of Sweden. Norway’s Johan Kjoelstad and Sweden’s Mikael Oestberg collided but finished third and fourth, respectively.

American Torin Koos was 15th in the men’s race with Andy Newell 21st after a spill while leading into the final half-kilometer.

Skiers raced over the course in the prologue time trial where Newell qualified third and Koos 28th. They were paired in the same six-man finals heat.

‘We had some fun a while but we’re taking small steps, and that’s our game plan’ U.S. sprint head coach Vidar Loefshus said. ‘Andy was leading with about 400 meters left, and then he had an accident, and you can’t have small accidents in the sprints. He got tangled up, someone hit a pole, then someone else hit his pole and he went down … and Torin was stuck in the middle of the pack.

‘But Andy’s learning, they’re both getting there … and this was disappointing, but another good step forward for them’ Loefshus said.

In the women’s final, Sidko controlled the race from the start, beating second-place racer Anna Dahlberg of Sweden. The leader of the overall standings, Claudia Kuenzel of Germany, was third.

The next men’s sprint will be Jan. 8 in Otepaeae, Estonia, a classic race, with another classic sprint Jan. 22 in Oberstdorf, Germany. The Olympic sprints are freestyle but the new-this-winter team sprint will be classic technique.

– The Associated Press/USSA

World Cup cross-country results
Final (1.2-kilometer freestyle sprint)

1. Bjoern Lind, Sweden
2. Peter Larsson, Sweden
3. Johan Kjoelstad, Norway
4. Mikael Oestberg, Sweden
Final B
5. Thobias Fredriksson, Sweden
6. Tor Arne Hetland, Norway
7. Vassili Rotchev, Russia
8. Dusan Kozisek, Czech Republic

World Cup standings
(After 9 races)

1. Tobias Angerer, Germany, 485 points.
2. Tor Arne Hetland, Norway, 375.
3. Vincent Vittoz, France, 239.
4. Bjoern Lind, Sweden, 231.
5. Peter Larsson, Sweden, 212.

Final (1.2-kilometer freestyle sprint)

1. Alena Sidko, Russia
2. Anna Dahlberg, Sweden
3. Claudia Kuenzel, Germany
4. Natalia Matveeva, Russia
Final B
5. Anna Karin Stroemstedt, Sweden
6. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland
7. Ella Gjoemle, Norway
8. Emelie Oehrstig, Sweden

World Cup standings
(After 9 races)

1. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 490 points.
2. Claudia Kuenzel, Germany, 388.
3. Julija Tchepalova, Russia, 380.
4. Beckie Scott, Canada, 360.
5. Evi Sachenbacher Stehle, Germany, 265.

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