FILE UNDER -- Nordic

Tor Arne Hetland wins 15km World Cup at Beitostolen

Tor Arne Hetland wins 15km World Cup at Beitostolen{mosimage}BEITOSTOLEN, Norway — Norway’s Tor Arne Hetland and Marit Bjoergen won classical-style World Cup cross-country ski races on manmade snow on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Hetland won the men’s 15-kilometer race in 40 minutes, 50.0 seconds, finishing 17.2 seconds ahead of compatriot Jens Arne Svartedal.

Bjoergen, the defending overall champion, took the women’s 10km in 26:14.7, beating runner-up Virpi Kuitunen of Finland by 21 seconds to extend her lead in the standings.

Hetland, a sprint specialist, was surprised. “I was hoping to make the top 10,” he said. “I never thought I’d take the (World Cup leader’s) yellow jersey with so many points.”

Hetland has won seven career World Cup sprints, but this was his first victory in a distance race.

“The sprints and the Olympics are most important, but the World Cup overall is also important this season,” Hetland said.

Sprinters surprisingly took four of the top five spots in the men’s race. Axel Teichmann, the defending overall champion from Germany, was eighth.

Hetland, runner-up behind Sweden’s Peter Larsson in last month’s World Cup sprint opener in Germany, leads the overall standings with 180 points. Larsson, who did not compete on Saturday, is in second place with 100 points.

– The Associated Press

15 kilometers, classical style

1. Tor Arne Hetland, Norway, 40 minutes, 50.0 seconds.
2. Jens Arne Svartedal, Norway, 41:07.2.
3. Ivan Batory, Slovakia, 41:14.8.
4. Sami Jauhojarvi, Finland, 41:18.8.
5. Janusz Krezelok, Poland, 41:21.9.
(tied) Eldar Ronning, Norway, 41:21.9.
7. Geir Ludvig Aasen, Norway, 41:31.0.
8. Axel Teichmann, Germany, 41:33.6.
9. Tobias Angerer, Germany, 41:39.8.
10. Christophe Perrillat, France, 41:40.1.
11. Mathias Fredriksson, Sweden, 41:42.0.
12. Tord Asle Gjerdalen, Norway, 41:43.1.
(tied) Andrus Veerpalu, Estonia, 41:43.1.
14. Frode Estil, Norway, 41:44.1.
15. Vassili Rotshev, Russia, 41:46.6.

Overall standings
After 2 of 24 races

1. Tor Arne Hetland, Norway, 180 points.
2. Peter Larsson, Sweden, 100.
3. Jens Arne Svartedal, Norway, 80.
4. Eldar Ronning, Norway, 63.
5. Thobias Fredriksson, Sweden 60.
(tied) Ivan Batory, Slovakia, 60.
7. Fredrik Ostberg, Sweden, 50.
(tied) Sami Jauhojarvi, Finland, 50.
9. Janusz Krezelok, Poland, 45.
(tied) Bjorn Lind, Sweden, 45.

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