Vittoz, Neumannova win World Cup cross-country in Nove Mesto

Vittoz, Neumannova win World Cup cross-country in Nove Mesto{mosimage}NOVE MESTO, Czech Republic — Vincent Vittoz of France and Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic won World Cup cross-country freestyle races Saturday.

Vittoz defeated Christian Hoffmann of Austria by 4.4 seconds to win the men’s 15-kilometer event, his third victory of the season. The Frenchman is second in the overall standings with 434 points, 90 behind leader Axel Teichmann of Germany, who finished 24th.

Tobias Angerer of Germany was third, 9.6 seconds behind the winner, and another German, Rene Sommerfeldt, moved to third overall with 294 points following his fifth-place finish.

Neumannova earned her 13th career World Cup victory — her first in front of a home crowd. She beat World Cup leader Marit Bjoergen of Norway by 7.7 seconds.

“It’s a big thing to win at home and I’m very happy,” Neumannova said. “I had a slower start … but was strong at the finish.”

Julia Tchepalova of Russia finished third, 13.6 seconds behind Neumannova.

Neumannova is third in the overall standings with 407 points after 10 races. Bjoergen still comfortably leads with 790 points. Estonia’s Kristina Smigun, who was seventh Saturday, is second with 516.

-The Associated Press

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