Justyna Kowalczyk sprints to victory in Moscow and takes the World Cup lead. UPDATED

02 February 2012 14:18
Justyna Kowalczyk wins in Moscow
Justyna Kowalczyk wins in Moscow -

Justyna Kowalczyk sprints to victory in the free technique sprint in Moscow and takes over the lead in the overall World Cup standing. Natalia Korosteleva takes second place and Anastasia Dotsenko finishes third.

Kowalczyk started the finals slowly and was skiing in the sixth place controling the competition from behind. Surprise of the day Jessica Diggins of the USA was working hard and was setting the pace almost all the way through to the finals. Russian skiers were well positioned in the middle of the field.

With a few hundred meters to go Justyna Kowalczyk made a move and on the outside gained four spots and found herself in the second position. On the last bridge before the finishing straight Kowalczyk attacked, went into the lead and did not give her competitors a chance.

For the first time in her career Justyna Kowalczyk claimed a free technique city sprint win. Natalia Korosteleva was finishing strongly, she passed Jessica Diggins and stormed to second place ahead of her compatriot Anastasia Dotsenko.

Aino Kaisa Saarinen finished fourth, Krista Lahteenmaki fifth and Jessica Diggins sixth.

With her victory today Justyna Kowalczyk takes over the Overall World Cup lead by 38 points from Marit Bjoergen

Anastasia Dotsenko RUS
I'm proud to be on the podium in Moscow. The weather conditions were not easy today and the snow was slow but I am excited to win the third place. 

Natalia Korosteleva RUS
It feels great to be on the podium. Especially in my home country and in Moscow. It is special for me. The fans and atmosphere was great.  I hope the Cross-Country World Cup returns to Moscow.

Justyna Kowalczyk POL
I'm really emotional today because normally I am not strong at city sprints. But today the snow was slow and that is maybe the reason why I am on the podium. I am happy I have taken over the yellow but it will be a hard job to keep it till the end of the season.