Vesna Fabjan leads Slovenia to double victory in Rybinsk. UPDATED
Fabjan led the Slovenian team to double victory as qualification winner Katja Visnar finished second. Justyna Kowalczyk showed again her sprint power and took the third place.
Fabjan and Visnar were in the lead on the whole 1.3 km course. Italian team was very successful having Magda Genuin, Arianna Follis and Marianna Longa in the final. Justyna Kowalczyk started slowly and skied the first part on the last position. Before the last uphill Kowalczyk moved forward and was close behind the leading Slovenian duo. Coming in the stadium Kowalczyk attacked but Fabjan fought back and secured first place. Visnar beat Kowalczyk by a tip of the toe and claimed second place.
For Fabjan it is the second World Cup victory and as well the second win in Rybinsk while Katja Visnar managed today her first World Cup podium.
In the overall World Cup ranking Justyna Kowalczyk is now leading with 1576 points in total. Arianna Follis is currently second with 975 points and Marit Bjoergen (NOR) third with 922 points.
Petra Majdic from Slowenia, who was not competing today, maintained the lead in the overall sprint standing as she had collected already 354 points. Arianna Follis from Italy is second with 333 points and US-American Kikkan Randall occupies third place with 291 points.
Vesna Fabjan (SLO)
It is just amazing. I won twice and both time here in Rybinsk. This place is something special for me. Today, it is a historical moment for us as we made a double victory for Slovenia. Already last year Katja and I were on the podium together but in the team sprint and this year we both made it to the podium in sprint. It is great. I like the course in Rybinsk and I have a good tactic for it, that is maybe the key of the success.
Katja Visnar (SLO)
It is a great day. I had very good ski’s and it was fun to race here in Rybinsk. I like this place. It is my first podium spot in a World Cup race in individual competitions. Rybinsk is a nice Cross-Country place and I had always good results here. The people are friendly, the crowd is cheering and the courses are good.
Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
On the one hand I am satisfied with my third place as I am normally not so often on the podium in free technique sprints but on the other hand I felt I can more today. I was a bit blocked by the Italian tactic and was not able to pass them early enough. On the final straight I was fighting hard but the Slovenian ladies were better. Now I am going to Seiser Alm to prepare for the World Championships.