Justyna Kowalczyk scored a hat trick at FIS competitions in Muonio as she grabbed first place in Sunday's 10 km F. Kowalczyk took victory in 26:21.47 as she edged out USA's Liz Stephen by +4.5 seconds.
For Stephen, it was her best result in a FIS race since January 2010 at Soldier Hollow, Utah. She has never made the podium in a World Cup, but intends to this year.“I think I’m getting to the point where I need to start believing and almost, expecting isn’t the right word, but you can’t expect to win a race you don’t believe in [winning],” Stephen said on the phone with fasterskier.com
Just 1.1 seconds behind Stephen, Yulia Tchekaleva of Russia placed third, 0.2 seconds ahead of Roponen in fourth. Finland’s Krista Lahteenmaki and Anne Kylloenen took fifth and sixth, respectively, and Brooks finished seventh, 26.2 seconds out of first.
On the men's side Matti Heikkinen of Finland powered to victory in 15 km free. Heikkinen beat in 34:40.5 Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic by +9.9 sec. Germany's Jens Filbrich took third place +28.5 sec off the victory.
"The feeling was good but the competition was of course very tough. I am happy to be back on competitions after such a long time, it is not bad at all," Bauer claimed.
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