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Skiing - 08. March 2009.

Kowalcyk wins in Lahti Finland

LAHTI, Finland  Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk won The World Cup distance race in Finland Sunday. For Kowalczyk's win makes her the women's overall leader. Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) topped U.S. results in 49th.

For the Americans, Sunday's race was more of a recovery operation than a chance at personal bests.

"Liz Stephen decided to race, she has been sick, too. It was more of a race back for everyone except Garrott Kuzzy, who said he felt pretty good and skied a solid race," U.S. Cross Country Coach Justin Wadsworth said. "We didn't have a lot of high expectations for today."

Wadsworth said new courses in Lahti also presented a challenge as the 5K loop was filled with steep up and down.

"It was really fast and technical and very hard on the legs," Wadsworth said.

Kuzzy was 62nd fastest for the men. Chris Cook, normally a sprinter, got a distance race under his belt finishing 72nd.

The Team now heads  to Trondheim, Norway where a World Cup classic sprint will be held on Thursday, March 12.

Lahti, Finland - March 8, 2009
Freestyle 10K, 15K

1. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland, 24:38.6
2. Charlotte Kalla, Sweden, 25:01.0
3. Marthe Kristoffersen, Norway, 25:05.7
4. Evgenia Medvedeva, Russia, 25:05.8
5. Arianna Follis, Italy, 25:08.4
49. Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT, 27:13.1
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