Sun, Jan 01, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Axel Teichmann starts strong in Tour de Ski

AP, OBERHOF, GERMANY

Competitors take part in the men’s Tour de Ski 15km pursuit in Oberhof, Germany, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Axel Teichmann delighted home fans by winning the men’s pursuit race in the second event of the Tour de Ski cross-country series on Friday.

The German skier covered the 15km distance in classic style in 46 minutes, 3.3 seconds, coming from behind after Thursday’s prologue.

“To win before home fans is always special,” Teichmann said.

Teichmann started 28.7 seconds behind Petter Northug of Norway, but surged past the world champion to win by more than two seconds. Northug clocked 46 minutes, 5.6 seconds and last year’s tour winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland was third in 46 minutes, 6.2 seconds.

Teichmann attacked on the last climb and left the others behind.

“I looked behind with 200m to go and there was no one to be seen, I knew I’d won it,” he said.

Cologna made the podium despite being involved in a fall shortly after Teichmann’s attack.

Earlier, defending champion Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland won the 10km women’s pursuit race.

Kowalczyk also won Thursday’s prologue and led from start to finish in the classical event to win in 32 minutes, 4.4 seconds. She beat Therese Johaug of Norway by 0.2 seconds. World Cup leader Marit Bjoergen of Norway was third in 32 minutes, 11.5 seconds.

Bjoergen started in second place, while Johaug jumped from 14th. Johaug also moved into second place in overall World Cup standings.

The grueling nine-event series in 11 days takes place in Germany and Italy.

? FOUR HILLS SKI JUMPING

AFP, OBERSTDORF, Germany

Austria’s world ski jump champion Gregor Schlierenzauer won the first leg of the Four Hills trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Friday in an Austrian 1-2-3.

The 21-year-old — 2010 Olympic team champion and bronze medalist in the two individual events — beat compatriots World Cup series leader Andreas Kofler and Thomas Morgenstern, who won here last year on his way to the overall title.

“Schlieri” — who turns 22 on Saturday, the day after the final leg — has made this his target for the season.

Should he sweep all four legs of the tournament he will earn himself an 815,000 euro (US$1.06 million) bonus from the organizers, 10 years after Germany’s Sven Hannewald achieved that feat.

The German ski station of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the next port of call for the Four Hills today.

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