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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russians, Finns Edge Norway in Nordic Races

COMBINED REPORTS


NOVE MESTO, Czech Republic -- After a surprise Russian victory in the women's 20-kilometer relay, the Finnish team won a 40-kilometer men's relay cross-country race in the World Nordic Skiing Cup competition.


In the women's race Elena Vaelbe won for the Russians, who finished in 1 hour 39.3 seconds Sunday, ahead of Norway, whose team finished in 1:00.56.1.


The Norwegian women led the field through most of the race and at the 15-kilometer mark were 33 seconds ahead of the Russians. But Norway's Trude Dybendahl was not strong enough to maintain the lead on the last 5-kilometer lap. She finished second, 16.8 seconds behind Vaelbe.


The Finnish men won in 1:47.17.7 seconds. The Norwegians were second, 5.3 seconds behind the Finns, after Bjoern Daehlie, who was leading in the last lap, fell some 150 meters from the finish.


On Saturday, Vladimir Smirnov of Kazakhstan won the 15-kilometer cross country race in 40 minutes, 11.3 seconds.


In Kitzbuehel, Austria, Thomas Sykora held off Italy's Alberto Tomba to win the slalom and Guenther Mader won the combined event to give Austria a double celebration in the Alpine skiing World Cup on Sunday.


Sykora, 27, recorded the first World Cup win of his career with his narrow victory over overall champion Tomba -- by just 0.06 seconds. Slovenia's Jure Kosir was third.


Saturday, Mader, 31, tore down the 3.2-kilometer Hahnenkamm run in 1 minute, 54.29 seconds, almost two seconds better than the previous best of 1:56.04 that Franz Heinzer of Switzerland did in 1992.


Mader's combined win was the 13th victory of his World Cup career. Second overall was teammate Hans Knaus, with Switzerland's Bruno Kernen third.


Mader is only the third skier, after Luxembourg's Marc Giradelli and Swiss Pirmin Zurbriggen, to win in all five disciplines -- slalom, giant slalom, super-G, combined and downhill. (


(For other results, see Scorecard.)