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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spaniard Claims Victory at Krylatskoye




Johann Muhlegg, a German competing for Spain, captured his second World Cup victory this season Sunday, winning a 30-kilometer freestyle event at Moscow's Krylatskoye Ski Track by 34 seconds.


"I'm very happy today. It's my second and I devote it to King Juan Carlos and the Spanish nation," Muhlegg said.


"The race was really tough today and all the athletes were in the same conditions here," the German said.


Muhlegg won the first ever victory for Spain in cross-country skiing in Sapada, Italy, in December.


The German clocked a time of 1:18:18, finishing 34.2 seconds ahead of Olympic champion Thomas Alsgaard of Norway, who had also been gunning for his second win of the season.


With the second result, Alsgaard moved to the top of the overall standings with 341 points, just five points ahead of his teammate Espen Bjervig, who finished 21st and lost his lead in the overall standings.


Muhlegg remained in third place with 322 points.


Stefan Kunz of Liechtenstein, finished third with a time of 1:19:05.3.


Norway's men, a predominant force in the classic events, have dominated the World Cup field so far this season, and hold seven of the 10 top spots in the overall rankings.


In the women's event Saturday, Finland's Kaisa Varis captured her first cross-country World Cup victory by winning the 15-kilometer freestyle by eight seconds.


"It was the best finish in my career," said Varis, in her second World Cup season. "I was surprised that the Russian team was not that tough here."


Varis clocked a time of 43 minutes, 50.4 seconds, finishing 8.4 seconds ahead of Estonia's Kristina Smigun,who was going for her third win of the season.


Varis' best finish before Saturday was fifth place at a 15-kilometer classical race in Davos, Switzerland last month.


Three-time Olympic and world champion Nina Gavriluk of Russia finished third with a time of 44:05, followed by Maria Theurl of Austria.


Home favorites Larissa Lasutina and Svetlana Nageikina finished sixth and seventh.


Nagejkina said poor course conditions slowed her down.


"It's difficult to show your best on such a dirty course," she said.


Despite finishing 10th at 45.20.1, defending World Cup champion Bente Martinsen of Norway kept her lead in the overall standings after eight events, with 482 points.