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Oslo XC: Scott inches closer to Bjoergen for overall title


Oslo XC: Scott inches closer to Bjoergen for overall title{mosimage}OSLO, Norway – Russian Julia Tchepalova, who ran out of gas in the final sprint at the Olympics and had to settle for the silver medal, held off Olympic champion Czech Katerina Neumannova to win a World Cup 30-kilometer skating race Saturday. Canadian Beckie Scott drew within 46 points of the overall lead by finishing fourth while leader Marit Bjoergen of Norway dropped out.

In the men’s race, Swede Anders Soedergren, who also faded late in the Olympic 50 km, skied to a 23.1-second triumph over Olympic gold medalist Giorgio DiCenta of Italy. The winning time was 2:10.42.5. Carl Swenson was 37th.

Tchepalova finished in 1:18.44.4 with Neumannova — who edged Tchepalova by 1.4 seconds at the Torino Winter Games — second in 1:19.01.3. Sarah Konrad, who became the first U.S. woman to compete in two sports at the Olympic Winter Games when she skied biathlon and cross country, was 38th.

Scott, married to three-time U.S. Olympian Justin Wadsworth and planning to retire after this season, is second in the points with two races remaining. She has 840 to Bjoergen’s 886; the women race a sprint Wednesday in China and finish with a pursuit March 19 in Sapporo, Japan, site of the 2007 World Nordic Ski Championships.

- USSA

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