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Otepaa X-C: Norway's Pedersen wins first World Cup race at age 41

Otepaa X-C: Norway’s Pedersen wins first World Cup race at age 41{mosimage}OTEPAA, Estonia – Hilde Pedersen of Norway won the women’s 10-kilometer cross-country ski race Saturday for the first World Cup triumph of her career.

The 41-year-old had 62 top-10 finishes going into the race, but had never placed atop the podium in an individual race.

She covered the classical style race in 27 minutes, 09.4 seconds, edging runner-up Kristina Smigun of Estonia by 0.2 seconds.

Vassili Rotchev of Russia won the men’s 15 km in 37:15.3, beating second-place Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic by half a second.

Pedersen said she was surprised by her win.

“I never expected this,” she said. “It’s unbelievable that this win would come now. I’m not in top shape, but naturally it’s great to finally stand on top of the podium.”

Pedersen moved to fifth in the overall standings with 337 points. Fellow Norwegian Marit Bjoergen, who finished fourth Saturday, kept the overall lead with 540 points.

In the men’s standings, Rotchev is fourth with 239 points. Germany’s Tobias Angerer leads with 485 points.

- The Associated Press

World Cup cross-country results
Men
15 kilometers classical style

1. Vassili Rochev, Russia, 37 minutes, 15.3 seconds.
2. Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic, 37:15.8.
3. Sergei Novikov, Russia, 37:19.0.
4. Frode Estil, Norway, 37:24.0.
5. Jaak Mae, Estonia, 37:29.3.
6. Mathias Fredriksson, Sweden, 37:30.6.
7. Jens Arne Svartedal, Norway, 37:32.3.
8. Andrus Veerpalu, Estonia, 37:36.5.
9. Anders Sodergren, Sweden, 37:47.4.
10. Anders Aukland, Norway, 37:58.4.

Women
10 kilometers classical style

1. Hilde G. Pedersen, Norway, 27:09.4.
2. Kristina Smigun, Estlonia, 27:09.6.
3. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland, 27:28.5.
4. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 27:43.2.
5. Valentina Shevchenko, Ukraine, 27:43.3.
6. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland, 27:46.5.
7. Viola Bauer, Germany, 27:49.4.
8. Natalia Baranova, Russia, 27:52.5.
9. Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Finland, 28:12.5.
10. Anna Karin Stromstedt, Sweden, 28:18.9.

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