Cross-Country

The Canadian Press - Saturday Dec. 14, 2013 10:18 ET

Marit Bjoergen wins 61st World Cup cross-country ski race

Tough day for Canada's Ivan Babikov in men's race

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Marit Bjoergen of Norway is all smiles after winning Saturday in Davos. (Arno Balzarini/Keystone/AP)

Maurice Manificat of France and Marit Bjoergen of Norway won distances races in the cross-country skiing World Cup on Saturday.    

Manificat got his fourth career individual win and Bjoergen stood atop the podium for the 61st time at the competition in Davos, Switzerland.  

Manificat took the lead after halfway in the 30-kilometre freestyle event, and timed 1 hour, 5 minutes, 10.8 seconds to beat Chris Andre Jespersen of Norway by 3.3 seconds.    

Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway was third, 14.9 back, and retained his lead in the overall standings.  

Local favourite Dario Cologna, the Olympic champion over 15 kilometres, missed his home race through injury.   

Bjoergen, the women's overall leader, won the 15-kilometre freestyle race by 13 seconds from teammate Therese Johaug in 35 minutes, 34.4 seconds. Charlotte Kalla of Sweden was third, 28.9 back. 

Ivan Babikov of Canmore, Alta., was 47th in the men's race. The 33-year-old clocked a time of 1:09. 16.2 seconds. 

"Ivan just didn't have any jam today. He tried to go with agroup of guys and couldn't," said Eric de Nys, head coach of Canadian cross-country ski team. "There are no excuses. The skis were good, but it was just one of those days.   

"On a super hard course like this in Davos, if you are off, then you are going to be way off."

The pursuit combines 15 kilometres of classic skiing, followed by 15 kilometres of skate skiing. Athletes enter a transition zone between the two legs with the clock still running.   

The rest of the Canadian team was idle, competing in Sunday's sprint race.




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