Kikkan Randall (USA), Justyna Kowalczyk (POL), Denise Herrmann (GER) (l-r)
Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
Denise Herrmann (GER)
Anton Gafarov (RUS), Eirik Brandsdal (NOR), Teodor Peterson (SWE) (l-r)
Teodor Peterson (SWE), Anton Gafarov (RUS), Eirik Brandsdal (NOR) (l-r)
Eirik Brandsdal (NOR)


In classical sprint at Ruka triple at World Cup opener in Kuusamo Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer skis and boots) celebrated victory followed by Kikkan Randall (USA, Fischer) and Denise Herrmann (GER, Fischer). Eirik Brandsdal (NOR, Fischer) was the best sprinter in men's final.
Herrmann with strong performance, Kowalczyk wins
With her great performance Denise Herrmann was able to celebrate her first World Cup podium ever in classical sprint in Kuusamo. The Saxon showed a strong performance during the whole day and finish second in prologue. In her heats she skied very self-assured ahead of all her opponents and fighted against the others in the uphill and in the final stretch. Because of some stumbles in the uphill Justyna Kowalczyk was able to open a gap against her and Evgenia Shapovalova (RUS, Fischer) and Kikkan Randall closed the gap Herrmann had due to her speed deficit. In the final stretch Justyna Kowalczyk edged out her opponents, Randall came in second ahead of Herrmann. Therefor Kowalczyk gained a few seconds against Marit Bjørgen and Therese Johaug (both NOR, Fischer skis and boots) who failed in the quarter final. "It was a good World Cup opener. I like the tracks in Kuusamo and the conditions are good. I think tomorrow will be a good day for me, too", Kowalczyk said. Shapovalova finished fourth ahead of Celine Brun-Lie (NOR, Fischer).

Brandsdal with the strongest final sprint
Men's final was a open heat for nearly the whole race, just Nikita Kriukov (RUS) and Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ, Fischer skis and boots) who were strong in quarter- and semifinal had to resign their pretensions for victory early. Already since the long downhill Teodor Peterson (SWE) was in the lead but in the final stretch Eirik Brandsdal was the strongest sprinter. Fourth went to Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR, Fischer skis and boots), Alexey Poltoranin came in sixth.

Sprint C Damen, Kuusamo (FIN):
1. Justyna Kowalczyk
POL 00.03.06,10
2. Kikkan Randall
USA 00.03.07,70
3. Denise Herrmann
GER 00.03.08,90
4. Evgenia Shapovalova
RUS 00.03.09,70
5. Celine Brun-Lie
NOR 00.03.13,40
6. Ida Ingemarsdotter
SWE 00.03.17,70
Sprint C Herren, Kuusamo (FIN):
1. Eirik Brandsdal
NOR 00.02.40,70
2. Anton Gafarov
RUS 00.02.40,70
3. Teodor Peterson
SWE 00.02.40,70
4. Ola Vigen Hattestad
NOR 00.02.43,70
5. Nikita Kriukov
RUS 00.02.44,80
6. Alexey Poltoranin
KAZ 00.02.53,50