Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
Marit Bjoergen (NOR), Justyna Kowalczyk (POL), Therese Johaug (POL) (l-r)
Marit Bjoergen (NOR)
Therese Johaug (NOR)
Lukas Bauer (CZE)
Eldar Roenning (NOR), Lukas Bauer (CZE), Dmitriy Japarov (RUS) (l-r)
Dmitriy Japarov (RUS)


On second stage of Ruka Triple at World Cup opener in Kuusamo Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer skis and boots) succeeded ahead of Marit Bjørgen and Therese Johaug (both NOR, Fischer skis and boots). In men's 10k race Lukas Bauer (CZE, Fischer) celebrated victory, Dmitriy Japarov (RUS, Fischer) came in third.
Kowalczyk three seconds faster
After her not convincing performance last week in Beitostølen and her early retirement yesterday Marit Bjørgen showed on today's second stage that she is healthy again after her cold two weeks ago. The Norwegian claearly beat her compatriot Therese Johaug's split times and was 11.6 seconds ahead after crossing the line. But now Justyna Kowalczyk started with the last bib into the race: Soon everyone noticed that it will become a hard fight between Bjørgen and the Polish - finally Kowalczyk finished with 13:33.7 minutes three seconds faster than her opponent. 3.8 seconds behind Johaug the strong Yulia Tchekaleva (RUS, Fischer) came in fourth followed by Charlotte Kalla (SWE, Fischer). After her surprising strong third spot in prologue yesterday Sadie Bjornsen (USA, Fischer) showed a great race again: The US-girl crossed the line just 29 seconds behind finishing seventh. Justyna Kowalczyk will start with a 25.7 seconds advantage ahead of Bjørgen in Sunday's free handicap race. Therese Johaug and Charlotte Kalla are 44 and 45 seconds behind the Polish now.

Great shape after his injury
After Lukas Bauer suffered with a heel injury last year and wasn't able to show that good results like before the Czech now is back with a victory. Bauer needed 24:42.6 minutes for his 10k and was 2.4 seconds faster than Eldar Rønning (NOR). Surprisingly strong in today's race was Russian Dmitriy Japarov who had to help his compatriots during the last years and trades for his own account now. His third rank means the first podium finish in the 27-year-old's World Cup carreer. Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) was ranked fifth, Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS, Fischer) finished eighth. With Eldar Rønning, Dmitriy Japarov and Pål Golberg (NOR) three guys will start within two seconds in tomorrow's handicap race. Lukas Bauer is only twelve seconds behind, only a few soconds behind the Czech there are Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ, Fischer skis and boots) as well as Martin Johnsrud Sundby in the ranking list. Maxim Vylegzhanin has a 29 seconds disadvantage in twelfth position just ahead of Petter Northug (NOR, Fischer skis and boots).
5km C Damen, Kuusamo (FIN):
1. Justyna Kowalczyk
POL 00.13.33,70
2. Marit Bjørgen
NOR 00.13.36,70
3. Therese Johaug
NOR 00.13.48,30
4. Yulia Tchekaleva
RUS 00.13.52,10
5. Charlotte Kalla
SWE 00.13.52,40
6. Krista Lähteenmäki
FIN 00.14.00,00
7. Sadie Bjornsen
USA 00.14.02,70
8. Astrid Jacobsen
NOR 00.14.07,60
9. Heidi Weng
NOR 00.14.13,00
10. Masako Ishida
JPN 00.14.15,90
11. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg
NOR 00.14.17,20
12. Julia Ivanova
RUS 00.14.17,60
13. Kerttu Niskanen
FIN 00.14.20,00
14. Denise Herrmann
GER 00.14.20,10
15. Vibeke W Skofterud
NOR 00.14.21,40
15. Kikkan Randall
USA 00.14.21,40
10km C Herren, Kuusamo (FIN):
1. Lukas Bauer
CZE 00.24.43,60
2. Eldar Rønning
NOR 00.24.46,00
3. Dmitriy Japarov
RUS 00.24.49,30
4. Pål Golberg
NOR 00.24.51,00
5. Martin Johnsrud Sundby
NOR 00.24.56,20
6. Alexander Bessmertnykh
RUS 00.25.05,00
7. Chris Jespersen
NOR 00.25.08,00
8. Maxim Vylegzhanin
RUS 00.25.09,40
9. Tim Tscharnke
GER 00.25.09,60
10. Alexander Legkov
RUS 00.25.13,10
11. Lars Nelson
SWE 00.25.19,00
11. Evgeniy Belov
RUS 00.25.19,00
13. Axel Teichmann
GER 00.25.19,30
14. Sami Jauhojärvi
FIN 00.25.19,70
15. Nikolay Chebotko
KAZ 00.25.20,20