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Vittoz, Smigun Win Mass Start Races

December 18, 2004

RAMSAU, Austria (AP) _ France’s Vincent Vittoz and Estonia’s Kristina Smigun won mass start World Cup cross-country races in heavy snowfall Saturday.

Vittoz edged Sweden’s Anders Sodergren and Germany’s Axel Teichmann in a mass sprint to win the men’s 30-kilometer race, moving to second place in the overall standings. Teichmann leads with 472, with Vittoz at 298.

Smigun won the women’s 15K race for her second victory of the season. She led by 21 seconds after 5 kilometers and by as much as 34 seconds after 10, before slowing in the last third of the race.

Norway’s Kristin Steira finished second, 29 seconds behind, and Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva-Abrusova was third, 44.5 seconds back.

Overall World Cup leader Marit Bjorgen of Norway, winner of five of eight events this season, skipped the race. She tops the standings with 610 points, followed by Smigun at 440.

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