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Northug closes in on cross-country World Cup title

March 23, 2013

FALUN, Sweden (AP) — Petter Northug closed in on the overall cross-country World Cup title by finishing fourth Saturday in a 15-kilometer mass start race won by fellow Norwegian Eldar Roenning.

Northug stayed ahead of his closest competitors Alexander Legkov of Russia and defending overall champion Dario Cologna of Switzerland. The Norwegian is 80 points ahead of Legkov and 87 in front of Cologna and will start ahead of both in the pursuit race on Sunday.

Roenning beat Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia and Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway in a sprint to win the race in 43 minutes, 26 seconds.

Norway swept the podium in the women’s 10K race, with Marit Bjoergen clocking 28:06.7 to beat Therese Johaug and Heidi Weng. Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, who has already clinched the overall title, was fourth.

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