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Petter Northug wins cross country race

12/17/2011 - Olympic Sports

ROGLA, Slovenia -- Norway's Petter Northug showed his sprinting ability again, winning a 15-kilometer mass start race Saturday and extending his overall lead in the cross-country skiing World Cup standings.

The double Olympic champion cruised with the main pack for most of the race before edging his rivals in a five-way sprint down the final straightaway.

Northug finished in 42 minutes, 42.7 seconds to beat Dario Cologna of Switzerland by 0.2 seconds. Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan was another second back in third.

In the women's race, Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland had a more comfortable victory in the 10K mass start. She beat Norway's Therese Johaug by more than 20 seconds. Norway's Vibeke Skofterud was third.

Overall leader Marit Bjoergen was ill and missed the race. Northug tops the men's standings, 192 points ahead of Cologna after nine events.