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Finland rallies in cross-country to win Nordic event

1/14/2007

VAL DI FIEMME, Italy -- Hannu Manninen, Anssi Koivuranta,
Jaakko Tallus and Ville Kaehkoenen led Finland to victory Sunday in
a Nordic combined World Cup team sprint event.

Fourth after the ski jumping, the four Finns rallied in the
4x5-kilometer cross-country race to finish in 50 minutes, 58
seconds, 10.5 ahead of Austria I.

"It was a good race from all of us today and the jumping was
good," Manninen said. "The time difference between us and the
leading Austrians was not too big, so we hoped we could be either
second or first."

The Austrian quartet of Christoph Bieler, Bernhard Gruber, Felix
Gottwald and Mario Stecher provided a 37-second lead against
Finland ahead of the cross-country race.

Havard Klemetsen, Espen Rian, Petter L. Tande and Magnus-H. Moan
of Norway were third, 49.1 seconds back.