Cologna wraps up Cross Country title

Sat, 12 Mar 14:16:00 2011

Olympic champion Dario Cologna celebrated his 25th birthday in style as he claimed victory in the 20 kilometre pursuit in Lahti just 24 hours later to wrap up the FIS Cross Country World Cup crown.

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Cologna arrived on the scene last year in Vancouver when he won the 15km freestyle event, becoming the first Swiss to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.

And just over a year later he was once again climbing to the top of the podium, victory in Finland securing the World Cup crown.

Cologna crossed the finishing line in 47:31.3 minutes, with France’s Maurice Manificat 0.6 seconds behind with silver and compatriot Vincent Vittoz settling for bronze.

The win took Cologna’s points tally to 1367 and gave him an unassailable lead, with Norway ’s Petter Northug the closest challenger on 894.

In the women’s 10km pursuit, Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk had to settle for silver but it was still enough to secure overall gold.

The Olympic 30km classical champion just lost out to Norway’s Therese Johaug on a photo finish in Lahti as the both crossed in 25:43.9 minutes.

And despite behind handed second place, Kowalczyk moved to 1739 World Cup points and cannot be caught by closest rival Marit Bjoergen of Norway.

Arianna Follis completed the podium in Finland and stays third overall.

More than the Games / Eurosport

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