STRBSKE PLESO, Slovakia -- Finland's Samppa Lajunen excelled
in a 7.5-kilometer cross-country sprint Sunday to win a World Cup
Nordic combined event.
Lajunen was seventh after the ski jumping, earning 112.5 points.
He then outclassed the opposition with a solid sprint to take first
Germany's Ronny Ackermann was second, finishing fifth and sixth
in the individual events. Austria's Felix Gottwald, the World Cup
defending champion, was third.
Austria's Christian Bailer was the strongest individual jumper
and Czech racer Ladislav Rygl was the top sprinter.
Akermann has won two races and placed second in two more of the
five events held so far this season.
He leads the standings with 595 points, ahead of Gottwald with
545 and Todd Lodwick of the United States with 445. Lajunen moved
into fourth place in the standings with 425 points.
The next World Cup event will be at Steamboat Springs, Colo., on