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Bjorgen didn't need to lift a ski to clinch title

LAHTI, Finland -- Marit Bjorgen of Norway won the women's
cross country skiing World Cup without competing Sunday, while Julia
Tchepalova of Russia and Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic captured
freestyle races.
Bjorgen was ill but with 1,020 points cannot be overtaken with
four races left. Kristina Smigun of Estonia is second at 599 points
after placing seventh Sunday, and third-place Katerina Neumannova
of the Czech Republic has 591 points.
Bjorgen took three individual medals at the world championships
in Oberstdorf, Germany, in February. She was the World Cup
runner-up last year behind Italy's Gabriela Paruzzi.
This season, Bjorgen has benefited from the sprint events in
which Smigun and Neumannova have competed just once. Bjorgen has
480 points from the sprints and has won four of five. Like Bjorgen,
the men's World Cup leader, Axel Teichmann of Germany, did not
compete in Lahti because of illness.
Vincent Vittoz of France moved past Norway's Tor Arne Hetland
into second place overall. Teichmann has 548 points and Vittoz 466,
with Hetland in third at 436.
Bauer led the men's 15K from the start and was not challenged,
finishing in 36 minutes, 6.2 seconds. He beat Austria's Christian
Hoffmann by 12.1 seconds and Italy's Thomas Moriggl by 21.5.
Tchepalova recorded her first World Cup victory of the season
and 16th of her career. She battled Neumannova throughout the 10K
and finished in 26:13.8 -- 3.3 seconds faster than the Czech. Karine
Philippot of France was third in 26:40.6 for her first top-three
finish in the World Cup.