World Cup skiing leader Axel Teichmann of Germany and Marit Bjorgen of Norway have won the men's and women's cross country pursuit races in Italy.
Teichmann outlasted a group of pursuers Saturday in the closing stages to win the 30-kilometer double pursuit event. Double pursuit entails a switch from classic style to freestyle at the race's midpoint, with competitors also changing skis. His countryman Jens Filbrich came in second, seven-10ths of a second behind Teichmann's winning time of one hour, 13 minutes and 14 seconds. Frenchman Vincent Vittoz was third.
The victory increased Teichmann's lead in the overall World Cup standings to 185 points. He has 383 points, ahead of Vittoz and Vassili Rotchev of Russia, who are tied for second with 198.
The women's 15-kilometer race came down to a battle between World Cup leader Marit Bjorgen of Norway and her Estonian rival, Kristina Smigun. Bjorgen prevailed in a sprint finish, covering the course in 39 minutes, 22.7 seconds. Smigun finished one second back, while defending World Cup champion Gabrielle Paruzzi of Italy was third, 7.6 seconds off the pace.
Bjorgen now has 510 points to boost her World Cup lead to 170 over Smigun (330). Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic is third with 247 points.
Some information provided by AP and AFP.