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26/08/2012

− Alexander Legkov (RUS) wins the 22nd edition of the Kangaroo Hoppet (36km

skating) – Maria Gräfnings (SWE) winner on the women"s side!!!

− Summer events of many Worldloppet races

Alexander Legkov (RUS) wins the 22nd edition of the Kangaroo Hoppet (...km

skating) – Maria Gräfnings (SWE) winner on the women"s side!!!

Strong winds and heavy snowfall made the 22nd edition of the Kangaroo Hoppet in

Australia pretty demanding. Already over 30cm of snow had fallen over night and it didn"t stop to snow for the race. The organisers decided to shorten the course form 42km to 36km due to the weather situation. The track was already very slow and got even more difficult during the race as also the visibility dropped due to the heavy snowfall and the strong wind.

However, it seemed as the weather conditions didn"t bother the top Russian skiers at all. Having skied the Australian Championships last weekend at the same spot, Alexander Legkov already showed then, that he would be one of the favourites for this year"s Kanagroo Hoppet. But nobody had imagined such a tight fight between him and his team mate Ilya Chernousov. Legkov and Chernousov clearly lived up to their world top 10 rankings by breaking away from the leading pack as the athletes reached the six kilometer stage. Australia’s four-time Hoppet winner, Ben Derrick, lead the field early in the race through most of the Sun Valley stage, but then the two Russians found another gear and literally sprinted away from their rivals. With about a 200-metre gap separating the two Russians from the next lot of athletes, it was never in doubt that either Legkov or Chernousov would cross the line first. The only unanswered question was which of the two top 10 ranked Russians would stand supreme. After the lead changed a few times throughout the last 24 kilometres, Legkov applied enormous pressure to his team mate, but Chernousov refused to give in, staying with his higher ranked countryman to almost cause an upset. Legkov drew on every morsel of energy left in his body and, with his face contorted with physical exertion, found a way to hold out Chernousov as they came to the finish line.

On the women"s side it was Sweden"s Maria Gräfnings who could – as she had already

done one week ago during the Australian Championships – claim the victory. This time he won in front of Marina Chernousova (RUS) and the Australian local hero Esther Bottomley. The Swede started the race as a hot favourite, but after missing the start and dropping back in the field, Graefnings was forced to muster all of her resilience and talent to work her way back into the race. It was not until the 10-kilometre mark that Graefnings snatched the lead from Chernousova. A miscalculation by the Swede may has spurred her on to victory, as she thought Canadian Brooke Darlington was in the lead at the time she passed Chernousova. As it turned out, the Canadian was in fourth place, a position she maintained as she crossed the line. The third place for Bottomley has secured the local athlete a win in the Australia New Zealand Cup, an accolade that also provides direct entry into next season’s World Cup events throughout the northern hemisphere, starting in November.

In total over 1100 participants from 27 nations took part in this year"s Kangaroo Hoppet

which is another increase in participants and nations.

Results

Women"s Race

1st Maria GRAEFNINGS (SWE) 01:33:13

2nd Marina CHERNOUSOVA (RUS) 01:34:46

3rd Esther BOTTOMLEY (AUS) 01:38:39

Men"s Race

1st Alexander LEGKOV (RUS) 01:22:59

2nd Ilya CHERNOUSOV (RUS) 01:23:00

3rd Ivan ALYPOV (RUS) 01:26:34

Full results will be put online as soon as possible under:

http://www.worldloppet.com/search_browse.php

The next Worldloppet race will be the Jizerská Padesatka (CZE, 50km classic technique) on January 13th. However, the first FIS Marathon Cup of the season will take place in Livigno (ITA) with the La Sgambeda race (42km skating technique).

More information on the race:

Kangaroo Hoppet:

In general: http://www.hoppet.com.au/

Videos: http://www.hotham.tv/hoppet/

Summer events of many Worldloppet races

Even though there is no snow (yet) in the Northern hemisphere, the Worldloppet races are far from being lazy and enjoying a time out! A lot of the races have summer events such as running, biking, inline skating or rollerski events!!! Don"t miss any of these events but stay updayted through the Worldloppet web page, the Worldloppet Facebook page & through Worldloppet on Twitter!

Next events:

September 2:Marcialonga Running (Marcialonga)

http://www.marcialonga.it/marcialonga_running/index_en.php

September 8 & 9: Trans"roller (Transjurassienne) http://www.transroller.com/presentation-1-5.htm

September 15:Birkebeinerlopet (Birkebeinerrennet)

http://www.birkebeiner.no/Birkebeinerlopet/

September 16:Tartu Rattamaraton (Tartu Maraton) http://www.tartumaraton.ee/seb-15-

tartu-rattamaraton

September 22: Bierkie Trail Run & Trek (American Birkebeiner)

http://www.birkie.com/page/show/110428-birkie-trail-run-and-trek

Worldloppet – The World of Marathon Skiing!!!

More information: www.worldloppet.com

Visit also the official Worldlooppet Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Worldloppet-FIS-Marathon-Cup/248398098518529

Never miss an info about the world of marathon skiing:

https://twitter.com/#!/WLandFISMaCup

©Worldloppet. For more information, please contact Worldloppet Press and Media

Manager Christina Fritz , email: p resse@worldloppet.com , mob.: +49-179-2156756 or

+33-78-7003687