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Oslo, Norway – The pre-World Championship freestyle sprint at the Holmenkollen Ski Stadium features large strong fields.  76 men and 64 women will start the 1.3/1.5km race.

Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) is back in action after sitting out Saturday’s 30km and will try to end Marit Bjoergen’s winning streak.  The US starts Kikkan Randall and Caitlin Compton while Dasha Gaiazova represents Canada.

This will be Randall’s first skate sprint start since before the Olympics.  She has been racing very well recently and should be in the mix for a spot in the finals.

Petter Northug will not start the men’s sprint for Norway, leaving Emil Joensson (SWE) as the easy favorite.  The Northug family will be represented as Petter’s younger brother Thomas gets his second World Cup start.

The US will run Andy Newell, Simi Hamilton, Mike Hinckley and Brian Gregg while Stefan Kuhn is the lone Canadian to start.

Newell will try to defend his first World Cup podium in two years.  He was 3rd just three days ago in Drammen.  While that race was classic, his other two podiums both came in freestyle sprints.

Predictions

Men:

1. Emil Joensson (SWE)

2. Nikita Kriukov (RUS)

3. Alexia Petukhov (RUS)

4. Andy Newell (USA)

5. Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)

6. Simen Oestensen (NOR)

Women:

1. Marit Bjoergen (NOR)

2. Arianna Follis (ITA)

3. Kikkan Randall (USA)

4. Hannah Falk (SWE)

5. Pirjo Muranen (FIN)

6.  Natalia Korostoleva (RUS)

Complete Start Lists

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