Muehlegg win Idaho International Grand Prix
Express Staff Writer
the Idaho International Grand Prix started Wednesday at the Sun Valley
Nordic Center, two names electrified spectators.
Belmondo of Italy, center, enjoys her victory on Wednesday. On the
left is second place winner Beckie Scott of Canada, and on the right is
third place winner Valentin Shevchenko of Ukraine. Express photos by
Stefania Belmondo of Italy and Johann Muehlegg of Spain lived up to
won the womenís five kilometer classic technique race in 15:55.1, and
Muehlegg won the menís 10 kilometer skating technique race in 26:21.9.
150 cross country skiing Olympian from around the world competed in the
event. For many teams, the race was their final competition prior to the
2002 Olympic Winter Games in Utah.
into her fifth Olympics, was announced by the master of ceremonies, Bob
Rosso, as "the most experienced veteran in the history" of womenís
born in Germany but racing for Spain, is the Nordic World Cup champion.
Rosso described him as a skier really into endurance training.
indicators of their speed and ability, Belmondo started 26th in
a field of 27 international skiers, and Muehlegg started 24th
in a field of 24 international skiers.
almost had to race without her own skis on Wednesday.
before the race, a thief broke into the Italian teamís trailer at the
race site at the Sun Valley Gun Club and made off with all eight pairs of
morning of the race, three pairs of her skis were found at the Sun Valley
Nordic Center by a trail groomer, said Rick Kapala.
the head coach for the Sun Valley Cross Country Team.
Police Sgt. Mike Crawford said that a note was attached to the skis saying
they needed to be returned to the Italian team by 10 a.m.
after the race, Belmondo said in her broken English that the robbery had
affected her concentration, but she was doing better focusing on the
Cold was an
additional problem for Belmondo, but only for her first of two times
around the course.
the minimum allowable temperature for the Olympians is minus 4 degrees.
minus 10 degrees Wednesday morning, but it warmed up to 5 degrees by the
time the womenís race began, he said.
estimated the temperature for the start of the menís race was about 15
Scott of Canada won second place at 16:10.4 with Valentin Shevchenko of
Ukraine coming in with a close third place at 16:10.5.
In the menís
race, Markus Hasler of Liechtenstein came in second place 37 seconds
behind Muehlegg at 26:58.8. Stephan Kunz of Liechtenstein came in third at
Sibbach, the marketing director for Sun Valley Co., reported in a press
release that more than 1,000 people turned out for the two races.