Cross-Country Skiing - Narrow defeat again for Poltoranin as Norway win team sprint

Alexey Poltoranin was beaten at the line for the second time in Asiago as Norway's Eldar Roenning and Ola Vigen Hattestad won the first cross-country skiing World Cup team sprint of the season.

Trailing Hattestad in the closing stages, Poltoranin, beaten by Nikita Kriukov in the individual classic sprint on Saturday, broke as the finishing line beckoned but his stretch at the line wasn't enough as the Norwegian's own reach secured them the win.

A photo finish was needed to confirm the result but it only confirmed what Poltoranin knew as he and Kazakhstan teammate Nikolay Chebotko had to make do with second place.

Roenning and Hattestad clocked a winning time of 24:47.4minutes with teammates Oeystein Pettersen and Eirik Brandsdal placing third after beating out Russia's first-choice pairing themselves.

Elsewhere in the women's team sprint Finland duo Aino-Kaisa Saarinen and Anne Kylloenen took victory in 19:15.72 with Norway second and Germany third.

The second and final team sprint takes place in Nove Mesto next month and Saarinen insisted that she and Kylloenen would now be enjoying Christmas.

She said: "It felt fantastic, it is a great Christmas present for me."