Cross-country World Cup races conclude in Asahikawa‏

The IPC Nordic Skiing cross-country World Cup concluded on Thursday (19 February) with a double win for the USA and Russia in middle distance freestyle races in Asahikawa, Japan.

After missing out on a medal at the 2015 World Championships just weeks ago, US sit-skier Daniel Cnossen was triumphant after chasing the top spot on the podium all week behind teammate Andrew Soule.

Cnossen (30:17.8) put in a strong performance to lead Canadian Chris Klebl (30:31.2) and Russia's Alexey Bychenok (30:38.7).

In the women's event the USA's Oksana Masters (16:36.4) once again made good on her aspirations to improve in her second competitive season, winning ahead of Norway's Mariann Marthinsen (16:51.9).

Russian Natalia Kocherova (17:37.6) was third, as the podium trio head into the World Cup Finals in Surnadal, Norway, as the overall top three.

Rushan Minnegulov (24:08.2) topped the men's standing rankings for Russia, climbing from an early third.

France's Benjamin Daviet (24:44.1) was once again in the mix in second, standing between Minnegulov and teammate Vladislav Lekomtcev (24:53.8) in third.

The second win for Russia came courtesy of Ekaterina Rumyantseva (14:41.8) in the women's standing who, heading into the World Cup Finals, is just two points clear of second placed Canadian Brittany Hudak (14:55.5). Japan's Yurika Abe (15:15.4) used her latest podium to claw her way into the World Cup top five with third place.

Winning Frenchman Anthony Chalencon (26:06.8), guided by Lucas Dupperex, pulled himself closer to Norway's current men's visually impaired World Cup leader and second place finisher Eirik Bye (26:37.3) and guide KM Hellerud.

Japan's Kazuto Takamura (32:27.2) enjoyed his first podium at home alongside guide Toru Hara in third.

Full results can be found at http://www.paralympic.org/nordic-skiing/calendar-results.

The IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup Finals begin on 16-22 March and will feature biathlon and cross-country.

Rankings heading into the event can be found at: http://www.paralympic.org/nordic-skiing/rankings.