Norwegians Brandsdal, Bjoergen win cross-country sprints

LAHTI, Finland (AP) — Norway continued to dominate the cross-country skiing World Cup on Saturday as Eirik Brandsdal and world champion Marit Bjoergen won freestyle sprint races.

Brandsdal controlled the men’s final from the start in a Norwegian-French fight, with three athletes from each country advancing from the semifinals. Newcomer Sindre Skar of Norway took second, 0.21 seconds behind Brandsdal, with Richard Jouve of France finishing third. World champion Petter Northug fell at the start of his semifinal heat and did not reach the final.

Bjoergen also took the lead early and stayed in front until the end for her 40th career World Cup sprint victory. Compatriot Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg was 0.14 behind in second while American duo Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins finished third and fourth.