Legkov leads Russian sweep in men's mass start

The Sports NetworkFebruary 23, 2014 

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Russian cross country skier Alexander Legkov led a medal sweep for the host nation in the men's 50- kilometer mass start on Sunday, the final day of the Sochi Olympics.

Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby had a chance to disrupt the Russian sweep, but Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Ilia Chernousov fed off each other and the home crowd to pull away down the stretch.

The sweep cemented Russia's position atop the medals table of the Sochi Games, giving them 32 medals overall, including 12 golds, with only four-man bobsled and hockey medals still to be handed out.

Legkov crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 46 minutes and 55.2 seconds for his second medal in Sochi after serving as a member of Russia's silver medal winning 4x10-km relay team on Feb. 16.

Vylegzhanin secured his third silver of the Sochi Games following a photo finish with Chernousov. The 31-year-old Vylegzhanin joined Legkov on the 4x10- km team and also won silver with Nikita Kriukov in the team sprint on Wednesday.

Chernousov brought home bronze for his first Olympic medal.

Norway's Petter Northug claimed this event four years ago in Vancouver when the race was skied in the classic technique. With this year's event being skied freestyle, Northug was unable to defend his medal and finished 18th.

Swede Johan Olsson, who took bronze in Vancouver, finished ninth, while Swiss Dario Cologna failed in his quest for a third Sochi gold after snapping a ski late in the race.

Noah Hoffman finished 26th for the best result of any U.S. skier in the event.

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