Germany wins women's cross-country team sprint 

Claudia Nystad pulled away from Sweden's Anna Haag shortly before the finish Monday to give Germany the gold medal in the women's cross-country team sprint at the Vancouver Olympics.

Nystad went past Haag as they entered the ski stadium for the final time and pulled away on the final sprint.

The German team of Nystad and Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle finished in 18 minutes, 3.7 seconds for the gold. The Swedish team of Haag and Charlotte Kalla was 0.6 seconds behind for the silver medal, and Russian duo Irina Khazova and Natalia Korosteleva won bronze after coming in 4 seconds back.

The freestyle event features a relay with two members on every team taking turns going three laps each around a 1.4-kilometer course.

Kalla, who won the 10K freestyle race last week, started for the Swedes and pushed the pace on all three of her laps but couldn't shake off Sachenbacher-Stehle or Khazova.

That meant Haag, Nystad and Korosteleva started the final lap within a second of each other, and the Swede did her best to create some distance from her rivals. Although she shook off the Russian, Haag couldn't answer when Nystad made her move shortly before the finish.

Italy finished fourth and Norway fifth.

The spring-like weather at Whistler Olympic Park continued Monday with temperatures around 50 F (9 C), leading to the unusual sight of some European fans lining the course in short sleeved-shirts — or no shirt at all.

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