World Cup trophies were presented to the best skater of the season in each distance including the Mass Start Race and to the best in Team Pursuit. Czech skater Martina Sábliková had her trophy already guaranteed in the long distances by winning the five preceding competitions; in the other distances, the Cups went to Jing Yu (CHN, 500m), Christine Nesbitt (CAN, 1000 & 1500m) and for the men the winners were: Tae-Bum Mo (KOR, 500m), Shani Davis (USA, 1000m), Håvard Bøkko (NOR, 1500m) and Bob de Jong (NED, long distances). Added to that, the Mass Start Cup went to Mariska Huisman (NED) and Alexis Contin (FRA). The Team Pursuit Cups went to the Canadian ladies and the Dutch men. A total of eight different nationalities came away winners.
For the first time in the history of the World Cup Speed Skating series a special prize from Essent and US $20,000 was awarded to the Lady and Man who had accumulated the highest number of points throughout the season and be crowned ˜Grand World Cup' winner. These prizes went to Christine Nesbitt and Kjeld Nuis (NED).
For each competition in the individual distances, the top 5 ranked competitors earned 'Grand World Cup' points. Before the final the Dutch skaters Ireen Wüst and Stefan Groothuis were in the lead of the ˜Grand World Cup' rankings, with Christine Nesbitt and Shani Davis in pursuit. Unfortunately Wüst was not well and had to withdraw from the races in Berlin knowing that this gave Nesbitt the chance of taking the Grand World Cup.
In the 500m for Ladies competition was tight. Jenny Wolf (GER) had taken over the lead by points from Sang-Hwa Lee (KOR) last week, but today Jing Yu won and grabbed the lead. Lee had set a 38.00 when Yu and Wolf skated as the final pair. Yu was the only skater below 38 seconds with 37.94, but Wolf's 38.37 was still good enough for bronze and Nesbitt gathered 4.5 towards the overall World Cup with her fourth place. Yu now had 810 points, Wolf 779 and Lee 770.
In the Men's 500m, many skaters have a chance for the top rung of the podium. Where last week his twin brother Michel reached the podium, Ronald Mulder (NED) now had a strong race and set 35.19. It brought him to fourth place; Jamie Gregg (CAN) reached 35.06 for the first World Cup win in his life, but for a moment the time of Pekka Koskela (FIN) seemed equal, but then was corrected to 35.07. Tae-Bum Mo finished in 35.17, but the leader in the ranking, Tucker Fredricks (USA), didn't race as well as a week earlier and was only 14th. Mo who had lost his lead when Fredricks won, now made up many points and therefore the last race would have to decide the winner: Fredricks had 610 points, Koskela moved into the top-3 with 584, Mo had 582.
The 3000m Ladies was much like the 5000m last week. Olympic silver medalist Stephanie Beckert (GER) raced very well and reached 4:05.62. Martina Sábliková completed the task to stay unbeaten this season. She followed with a more even schedule and won the race in 4:03.14. Her pair mate Claudia Pechstein (GER) on home ice had to settle for bronze with 4:07.64, just below the time of Dutch Linda de Vries who was fourth in 4:07.80.
Sábliková won all long distance races this season and won the Cup for the fifth time in a row, with 650 points. Beckert had overtaken Pechstein in the last race; she was now second with 410 points, Pechstein had 405.
The Men's 1500m race was a real thriller. After his win last week, four-time-in-a-row World Cup winner Shani Davis had a good lead with 380 points, followed by World 1500m champion Håvard Bøkko with 322 and Kjeld Nuis with 310.
Allround Dutchman Koen Verweij proved he can also excel in a single distance: his 1:47.72 in pair three held even when Olympic Champion Mark Tuitert (NED) raced in pair seven and also clocked 1:47.72; comparison in thousands of seconds showed that Tuitert was 0.001 slower. In pair ten, Nuis and Groothuis skated and although Groothuis was fastest in the field after 1100m, he had the slowest final lap and came nowhere near the podium. Nuis however had the fastest pre-last lap and could keep up in good speed to finish in 1:47.69.
In the final pair Davis skated with Bøkko. Both opened in 23.9, Davis had the faster first and second lap, though Bøkko could follow, but Davis reached 1100 m faster still than Nuis; however, just after that mark, Bøkko had the last inner turn and managed to overtake him. Bøkko finished in 1:47.49, the winning time, Davis did not make the podium; his 1:47.85 brought him to sixth place. It was Bøkko's first win this season in which Davis won twice. As a result of this race, it was not Davis who won the World Cup 1500m, but Bøkko (who in previous years won the long distance World Cup twice) with 472 points, Nuis was second with 430 and Davis dropped to third place with 425 points. It also meant that Nuis and Bøkko overtook Davis in the Grand World Cup ranking, and that the margin of Groothuis' lead was only 0.5 point over Nuis, so it would come down to the last race.
Saturday started with the second 500m races. Christine Nesbitt skated 38.17, Jenny Wolf did not reach the time of Nesbitt but finished in 38.22. So Wolf would not win the World Cup again; she would have needed a win to overtake Yu. So now it was between Yu and Lee, and they both knew that winning the distance meant winning the World Cup 500m. They both gave it their all, set very fast times for this track and air pressure, Yu managed to win in 37.63, only 0.03 faster than her pair mate Lee, who was second in 37.66. Yu won the World Cup with 960 points, Lee was second with 890 and Wolf was third this year with 869 after winning the World Cup 500m six times in a row.
With her third place, Nesbitt had taken over the lead in the Grand World Cup, a lead that the 1500m would only enlarge.
In the men's 500m, the last race would decide the winner: two-times World Cup winner Fredricks had 610 points, Koskela had 584 and Mo 582. In pair eight, Michel Mulder set a mark that was faster than yesterday's winning time: 35.01, it gave him his first World Cup victory. In pair ten, Jan Smeekens (NED) tried in vain to keep Mo behind him; they finished in 35.08 and 35.04. Fredricks had set 35.27, so now only Koskela could keep the World Cup win away from Mo. But he did not succeed in that mission; he finished 0.07 behind Mo in 35.11 and fourth place. Thus Olympic champion Ta-Bum Mo won the World Cup with 702 points, Pekka Koskela was second with 674 and Tucker Fredricks with 646 points took third just in front of Smeekens. Joji Kato (JPN), who was still second before this weekend, finished in fifth.
In the Men's 5000m, Bob de Jong was in the lead with 390 points but Jorrit Bergsma (NED) had 360 points and a victory for Bergsma would also give him the overall win. Their countryman Sven Kramer was third with 290.
The first race below 6:20 was achieved by American Jonathan Kuck, who kept a long row of 29 second laps and after 3400m his lap times went up slowly to 31.1, which brought him to 6:19.98. Kramer then skated similar lap times as Kuck, but his opening 600m were much faster. The final three laps Kramer managed to go back into the low 29s, bringing him to 6:14.69. In the final pair, the two Dutchmen who were topping the ranks had their battle; Bergsma was the better one in the first half, more or less on the schedule of Kuck. But then Bergsma's laps went up more than Kuck's, where De Jong kept his laps in the 29s and took the lead 1300m before the end of the race. De Jong was happy enough with 6:17.83, leaving the win in the race to Kramer, but taking the long distance World Cup victory. Bergsma finished in 6:20.93, which was just below Jan Blokhuijsen (NED) who was fourth with 6:20.27. As a result, Bergsma will not skate in the 5000m World Championships. De Jong has 510 points as Cup winner for the third time, Kramer has 440 and Bergsma lost one spot and is third in 435 points.
In the 1500m, Nesbitt had lost her lead in the ranking the previous week due to her absence, but now the number one Ireen Wüst couldn't sart and it was not hard for Nesbitt to regain the Cup. Before that, her teammate Brittany Schussler (CAN) had her best race of the season, finishing in 1:57.81, gaining her the fourth place eventually. This time stood until Sábliková skated. She finished in 1:57.36, mainly thanks to an incredible 30.9 last lap. Only in the final pair this time was bettered. Nesbitt had the fastest opening of 25.32, and after 600m was more than a second faster than Marrit Leenstra (NED). However, Leenstra gained a second back in the final lap but it was not enough: Leenstra finished in 1:56.93, Nesbitt in 1:56.77. The final points in the World Cup for Nesbitt were 510, 450 for Wüst and 401 for Leenstra. Thus Nesbitt won the World Cup 1500m for the second time in a row. Sábliková got 10.5 points in the Grand World Cup ranking for her third place and slipped past Wüst.
In the 1000m Ladies, Nesbitt was leading with 400 points but had to make sure that Leenstra would not win, as Leenstra had only 25 points less. Last year's World Cup 1000m winner Heather Richardson (USA) was third with 339 points.
Hong Zhang (CHN) skated strong, impressing with a first full lap of 27.5 and finishing in 1:15.83, back on the level she had achieved at the World Sprint Championships where she took bronze. Her time stood until the top three skaters in the ranking took to the ice. Last week's winner Richardson first gave it her all, opened fastest and with a 27.7 lap and a 30.2 final lap reached 1:15.77. But Nesbitt kept her unbeaten status. She opened a bit faster than Zhang, had also a 27.5 first lap and finished with a 29.2 lap, taking the victory in a new track record of 1:15.04. Leenstra reached only sixth place with 1:16.22. This gave Nesbitt the World Cup with 550 points; last year's winner Richardson overtook Leenstra and finished in second with 459 points, Leenstra had 420. With high rankings in the three shortest distances, Nesbitt won the Grand World Cup with 116.25 points. Sáblikova has 86.5, Wüst 85.
In the men's 1000m races Groothuis was leading the classification with 490 points, Davis followed with 450 and Nuis was third with 366. Groothuis knew that he needed to be number one or two to win the World Cup. When the favourites started, Tae-Bum Mo was in the lead with 1:09.37. Nuis then just beat that time with a 26.9 final lap, fastest so far. He reached 1:09.36. In the last pair Groothuis and Davis were side by side, but the final half lap made the difference; Groothuis didn't have the strength to pass Davis. Davis finished after a 26.9 lap like Nuis in 1:09.23, Groothuis lost 0.2 second but it was not enough, he finished fourth with not enough points to win the World Cup for a consecutive year. Davis regained the top spot with 600 points; Groothuis was second with 580 and Nuis third with 486 points.
After his second place in this distance, Nuis also passed Groothuis in the rankings of the Grand World Cup, so Nuis was the grand winner with 84 points, Groothuis has 81.5 and Davis 80.
The best four teams competed for the World Cup in the Team Pursuit. In the ladies' races, the Polish team had a fall right at the start, lost about 10 seconds and finished fourth, the Russians came third with 3:04.51. The Korean team was second with 3:03.29 and Canada first in 3:01.03. This gave Canada the victory with 390 points, Russia still managed second place with 355 and Korea third with 320. In the men's races, competition was very tight. USA was racing against Germany and only barely won with an all-or-nothing final lap in 3:45.44 versus 3:45.51. It was similarly close between the Netherlands and Korea, where the Dutch had been leading for the largest part, but the Korean finished string, but still lost in 3:44.04; the winning time was 3:43.94 for the Netherlands, who also won the Cup gaining 374 points. Korea had 340 and Germany 300, USA 281.
In the Mass Start race, Claudia Pechstein won in 8:52.06 and left Mariska Huisman, who had won the first two races, behind in 8:52.32. In third place Anna Rokita (AUT) finished in 8:52.60, overtaking Foske Tamar van der Wal (NED) and Maria Lamb (USA). Huisman won the first Mass Start World Cup with 320 points, Pechstein remained second with 310, Rokita had 175, Van der Wal 160, and Lamb 155.
In the Men's Mass Start, the competition went a bit different. Jorrit Bergsma escaped from the pack with 11 laps to go and managed to stay ahead finishing in 10:39.27. Two skaters tried to follow, Shane Dobbin (NZL) and Marco Weber (GER), but in the final lap, the fastest skaters of the shattered pack managed to overtake them. Alexis Contin finished in second place in 10:43.14, Arjan Stroetinga (NED) in third with 10:43.82, then came Weber in 10:44.61. The leader after the first two races, Jonathan Kuck, fell but gathered enough points to get on the final podium with 196 points. Contin wins the World Cup with 250 points, Bergsma is second with 212.