8-9-10 gennaio 2021

Johannes Klaebo superstar in Val di Fiemme

Jacobsen sensational, Bolshunov and Johaug leaders

 03.01.2020
Johannes Klaebo superstar in Val di Fiemme

Today the 10km and 15km C mass start races of the Tour de Ski in Val di Fiemme

Johannes Klæbo (NOR) victorious ahead of Sergej Ustiugov (RUS) and Alexander Bolshunov (RUS)

In the women’s race, Astrid Jacobsen (NOR) won ahead of Andersson (SWE) and Hennig (GER)

Bolshunov still leads the overall Tour de Ski standings, Klaebo closed the gap, Johaug is still leader – tomorrow the sprint races

 

 

Johannes Klæbo won today’s 15km C mass start race ahead of the Russian trio Ustiugov, Bolshunov and Larkov at the Cross-Country Stadium of Lago di Tesero in Val di Fiemme (ITA). Thanks to today’s victory, Klæbo closed the gap in the overall Tour de Ski standings: “I didn’t expect to win today”, he stated. “The pace was very high. This is a tough course that requires a lot of tactics. I’m second in the overall standings and I’m very good uphill, so I just need to ski fast the next two days. I’ll do my best”. The phenomenon from Trondheim triumphed ahead of Sergej Ustiugov, Alexander Bolshunov – who still leads the overall Tour de Ski standings – and Andrey Larkov, while Sjur Roethe (NOR) finished fifth and Dario Cologna (SUI) sixth. The best Italian skier was once again Giandomenico Salvadori from Trentino, 19th: "Today's race was okay. I’m getting in a good shape. I honestly never expected to be able to cover all six laps". There are still many athletes who could win the overall title: Bolshunov stands eighteen seconds before Klæbo and twenty-one before the Russian Ustiugov. Roethe and Niskanen are more than a minute behind.

Tomorrow there is a sprint race that could see the Italian athlete Federico Pellegrino – 43rd place today – leave his mark in Val di Fiemme, while on Sunday there will be the last stage of the 14th edition of Tour de Ski. Val di Fiemme is the only venue that has hosted at least one stage in all 14 editions of the Tour. Pellegrino had a good start today, but Klæbo seemed determined from the very start of the race, with the Russians struggling and Ustiugov risking to fall. But it was Maicol Rastelli who incredibly took the lead; he was first ahead of Bolshunov at km 3.5. Halfvarsson took the lead after Rastelli, thus confirming his very good shape. Salvadori was 13th, Niskanen tried to take the lead, but the Russians accelerated and Cologna tried to keep the pace of the first group. Despite the many contenders in the leading group, the focus was on the Russians Bolshunov, Larkov and Ustiugov, Klæbo, Cologna and Niskanen. Ustiugov accelerated uphill, but the Russians made a tactical mistake, 'isolating' themselves all on the right side of the course and leaving the left side free for the Norwegian, who never makes mistakes in the finish sprint and crossed the finish line in first place.

Before the men’s race, there was the women's 10 km C mass start, which was also the 100th race of the Tour de Ski. This anniversary was celebrated with a cake that arrived on a sled pulled by the founder of the Tour de Ski and FIS member Jürg Capol together with FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis among the waving flags of the young skiers of the COOP Mini World Cup. Today’s mass start saw the sensational victory of Astrid Jacobsen (NOR): "Today was a fantastic day for me, I tried to keep calm even though I was really nervous. I hope my result will be inspiring for the younger athletes, the other girls on the podium are the future of cross-country skiing, but I'm still there," said the winner, not the real favourite like the other Norwegian athletes Johaug, Oestberg and Weng. Ebba Andersson (SWE) finished second – still a good race for her – and Katharina Hennig from Germany raced to a surprising third-place finish. The Russian Nepryaeva finished sixth. The Russian could still get the final victory of the Tour de Ski; Therese Johaug is still leading the overall Tour de Ski standings with 19 seconds on Oestberg, 32 on Nepryaeva and 33 on Jacobsen, who joins the other favourites for the final victory. 22nd place finish for Italy’s Anna Comarella: "I wanted to do well today, maybe I could have been more careful in some sections: maybe I can improve gaining experience". The mass start races usually give little indication of who can be the possible winners, especially in Val di Fiemme because of the toughness of the course. Johaug initially took the lead of the race, followed by a surprising Ebba Andersson. Therese Johaug fell in the downhill and had to fight back to the front. In the meanwhile, Andersson took over the lead, but it was incredible how quickly Johaug was able to close the gap. She immediately took the lead at 3.9 km. Fourth place for Weng, third for the German Hennig, with Anna Comarella once again positive in 22nd place. Nepryaeva closed the gap on Johaug, with Oestberg lurking for the victory, as happened in Toblach. The performance of Andersson (SWE) was sensational, she was always in the leading positions despite the great number of Norwegians she had to deal with. In the final uphill before entering the stadium, Oestberg broke her pole and had to give way to the other athletes. Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen took the victory, Ebba Andersson raced to a second place finish and Katharina Hennig from Germany raced to a third place finish.

The 40-year-old Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA) took part in today’s 15km C mass start race. He is the only athlete to have participated in all 14 editions of the Tour de Ski: "It was hard, but I had fun, I remember my first Tour very well. It’s great to compete in the World Cup and in the Tour de Ski, I really love this sport and the atmosphere". Tomorrow there will be the sprint races in Val di Fiemme.

 
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10 Km CT - women
1 Jacobsen Astrid Uhrenholdt NOR 29:07.9; 2 Andersson Ebba SWE 29:08.3; 3 Hennig Katharina GER 29:08.9; 4 Johaug Therese NOR 29:14.1; 5 Oestberg Ingvild Flugstad NOR 29:14.7; 6 Nepryaeva Natalia RUS 29:23.4; 7 Maubet Bjornsen Sadie USA 29:25.1; 8 Weng Heidi NOR 29:26.9; 9 Sundling Jonna SWE 29:32.9; 10 Weng Tiril Udnes NOR 29:34.5
 
15 Km CT - men
1 Klaebo Johannes Hoesflot NOR 39:51.0; 2 Ustiugov Sergey RUS 39:51.7; 3 Bolshunov Alexander RUS 39:52.0; 4 Larkov Andrey RUS 39:55.4; 5 Roethe Sjur NOR 40:01.2; 6 Cologna Dario SUI 40:02.0; 7 Spitsov Denis RUS 40:04.7; 8 Holund Hans Christer NOR 40:06.8; 9 Halfvarsson Calle SWE 40:09.1; 10 Niskanen Iivo FIN 40:09.4
 
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