Dario Cologna (SUI)
Petter Northug (NOR)
Marcus Hellner (SWE), Alexander Legkov (RUS), Petter Northug (NOR) (l-r)
Marit Bjoergen (NOR)
Marit Bjoergen (NOR)
Marit Bjoergen (NOR); Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)

DARIO COLOGNA AND MARIT BJOERGEN WIN CORTINA-TOBLACH

05.01.2012
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The seventh stage of Tour de Ski from Cortina d'Ampezzo to Dobbiaco was dominated by Dario Cologna (SUI, Fischer) while Petter Northug (NOR, Fischer) met his Waterloo and lost more than one minute. Marit Bjoergen (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) celebrated another victory ahead of Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer skis and boots) and Therese Johaug (NOR, Fischer).
Northug met his Waterloo
Early in the race over 32 kilometers skating the preliminary decision was made to the disadvantage of Petter Northug. The Norwegian closed the gap quickly. But after 3,8 kilometres he met his Waterloo and lost the contact with Cologna. Northug was soon catched up with Russian Legkov more than one minute behind Cologna and they stayed together but the group behind shortened the gap more and more. They were catched up by the other athletes and stayed together until the finish line.

Cologna wins, Northug takes the sprint
"Of course I was very surprised about Petters weakness. It was our plan to stay together. So I had to do my own race. I had a perfect race, but the last meters were very hard. I am very satisfied", said Dario Cologna. "There are a few difficult stages left in Val di Fiemme. I have to pay attention. We saw today how easy you can loose time. Everything can happen." While Cologna secured a safe victory five athletes were fighting for the following positions. Although Petter Northug didn't look good the whole race he secured the second place on the final stretch. "I took an early decision not to follow Dario anymore. I am disappointed because I couldn't stay in touch. But I think it was the best idea not to stay in touch and finish together with the group. It's Game Over now. Dario is in a good shape and he is the top favorite", said Northug. Devon Kershaw (CAN, Fischer) finished fourth ahead of Marcus Hellner (SWE, Fischer) and Maurice Manificat (FRA, Fischer skis and boots). Lukas Bauer (CZE, Fischer) was in the chasing group at the beginning of the race but he lost the contact after he tumbled and broke his pole. He came in eighth 2:51 minutes behind ahead of Alex Harvey (CAN, Fischer) and Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS, Fischer).

Bjoergen secures fourth victory
On the womens side Marit Bjoergen did it again. The Norwegian secured her fourth victory in a row in Toblach. She increased the speed outside the stadium and Kowalczyk couldn't sprint for victory. "I had a great race and that was very important for me. The Tour de Ski remains exciting and we close together. I tried to increase the speed but Kowlaczyk was behind me. During the race I had a good feeling", said Bjoergen. "There will be a hard day on Saturday but I feel good and will maybe habe a nice weekend." Therese Johaug did a lonely race against the time and lost round about 45 seconds in the last lap. She is now 3:16 behind before the two last stages. Kikkan Randall (USA, Fischer) finished fifth, Charlotte Kalla (SWE, Fischer) came in seventh ahead of Astrid Jacobsen (NOR, Fischer skis and boots).
Men 32km F, Cortina-Dobbiaco (ITA):
1. Dario Cologna
SUI 01.09.25,20
2. Petter Northug
NOR 01.10.41,00
3. Alexander Legkov
RUS 01.10.41,60
4. Devon Kershaw
CAN 01.10.41,61
5. Marcus Hellner
SWE 01.10.42,40
6. Maurice Manificat
FRA 01.10.43,50
7. Ilia Chernousov
RUS 01.12.16,60
8. Lukas Bauer
CZE 01.12.17,00
9. Alex Harvey
CAN 01.12.18,00
10. Maxim Vylegzhanin
RUS 01.12.21,50
11. Martin Jaks
CZE 01.12.29,10
12. Jens Filbrich
GER 01.12.29,30
13. Tobias Angerer
GER 01.12.29,40
14. Giorgio Di Centa
ITA 01.12.29,60
15. Sergey Turychev
RUS 01.12.39,00
Women 15km F, Dobbiaco (ITA):
1. Marit Bjoergen
NOR 00.39.01,10
2. Justyna Kowalczyk
POL 00.39.03,10
3. Therese Johaug
NOR 00.42.18,00
4. Krista Lahteenmaki
FIN 00.43.43,30
5. Kikkan Randall
USA 00.43.59,40
6. Marthe Kristoffersen
NOR 00.43.59,80
7. Charlotte Kalla
SWE 00.43.59,90
8. Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen
NOR 00.44.11,90
9. Katrin Zeller
GER 00.44.11,91
10. Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg
NOR 00.44.31,00
11. Stefanie Boehler
GER 00.44.59,40
12. Aino Kaisa Saarinen
FIN 00.45.04,60
13. Riikka Sarasoja
FIN 00.45.20,20
14. Riita-Liisa Roponen
FIN 00.45.20,30
15. Kristin Stoermer Steira
NOR 00.45.29,20