- 184 cm
With Therese Johaug once again as the best Alpe Cermis skier as leading person, the athletes tackled the Final Climb to the Alpe Cermis for the first time in a mass start. Before the stage, the Norwegian led the classification with three seconds ahead of her team-mate Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (NOR), Natalia Nepryaeva was 14 seconds behind, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg 23 seconds and Heidi Weng (NOR, Fischer ***) 47 seconds. At the start of the transition route after 2.5 kilometers, 18 skiers already escaped from the remaining 23 athletes. Immediately at the beginning of the climb, which was a little different this time because of the mass start, Therese Johaug and Heidi Weng pulled away from the group. Less than two minutes later, Weng was also unable to keep up with the pace and turned more to the rear, where Ingvild Flugstad Østberg led the chasing group. The Norwegian managed to escape for a short time, but was caught up by Natalia Nepryaeva and Teresa Stadlober (AUT, Fischer ***) on the extremely steep squirrel jump. In the hairpin bends, the trio, in which the Austrian got more and more problems, targeted Heidi Weng and caught up with her a few hundred meters before the finish shortly after deer jump. After that, everyone struggled alone towards the end. Meanwhile Therese Johaug approached the finish with a big lead and even had the strength to take a Norwegian flag for the last few meters.
With the goal in sight, the caught up Heidi Weng mobilized the last energies and countered an attack by Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, so that she secured second place in the mass start ahead of the teammate. Natalia Nepryaeva came in fourth right behind them, Teresa Stadlober was very good fifth after losing the contact during the last kilometer. Thanks to her strong performance on the Alpe Cermis, Therese Johaug was 1.11 minutes ahead of Natalia Nepryaeva in the Tour de Ski ranking, who was only six seconds ahead of Ingvild Flugstad Østberg after seven stages. Heidi Weng finished fourth. Teresa Stadlober was happy with sixth place overall.
Sergey Ustiugov was the tour favorite of many experts before the last stage with the mass start to Alpe Cermis, 15 seconds behind Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Alexander Bolshunov in the overall classification after six stages. First, however, Gleb Retivykh led the mass start for the first few kilometers, who dropped back at the start of the climb and Sergey Ustiugov took the lead ahead of Alexander Bolshunov and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo. Soon the track became wider, so that three athletes sometimes skied side by side and overtook. But as soon as it got steeper, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo had his first problems keeping up with the strong Russians. In a 27% slope on the squirrel jump, Simen Hegstad Krüger (NOR) started to break away from the top group and Sjur Røthe (NOR) also joined his teammate. Both are known as the strongest Alpe Cermis skiers and lived up to their reputation while their teammate lost meters by meters. A Russian trio with Ustiugov, Bolshunov and Denis Spitsov (RUS, Fischer ***) tried not to let the gap to the two Norwegians become too big and on the deer jump Spitsov was able to break away from the team-mates - but not for long. Then the skating specialist dropped behind Bolshunov and Ustiugov, while the decision was announced a few meters ahead ....
Røthe could then no longer follow his colleague within sight of the goal and Simen Hegstad Krüger celebrated his first victory at Alpe Cermis, 13 seconds ahead of Røthe. Alexander Bolshunov was third in front of Spitsov and Ustiugov, who collapsed completely in the last 200 meters. It took a long time after discussions with the team before Bolshunov finally celebrated the actually obvious Tour de Ski victory - Ustiugov would have had to finish in front of Bolshunov to take his victory. Dario Cologna (SUI, Fischer ***) finished sixth in the mass start, which meant seventh place in the overall classification. Andrey Melnichenko (RUS, Fischer ***) crossed the line ahead of Andorran Ireneu Esteve Altimiras (AND, Fischer ***) and Andrey Larkov (RUS, Fischer ***) in seventh. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo only finished 21st, but was able to save third place in the Tour de Ski behind Bolshunov and Ustiugov, as the trio had a very big lead before the stage.
* = Fischer skis
** = Fischer skis and bindings
*** = Fischer skis, bindings and boots