Stina Nilsson and Sergey Ustiugov triumphate in skiathlon
Unusual for a women's mass start race: It was a tight race and exciting until the end! During the classic part the lead changed very often and 26 athletes belonged to the leading group until the final lap, although 20% of the girls withdrew the Tour de Ski after two stages. About one kilometre before finish Heidi Weng (NOR) and Stina Nilsson took the lead side by side and overtaking was impossible for the others. Stina Nilsson was first in the last downhill and and also crossed the line in first position after the final sprint. The Swede celebrated her first ever distance win in a World Cup. Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) finished fourth. Some metres behind Sadie Bjornsen (USA, Fischer skis and boots) came in fifth. Eighth went to Charlotte Kalla (SWE, Fischer) who suddednly is back in a good shape and she took the lead several times during the skating part. Anne Kyllönen (FIN, Fischer skis and boots) and Yulia Tchekaleva (RUS; Fischer skis and boots) completed the top ten athletes.
=> 5+5k Skiathlon Women
=> Tour Standings
In men's Tour de Ski also many athletes withdrew as in women's race. They showed a thrilling race as well with a lot of variety. There were several crashs, first of all in the first lap. Soon after changing skis Martin Johnsrud Sundby attacked and opened a gap with Matti Heikkinen (FIN). This small gap was soon gone when the Norwegian lost the correct way inside the stadium after 12.5 kilometres and both had to turn around. They dropped back to 20th spot and Sundby needed around two kilometres to come out on top again. Dario Cologna benefitted of this situation, attacked and opened a small gap. Maurice Manificat (FRA) and Sergey Ustiugov as well as Marcus Hellner (SWE, Fischer) and Martin Johnsrud Sundby soon after worked a lot to close the gap.
The decision for the podium was made in the final uphill when Sundby with Cologna on his heels countered an attacked and also Sergey Ustiugov sped up. These three athletes were able to escape. The Norwegian entered the stadium ahead of the Swiss and the Russian but in the final sprint Ustiugov was the strongest as usual. Sundby came in second ahead of Cologna who made his first podium this winter. Marcus Hellner finished fifth and Devon Kershaw (CAN, Fischer) tenth.
=> 10+10k Skiathlon Men
=> Tour Standings