Østberg and Klæbo win the Tour de Ski

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) is the winner of the Tour de Ski 18l19, arguably the biggest challenge in cross-country skiing World Cup. Second place went to Natalia Nepryaeva (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots). Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) is the youngest Tour winner of the past 13 years. He fought his way to the finish line at the Alpe Cermis ahead of Sergey Ustiugov (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots). In all 14 Tour de Ski competitions, a Fischer athlete was always the first to cross the finish line.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg is the sovereign winner of this year's Tour de Ski. The Norwegian started the final stage 53 seconds ahead of Natalia Nepryaeva. While Østberg stormed up the ski slope with the fastest time, the Russian was struggling a bit. Especially in the second half of the climb the 23-year-old (11th of Tour de Ski 2018) the gap on Østberg grew more and more and shrank to the good catching Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN). The Finn had started 2:13 behind the leader, 1:20 minutes behind Nepryaeva. With the Russian in sight she mobilized the last energies, but could not catch up, so that second place went to Natalia Nepryaeva. As expected, Ingvild Flugstag Østberg was not beaten by anyone today despite the heavy headwind. The Norwegian triumphed confidently with 2:42 minutes. "It was a special day for me, a dream came true. I am very, very happy and it is incredible. Until the last few kilometers I was not sure if it worked and I had to work hard. My legs were already tired beforethe climb. I'm glad it worked, a big dream comes true!"

Short interview with the winner.

At the beginning of the final stage, everything looked like a catch-up of Jessie Diggins (USA). After just 1.8 kilometers, she had caught and overtaken Anastasia Sedova (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots), who had started just seconds before her, but the American had started into her race too quickly. At the bottom of the mountain, the Russian was back and proved to be much stronger in the climb today. With the third fastest time (after Østberg and Pärmäkoski) she stormed up into fourth place, one minute later Yulia Belorukova (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) reached the finish line in fifth, who she had overtaken 1.5 kilometers before the finish. Mariya Istomina (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots), the best U23 athlete, finished tenth after starting from 13th.

 => Tour de Ski after Alpe Cermis

At the age of 22 years and 76 days, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo once again entered the history books in cross-country skiing - this time being the youngest Tour de Ski winner of all time. For the young Norwegian, it was a tough fight, even though he could start with 1:20 minutes lead ahead of Sergey Ustiugov into the final stage. Klæbo, who followed impressed Ingvild's race on TV before, cautiously approached the race. In the ascent the lead of the Norwegian began to shrink: at first only slowly, in the steeper sections Ustiugov came closer and closer. After a look over the shoulder in the flat part after the last corner and before the last few steep meters Johannes Høsflot Klæbo mobilized all his strength once more and crossed the finish line first. "The last climb was even harder than I expected," said the exhausted winner. "But I'm just happy that I won the tour." Sergey Ustiugov followed just 16 seconds later in second place. Andrey Melnichenko (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) crossed the line in sixth. Seventh was Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) ahead of Denis Spitsov (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots), Andrey Larkov (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) finished tenth.

Short interview with the winner

 => Tour de Ski after Alpe Cermis