The 7th stage of the Tour de Ski from Cortina to Toblach went differently than expected. The tourleaders Dario Cologna and Petter Northug wanted to work together for the pursuit race and keep their pursuers at a distance. However, having quickly reached Cologna, Northug could not keep up and fell back. Cologna started racing away on his own. The first group of pursuers consisted now of Alexander Legkov and Northug. The second group was led by the Swede Marcus Hellner with the fast Canadian Devon Kershaw and Maurice Manificat from France.
The last races of the Tour de Ski take place in Val die Fiemme. The 20 km mass start race today proved to be a very hard test. 5 rounds had to be completed with bonus seconds being awarded at the highest point of the leg. As a result, the pace was very fast from the beginning. Consequently, Manificat (FRA) and Legkov (RUS) lost touch with the leading skiers and thus the opportunity to claim a podium place in the overall result.
The lead was controlled by Cologna (SUI) who even managed to gain a few seconds from his direct opponent Northug (NOR).
The Swiss Weeks of the Alpine Ski Circus have started with exciting races.
The host had a lot of work especially with the snow and rain.
Thanks to the great efforts of volunteers, army and civil defence, the slope could be prepared for the race.
The difficult slope of the giant slalom proved to be a great challenge for the skiers.
The huge audience (29000) celebrated an exciting race with an Austrian double.
The biathlon stronghold at the Rennsteig welcomed athletes and fans last Monday with unbelievable weather conditions. Hardly anyone still believed in a normal tournment and some even questioned its holding. Constant rain and a temperature around + 8° C reminded of the competitions in 2007 when the athletes had to compete on crash ice that had been delivered from Bremerhaven. The hard-working helpers managed incredibly well and prepared quite an agreeable piste for the relay competitions on Wednesday and Thursday. In the women’s competition, the Russian quartet won before Norway and France.
The final leg onto the Alpe Cermis put a lot of strain on the athletes. The tour leader Justina Kowalczyk was challenged in the women’s race. In the hunting race, Marit Björgen caught up on her 13 seconds deficit and closed the gap on the Polish skier before the 3.5 km long final climb. Kowalczyk however proved invincible in the narrow turns and took home her third tour victory thanks to her strong forces. Third place went to Therese Johaug who won with the fastest running time.
The weather conditions for the races in Kitzbühel were not very pretty. There was a lot of snow and rain so that Friday’s Super G had to be cancelled. The hosts concentrated on the downhill. During the whole night, many hard-working helpers prepared the slope to get rid of the fresh snow on it.
After more snow and rain on Saturday morning, the start had to be moved down. The race was held despite the snowfall. The numerous spectators followed an exciting race. Due to the shortened distance, the time differences were only marginal.
The 3rd world cup in January brought the athletes to the Antholz valley in the beautiful South Tyrol. On the one hand, they always look forward to Antholz but on the other hand the height of 1600 m really gets to them. At their arrival on Monday, the athletes were greeted by fantastic winter weather. Sunshine and temperatures of minus 10°C let their athletic hearts beat faster.
In Otepää, the important Estonian centre for cross-country skiing, the first World Cup races were held after the Tour de Ski. The two Tour winners Justina Kowalczyk and Dario Cologna were able to keep their excellent form and won head and shoulders above the rest both the sprint and the races of 10 and 15 km respectively in the classic technique.
The women’s alpine skiing World Cup takes place in the Engadin this week, well-known for its cold and dry snow conditions. Despite light snowfall in the morning hours, the sun showed up for the race.
The skiers were able to have a very fair race in beautiful conditions and pleasant temperatures.
Sadly, there never is a great audience to watch women’s races. It becomes more and more difficult for the hosts to organize an event without a lot of income.