Legkov (RUS) records first 15 km classic victory in Toblach - UPDATED

01 February 2014 14:32
15 km classic podium
15 km classic podium -
NordicFocus

Alexander Legkov of Russia has won his first ever 15 km classic competition today in Toblach, Italy. Legkov edged out Dario Cologna (SUI) by just +2.9 seconds.  In third place was Sweden's Marcus Hellner +17.6 back from the lead time of 37:02.7.

Today's 15 km classic  in Toblach marked the return of Dario Cologna to World Cup competition.  His first time at this level since World Cup finals in Falun, Sweden at the end of last season.  Sidelined with an ankle injury that required surgery in November his start today was highly anticipated and didn't disappoint.

With third place today it was the first visit to the podium this season for Sweden's Marcus Hellner who appears to be finding his shape at just the right time.  Known more for his free technique results, Hellner skied consistently throughout the competition in third place and remained there at the finish.  

ATHLETE QUOTES

Alexander Legkov RUS
Yes, for me it was a surprise today to win in 15 km classic.  But I am in good shape and of course very happy for the result.  I want to welcome everyone to my home country next week and I think the same results are possible.  I have to thank my service team.  My skis were the best on a difficult day.  I will not sprint tomorrow but go to Davos to prepare to leave for Sochi on Wednesday.

Dario Cologna SUI

It feels really good to be back on World Cup.  I know my shape is good but I didn't expect to be on the podium today.  It gives me good confidence going to Sochi. I had the chance to ski with Sundby during the race and that for sure helped me. I will sprint tomorrow as I hope to be able to do the sprint in Sochi, but sprinting is the one thing that still bothers my ankle.  So we will see how tomorrow goes. 

Marcus Hellner SWE

For me it was a great day.  I am not sure why I have skied so poorly in early January as I think my fitness is quite good.  I just had a great training camp in Seiser Alm so I am happy that my fitness showed with today's result.  It was a strong day for the Swedish team.  We for sure had great skis.  

OFFICIAL RESULTS

Men's 15 km Classic

1. Alexander Legkov RUS 37:02.7
2. Dario Cologna SUI +2.9
3. Marcus Hellner SWE +17.6
4. Dmitriy Japarov RUS +23.8
5. Alex Harvey CAN +27.4

Complete results are available HERE.   

OVERALL WORLD CUP STANDINGS
1. Martin Johnsrud Sundby NOR    1027 pts
2. Chris Andre Jespersen  NOR        739 pts
3. Alexander Legkov RUS                  626 pts

OVERALL WORLD CUP DISTANCE STANDINGS
1. Chris Andre Jespersen NOR      354 pts
2. Martin Johnsrud Sundby NOR    341 pts
3. Alexander Legkov                         318 pts 

WEATHER
New wet snow conditions; air +1.3c and snow +-0.3c

ACTION PHOTOS
Please note that high quality action and podium pictures from today’s competitions are available for purchase through the Internet portal offered by Nordic Focus, FIS Partner for photos from the Nordic Disciplines, at www.nordicfocus.com