Alexei Petukhov sprints to victory in Sprint Free in Rybinsk. UPDATED
Alexei Petukhov pleased the Russian fans at the Demino stadium and clearly sprinted to victory ahead of Ola Vigen Hattestad and Anders Gloeersen (both from Norway).
Petukhov dominated the qualifying session and controlled both quarter and semifinal. In the final the strong Russian was setting the pace with compatriot Nikolay Morilov and seemed to break away from Norwegian duo Hattestad / Gloeersen. Alexey Petukhov set a high pace and nobody could follow the Russian sprint specialist. Petukhov arrived first in the stadium and with a clear margin sprinted to victory. Hattestad and Gloeersen produced impressive spurt and passed both Martin Jaeger of Switzerland and Nikolay Morilov of Russia. Hattestad had more left in the tank, crossed the finish line second and sending Gloeersen to third place.
The overall World Cup ranking remains the same with Dario Cologna (SUI) in the lead followed by Petter Northug (NOR) and Lukas Bauer (CZE).
In the sprint World Cup ranking Ola Vigen Hattestad has moved in the lead with in total 344 points. Emil Joensson from Sweden is second, 14 points behind Hattestad while Alexei Petukhov is third with 277 points.
Alexei Petukhov (RUS)
I am so glad. I took second places here twice already and of course wished to win. This time I decided to escape not looking back. On the last downhill I managed to see the gap was big enough so I could even afford greeting spectators on the finish.
Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)
I’m satisfied with my second place. Alexei was very strong and made such a gap that I could not reach him. But I chose a good tactics staying behind the other athletes and being able to control the race. I like Rybinsk for its special atmosphere created by numerous spectators, it’s always a pleasure to ski here.
Anders Gloeersen (NOR)
I’m happy about my podium because I managed to get there in such strong company. And my third place gave me the opportunity to participate in the Championship – my coach told me in the finish that I am now qualified. I’ll recover a bit and then start preparing for home starts.