Anna Haag scores stage victory in Pursuit. UPDATED

03 January 2011 15:41

Sweden's Anna Haag scores first victory on the World Cup level as she takes stage victory in today's pursuit 5+5 km in Oberstdorf.

Anna Haag (SWE) claimed victory in the 4th stage of Tour de Ski in the ladies 10 km Pursuit in Oberstdorf. Haag  took the victory in the tight race ahead of her team mate, Charlotte Kalla with 0.6 seconds, and the Norwegian Marthe Kristoffersen with 7.4 seconds. Arianna Follis (ITA) finished fourth, Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) fifth, and Marianna Longa (ITA) came in sixth. Haag took her first win on the World Cup level by winning the Tour stage today.

During the race, there was an early fight in the front group of the 5 km classic and 5 km free Pursuit. Kowalczyk, Kalla, Kristoffersen, Follis, Longa and Johaug were all chasing the bonus second they could win. The Polish skier won both intermediate sprints and gained therefore 30 bonus seconds.

Haag realized her stage win by attacking together with Charlotte Kalla on the last uphill called Burgstall. She made a small gap together with her team to the other skiers and were able to hold it until the finish where Haag beat her team mate and friend Kalla.

Kowalczyk is leading the Tour standing with the dominate time 1:19.8 min  ahead of Charlotte Kalla. Marianna Longa from Italy is currently third, 1:22.1min behind Kowalczyk. In the sprint Tour ranking, Justyna Kowalczyk is also leading with 1:56min. Kalla is second with 1:02min in total whilst Petra Majdic is third with 1:00min.

Quotes

Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)

"I am really really really tired, my legs are dead and my hands are cold. I struggled a bit both up and downhill today, but my skis were not that bad, just a small mistake with the grip. I was very tired in the last uphill, and I saw that this hill were all about the Swedish girls. Tour de Ski is still not decided, we have skating in the second step and that is not my speciality. I think everyone will give it all to the final climb and it will be interesting".

Haag (SWE)

"I am really proud of what I did today. I have not done any races this good earlier in Tour de Ski, and I look forward to have a soft, relaxing day tomorrow.
I am not sure why I was so strong, I really wanted to do a good race, and I just made up my mind to go hard and ski well. I hope to continue doing some good races, and hopefully do a good final climb in Val di Fiemme. It will be very nice with a rest day, as I think everyone is starting to feel pain in the body and head".