Dabudyk and Livers won FIS Worldloppet Cup 2016
The FIS Worldloppet Cup 2016 was concluded last weekend in Russia with 1500 participants at the Ugra Ski Marathon in Khanty Masiysk. Among them the red group, the world's best, marathon skiers to decide the cup. Russia's stars like Sergej Ustiugov and Dementiev Eugeniy also showed up at their home race.
Second win at Ugra Ski Marathon for Livers
But the victory went to Switzerland. Toni Livers, who already won the Ugra Ski Marathon last year sprinted to his second victory in Russia and to his first FIS Worldloppet Cup overall victory. Livers crossed the finish line not even one second before Russia's Yuriy Shopin. Team colleagues Bastien Poirrier and Candide Pralong fought - Poirrier for 3rd. The marathon specialists did a very clever race.
Long time it seemed that the Russian World Cup star Sergej Ustiugov is dominating the field, but it turned out, that the long distance elite from France, Switzerland and Italy just made a tactical challenge out of it and they made their moves on the finish lane.
"Ustiugov was very strong today, he attacked all the time and opened gaps, so I thought I will fight for the second place today. But on the last 3 km the race became hectic and I felt strong enough, so I tried my luck," Toni Livers said.
Ladies' race win for Tikhonova
The women's race was not as exciting as the men's competition. Very soon the big dominator of the season, Aurelie Dabudyk fell back and made a good training session in the sunshine of Sibiria out of it. So the way was free for Yulia Tikhonova from the Belarus national team to win. 45 seconds behind her Olga Rotcheva (Russian Nationalteam) took the 2nd place and with a gap of 3:50 minutes the first Worldloppet Cup red group athlete came to the finish: Elisa Brocard (ITA).
FIS Worldloppet Cup 2016 now is over after a very long season. In the beginning of the season in January eight races in France, Italy, Austria, again France, Estonia, Poland, Switzerland and Russia were planned. La Transjurasienne unfortunately had to be cancelled because of heavy rainfalls during the days before the race, Tartu Maraton in Estonia had to be cancelled too, but a glorious substitue at the American Birkebeiner fortunately could take place. The whole season suffered under the mild winter conditions, but in the end 7 very good organised and fair races were held and enjoyed by the athletes.
Toni Livers went to the startline with a lead of only 20 points, so his mission was clear: Be in front of Ivan Perrillat-Boiteaux and Bastien Poirrier (both were missing only 20 points). The whole race the pack stood together and nobody tried a serious attack, but on the finish line Livers showed his experience and his enormous persistence. With his victory at Bieg Piastow and second places in Switzerland and France he collected 376 points and won the FIS Worldloppet Cup 2016. 60 points behind him and with his third place today the French Bastien Poirrier placed himself on the second rank overall. The 3rd FIS Worldloppet Cup overall rank goes again to Switzerland, to Candide Pralong, who with his 4th place at Ugra Ski Marathon managed to overtake Ivan Perrillat Boiteaux. All three winners are training together in the French marathon-team "Team Rossignol Gel Interim".
In the ladies overall ranking already before the final race almost everything was clear. Aurelie Dabudyk - Haute-Savoie Nordic Team - with her victories in France and Austria and her two second places had enough points to call herself FIS Worldloppet Cup Winner 2016 already before the start. It was only a fight between Elisa Brocard (ITA) and Klara Moravcova (CZE) for place 2 and 3. Brocard hat the better position before the start, she had 25 points more than Moravcova. With her 3rd place today, Brocard extended her lead and saved herself the 2nd FIS Worldloppet Cup overall place. Moravcova became 5th in the race and defended her 3rd place in the overall ranking.