Bjoergen strikes back and takes the stage win in Toblach, Justyna keeps the overall lead
Marit Bjoergen was the fastest woman in the 3.3 km classic race in Toblach . Winning the race with 3.9 seconds over Kowalczyk, and securing 15 bonus seconds at the finish line, Bjoergen decreased the gap between her and Kowalczyk in the Overall standing. Kowalczyk who finished second, is now leading the overall Tour de Ski with 17.7 seconds ahead of Bjoergen. Third fastest today was Astrid Urenholdt Jacobsen who had a strong time, 15.1 seconds behind Bjoergen.
As the sun went down, and the temperature fell, it was perfect conditions at the women’s race. Even though the two favourites started within the last 3 athletes, there was a great atmosphere at Toblach Nordic Stadium, with thousands of cheering fans. Nicole Fessel and Stefanie Boehler (both Germany), finishing 4th and 5th, and Katerina Smutna, the only Austrian Cross-Country skier in this tour, finished 8th, showed that they have not given up on a good placement in the overall Tour.
Therese Johaug lost a few seconds in today’s race, but keeps her third spot in the overall Tour ranking, +1:33.9 behind Kowalczyk.
With a free technique sprint tomorrow, where the top 30 athletes will get bonus seconds, with the winner taking 60, there can easily be a lot of changes in the Overall Tour standing after the race. Qualifications starts at 10:45 CET, finals at 12:15.