Dario Cologna is unstoppable and wins skiathlon in Lahti. UPDATED
Lahti, 3rd March 2012: Dario Cologna is unstoppable and romps to another sensational victory. The Swiss clearly wins 15 km C + 15 km F skiathlon in 1:07:30h ahead of Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR), who finished 3,7 seconds behind the winner. Alex Harvey (CAN) claims third place, 4,2 seconds behind the Olympic Champion.
Dario Cologna repeated his victory from last year's skiathlon in Lahti. The Swiss skier delivered a powerful, tactically strong performance. The defending Overall World Cup winner was skiing calmly in the classical 15 km part and was not involved in fights for wins at any of the bonus points sprints. After the exchange Dario Cologna controlled the race, split the leading group when he increased his pace at km 20 and later on at km 28 he made the final attack.
Martin Johnsurd Sundby, Alex Harvey and Sjur Roethe were fighting hard for remaining podium spots until the finishing straight behind Dario Cologna. The Swiss skier came home in first position and stormed to 5th win this season.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Alex Harvey were fighting for second place. Sunbdy spurted over the Canadian and celebrated the first World Cup podium this season.
In the overall World Cup ranking, the top three remain the same with Cologna, Petter Northug and Devon Kershaw (CAN), who increase his lead to the fourth, Marcus Hellner, by an offensive race in the classical part.
In the distance World Cup ranking, Alexander Legkov (RUS) is now third behind Cologna and Northug
Dario Cologna (SUI)
I like it here in Lahti. It was a good race despite I was not feeling so good in classical part. After the exchange I was feeling better and better. I attacked early in the race to stretch the field a little.There was a lot of stress in the group and it was good to have fast competition. For the second time I attacked more seriously I tried to go away. Tomorrow it will not be my favorite sprint. Last year I did not goon through the qualification but I will try to do my best. I am looking forward to last races of the season. It will be lot of fun and I want enjoy last competitions of the winter.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)
This was the most important race for me this year. I had lot of troubles, medical problems before Chsristmas. I pretended as if it was the World Championships today to be mentally prepared. I wanted to win today but I am satisfied with second place. I felt strong in skating and I had a lot self confidence. I did not recognize Dario's attack. He is strong and he gained 50 m right ahead. Norwegians had a strong team today. I am looking forward to Holmenkollen. There will be a big party next weekend. 50 km is always tough but I am prepared for hell.
Alex Harvey (CAN)
It was a good race today for me. Every time I am on the podium it's good. Before the race I was not sure about the body. We had been training hard at Seiser Alm and I felt tired yesterday. But today it was OK and my skis were fast. With 90 skiers on the start line the race was tight especially in the corners. I had to be careful but luckily nobody crashed before me. I like mass starts, I like the adrenaline. I could not react on Dario, it was a fast attack. My skis were fast enough to get a good position in the downhill before the finish.