Eldar Roenning (NOR) takes stage win in Val di Fiemme UPDATED
Eldar Roenning (NOR) could celebrate his very first stage win of this Tour de Ski, finishing in front of Alex Harvey and Dario Cologna (photo finish).
Roenning who was up front throughout the entire race, showed that he was not only skiing to help his team-mate Petter Northug, but also to show what he’s good for. Finishing fourth at the 5 km classic race in Toblach, Roenning has shown that he is in great shape now, and was obviously disappointed by just missing out on the podium. In Val di Fiemme however, surrounded by thousands of excited spectators, blue sky and perfect snow conditions; he could finally cheer for a win in Tour de Ski.
With the new course in Val di Fiemme, which also will be used for the Championships next year, the athletes had no time for rest today. With challenging up and downhills, the pace was really fast, and after a few kilometres, there was a group of approximate 20 athletes who were in front. Top 10 at each intermediate point could win bonus seconds in every lap. Northug had said he wouldn’t fight for bonus seconds in the first round, which made it easier for the others. Emil Joensson took the first 15 bonus points, followed by Alexander Legkov (12) and Cologna (10). For full list of results and bonus points taken, please click here: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2012/CC/2568/2012CC2568RL.pdf
Skiing as a gathered pack for pretty much the entire race, some key athletes fell off one by one. Alexander Legkov had to leave the group after approximate 15 km, and Maurice Manificat had problems the last two laps, and had to let go as well. Northug’s helpers, Niklas Dyrhaug and Eldar Roenning, both did an extraordinary strong race, and helped Northug catch as many bonus points as possible (he won a total of 55 bonus points).
In the last uphill in the last lap, Eldar Roenning got a small gap to the rest of the group and shot up the last hill. Coming into the stadium with thrilled spectators, the 29 year-old Norwegian crossed the finish line first, and climbed up on the overall Tour ranking to 20th place.
Dario Cologna who did yet another strong race remains the overall Tour leader and Sprint Leader. His gap down to the others is now 1:22 to Petter Northug and 2:06.5 to Marcus Hellner. For complete Tour ranking, please click here: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2012/CC/2568/2012CC2568TDS.pdf
Kristian Tetti Rennemo (NOR), Johannes Duerr (AUT), Eeri Vahtra (EST) and Cyril Miranda (FRA) did not finish the race.
The men will have their last stage of Tour de Ski tomorrow, with the final climb up Alpe Cermis.