Falla and Pellegrino lead after stage one of Tour de Ski
Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway and Federico Pellegrino of Italy have continued their impressive starts to the season by winning the 1.5 km free technique sprints in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. For each they have now recorded their third sprint victories of the year out of a total of 4 sprint competitions held so far.
Falla won the opening classic sprint competition in Ruka, was second in Davos, won in Toblach and again now on stage one of the 10th FIS Tour de Ski. Joining Falla on the ladies' podium was Sweden's Ida Ingemarsdotter in second place. This is the first individual sprint podium for Ingemarsdotter since Quebec 2012. She recorded a podium earlier this season with a third place finish in the 5 km free technique competition in Ruka, Finland. In third place was Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg who now has 6 podiums this season tying her teammate Therese Johaug for the most so far.
In the men's competition Pellegrino kept his free technique sprint win streak alive and now stands at 3. The same streak he had last season. He can break his own record with a victory in Planicia, SLO the first World Cup weekend after the Tour. Pellegrino now has 6 career World Cup sprint victories. He stands alone as the best Italian sprinter of all time after being tied with Christian Zorzi at 5 after his Toblach win. Pellegrino is also just one win away from becoming the Italian male with the most World Cup victories. He is currently tied with Pietro Piller Cottrer.
In second place in today's sprint was Russia's Sergey Ustiugov and in third was last year's Overall World Cup Sprint champion Finn Hagen Krogh. It was a first podium of the season for Ustiugov. He was last on the podium in Rybinsk 2015. For Krogh it was his first sprint podium since Drammen last season.
Falla and Pellegrino continue to lead of Overall Sprint World Cup standings and are both the current Tour de Ski leaders heading into Saturday's 15/30 km mass start classic competitions. Falla however, has announced that she will not continue with stage 2 of the Tour.
Pre-Tour favourites all faired well in the sprint competitions. Dario Cologna (SUI) and Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) both made it into the men's sprint final and Petter Northug Jr just missed the final and ended up 7th. On the ladies' side Therese Johaug (NOR) advanced into the quarter finals and ended the day in 15th position.
Maiken Caspersen Falla, NOR
I felt better and better during the heats. I felt very strong on the climb. I did my best to be first in the finishing straight. I am really happy for the victory.
Ida Ingemarsdotter, SWE
I had a good day. I am quite satisfied with the 2nd place. I knew the Norwegian girls will be hard to beat. I take the stage one at a time. Tomorrow is another day. I will try to follow tomorrow the leaders as long as possible.
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, NOR
The last 100 m of the final was not that good but otherwise I felt very good and strong throughout the day. 3rd place and another podium is a very good start of the Tour. I plan to do the whole Tour and it is good to get some bonus seconds today.
Federico Pellegrino, ITA
In the semifinal I learned how to plac in teh final not to make the same mistake. I knew if I am first before the last 100 m I should win this. In the next stages I want to stay close to the leaders and go for another strong performance in Oberstdorf.
Sergey Ustiugov, RUS
I am excited to be on the podium for the first time this season. I managed to stay away from any crash. I did everything I could to win but Federico was just unbeatable today. But I will keep on trying.
Finn Hågen Krogh, NOR
I am very satisfied with the 3rd place today. I had a good start. Federico and Sergey were better today. I was focused on the guys ahead of me and I did not realise there was a fall behind me.
LADIES - 1.5 km Sprint F
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 3:06.70
2. INGEMARSDOTTER Ida SWE +0.40
3. OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad NOR +0.54
4. CALDWELL Sophie USA +1.03(PF4)
5. JACOBSEN Astrid Uhrenholdt NOR +1.09(PF5)
6. NILSSON Stina SWE +2.33
Ladies' sprint results available HERE.
MEN - 1.5 km Sprint F
1. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA 2:43.14
2. USTIUGOV Sergey RUS +0.40
3. KROGH Finn Haagen NOR +1.25
4. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR +10.09
6. JOENSSON Emil SWE +12.27
COLOGNA Dario SUI +59.01
Men's sprint results available HERE.
OVERALL TOUR STANDINGS - After Stage 1
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 2:08.7
2. OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad NOR +3.8
3. INGEMARSDOTTER Ida SWE +4.2
4. CALDWELL Sophie USA +10.8
5. JACOBSEN Astrid Uhrenholdt NOR +15.8
Overall standings for ladies after stage one are available HERE.
1. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA 1:45.9
2. USTIUGOV Sergey RUS +6.6 3481539
3. KROGH Finn Haagen NOR +11.6
4. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR +15.3
5. JOENSSON Emil SWE +20.5
Overall standings for men after stage one are available HERE.