Ilia Chernousov sprints to World Cup glory in Rybinsk. UPDATED

04 February 2011 12:07

Ilia Chernousov sprints to World Cup victory in 20 m Pursuit. Chernousov edged out Jean Marc Gaillard in the home straight. Maurice Manificat goes for third place.

Ilia Chernousov did a very good race today. Chernousov responded to the attack of Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA) and spurted over the Frenchman at the home straight edging him out to second place with a gap of 0,4 seconds. Maurice Manificat completed the French success by scoring the third place in today’s 10 km +10 km Pursuit.

 The starter field stayed compact in the classic 10 km part of the race. Before the ski exchange thirteen athletes skied in the leading group. Italy’s Giorgio Di Centa took over the command in first meters of the free technique part while Tobias Angerer, Italians Roland Clara and as well the both French Jean Marc Gaillard and Maurice Manificat were was very active in the front.

In the second last uphill of the final 2,5km loop Gaillard charged for attack and managed to open a gap of about 20 meters to the rest. Russia’s Ilia Chernousov fought back and closed the gap in the final climb. The duo came together in the stadium. Chernousov was able to take the avantage out of the slipstream of Gaillard and claimed victory – his first World Cup victory in his career. Maurice Manificat rounded out French success of the day and scored third place. Alexander Legkov who suffered flu is back in World Cup trails in decent shape scoring 7th place.

Dario Cologna, who is currently taking part at the Swiss National Championships is still in the overall World Cup lead with 1197 points. Petter Northug jr. is second with 774 points. Lukas Bauer is third with 698 points.

The order in the Distance World Cup ranking is Cologna (481 points), Alexander Legkov (447 points) and Lukas Bauer (400 points).

Weather: cloudy, - 0,5°

Snow Conditions: natural snow

Spectators: 8’000


Ilia Chernousov (RUS)

I’m very happy. It is my first World Cup victory and the race was very important for me to get qualified for the World Championships. I had to be in top 6 today for the ticket to Oslo and I made it. I saw Jean Marc’s effort on the last uphill but felt he was exhausted and knew I could show fast finish. I like this final fight.

Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA)

Great thanks to our service-men for perfect skis. I felt that they work well and decided to attack on the second last uphill because finish is not my strongest point. But it took all remaining energy and Ilia closed the gap on the last climb. Anyway I’m satisfied with my second place and grateful to the spectators.

Maurice Manificat (FRA)

I’m happy because I demonstrated good skiing and good shape. Probably it is a result of recent training camp in Les Saisies. Jean Marc was really fast on the second last uphill and I could do nothing about it but I worked hard up to the finish.