Korosteleva and Joensson claimed victory
The victory in the 4th stage of the FIS Tour de Ski - the Prague sprint - took Natalia Korosteleva (RUS) and Emil Joensson (SWE).
Natalia Korosteleva (RUS) finished on the 1,2km course on Strahov ahead of the Norwegian Celine Brun-Lie and Alena Prochazkova (SVK). Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) took the fifth place and overtake with that Justyna Kowalczyk (POL), who finished today 19th , in the Tour overall ranking. Saarinen is leading now with 24,9 seconds ahead of Kowalcyzk and Petra Majdic has a gap to Saarinen of 29,7 seconds.
In the sprint Tour ranking Petra Majdic (SLO) is 13 seconds ahead of Natalia Korosteleva, who took today her first victory on a World Cup level. Aino Kaisa Saarinen is third.
In the men's race, Emil Joensson was clearly the strongest. He won the Prologue and was also always ahead in his heats. In the final ,Joensson beat his team mate Markus Hellner and the Norwegian Simen Oestensen. Joensson is now also leading the Tour overall ranking with a 43, 8 seconds to Markus Hellner. Currently third is Simen Oestensen 44,3 seconds behind Joensson, who will leave the Tour and not be at the start at the following stages.
The Tour de Ski is still quite tight, so far eight to races are still in 1 min. Also the Tour favourites Petter Northug (NOR) and Axel Teichmann (GER), who both didn't qualify for the finales today, are among the top eight as well the Tour de Ski winner from last year, Dario Cologna (SUI).
In the Tour Sprint standing, Emil Joensson is 12 seconds ahead of Teodor Peterson (SWE). On third position is Simen Oestensen.
The Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear will continue after the first rest day on Wednesday, 6th with the 5th stage, a distance race from Cortina to Toblach (for the men) and Tre Cime to Toblach (ladies):
Natalia Korosteleva - winner of the day
The course was really tough, the course was soft but she had really good ski's. She was feeling very happy. But I will stopp the Tour as it was planned before now after this stage.
Aino Kaisa Saarinen - Tour leader
It was a difficult race. I thought when I inspected the course that it will be tough and with a lot of crashes. The audience was great and the fans were cheering. I'm now looking forward to Toblach, I was training there in summer. During the Tour it is difficult to rest but I will try in all stage to perform as best as possible to reach Alpe Cermis on a top place. So far I felt quite okay in all the races.
Petra Majdic - Sprint leader
The race was tough. For me, I honestly do not like so much City Sprints. The best should win and in City sprints often luck is playing a role. It was a good day for Slowenia, Vesna Fabjan did a great race. I'm now looking for Toblach, where I was training over Christmas.
Emil Joensson - winner of the day, Tour leader and Sprint leader
It was difficult to go fast under the today's soft conditions but at the end of the day I am happy as I proofed myself that I even could win in this conditions. It was a great day for Sweden because we took two podium places. I like the sprint very much, the atmosphere was great and I even could not hear my coach because of the good crowed which were cheering. But now I have to say I will stopp racing in the Tour and go back home for training