Matti Heikkinen takes Tour Stage 4 win in Oberstdorf UPDATED
Finland's Matti Heikkinen took victory in the Stage 4 of the Tour de Ski over 10 + 10 km Pursuit.
Heikkinen spurted over Tour leader Dario Cologna in the last 500 m before the finish line and edged the Swiss by +1.0 seconds. Jean Marc Gaillard from France just edged out of the podium in the photo finish against Martin Jaks (CZE) and took the fourth spot.
The Pursuit over 10 km classic and 10 km free technique was an exciting and challenging one. With the chance of winning a total of 90 bonus seconds during the race, a total of 11 athletes managed to win bonus seconds but the Tour favorites took control on all, and were always present in front of the bunch. Tour leader Dario Cologna won a total of 40 seconds. Marcus Hellner (SWE) gained 35 seconds and Lukas Bauer (CZE) took 25 seconds during the entire competition. Petter Northug (NOR) took 25 seconds but lost the 15 bonus second he won at 14.5 km due to the fact that he was not following the best line.
Dario Cologna increased his lead in the overall Tour de Ski ranking, with 44.9 seconds down to Devon Kershaw (CAN) and 1.06.1 seconds ahead of Marcus Hellner.
Cologna is also ahead in the Tour de Ski sprint ranking with 1:47min. Marcus Hellner and Devon Kershaw follows on the second respectively on third spot.
Weather conditions: -10 degrees, sunshine
Snow conditions: hard packed snow
Matti Heikkinen (FIN)
"The classical was quite difficult today, but the free technique went better. My victory gives me a good sign. My season started in Gaellivare I was 82th. I have increased my positions in the races. My main goal is still in February, so I think there's still many things to do better
I had 3 options in Tour de Ski: First: don’t go; Second: go and do some races; Third: entire Tour de Ski. Now I have to watch what's rest, I will take day by day, I dont want to risk anything with Oslo.
Yesterday I said to my team mate Sami Jauhojärvi I could do Tour de Ski without any resting days, but today I feel somehow different. I look forward to some rest tomorrow.
Dario Cologna (SUI)
"It was a good race for me, I felt quite good. When the race started I had good legs. I was always in the front and I was able to take several bonus seconds. My shape is really good at the moment, and I had good control today. Once the shape is here, everything is going better, and I recover faster. I hope my shape will continue in Toblach and Val di Fiemme. The start was good, but TdS is still just half time., I will do my best to stay focused and do my best in the coming days.”