Maxim Vylegzhanin wins 30 km Mass Start Free in La Clusaz. UPDATED

18 December 2010 16:01

Maxim Vylegzhanin won by 0,1 seconds the 30 km mass start free technique in La Clusaz as he beats Petter Northug in last meters in the sprint.

On third place finished Alexander Legkov with only 0,4 seconds behind his team mate and winner.  It was a tight race which was animate by four intermediate bonus World Cup points sprints. The top athletes Legkov, Lukas Bauer (CZE), Daniel Rickardsson (SWE), Dario Cologna (SUI), Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS) and Anders Soedergren (SWE) were often in front and tried to split the group but in the final lap still about 10 athletes were together. Vylegzhanin and Legkov attacked in second last uphill and opened a small gap. But Petter Northug and Dario Cologna could react on the Russian attack and came close. In the last meters in the finishing straight Vylegzhanin, Northug and Legkov were fighting for victory but it was Vylgzhanin who outsprinted the two and claimed victory.

Alexander Legkov took over the lead in the overall World Cup ranking with his tough fights for bonus sprints today. He is now leading 22 points ahead of Dario Cologna. Maxim Vylegzhanin is now third.

In the distance World Cup, Legkov is also leading but already with a gap of 49 points ahead Swiss Dario Cologna. Also here Maxim Vylegzhanin is currently third, only nine points behind Cologna.

Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS)

I'm very satisfied with my result today. I claimed my first World Cup victory and it is amazing. The course here is really tough and you have to work hard all the time. Tomorrow I will be the finish man of the Russian relay and I hope we can get another good result.

Petter Northug (NOR)

I am happy I made it on the podium today and came back. I did very good training in past weeks and I feel my shape has been rising. I will do more training over Christmas and I believe my shape will be even better. I would like to win Tour de Ski and I hope I will be among the best. Atmosphere in La Clusaz was excellent. The audience was cheering on us and that helps on such a tough course.

Alexander Legkov (RUS)

It is a great feeling to be back in the yellow bib. I like it very much. It was a good day today for me. I had very good skis and felt strong. I'm happy I made in on the podium again. For tomorrow I hope to have a good race again and hopefully we can be top three, but Norwegians and Swedish will be strong.