Niskanen (FIN) wins first ever stage World Cup

01 January 2014 16:28
Johaug, Niskanen, Jacobsen
Johaug, Niskanen, Jacobsen -
NordicFocus

Kerttu Niskanen of Finland became the fifth athlete of this Tour de Ski to win her first ever stage World Cup.  Niskanen held off three Norwegians on the homestretch to record her first victory.  In second place was Norway's Astrid Jacobsen.  Before the competition was over Jacobsen was already the virtual Tour leader with bonus seconds accumulated during the race.  With her second place finish today she secured the leader's bib heading into stage 5 in Italy Friday.  

The Tour leader at the start of the day,  Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway was 10th today but retained the Sprint leaders bib and will now withdraw from the Tour to prepare for the sprint weekend in Nove Mesto, Cze.  

The Tour de Ski will now move to Italy for stages 5,6 and 7.  

ATHLETE QUOTES

Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (NOR)
It was a tough competition today. I am happy for the result not only because I am in the lead of the Tour de Ski but also in the view of the Olympic qualification. I am taking the Tour stages as they come and try to be focused. I think Therese is the biggest favourite for the Tour de Ski victory.

Kerttu Niskanen (FIN)
After the bonus I thought it would be possible to be top 3. I was in first at at the top of the last downhill. But downhills are not good for me I am happy I made it and was able to win. 

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR)
It was really hard today. I got very tired towards the end. It has been a very successful Tour for me but now I will abandon it as it was planned. I will get ready for sprints in Nove Mesto (CZE).

LADIES' TOP 5

1. NISKANEN Kerttu FIN
2. JACOBSEN Astrid Uhrenholdt NOR +0.4
3. JOHAUG Therese NOR +1.1
4. WENG Heidi NOR +1.9
5. SAARINEN Aino-Kaisa FIN +2.5

Complete results from ladies' 10 km classic available HERE

LADIES' OVERALL TOUR STANDINGS TOP 5

1. JACOBSEN Astrid Uhrenholdt NOR 38:14.2
2. OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad NOR +35.4
3. NISKANEN Kerttu FIN +36.8
4. JOHAUG Therese NOR +44.7
5. SAARINEN Aino-Kaisa FIN +54.0

Complete overall Tour standings are available HERE