Northug leads the Tour
Petter Northug (NOR) claimed victory on the 15 km classical handicap start in Oberhof on the second day of the Tour. He won in an extremly tight photofinish 0,1 seconds ahead of Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS). Matti Heikkinnen (FIN), who was in the leading more then the half distance, took the third place 0,8 seconds behind the winner. This is also the current Tour de Ski standing
In this exciting race, where 23 men finished within 30 seconds, Matti Heikkinen were one of the dominator of the race. The athlete from Finland started his attack quite early in the race and was in the lead until the last 1,5 kilometers where Maxim Vylegzhanin closed then the gap. Petter Northug impressed once more by his final sprint and won on the last meter the race.
All Tour de Ski winner from the past three years, Tobias Angerer, Lukas Bauer, Dario Cologna are currently ranked under the top 12 and are within 17,1 seconds although the winner of the last year's Tour de Ski, Dario Cologna (SUI) had a fall 2 km ahead of the finish.
Petter Northug is now the leader of the overall Tour de Ski ranking as well as the Tour sprint leader and also the overall World Cup leader.
"I am very happy about my victory today. I knew from the beginning they will be chasing me. After the first lap there was a big pack where I was skiing as well. Matti Heikkinen was very strong today and he was attacking with full power. However, I anticipated that someone from our group of chasers will try to catch him. My tactics was to stay behind and save energy for the last lap. In these snow conditions it was difficult for my service staff to choose the right grip wax. It was more impartant for me to have fast skis and perfect glide in downhills." commented Northug his victory.