Oestberg and Iversen win in Oberstdorf
(Oberstdorf, Germany) Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg and Emil Iversen have won the 5th stage of the FIS Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf, Germany. It was under challenging conditions and on a modified competition course due to yesterday's storm damage that the 10 km ladies' and 15 km men's mass start events took place today. It took a major effort on behalf of the Oberstdorf Organizing Committee to make today's competition even possible after yesterday's wind damage and over 24 hours of rain.
In the ladies' competition with the victory today Oestberg extended her overall Tour lead to 57 seconds over her teammate Heidi Weng. Weng was battling to the finish with Oestberg but lost her balance in the final 50 metres and fell resulting in a 11th place finish on the stage. Despite her finish Weng still have a clear second place standing in the Tour. Second place in today's stage was Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla +1.9 seconds back of Oestberg. Krista Parmakoski of Finland took third on the stage and gained valuable seconds in the overall standings against the USA's Jessie Diggins who fell today on the final downhill to the stadium. Diggins sits in third in the overall standings +1:56.7 behind Oestberg and just over 12 seconds ahead of Parmakoski.
Iversen who has been looking for a top result this season found himself in second place coming down the final hill and came out of the draft of his teammate Sindre Bjoernestad Skar to take his first podium and win of the season. Skar crossed the line just +0.4 seconds back. In third place for his first podium of the season was Italy's Francesco De Fabiani +0.9 seconds back.
Overall Tour leader Dario Cologna of Switzerland was 4th on the stage and with bonus seconds gain during the competition now leads by 53 seconds with two stages remaining. Second place in the standings is still Russia's Sergey Ustiugov despite a fall that resulted in him finishing in 28th place but only 11.1 seconds back of Iversen. Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby remains in 3rd place in the overall Tour standings just ahead of Canada's Alex Harvey (4) and Russia's Alexander Bolshunov (5).
Competitions will continue Saturday January 6, 2018 in Val di Fiemme, Italy with 10/15 km mass start competitions in classic technique.
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR)
It was a special race with difficult conditions. The group was big the whole race. Heidi and I had a tough fight. She was unlucky and fell down in the last 50 m. I got some seconds on Heidi but she’s very strong in the last 2 stages.
Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR)
It was a difficult conditions and race today. It was not easy to keep the balance. On every climb I got more and more tired. But I felt strong so I am happy about the distance podium.
Krista Parmakoski (FIN)
My plan today to gain as many bonus seconds as possible today. After the bonus sprint I knew I had to be fighting for a good position before the finishing straight. I feel sorry for Heidi’s fall. But such situations happen in our sport.
Emil Iversen (NOR)
It was a fight from the start till the end. I just tried to stay calm in my head. I wanted to be offensive and do the right things in the right time. It is great I could win this stage.
Sindre Bjoernsted Skar (NOR)
It was a tough race with a lot of fighting. I had to stay really focused all the way to have a good position. I was only thinking about the next lap to come. I always wanted to be in the top 10 of the group. The season has not been that good for me so a podium result is great.
Francesco Defabiani (ITA)
I am very happy. Last year was very difficult for me. I had a good training in the summer but in the winter it has been very difficult to reach my goals. It is my first podium since a very long time. It was not an easy race but the course was good and compact. There were a lot of guys skiing together. After I fell in the 4th lap I did not want to give up because I was feeling good and I wanted to fight until the end to win a podium.
LADIES - 10km F Mass Start
1. OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad 1990 NOR 23:16.5
2. FALLA Maiken Caspersen 1990 NOR +1.9
3. PARMAKOSKI Krista 1990 FIN +3.2
4. VON SIEBENTHAL Nathalie 1993 SUI +4.1
5. NORDSTROEM Maria 1991 SWE +4.4
MEN - 15 km F Mass Start
1. IVERSEN Emil 1991 NOR 29:49.8
2. SKAR Sindre Bjoernestad 1992 NOR +0.4
3. DE FABIANI Francesco 1993 ITA +0.9
4. COLOGNA Dario 1986 SUI +3.7
5. HARVEY Alex 1988 CAN +4.0
OVERALL TOUR DE SKI STANDINGS - After Stage 5
1. OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad NOR 1:19:10.1
2. WENG Heidi NOR +57.0
3. DIGGINS Jessica USA +1:56.7
4. PARMAKOSKI Krista FIN +2:09.1
5. NISKANEN Kerttu FIN +2:34.0
1. COLOGNA Dario SUI 1:42:13.1
2. USTIUGOV Sergey RUS +53.0
3. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR +1:07.6
4. HARVEY Alex CAN +1:23.1
5. BOLSHUNOV Alexander RUS +1:26.7