Ola Vigen Hattestad goes for victory in Liberec. UPDATED
Ola Vigen Hattestad defended victory from 2009 and was fastest in today's Sprint 1.6 km Free.
In the men’s race, the World Champion from 2009, Ola Vigen Hattestad dominated the final race over 1,6 km and claimed victory ahead of the only 20-year-old Federico Pellegrino from Italy. Home favourite Dusan Kozisek (CZE), who is living in Liberec, took the third spot whilst Renato Pasini (ITA) just edged out with arriving fourth.
Just ahead of the final curve after the last uphill Ola Vigen Hattestad made the final attacked and could hold the gap until the finish. The Norwegian double World Champion from 2009 took his first season victory today and the 10th in his career. For Pellegrino and Kozisek it was the first podium ever in their career.
Alexei Petukhov (RUS) who was first in his quarterfinal was ranked last in his head due to not following the marked course.
In the sprint World Cup ranking, Emil Joensson, who will not compete this weekend, is still leading 96 points ahead Ola Vigen Hattestad. On third position is Fulvio Scola.
The overall World Cup is still led by the three Tour de Ski stars Dario Cologna (1197 points), second Petter Northug (706 points) and Lukas Bauer (698 points). All of them were not racing today.
Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)
I’m very satisfied with my race. Actually it was my best free technique race in 2 or 3 years. It feels great to be back on the podium. The course here in Liberec is fair. I especially like the long finishing straight. Last minute of the sprint course is really good here. I will probably race tomorrow with Johan Kjoelstad as he was the second best Norwegian today.
Federico Pellegrino (ITA)
It’s a dream for me today. I was not too confident before the race about my shape. To be on the podium is simply great. I do not have words to describe how I feel today.
Dusan Kozisek (CZE)
I am very satisfied with my result. I achieved my career best today. I wished to produce the best result and I did it. The crowds alongside the course helped me a lot. They cheered and supported all of us. I will race tomorrow in the team sprint together with Martin Koukal.