The start into the new year could have not been better for Stina Nilsson and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo.
The demanding course at the 3rd stage of the Tour de Ski 2018/19 in Val Müstair were tamed perfectly by the sprint experts from Sweden and Norway.
One uphill, dropdown and 3 waves had to be conquered and demanded strong legs of the athletes.
Nilsson won the final heat 2.27 seconds before the two US athletes Sophie Caldwell and Jessica Diggins who fought for the best spots on the podium on a photo finish. With her victory, Nilsson becomes the 3rd female athlete ever to win 2 sprint events in the same Tour de Ski event.
The success of the US power team however, changes the current Overall Tour de Ski leader. New on top of the list is Jessica Diggins, followed by Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Natalia Nepryaeva.
Until today's win of Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, no male athlete has ever repeatedly won a sprint during the same Tour de Ski event. Norwegian's young Olympic Gold medalist definitely put an end to the struggles he seemed to have at the beginning of the season.
2.35 seconds after Klæbo, Italian Federico Pellegrino crossed the finish line, ending on the 2nd place. On the Overall Tour de Ski ranking, Pellegrino is set on the 7th rank.
Sergey Ustiugov from Russia decided the photo finish with a very strong Richard Jouve from France to his favor, ending 3.07 seconds after Klæbo.
The spectators in the hometown of Switzerland's top Cross-Country skier Dario Cologna (placed 21st) cheered for the athletes in typical Swiss manner with the tinkling cow bells and enjoyed a wonderful 1st of January 2019 with a spectacular event in Cross-Country skiing.
Find all results and the current Tour de Ski standing here.
The Tour de Ski is heading on to Oberstdorf (GER)
PREVIEW Ladies 10KM CLASSIC STYLE – Wednesday 2 Jan 2019
- Natalia Nepryaeva became the second Russian stage winner in the ladies' Tour de Ski when she won the 10km freestyle in Toblach on Sunday. Natalia Korostoleva won a sprint freestyle in Prague in January 2010.
- No Russian woman has won a classic style event in the Tour de Ski.
- The last Russian woman to win a distance World Cup event in the classic style was Larissa Lazutina in Falun on 18 March 2001 - 10km classic style.
- Ingvild Flugstad Østberg has won five distance events in the Tour de Ski, joint-second most all-time alongside Marit Bjørgen and Virpi Kuitunen. Only Justyna Kowalczyk (8) has won more.
- Two of Østberg's stage wins were in classic style. Kowalczyk (7), Johaug (4) and Kuitunen (4) have won more stages in classic style.
- Østberg and Heidi Weng won a 10km classic style in last season's Tour de Ski.
- Heidi Weng has claimed 15 podium finishes in distance events in the Tour de Ski, only trailing Johaug (17) for most among ladies.
- Anastasia Sedova finished third in the 10km freestyle on 29 December. It was her first podium finish in a World Cup event.
- Stina Nilsson has won two distance stages in Oberstdorf in the Tour de Ski, equal most alongside Bjørgen, and she could become the first woman to win three distance stages here.
- Krista Pärmäkoski could become the first Finnish athlete to win a ladies' distance stage in the Tour de Ski since Kerttu Niskanen in Lenzerheide on 1 January 2014 (10km classic).
- Pärmäkoski (6) is the athlete to have finished on the podium of a ladies' distance stage in the Tour de Ski most often without ever winning.
PREVIEW Men 15KM CLASSIC STYLE – Wednesday 2 Jan 2019
- Sergey Ustiugov's win in the 15km free in Toblach was his seventh win in the Tour de Ski. Only Petter Northug has won more stages (13) (all excluding sprint event on 1 January).
- Dario Cologna and Martin Johnsrud Sundby have won four distance stages in the Tour de Ski each.
- Russia has won seven distance stages in the Tour de Ski, second-most all-time behind Norway (14). Germany and Kazakhstan follow on six each.
- Bolshunov has won two of the last three distance World Cups in the classic style, at the World Cup Final in March 2018 and in Ruka in November 2018.
- Janosch Brugger won the most recent distance World Cup in the classic style, in Lillehammer in this season's 3-Days Tour on 2 December 2018. It is his only World Cup podium finish in any event to date.
- Prior to this season, Germany's last win in a men's Tour de Ski event was by Tim Tscharnke who won the 15km classic style in January 2015.
- Alexey Poltoranin has won 11 distance World Cup races in the classic style, most of all active skiers. He won three in a row in January-March 2018.