Welcome to Val di Fiemme and the final stages of the Tour de Ski 2018/19!
Will Johannes Høsflot Klæbo manage to keep the leader position through to the end? by Thomas Zipfel

PREVIEW Saturday, 5th January 2019

LADIES' 10KM CLASSIC STYLE

  • Ingvild Flugstad Østberg won the 10km pursuit (freestyle) in Oberstdorf on Thursday to claim her eighth Tour de Ski stage win. Only Justyna Kowalczyk (14), Marit Bjørgen (11) and Therese Johaug (11) are on more stage wins in the competition. Virpi Kuitunen is also on eight.
  • Historically, the winner of the first pursuit stage managed to reach the overall Tour de Ski podium in all previous 12 editions. Eight of the 12 winners even went on to claim the overall title.
  • Overall leader Østberg has won five of the last eight distance races in the Tour de Ski. In that run, Østberg only failed to win the 10km free in Toblach on 30 December 2018 (2nd behind winner Natalia Nepryaeva), the 9km pursuit (freestyle) in Val di Fiemme on 7 January 2018 (4th, winner Heidi Weng) and the 10km classic in Val di Fiemme on 6 January 2018 (5th, winner Weng).
  • In total, Østberg is now on seven distance victories in the Tour de Ski. The 28-year-old now needs one more win to match Bjørgen (8) in third place all-time. Only Johaug (11) and Kowalczyk (14) recorded more distance wins in Tour de Ski than Østberg (7).
  • Østberg finished in second place in the overall Tour de Ski standings in both 2015/16 and 2017/18. No athlete has ever finished on the podium on more than two occasions without ever winning the overall title. Østberg was the overall leader ahead of the final pursuit in both editions she finished second overall (2015/16 and 2017/18).
  • Norwegian athletes have won 15 of the last 16 ladies' Tours (3-Days Tour, Tour de Ski, World Cup Final, Ski Tour Canada). The only exception in that run was Charlotte Kalla's victory in the 3-Days Tour in 2017/18.
  • Natalia Nepryaeva, second in the overall standings, won the 10km free in Toblach on 30 December 2018 and can become the first female athlete from Russia to claim multiple stage wins in the Tour de Ski. No Russian woman has ever won a classic style event in the competition.
  • Nepryaeva and Yulia Belorukova, currently fourth overall, are both hoping to become the first female athletes from Russia to reach the overall Tour de Ski podium. Russia's best result in the ladies' competition is a fifth-place finish by Olga Rotcheva in 2008.
  • Jessica Diggins, third overall, has claimed two Tour de Ski stage wins, both in distance events and both on Italian snow.
  • Diggins can become the third non-Norwegian athlete to claim a distance win in more than two different editions of the Tour de Ski, after Kuitunen (Finland, 3) and Kowalczyk (Poland, 4).
  • Diggins can become the fifth non-Norwegian athlete to claim multiple overall podium spots in the ladies' Tour de Ski, after Kowalczyk (4), Kuitunen (3), Majdic (SLO, 2) and Arianna Follis (ITA, 2).

MEN'S 15KM CLASSIC STYLE

  • Johannes Høsflot Klæbo won the 15km pursuit (freestyle) in Oberstdorf on Thursday to claim his third stage win of this season's Tour de Ski. Only Sergey Ustiugov in 2016/17 (5) and Martin Johnsrud Sundby in 2015/16 (4) managed to win more than three Tour de Ski stages in a single edition. Both athletes went on to claim the overall title that season.
  • Overall leader Klæbo has a 5.4 second lead over second-placed Ustiogov after his pursuit win on Thursday. Each of the previous five leaders after the first pursuit stage went on to win the overall Tour de Ski title.
  • Klæbo can become the third athlete to win the overall title on his Tour de Ski debut after Lukáš Bauer in 2007/08 and Tobias Angerer in the inaugural edition in 2006/07.
  • Klæbo (3) can become the first athlete with at least four top-three stage finishes on his Tour de Ski debut. Chris Jespersen (2013/14), Bauer (2007/08) and Angerer (2006/07) all collected three podium spots in their first ever appearance in the competition.
  • Klæbo (22) is the first ever male athlete under 23 with three stage victories in the Tour de Ski. Charlotte Kalla (3) is the only female athlete with more than two stage wins in the competition before turning 23 years of age.
  • Klæbo can become the first Norwegian athlete to claim back-to-back stage wins in the Tour de Ski since Sundby in January 2016.
  • Second-placed Ustiogov won the 15km freestyle event in Toblach on 30 December 2018, to claim his seventh stage victory in the Tour de Ski. With seven stage wins Ustiogov is in joint-second place all-time, along with Cologna and Sundby. Only Petter Northug (13) is on more stage wins in Tour de Ski history.
  • Ustiogov, winner of the 2016/17 Tour de Ski, can become the fourth athlete with multiple overall titles in the competition after Sundby (2), Bauer (2) and Cologna (4).
  • Alexander Bolshunov, third overall and winner of the 2017/18 World Cup Final, is aiming for his first stage win in the Tour de Ski. Bolshunov finished in third place on three occasions, all in the freestyle. His best result in a classic style event is a fourth-place finish in the 15km classic in Lenzerheide on 31 December 2017.
  • Both Bolshunov (22) and Klæbo (22) could become the youngest winner of the men's Tour de Ski. Cologna was 22 years and 299 days when he won in 2008/09.