Official FIS Worldloppet Cup press release:
With approximately -15 degrees & sunshine the Demino Ski stadium in Rybinsk, RUS welcomed thousands of marathon skiers from Russia & all around the world for the 11th edition of the Demino Ski Marathon - the Big Race of Big Russia. Many world class athletes travelled to Rybisnk, since it was the 6th stage of the FIS Worldloppet Cup. But it was the Russians who dominated the race and took the victories.
WINNING MEN AT THE 11TH DEMINO SKIMARATHON
Only one single point was separating Agnelle Gerard, FIS Worldloppet Cup overall leader & his first chaser, Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux before today's Demino Skimarathon. So it was clear, that the French athletes were going to give everything to collect the precious points for the overall ranking. Also the skiers from the French team Jobstation Rossignol showed, that they still don't give up fighting for the podium in 2018's FIS Worldloppet Cup. Benoit Cauvet, Adrien Mougel & Bastien Poirrier were seen in the leading position all over the race. But in fact it was the Russians who dominated the race. Already from the beginning Andrey Melnichenko, Evgeniy Dementiev & Aleksandr Legkov kept the pace on a high level. Specially Melnichenko was working very hard on the leading position all over the race. In the end it came down to a final sprint between 5 skiers, 4 Russians and 1 French. It was Andrey Melnichenko who crossed the finish line a second ahead of Nikolay Khokhryakov who beat Olympic Champion Evgeniy Dementiev only in the photo finish. Aleksandr Legkov finished 4th, Thomas Chambella was best non-russian with the 5th place.
Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux (FRA, Haute Savoie Nordic Team) has now overtaken his teammate and long time red bib holder, Gerard Agnellet by 15 points. Perrillat came to the finish as 8th today, while Agnellet became 15th. The 3rd position in the overall ranking goes to another Haute Savoie Nordic skier, to Loic Guigonnet.
Results of the Demino Ski Marathon 2018 - men (click for full results)
1st - Andrey Melnichenko (RUS)
2nd - Nikolay Khokhryakov (RUS)
3rd - Eveniy Dementiev (RUS)
4th - Aleksandr Legkov (RUS)
5th - Thomas Chambella (FRA)
6th - Aleksandr Utkin (RUS)
FIS Worldloppet Cup overall ranking men after 6 of 7 stages (click for full standings)
1st - Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) - 352 points
2nd - Gerard Agnellet (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) - 337 points
3rd - Loic Guigonnet (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) - 230 points
WINNING LADIES AT THE 11TH DEMINO SKI MARATHON
In the ladie's competition it took some time after the finish to know the winner. The photo finish was too close to recognize it imediately. For sure it was a Russian victory, either last year's winner Olga Rotcheva or Sveltana Nicolaeva. Only at the flower ceremony it was clear: Nicoleva 1st, Rotcheva 2nd. The 3rd place went to another Russian lady, to Ekaterina Yadovina. A little bit behind them the two first ladies in the FIS Worldloppet Cup overall ranking were fighting for points. In the end Aurelie Dabudyk turned out to be stronger, she finished 5th. Gräfnings took the 6th place.
So Dabudyk was able to increase her lead to 14 points more than Maria Gräfnings has. For the final stage, next weekend at the Engadin Skimarathon, it is heads up for this two ladies.
Results of the Demino Ski Marathon 2018 - women (click for full results)
1st - Sveltana Nikolaeva (RUS)
2nd - Olga Rotcheva (RUS)
3rd - Ekaterina Yadovina (RUS)
4th - Alena Perevozchikova (RUS)
5th - Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA)
6th - Maria Gräfnings (SWE)
FIS Worldloppet Cup overall ranking women after 6 of 7 stages (click for full standings)
1st - Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) - 450 points
2nd - Maria Gräfnings (SWE, SAS Pro Team) - 436 points
3rd - Rahel Imoberdorf (SUI, SAS Pro Team) - 150 points