Sergey Ustiugov of Russia left little doubt in today's 20 km Skiathlon that he plans to keep the Tour de Ski leaders bib. Sitting back just outside the top 10 going into the final climb he made an aggressive move to get up into 3rd place by the top. Coming out of the draft on the final downhill Ustiuigov sprinted his way to his third victory in the first three stages. Despite taking an wrong turn early in the free technique portion Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby recovered to take second place on the day and hold his place in second in the overall standings. Switzerland's Dario Cologna was back on the podium for the first time since the Tour was in Oberstdorf last season. He took third today +1.0 behind Ustiugov and just +0.4 behind Sundby.
Ustiugov now leads the Tour by 29.5 second over Sundby, up from 18.9 seconds after Val Müstair stage 2. Canada's Alex Harvey had another strong day with a 5th place finish and remains in 3rd in the overall standings +1:09.3 back. With his third place finish today Cologna moves up from 6th to 4th in the overall standings +1:25.4 behind. Sweden's Marcus Hellner was a big mover today with a 5th place finish moving up from 9th to 5th in the overall heading into tomorrow's 15km Pursuit in free technique. It will be interesting to see how tight the group is tomorrow following the pursuit event.
Sergey Ustiugov (RUS)
It was a really hard race today. I gave my best. On the last climb I felt the pace went down and I decided to attack. It was not planned. I reacted on the situation.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)
I made a mistake in the free technique lapping and took the wrong turn. Today was all about fighting for bonus seconds. The finish was OK, but it’s a lot of seconds on Sergey now.
Dario Cologna (SUI)
It was an exciting race. I like Skiathlon competitions in Oberstdorf and I Iike the course. I wanted to ski carefully, there were some falls and I did not want to lose the race. I was feeling really good in the free technique portion. I tried to be in a good position. In the end I could follow Martin. I am very satisfied with the 3rd place.
MEN - 20 km Skiathlon
USTIUGOV Sergey 1992 RUS 48:40.4
SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud 1984 NOR +0.6
COLOGNA Dario 1986 SUI +1.0
HARVEY Alex 1988 CAN +2.7
HELLNER Marcus 1985 SWE +3.6
Complete results are available HERE.
TOUR DE SKI STANDINGS - After 3 stages
1. USTIUGOV Sergey RUS 1:14:34.6 3481539
2. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR +29.5
3. HARVEY Alex CAN +1:09.3 3100110
4. COLOGNA Dario SUI +1:25.4 3510023
5. HELLNER Marcus SWE +1:42.4
Complete Tour standings are available HERE.