The FIS Roller Skiing World Championships in Croatia got under way with a classical prologue race in Bistra. The roller skiers competed on a challenging 6km uphill track in unseasonal autumn-like weather. In the ladies' category, Tatiana Yambaeva (RUS) crossed the finish line first, 1:20 in front of Lada Nesterenko (UKR). Third was Elena Vedeneeva (RUS), 2:34 back.
In the junior ladies' race, Ileana Casali (ITA) took top honors, ahead of Olga Abramova (RUS), who was 2:11 behind, and Kataryna Tselska (UKR), who finished another 24 seconds behind Abramova. In the junior men's race, Michele Galassi (ITA) took the victory while Robin Norum (SWE) finished 2nd, 31 seconds behind the winner and 3 seconds ahead of Thomas Vestboe (NOR) in third.
In the men's race, Italy claimed a quadruple victory: The Italian “golden boy” Giorgio Di Centa, double Olympic champion from Torino 2006, took the first place 20 seconds ahead of Sergio Bonaldi, 56 seconds ahead of Alfio Di Gregorio and 59 seconds ahead of Valerio Theodule.
The small time differences in the prologue promise an exciting pursuit race on Saturday. On Friday, the schedule includes the freestyle sprint with live TV coverage from Croatian Television, and the official opening ceremony.
|1||Grigorio Di Centa (ITA)||23:15.11||2||Sergio Bonaldi (ITA)||+0:20.46||3||Alfio Di Gregorio (ITA)||+0:56.31|
|1||Tatiana Yambaeva (RUS)||26:25.83||2||Lada Nesterenko (UKR)||+1:20.44||3||Elena Vedeneeva (RUS)||+2:34.05|
|1||Michele Galassi (ITA)||25:20.84||2||Robin Norum (SWE)||+0:31.09||3||Thomas Vestboe (NOR)||+0:34.88|
|1||Ileana Casali (ITA)||29:35.58||2||Olga Abramova (RUS)||+2:11.11||3||Kateryna Tselska (UKR)||+2:35.87|
Full results can be viewed here.