Kuitunen continues in golden bibs
In the classical technique mass start race, Virpi Kuitunen of Finland took the Stage victory by beating her competitor Charlotte Kalla by 4,5 seconds. Kalla fell during the first round and couldn’t manage bonus seconds at the two intermediate Sprint bonus points. Claudia Nystad from Germany took the third place in the 7th Stage.
Said Kalla “I am not satisfied with the beginning of the race, but the last part was very good for me. I am very happy that I managed to ski so well after my fall. I do not know why I fell, but I was off the track and got very angry. I thought all was over when I fell. But I had very good skis. The waxer did a very very good job in these tricky conditions. Tomorrow is a hunting race and I like that a lot so it will be very exciting. But 40 sec is a lot of time.”
Kuitunen was able to pick up the maximum intermediate Sprint Bonus seconds during the race and at the end, a total of 45 seconds. She now leads the overall Tour de Ski ranking increasing her lead from .2 seconds to 39.7 seconds ahead of Kalla. Olga Rotcheva from Russia is third, 1:26.2 back after finishing 4th in today’s race.
In the women's sprint ranking, Kuitunen locked up the victory with a total of 2:36 minutes in bonus time. She will collect 10,000 Swiss francs for this victory, provided she finishes the final stage. Arianna Follis (ITA) who finished 10th today took second with 1:49 in bonus time. Thanks to her strong performance today, Pirjo Muranen (FIN) finished 3rd in the Sprint Ranking, with a total of 1:46 in bonus time.