Today’s Stage was one of the key Stages of this third Tour de Ski. Beyond the fight for a Stage victory, it was particularly important not to lose too much time in the overall standing. This individual event was also an opportunity for the best specialists of the classic style to lay down their best game.
Not only Teichmann and Kuitunen but also all other classic style specialists did not miss this opportunity. Tonight we can find many of them in the top 10, for the men as well as for the women. Besides today’s two winners, Pietro Piller Cottrer carried out perhaps the most successful transaction of the day. Ranking 10th of the Stage with only 24″ from the best time, he is now 6th in the overall ranking. If tomorrow the sprint goes as well for him as it did in Prague, then he will be a very serious candidate for the final victory.
Although Jean-Marc Gaillard started his race well, he had more difficulty in the second half. He lost some valuable seconds, but was nevertheless able to do some damage control. 12th of the overall ranking, 1’10” from the lead, everything is still possible for him on this Tour.
Tomorrow’s sprint could again bring about many surprises and turn once more the overall rankings upside down before the final two Stages in Val di Fiemme. Everyone is getting more and more worn out and it seems difficult to make predictions concerning tomorrow’s races. It will be the last opportunity for sprint specialists to shine on this year’s Tour. Most other racers will try not to lose too much time to their opponents.
The upcoming four days will be very busy with 3 races and a long transfer to Val di Fiemme. Therefore, New Year’s Eve festivities will be quite short for most of us. Have a drink to our health and Happy New Year!