FIS Cross-Country Tour de Ski Stage 3 (Oberstdorf): 10/20 k skiathlons
Positioned in third heading into the third stage of the Tour de Ski on Tuesday, the women’s 10-kilometer skiathlon, Sweden’s Stina Nilsson made the case that she’s more of an all-around threat than some might anticipate.
She contended with early leaders like Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Finland’s Krista Parmakoski throughout the 5 k classic leg, entering the ski exchange in eighth and 2.5 seconds out of first. Østberg led the pack in and came out 0.9 seconds faster than her Norwegian teammate Heidi Weng, while another Swede, Charlotte Kalla, emerged in third (+1.3).
Meanwhile, two Americans were setting themselves up for big finishes. Sadie Bjornsen picked off two places in the exchange to head out on the 5 k skate leg in 10th (+5.8), and Jessie Diggins left the transition in 14th (+7.6).
Diggins had previously taken the lead with Nilsson halfway through the classic leg. Despite dropping back to 18th and nearly 13 seconds back at 4.4 k in the classic leg, she quickly rebounded early in the skate leg.
Half a kilometer in, Bjornsen and Diggins moved within 5 and 6 seconds of the lead, respectively. With about 3 k to go, Diggins and Bjornsen were 3.8 seconds and 4.3 seconds within Østberg in first.
At 7.5 k, Diggins captured the lead, ahead of Kalla, Weng, and Østberg, with Bjornsen skiing 2.4 seconds back in 10th.
Despite challenges from the Norwegians (Østberg, Weng and Falla) and Kalla, Diggins kept herself in contention for the podium by attacking on the final major climb, along with Nilsson, who led her to the top. Diggins chased Nilsson to the finish and missed first by 0.2 seconds, taking second for her career-best skiathlon result. Nilsson won it in 27:23.8, for her second stage win in this Tour, and Weng notched her third straight podium in third (+1.5). Falla placed fourth (+3.3) and Bjornsen tied Germany’s Nicole Fessel for fifth (+8.1). Parmakoski ended up seventh (+8.5) and Kalla eighth (+8.8).
Diggins’s second place puts her fifth overall in the Tour, 51.4 seconds behind Nilsson, who recaptured the lead and of Østberg (now 12.4 seconds back in third). Weng is second, 4 seconds behind Nilsson, heading into Stage 4.
Bjornsen is up to 12th (+2:16.7), and her U.S. teammate Kikkan Randall is 20th (+2:32.9) after placing 28th in Tuesday’s skiathlon (finishing 43.8 seconds behind Nilsson). Also for the U.S., Liz Stephen notched 30th (+59.9) to move up to 36th overall, and Rosie Brennan finished 45th on Tuesday (+2:14.5) for 43rd overall.
[UPDATED] In the men’s 20 k skiathlon that followed, Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov racked up his third-straight victory in as many stages in the 2016/2017 Tour de Ski, with a 0.6-second win over his main contender, Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby.
Ustiugov extended his overall lead in the Tour by about 10 seconds, while Sundby remains second, 29.5 seconds back.
Switzerland’s Dario Cologna reached the podium for the first time this season, finishing third, 1 second behind Ustiugov.
Canada’s Alex Harvey kept his overall third spot in the Tour in fourth place (+2.7), ahead of Sweden’s Marcus Hellner in fifth (+3.6). Harvey is 1:09.3 minutes back in third in the Tour standings, ahead of Cologna in fourth (+1:25.4), and Hellner in fifth (+1:42.4).
Canada had two in the top 10 with Devon Kershaw in 10th (+7.4), which puts him in 20th overall (+3:01.9).
Noah Hoffman led the two U.S. men still in the Tour in 35th (+2:06.8) while Erik Bjornsen finished 53rd (+4:22.4). Hoffman is 37th overall (+5:36.2) and Bjornsen 52nd (+7:35.6).
Also for Canada, Len Valjas was 37th (+2:10.6), and Graeme Killick was 50th (+3:33.7). Valjas is currently 32nd overall (+4:56.1) and Killick 48th (+6:35.2).
Notably, Norway’s Finn Hågen Krogh did not finish and thus withdraws from the Tour.
- 10 k skiathlon
- 20 k skiathlon
- 2017 Tour de Ski
- Alex Harvey
- Charlotte Kalla
- Dario Cologna
- Devon Kershaw
- Finn Hagen Krogh
- Graeme Killick
- Heidi Weng
- Ingvild Flugstad Østberg
- Jessie Diggins
- Krista Parmakoski
- Len Valjas
- Liz Stephen
- Marcus Hellner
- Martin Johnsrud Sundby
- Nicole Fessel
- Noah Hoffman
- Rosie Brennan
- Sadie Bjornsen
- Sergey Ustiugov
- Stina Nilsson