FIS World Cup Tour de Ski Stage 10 k/15 k Freestyle Interval Start
On Sunday, Stage 2 of the Tour de Ski (TdS) offered a 10-kilometer freestyle interval start for the women in Toblach, Italy. Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva won the race in a time of 25:12.8 minutes. Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg skied to a razor-thin second place, clocking in 0.3 seconds behind Nepryaeva. Another Russian, Anastasia Sedova, placed third (+10.9).
This was Nepryaeva’s first career World Cup win and her second career podium on the circuit. She now leads the TdS by 23.6 seconds over U.S. skier Jessie Diggins.
Diggins placed sixth (+27.2) in Sunday’s race after earning her first podium in yesterday’s skate sprint. Teammate Sadie Bjornsen finished in 16th (+1:07.3), with Sophie Caldwell in 36th (+1:45.2).
Two Canadian women are entered in the TdS, with Emily Nishikawa placing 35th (+1:44.6), and Dahria Beatty 56th (+2:24.3).
Tomorrow is a TdS rest day as athletes transfer to Val Müstair, Switzerland for a skate sprint.
The men’s 15 k skate surprised. The on-paper favorites were high in the standings, but a flash-from-the-recent-past. Russian Sergey Ustiugov stole the show. On a Russian team deep with talent, Ustiugov has remained in the shadows since last season when he won the TdS but was kept from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Ustiugov last won a World Cup race exactly one year ago today. He won Sunday’s 15 k skate in 30:34.1 minutes. Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krüger placed second (+12.2), and Alexander Bolshunov, also of Russia, was third (+21.9).
Alex Harvey of Canada was the best placed North American finishing tied for 14th place (+52.9) with France’s Maurice Manificat. Harvey’s teammates Len Valjas placed 70th (+2:28.4) and Bob Thompson 83rd (+3:23.0).
Simi Hamilton of the U.S. Ski Team (USST) was the highest ranked American in 55th (+1:59.8). Erik Bjornsen (USST) placed 60th (+2:04.2), Kevin Bolger (USST) 71st (+2:36.4), and Ben Lustgarten (CGRP) 74th (+2:52.3).