FIS World Cup Tour de Ski Stage 4 10 K Classic Mass Start Oberstdorf, Germany
With snow falling, strenuous forest skiing, and fresh snow blanketing the rolling hills for a decisive Stage 4 of the Tour de Ski (TdS) in Oberstdorf, Germany, the day’s 10-kilometer classic mass start shook out the close overall standings.
Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, who came into the race wearing bib 2 as the second skier in the overall TdS standings by 1.1 seconds behind leader Jessie Diggins (USST), took a narrow victory today.
Østberg, who strung the race out as the K’s ticked off, came into the final straight with Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva. Just a slight lunge at the line gave Østberg the win in a time of 32:08.9 minutes. Nepryaeva placed second (+0.1), Anastasia Sedova of Russia was third (+5.3).
Norway’s Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen was fourth (+15.9), Krista Pärmäkoski of Finland fifth (+15.9).
Diggins, who began the day in the royal blue TdS leader’s bib, lost 58.4 seconds by the finish to place 11th. Her teammate Sadie Bjornsen (USST) placed 15th (+1:05.4).
Canada’s Emily Nishikawa ended her race effort in 34th (+2:18.7). No other North American women started the race.
Østberg now leads the Tour by 24.1 seconds over Nepryaeva. Russia’s Yulia Belorukova sits third (+1:10.9), Diggins fourth (+1:26.3).
For the men’s race, what had been lightly falling snow morphed into a snow-tempest for much of the 15 k classic mass start.
With the men’s field typically tight when it comes to time differences, the lead changes came often during the men’s race. With surges here and there from the field’s big-engines, no single attack could stick. At 12.5 k, Norway’s Emil Iversen came through the time check first, but he was followed by a string of skiers with first through 49th place separated by 14.9 seconds.
Iversen did ultimately make a double pole push in the final straight to take the win in 45:30.3 minutes. Italy’s Francesco de Fabiani placed second (+0.9), and Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov third (+2.0). Only 9.4 seconds split first from the 15th place skier, Andrew Musgrave of Britain.
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo of Norway came into Stage 4 as the TdS leader by 12 seconds over second overall skier Ustiugov. Klæbo placed ninth (+5.6) in Wednesday’s mass start.
After Stage 4, Klæbo still wears the blue bib as the TdS leader. He now holds a 15.4 second lead on Ustiugov for the TdS overall. Iversen sits third overall (+31.0).
Canada’s Alex Harvey placed 14th (+9.1) in Stage 4 after starting the day in bib 18. Also for Canada, Bob Thompson finished in 64th (+1:42.5), and Lenny Valjas 67th (+2:26.1).
Ben Lustgarten (CGRP) was the only U.S. male to start the race. Lustgarten placed 57th (+38.7).