Tobias Angerer (GER) showed despite a small margin at the start a very smart tactics for conquering the Alpe Cermis and won with large gap and smile in his face.
Right after the ladies had climbed up to the Alpe Cermis, 63 men gathered to the start line in Val di Fiemme. The first 30 men started according to their Overall handicap, the rest in one wave after 6 minutes.
As Angerer starts off really smoothly, without any extra moves, the young chasers Simen Oestensen (NOR) and Peter Northug (NOR) started really actively, using jumping steps to chase the lead. The questions is open, what can #7 Frode Estil do? How about the “Russian train” of Alexandre Legkov, Eugeni Dementiev and Nikolai Pankratov, starting some 2 minutes 13 seconds behind the lead?
Soon on the Marcialonga course Oestensen catches Angerer and they start climbing together.
On the 8.5km mark Angerer and Oestensen were 34 seconds ahead of Northug. The winner of the Sprint competition Tor Arne Hetland (NOR) was able to keep up with Franz Göring (GER) and they were 54 seconds behind the lead. "Group Estil" with Sami Jauhojärvi (FIN) and Jens Filbrich (GER) were 1.13 behind.
Very soon Angerer leaves Oestensen behind as the gradient changes to steeper. One can note a visible difference in their skiing techniques – as Angerer glides, Oestensen really climbs.
9.5km skied and Angerer is already 24 seconds ahead of Oestensen, followed by Northug 56 seconds behind and Göring and Hetland 1.06 behind. Legkov and Dementiev “the Russian train”, reduced to 2 wagons after dropping Pankratov, had caught Filbrich, Estil and Jauhojärvi, were 1.30 behind.
Angerer had really so well planned tactics for today, using serpentines to stretch and rest his back and look down to control the competition. What a dominance!
On the 10,5km mark there were larger and larger crowds cheering, as Angerer pushes forward with some smile in his face already. Oestensen comes 55 seconds, Northug 1.11 behind. Legkov had dropped the group Estil and teammate Dementiev and moved already to 4th place, 1.20 behind Angerer. Göring and Hetland came 1.23 behind. Who could think that sprinter Hetland is really that tough? But hey, the 2nd place in Holmenkol ski marathon does not belong to weak guys, you have to keep that in mind!
Angerer had even strength for tempo technique on the last hundreds of meters, taking German flag for last 100m and finishes with great triumph for the whole German team and ... falls down right after the finish line. This was tough!
Alexandre Legkov shows incredible strength on the last kilometer, passes the 2 Norwegians and takes the 2nd place. 3rd place goes to 22 year old Oestensen, the real surprise of this Tour. 4th place to Northug, who turned just 21 yesterday! 5th place goes to incredible fighter Hetland, 6th for Goering.
World Cup standings after the quadruple points were handed out after the Tour de Ski