The Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country returned to Russia for the first time in four years last weekend. In Rybinsk, the organizing committee had spared no efforts to host the event, preparing the 2.5-km course with the help of 2’000 volunteers of crushed ice from the Volga river along with some artificial snow.
To the joy of the 40’000 spectators, Alexander Legkov (RUS) took his first World Cup victory in Saturday’s mass start race in front of a home audience.
The weekend saw another two first-time winners as Riitta Liisa Roponen (FIN) won the ladies’ mass start event and Renato Pasini (ITA) the men’s sprint on Sunday. In the ladies’ sprint, Arianna Follis completed the Italian celebration while Kikkan Randall (USA) earned the first-ever Cross-Country World Cup podium by a female U.S. skier, finishing third in a photo finish.
By collecting additional 95 and 120 points, respectively, both Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski winners Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and Tobias Angerer (GER) grew their leads in the overall World Cup standings.