21-year-old Charlotte Kalla from Sweden took over the golden bib from Marit Bjoergen (NOR) after the 10 km pursuit race with handicap start in the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear.
Charlotte Kalla showed her strength in today's 10 km free technique race in Nove Mesto na Morave. She started in sixth position with a time handicap of 38 seconds to leading Bjoergen and won the race 8,5 seconds ahead of Arianna Follis (ITA). She also took over the golden bib from Marit Bjoergen who finished 9th in today's race. The Polish skier Justyna Kowalczyk took 3rd, 10,1 seconds behind Kalla.
alla was also ‘the Lady of the Day' - the fastest skier on the 3 x 3,3 km course, 3,0 seconds ahead of Kristin Steira (NOR). Claudia Nystad, finished third in today's Stage results, 4,2 seconds behind Kalla.
As today no bonus seconds were awarded, the second of today's race Arianna Follis is still in the lead of the Sprint ranking and therefore the wearer of the Tour silver bib, 1 second ahead of Virpi Kuitunen and third is Pirjo Muranen, 4 seconds behind Follis.
The fifth Stages of the Tour de Ski will be tomorrow, 2nd January 2008 in Nove Mesto na Morave with an Interval start race over 10 km (ladies) in the classical technique. There will be bonus seconds awarded in the individual start classical technique race as follows: At the sprint bonus point at ca 2.2 km (ladies) and at 2.6 km (men), each time 15 sec to the fastest, 10 sec to 2nd fastest, 5 sec to 3rd fastest, AND at the finish (15 sec for the winner, 10 sec for 2nd placed, 5 sec for 3rd placed)
Charlotte Kalla, SWE (Tour leader): In the summer and autumn I never thought that I would be wearing the golden bib during the Tour. Yesterday evening we had a singing competition (Sing star) at the hotel – Sweden against Norway. Sweden won, maybe because the songs were Swedish. My plan for the race today was to go out quite hard, but with control. I wanted to make my own race and not stress too much. I like to hunt, so it was perfect for me to go out behind the others. I had great skis today; the wax man had done a very good job. Tomorrow I want to make a good race and not stress, but have good technique.
Arianna Follis, ITA (Lady of the day): Today again, I did a good race. I'm satisfied. We will see what happens tomorrow. I'm a little bit afraid of tomorrow since I'm not very good with the classical race. Yesterday I relaxed and went early to bed.
Lukas Bauer back in the golden bib
The local hero Lukas Bauer is back into the leader position of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear after the today's 15 km Pursuit race with handicap start in the free technique.
The 30-year-old Lukas Bauer from Czech Republic finished the 4 x 3,75 km course in Nove Mesto na Morave like on second stage, as first. The second place took his team mate Martin Koukal just 3,2 seconds behind Bauer. Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA), the man of the day, was third, 3,4 seconds behind the winner. This is as well the Tour de Ski overall ranking.
A great day for Italy: The fastest man was today Pietro Piller Cottrer from Italy, 4,2 seconds ahead of this team mate Valerio Checchi. The man of the day from the second stage, Emmanuel Jonnier (FRA) took the third place 15,3 seconds behind Piller Cottrer.
Axel Teichmann, one of the Tour favourites felt already in the first lap and got injured on his thumb but nevertheless he finished the race on the 10th place.
The sprint ranking of the Tour is still the same like after the third stage in Prague. Nikolay Morilov is in the lead with 1 minute. Just 4 seconds behind are Simen Oestensen and Tor Arne Hetland having 8 seconds time differences to Morilov.
The fifth stages of the Tour de Ski will be tomorrow, 2nd January 2008 in Nove Mesto na Morave with the Interval start race over 10 km (ladies) and 15 km (men) in the classical technique. There will be bonus seconds awarded in the individual start classical technique race as follows: At the sprint bonus point at ca 1.4 km (15 sec to the fastest, 10 sec to 2nd fastest, 5 sec to 3rd fastest), AND at the finish (15 sec for the winner, 10 sec for 2nd placed, 5 sec for 3rd placed)
Lukas Bauer, CZE (Tour leader): I too went to bed early yesterday. Tomorrow, I have to be good. I don't have enough seconds in front of the others. I have many concurrents in the race now. In Italy, Piller Cottrer will be in his home country and will have a lot of support from the audience. For me it was a big advantage to compete in my home country. I never raced the final climb, just saw it on TV. So now, I don't know what to expect, but to start with now I look at tomorrow.
Pietro Piller Cottrer, ITA (Man of the day): One of the reasons to why the Italian team was successful today is that we didn't celebrate much yesterday, but went to bed early. I want to thank my waxing staff, they and my skis did half the job for me. My skis were very fast.
I like this kind of hunting race, today's race and last 15 km hunting shows that it is much more fun for spectators and athletes than normal pursuit. My plan today was to come at lesa second so that in tomorrow's classical race I could start at least 30 sec before Lukas. It will be good to start as third last tomorrow and I will try to reduce my gap and be ready to fight in my home country. My plan for Italy is of course to be first. My wish is to be at least in top ten.
ikolay Morilov, RUS (Sprint leader): Yesterday was a very big holiday and today was therefore a very difficult race for me. I'm happy that nobody overtook me today. Tomorrow, my plan is as well to finish the race!