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Stage win for Teichmann and Kuitunen

Tour de Ski

Thu, Jan  1, 2009 - By FIS

At the half-way point of the third edition of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear, the red Tour leader's jerseys are worn by Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and Dario Cologna (SUI).

After a slight disappointment in Stage Three's city sprint in Prague (CZE) where she failed to qualify for the final heats, Virpi Kuitunen claimed back the overall lead in a true power performance in Stage Four, an individual start distance race in classical technique in Nove Mesto (CZE).

Stage victory for Teichmann

Axel Teichmann (GER) claimed victory in the yesterday’s Individual start competition over 3 x 5 km in Nove Mesto na Morave while Dario Cologna (SUI) confirmed this Tour overall lead after this 4th stage. 

Axel Teichmann won the race in the classical technique with being 5 seconds faster than Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR). The third place took Nikolay Chebotko (KAZ), 10,5 seconds behind the winner. The current Tour de Ski overall leader Dario Cologna started fast, but lost at the end some of his power and finished 15th, 31,8 seconds behind Teichmann.

With this 15th place Cologna confirmed his Tour de Ski lead and is now 16,3 seconds ahead of Vassili Rotchev (RUS) who took the 16th spot today, just right behind Cologna. Axel Teichmann is now on the third position (16,5 seconds). For the overall Tour de Ski victory everything is open while eight top athletes have only less than 1 min gap to Cologna.

Today, no bonus seconds were awarded and so Tor Arne Hetland is still in the lead of the Tour Sprint ranking and wearing again tomorrow the black bib for this standing.

Tomorrow will be the fifth Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski stage, a sprint race in Nove Mesto will take place.

Swiss Dario Cologna, the undisputed newcomer of the season, took 2nd in the prologue and has established a firm hold onto the leader position since Stage Two. His biggest challengers after Stage Four are Russian Vassili Rotchev and German Axel Teichmann, both just some 16 seconds behind. Teichmann has collected two Stage wins, at Stages One and Four, but failed to win any bonus seconds in the first sprint Stage. Eldar Roenning, the best Scandinavian, is also sitting in a good position in fourth, just 20 seconds behind Cologna.


Dario Cologna (SUI, Tour leader):

“I’m happy with this important race on the Tour, the goal was to not lose too much time. I am also very satisfied with still being in the overall lead of Tour de Ski. I’m always fast at the start and had a good feeling, I was then a little bit tired in the finish. We will have a little gathering tonight together with the other teams at the hotel, but I will probably not be too late in bed”

Axel Teichmann (GER, stage winner):

“I felt very comfortable today and I am very happy with this victory. I am looking forward for tomorrows sprint race, my goal for the sprint is to reach the finals to get some bonus seconds for the overall lead in Tour de Ski”

Tor Arne Hetland (NOR, Sprint leader):

“I felt very well in today’s race. Now I will get some rest and prepare for tomorrow’s sprint race”

Kuitunen back into the red bib

Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) won today’s Interval start race of the Tour de Ski in Nove Mesto.

Kuitunen had an amazing race and led the race over 3x 3km clearly from the beginning on. She finished in a time of 24:45.4 min, 37,6 seconds ahead of her team-mate and strongest contender Aino-Kaisa Saarinen. The third place took Marit Bjoergen (NOR), 49.9 seconds behind the winner.

Virpi Kuitunen is now again in the lead of the overall ranking in the Tour. She is just 5,6 seconds ahead of Saarinen and on third place is Marit Bjoergen. Arianna Follis (ITA), the leader after the yesterday’s event lost too much time in the Interval start race by finishing 16th and is now in the total overall ranking on the 6th place.

As no bonus seconds were awarded today. Arianna Follis is still in the lead of the overall Sprint ranking.

Tomorrow will be the fifth Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski stage, a sprint race in Nove Mesto will take place.

So far, three different ladies have held the lead, Claudia Nystad (GER) who won the prologue in Oberhof (GER) and Arianna Follis (ITA) who won the city sprint in Prague. Three more Stages remain - another free technique sprint in Nove Mesto, a mass start classical technique distance race in Val di Fiemme and the concluding climb to top of Alpe Cermis - and Kuitunen has only a 5.6 second lead over teammate and World Cup leader Aino Kaisa Saarinen with Marit Bjoergen equally well positioned just 23 seconds behind, so the excitement is really mounting.


Virpi Kuitunen (FIN, Tour leader & stage winner):

”This was a good day for me, it is not often when you can have a day like this. It was pure joy from the beginning to the end. It was a long day for me because of the men’s race starting first, I had to kill the time with eating, eating again, read some magazines and sleep for not thinking so much. From the start I felt great, I could use all the power to just glide and enjoy, the tracks were super and the audience was great. Tonight we will have a small and effective party at the hotel. I really hope that I can do better tomorrow in the sprint then the other stages. I hope I can skate well tomorrow and get as much bonus seconds as possible”

Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN, 2nd in the overall ranking):

“It was okay today, not the best skiing from my side; I skied for a good position. Tomorrow in the sprint I am hoping for a good race and that I will do well, it is important for me to get good result and many bonus seconds. It is very good with two Finish ladies in the top. I wish you all a Happy New Year!”