25-year-old Irina Khazova (RUS) claimed victory in the exciting 10 km individual start race in Davos. On the demanding course she finished in a time of 26:22.0, just 27.3 seconds ahead of Charlotte Kalla from Sweden. The third spot on the podium took Kristina Smigun-Vaehi (EST).
Khazova started into the race not too fast and had just the 8th best time at the intermediate point 2,0 km. But then she powered all the way to the finished and won clearly ahead of Kalla, who was also faster in her second lap.
For Khazova, the double Junior World Champion from 2004, it was the first ever World Cup victory in her career, just after being second in Kuusamo two weeks ago. 2007/2008 FISTour de Ski winner Kalla took her second podium place in this season while Kirstina Smigun-Vähi finished after a two-year's long baby break in her second World Cup race on third place.
The new overall World Cup leader
The new leader of the overall World Cup is Irina Khazova with 206 points, 3 points ahead of Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN), who finished today on 11th place. And on third rank is Charlotte Kalla with 189 points.
Irina Khazova (RUS):
I'm very happy about my victory. I didn't believe this morning that I can win. My goal for this season is to be as best as possible and make a top 6 place at the Olympics.
Charlotte Kalla (SWE):
"I tried to start relax in the race and I was then able to push all what I have in the second lap. I felt good here after being here since a week. We had the high altitude training in Davos in the past week. It is a nice place, you have tough tracks but also easy once. On my plan is it to go to Rogla next week and skip later on the Tour de Ski."
Kristina Smigun-Vähi (EST):
"I'm very satisfied with my race today. My goal was it to be in top 10, I didn't believe to be on the podium. I had a two year's break behind me and got a baby, Viktoria, and in the first time after having a baby I was not thinking about a comeback. But then 6 month after the birth I felt that I have to do something. I was training for me but then I said to me you can also compete against others and not only training for yourself."