The favored Petra Majdic (SLO) and Petter Northug (NOR) won the first stage of the 4th Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear in 2010.
As last year, the FIS Tour de Ski kicked off in Oberhof with a prologue. On the challenging 2,8 km course for the ladies, last year's Tour de Ski 3rd-ranked Petra Majdic won the race clearly in a time of 6:35.3min. She finished 2,1 seconds ahead of Natalia Korosteleva (RUS). Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland finished third, 6,3 seconds behind the winner.
The race, which took place under slight snowfall, was exciting. Justyna Kowalczyk started quite fast and had the best time after 1,5 km but then lost her lead on the last kilometer.
Including the 15 bonus seconds for the victory, Petra Majdic will start tomorrow seven seconds ahead of Natalia Korosteleva for the 10 km classical race while Justyna Kowalczyk will go into the race 16 seconds behind the leader.
In the men's race, Petter Northug kept increasing his speed from the start to finish, beating the time of Markus Hellner (SWE) who finished second by 0,8 seconds. The third place went to the winner of last year's prologue, Axel Teichmann (GER), 2 seconds behind the winner on his home trails.
Also here we saw a very tight race where all the favorites for the overall Tour de Ski are in front.
In tomorrow's 15 km classical race, Petter Northug will start with an advantage of 6 seconds over Hellner while Axel Teichmann will be starting 12 seconds after Northug on the 5 x 3,3 course.
Weather: snowfall, -6,8° C
Snow Conditions: hard packed