Arianna Follis (ITA) was able to made a home victory in Italy on the 17 km long course from Tre Cime to Toblach in a time of 34:34.8min. She won after an amazing finish on the last 400m 3,4 seconds ahead of Petra Majdic (SLO). The Polish top athlete Justyna Kowalcyk took the third place 4,1 seconds behind Follis. The inrun of today's race is also the new Tour overall standing.
In a good tactical race of Follis, Majdic and Kowalcyzk, who all worked together to catch up with Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Majdic was the first who attacked for the victory. About 2,5 km ahead of the finish, Majdic increased her speed and made a gap to Follis and Kowalczyk, but on the last uphill Follis contered and claimed victory in the rebuild stadium of Toblach.
After the fast race, it seems that only four female athletes have chances to take the overall victory: Follis, Majdic, Kowalczyk and as well Saarinen (27,6 seconds behind Follis). In the sprint ranking Majdic is still leading with 1:55min and Saarinen is in the runner up position with 1:36min.
Petra Majdic - Sprint leader
I am very happy about my 2 nd place. It went better than I anticipated. We cooperated very well with Arianna. We wanted to ski as fast as possible to catch Aino Kaisa. I had good overview what is going behind me. After the start I was afraid that Kristin Steira will be fast and will try to catch us but it did not happen. I had a few words with Arianna before the start in Cortina. We have known each other a long time and we did not have to discuss long our tactics. I was feeling very strong like never before on the Tour. Therefore I decided to attack after having gone through the stadium. However, I started my attack one uphill too early and the other girls were hanging behind. Arianna had more energy in th finish. I am very happy for her that she won on her home soil.
Arianna Follis - Tour leader
It was difficult to go fast under the today's soft conditions but at the end of the day I am happy as I proofed myself that I even could win in this conditions. It was a great day for Sweden because we took two podium places. I like the sprint very much, the atmosphere was great and I even could not hear my coach because of the good crowed which were cheering.
Tomorow an invidual start competition over 5 km (ladies) and a 10km (men) in classical style will take place as the 6th stage of the Tour de Ski in Toblach.
Please find results HERE.