Lukas Bauer (CZE) was the strongest in men`s challenging 20km mass start race leaving Petter Northug (NOR) 31,5 seconds behind. On third place finished Axel Teichmann (GER), who was 32,3 seconds behind the winner of the day.
On the last round Lukas Bauer was close to take over the Tour lead but Norhtug was fighting hard and managed to keep the overall leader bib with 8.3 seconds ahead of Bauer. Axel Teichmann is third but with already a gap of 1.30,3min to the Norwegian athlete.
With his today 65 bonus seconds, Petter Northug (NOR) took over the lead of the Tour Sprint ranking. He will win the ranking tomorrow when he is arriving at the Alpe Cermis 37 seconds ahead of his team mate Simen Oestensen (SWE).
Tomorrow the athletes will have the final stage of the 4th edition of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear with the Final Climb over 3,7 km and 425m up to the Alpe Cermis.
It was a very tough race for me. First half I was pushing very hard. I won three bonus sprints and was feeling very good. In the second half of the race I did not have enough power to beat Lukas as he was very strong today. I felt tired and my technique got worse. When you are tired it is very difficult to maintain skiing a good technique. Tomorrow's final climb will not be easy. At the begining it is a comfortable skiing but then it is very demanding. My tactics for tomorrow will be faster than Lukas and be the first on top of Alpe Cermis.
It was a big surprise for me. After first loop In changed my mind about tactics. I decided to attack in the second loop as I had very good skis today. I knew Petter is very good in double polling and therefore I wanted to make an escape. It was risky but the risk payed back. I hope I will be in good shape tomorrow.