The 32-year old athlete won the race on the 3 x 5 km course clearly in a time of 36:45.7min, 16,9 seconds ahead of ski veteran and home favourite Andrus Veerpalu (EST). Jaak Mae, the team mate of Veerpalu, made the Estonian success on their home course complete and finished third with a gap of 41,6 seconds to Bauer.
Bauer was the entire race in the clear lead and dominant on the challenging course in Otepää. Andrus Veerpalu was after 5 km third but then he increased his speed towards the end. Also Mae started slower and was able to jump on the podium due to a strong finish on the last kilometers.
For Bauer, it was the second victory beside the Tour de Ski in this season while World Champion Veerpalu and Jaak Mae made their first podium this year.
Petter Northug (NOR) , who was not at the start in today's race, is still in the lead of the overall World Cup with 1060 points, while Lukas Bauer as second has now 763 points. On third place is still Marcus Hellner from Sweden. Also in the distance World Cup the top three are the same persons in the same order.
My race today was very successful and I made hattrick here, it was my third victory in one row and I'm very, very happy. I love this track and also Otepää. I was here as well in summer, it's a perfect place and I have to say thank you also to organizers. For sure tomorrow sprint is nothing for me. My program will be now to make a hard preparation until the Olympics and my first start on the Olympics will be 15 kilometers skate and as I said on the podium to Jaak and Andrus that it could be great to make same result at Olympics but after Torino and Liberec I must be on the top;-) Today Estonian guys were very strong as every year here, but today I was a little bit stronger.
The service team did a very good job and I had good ski's which made going uphill and downhill easy. I also feel that my shape is improving and today was a great race. On the last lap I gave everything I had to beat Lukas, but today he was unbeatable as he has been on last competitions.
Today it was my best result in this season and after quite a long time at all. My last World Cup race was in Rogla 4 weeks ago so it was a little bit boring for me and I was afraid before today's race, it's about -15 degrees so there could be some problems. But this track is for us well-known and I think it gave both of us also some extra seconds. Tomorrow I will compete in the sprint, I qualified at Estonian Championships. But it's not the first sprint for me tomorrow, I've already done one before. For next two weeks I will stay at home, after that I will do one long distance race (Marcialonga) and then I will go to Davos for 2 weeks to high altitude and on the 18th February we are travelling to Vancouver.