Ustiugov retains Tour de Ski lead as winning streak ended

Jan 7, 2017

Sergey Ustiugov's run of five straight stage wins in the Tour de Ski ended Saturday, although the Russian still retained a comfortable overall lead entering Sunday's concluding climb up Mount Cermis

TESERO, Italy — Sergey Ustiugov's run of five straight stage wins in the Tour de Ski ended Saturday, although the Russian still retained a comfortable overall lead entering Sunday's concluding climb up Mount Cermis.

Two-time Tour champion Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway won the 15-kilometer classical mass start race in slightly more than 40 minutes, just 2.2 seconds ahead of rival Ustiugov. Matti Heikkinen of Finland crossed third, 2.8 behind.

Ustiugov was bidding to become the first skier — male or female — to win all seven stages in the 11-year history of the Tour. He remained 1 minute, 11.9 seconds ahead of Sundby, with three-time Tour winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland in third, 2:04.1 back.

In the women's 10K event, Stina Nilsson of Sweden reclaimed the Tour lead with her fourth stage win of this year's race, setting up a close final-day contest with Norwegian rival Heidi Weng.

Nilsson required slightly more than half an hour to complete the classical mass start event in Val di Fiemme. Nilsson finished 3.0 seconds ahead of Anne Kylloenen of Finland and 3.7 in front of fellow Swede Charlotte Kalla, the 2008 Tour champion.

Nilsson, who had lost her lead and dropped to third overall a day earlier, moved 19.2 seconds ahead of Weng in the Tour standings. Krista Parmakoski of Finland is third, 53.9 behind.

"I knew the body could respond both ways in the Tour and I'm so happy it responded in the right way today," Nilsson said.

Weng finished seventh in the stage, 17.5 seconds behind Nilsson.

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg also struggled, placing 18th in the stage and dropping out of contention from her second-placed standing entering the day.

The Tour remains in the Val di Fiemme for the traditional last-stage climb up Mount Cermis on Sunday.

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