Tour De Ski
January 5, 2012 by staff
Tour De Ski, Defending champion Dario Cologna opened up a big lead in the Tour de Ski on Thursday in Italy, winning the grueling 35-kilometer freestyle pursuit ahead of Norwegian rival Petter Northug.
Cologna, a Swiss skier who won the first of his two Tour titles in 2009, clocked 1 hour, 9 minutes, 25.2 seconds over the seventh-stage route following an abandoned railroad track from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Dobbiaco.
Northug finished second, 1 minute, 15.8 seconds behind, and Alexander Legkov of Russia was third, 1:16.4 back.
Canada’s Devon Kershaw narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth in a time of 1:10:42. Teammate Alex Harvey was ninth in 1:12:18.
“This is probably the best skate race I have ever had,” Kershaw said. “I started controlled and the body felt amazing.”
With two stages remaining, Cologna leads Northug by more than 1 minute, 20 seconds in the overall standings.
Later, Marit Bjoergen of Norway won her fourth consecutive stage by taking the 15-kilometer pursuit, beating Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland by 2.0 seconds and taking the overall lead from her by the same margin.
Bjoergen is attempting to become the first Norwegian – man or woman – to win the Tour.
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