8-9-10 January 2021

An awesome Oestberg on Alpe Cermis

The Norwegian wins the 13th Tour de Ski ahead of Nepryaeva and Parmakoski


Ladies’ Final Climb today in Val di Fiemme – last stage of 13th Tour de Ski
Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg wins even today after yesterday’s victory
Second place for Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva, third place for Finland’s Krista Parmakoski

The ladies’ Tour de Ski ended today in Val di Fiemme with the Final Climb between the Cross Country Stadium in Lago di Tesero and Alpe Cermis. The favourite Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg started well managing a margin of 53 seconds from the Russian Natalia Nepryaeva, her first direct chaser. The Finnish Krista Parmakoski started in third position, 2 minutes and 13 seconds after the Norwegian. The loop in the Cross Country Stadium in Lago di Tesero is important to maintain the margin, but it is difficult to see how good the opponents are doing. It is also important to lose little energy, the slopes of the Olimpia III ski slople on Alpe Cermis are very tough: 9 km in free technique with the last 3.5 km all uphill and peaks that approach 30% of slope, with an average of 12% and a difference in height of 420 meters. After the first loop in the Cross Country Stadium of Lago di Tesero, the gap between the first two athletes increased instead of decreasing; Oestberg had a margin over a minute on Nepryaeva and over two minutes on Parmakoski. The Norwegian wanted to win this thirteenth Tour de Ski, after having been the “supporting athlete” for years behind the other Norwegian Bjoergen, Johaug, with whom she often trains, and Weng. The American Jessica Diggins followed in sixth position, just before Heidi Weng who seemed intent on overtaking her. After 6.2 km the Russian continued to lose precious seconds and Oestberg seemed closer and closer to the final success, with a margin of over 1 minute and 16 seconds. Parmakoski was behind (+2:21). It is no wonder that the Final Climb of Alpe Cermis is one of the most difficult challenges of the world sport: it leaves no respite, giving up is not an option. In fourth position there is the other Russian Belorukova and in fifth position Sedova, both over three minutes behind Oestberg (3 km to go). Diggins is sixth while Weng is seventh struggling and not performing the brilliant race that allowed her to win the last edition. The wind in Val di Fiemme (fortunately a fair wind) pushed them towards the long-awaited finish line; it is probably the most awaited finish by the athletes of all World Cup races. In sport the success of a “supporting athlete” usually has a special taste and Oestberg has found her moment after years of finishing behind and learning. The tracks in Val di Fiemme leave no excuse: who wins, deserves it. After the finish line Oestberg collapsed to the ground: she is the champion of the thirteenth Tour de Ski. Natalia Nepryaeva finished second at 2:42, with Parmakoski a little further behind at 2:55 from Oestberg. Best climb time of the day for Oestberg (19:49), who becomes the queen of Alpe Cermis after her compatriot Heidi Weng, celebrating her well-deserved success with a long hug to her coach and a Viking, liberating scream: "I never thought I'd become the "queen of Cermis"; this race was never appropriate to my technical and physical characteristics, but today I felt really good and for me it's a huge joy!”.

9 km Ladies FT

1 OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad NOR 35:15.0; 2 NEPRYAEVA Natalia RUS 37:57.0; 3 PARMAKOSKI Krista FIN 38:10.9; 4 SEDOVA Anastasia RUS 39:08.2; 5 BELORUKOVA Yulia RUS 40:02.4 6 DIGGINS Jessica USA 40:28.5; 7 WENG Heidi NOR 42:04.3; 8 ISHIDA Masako JPN 44:31.2; 9 SLIND Kari Oeyre NOR 44:45.5; 10 ISTOMINA Mariya RUS 45:00.0

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