Saturday, Heidi Weng (NOR) opened Tour de Ski 2015 with her best skate performance to date, placing second in the 3.3-kilometer prologue – only 10 seconds behind first place. Then Weng followed up with a second place in the 10km classic pursuit, where she beat Therese Johaug (NOR) in Johaug’s strongest event.
“I think I had a good race,” Weng said after her race in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Sunday.
“I tried to stay focused. Therese (Johaug) came on the first hill, and then I was trying to pick up some seconds on the climbs,” Weng said, explaining that she worked with her competitor trying to move up to first place.
“We helped each other today. Therese was very strong on flat sections. I tried to break away on the last hill before the finish,” said Weng, who beat JOhaug by 0.6 seconds in the 10km classic race.
After the opening prologue in Oberstdorf on Saturday, Weng couldn’t contain her excitement, for her second place, which is her best World Cup finish to date.
“I’ve never skied this well in a skate race. I don’t understand what’s happening with my skating. I’ve done three World Cup skate races and I’ve been on the podium three times. It’s a dream start for my Tour de Ski,” Weng said after the prologue.
“I felt like I skied slow. The plan was to start slower and speed up on the second lap, but I got so stiff on the first lap, so when I got to the big hill on the second lap, I could just think about digging, digging, digging to get to the top and then not crash on the downhill,” Weng said of her race.
After two of the seven stages in the 2015 Tour de Ski, Weng has every reason to shine as the skiers moves on to Val Muistar, Switzerland, for stage three: skate sprints on January 7. The next day features 15k/35k skate pursuit from Cortina to Toblach, Italy.
On January 9, the skiers get a second rest day before the final two stages in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
On Saturday, January 10, there are 10k classic mass starts for both men and women in Val di Fiemme, and on January 11, the Tour concludes with the brutal 9k skate pursuit for both men and women up Alpe Cermis.
OVERALL TOUR STANDINGS – After Stage 2
1. Marit Bjoergen, NOR, 36:50.6
2. Heidi Weng, NOR, +1:01.2
3. Therese Johaug, NOR, +1:06.8
4. Stina Nilsson, SWE, +1:48.5
5. Nicole Fessel, GER, +1:52.7