Tour de Ski Favourites Preview: Stage 6

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 03 Jan 2012@18:30

The Toblach sprint stage can become a very decisive stage in this year’s Tour de Ski in the men’s race. This is the race where Northug and Cologna can get a gap to the rest of the field which is so large that they will decide to cooperate on the 35 km long Cortina-Toblach stage.

On the other hand, if either Northug or Cologna fail in the sprint, the race development on the Cortina-Toblach stage can be very different – where a larger field coming from behind can get closer and closer to the lonesome runners in the lead. Then we can even risk getting a field of several skiers coming together to Toblach.

In the women’s class, the sprint will be important for the fight between Kowalczyk and Bjørgen. If either of them fails, the other will get a lead which may be difficult to catch up. Johaug is not strong on skate sprints, but if she surprises everybody and gets some bonus points, she may just keep a tiny chance for an overall victory with perfect last three races.


Again tricky predictions – especially due to Northug’s below-par race. Hans Petter Mathisen won the day with 658 points ahead of Gabriel and Peja. In the overall Roar has now taken over the lead 8 small points ahead of Jossa with the previous leader Piotr in third.

Note! Last time to set up predictions for the sprint is set to 10:00 CET although official start is 10:45 CET for now as we suspect the start may be pushed earlier. The time will be moved to actual start time when the official start list is up.


In the 2010/2011 edition of Tour de Ski, Devon Kershaw took the victory in the Toblach sprint after two of the big sprinters Jönsson and Petukhov had pulled out of the Tour.  Kershaw only narrowly sneaked into the final, taking the second lucky loser spot, but then impressed in the final with by getting a 20 meters gap up the last hill.

Dario Cologna and Petter Northug finished 2nd and 3rd last year – and they will be the big favourites in the sprint in Toblach this year as well. Emil Jönsson is struggling to find the top shape, but is still among the favourites. Also look out for the Russian skiers which have impressed a lot so far in the Tour – especially Petukhov and Vylegzhanin. Ola Vigen Hattestad has pulled out of the Tour.

05.01.2011: Sprint Free Final Interval start, Toblach, ITA
Full results

1. KERSHAW Devon
2. COLOGNA Dario
3. NORTHUG Petter jr.
4. HELLNER Marcus
6. MODIN Jesper
7. JAKS Martin
8. NEWELL Andrew
9. HOFER David


In the 2010/2011 edition, Petra Majdic won ahead of Arianna Follis and Magda Genuin – none of these participating in this edition of Tour de Ski.

Instead Marit Bjørgen will be the big favourite. Bjørgen is stronger than Kowalczyk in this kind of sprint race, and the Norwegian has also showed excellent shape the last days with two wins in a row.

- The sprint in Toblach is nothing for me, Kowalczyk writes on her webpage. – Too short, too fast and too many corners.   [...] Last year I finished 22nd.

Kikkan Randall won the Davos skate sprint in the middle of December ahead of Matveeva – they both count among the big favourites. Also count in Ida Ingemarsdotter who finished 3rd in the Rogla skate sprint before Christmas.

05.01.2011: Sprint Free Final Interval start, Toblach, ITA

Full results

1. MAJDIC Petra
2. FOLLIS Arianna
3. GENUIN Magda
5. RANDALL Kikkan
7. ZELLER Katrin
9. FABJAN Vesna

Race profile Sprint course, Toblach:

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