Toni Livers and Aurelie Dabudyk Win the FIS Worldloppet Cup 2016
We could not imagine a better race to conclude the FIS Worldloppet Cup 2016. 1500 skiers travelled to Khanty Masiysk in Russia, for the Ugra Ski Marathon. Among them the red group, the world’s best, marathon skiers to decide the cup. Russia’s stars like Sergej Ustiugov and Dementiev Eugeniy also showed up at their home race.
But the victory today goes to Switzerland: Toni Livers, who already won the Ugra Ski Marathon last year sprinted to his second victory in Russia and to his first FIS Worldloppet Cup overall victory. His ski crossed the finish line not even a second before the Russian Shopin Yuriy. For the 3rd podium place the team colleagues Bastien Poirrier and Candide Pralong fought – Poirrier in advance, with his second podium this season. The marathon specialists did a very clever race. Long time it seemed that the Russian Worldcup-star Sergej Ustiugov is dominating the field, but it turned out, that the long distance elite from France, Switzerland and Italy just made a tectical challenge out of it and they made their moves on the finish lane.
“Ustiugov was very strong today, he attacked all the time and opened gaps, so i thought I will fight for the second place today. But on the last 3 km the race became a hectic one and I felt strong enough, so I tried my luck!”, says Toni Livers.
The women’s race was not as exciting as the men’s competition. Very soon the big dominator of the season, Aurelie Dabudyk fell back and made a good training session in the sunshine of Sibiria out of it. So the way was free for Yulia Tikhonova from the Belarus Nationalteam to win. 45 seconds behind her Olga Rotcheva (Russian Nationalteam) took the 2nd place and with a gap of 3:50 minutes the first Worldloppet Cup red group athlete came to the finish: Elisa Brocard (ITA).
THIS WAS THE FIS WORLDLOPPET CUP 2016
What a season, what a final, what a winner! 2016’s FIS Worldloppet Cup now is over after a very long season. While all Worldcup athletes are on “holiday” since weeks, the red group in marathon-skiing had to focus until today. In the beginning of the season in January eight races in France, Italy, Austria, again France, Estonia, Poland, Switzerland and Russia were planned. La Transjurasienne unfortunately had to be cancelled because of heavy rainfalls during the days before the race, Tartu Maraton in Estonia had to be cancelled too, but we had a glorious replacement at the American Birkebeiner. The whole season suffered under the mild winter conditions, but in the end 7 very good organized and fair races were held and enjoyed by the athletes.
And the final was just fantastic. Toni Livers went to the startline with a lead of only 20 points, so his mission was clear: Be in front of Ivan Perrillat-Boiteaux and Bastien Poirrier (both were missing only 20 points). And he did! The whole race the pack stood together and nobody tried a serious attack, but on the finish lane Livers showed his experience and his enormous presistence. So with his victory at Bieg Piastow and his second places in Switzerland and France he collected 376 points and wins the FIS Worldloppet Cup 2016 – and this besides starting at the Tour de Ski and in the Worldcup. 60 points behind him and with his thrid place today the French Bastien Poirrier placed himself on the second rank overall. The 3rd FIS Worldloppet Cup overall rank goes again to Switzerland, to Pralong Candide, who with his 4th place today managed to overtake Ivan Perrillat Boiteaux. All three winners are training together in the French marathon-team “Team Rossignol Gel Interim”.
In the ladies overall ranking already before the race almost everything was clear. Aurelie Dabudyk – Haute-Savoie Nordic Team – with her vicotries in France and Austria and her two second places had enough points to call herself FIS Worldloppet Cup Winner 2016 already before starting. It was only a fight between Elisa Brocard (ITA) and Klara Moravcova (CZE) for place 2 and 3. Brocard hat the better position before the start, she had 25 points more than Moravcova. With her 3rd place today, Brocard extended her lead and saved herself the 2nd FIS Worldloppet Cup overall place. Moravcova became 5th in the race and defended her 3rd place in the overall ranking.
The highlights of today’s race will be shown tomorrow 20:00 exclusively on Worldloppet-TV.