Norway's Heidi Weng wins Tour de Ski with final leg victory
CAVALESE, Italy (AP) Sergey Ustiugov became the first competitor to lead the Tour de Ski from start to finish, holding on to his comfortable advantage in the final climb up Mount Cermis on Sunday.
Ustiogov finished 1 minute, 2.9 seconds ahead of two-time Tour champion Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway and 1:19.1 ahead of three-time Tour winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland.
Ustiugov won six of the seven stages, getting beaten only in the sixth leg by Sundby, and never surrendered the leader's red bib.
Ustiugov dedicated the victory to his six Russian teammates who were banned from the Tour due to the McLaren doping report.
''I don't have any emotions or thoughts,'' Ustiugov said through a translator. ''I did it for all my guys.''
Sundby, the overall World Cup leader, turned his back on Ustiugov after reaching the finish, and wouldn't let the Russian speak with him.
After finishing third the past three years, Norway's Heidi Weng finally won the women's Tour.
Having started the final stage in second place, Weng quickly surged into the lead and won the 9-kilometer event in Val di Fiemme.
Weng finished 1 minute, 37.0 seconds ahead of Krista Parmakoski of Finland and 1:54.4 ahead of Stina Nilsson of Sweden, who had the lead entering the day.
''I caught Stina at the bottom and I wanted to sprint away right away,'' Weng said.
Weng had just enough energy to pump her left arm in celebration before collapsing after crossing the finish line.
''It was no surprise for me Heidi caught in the bottom of the hill,'' Nilsson said. ''She was too fast for me to follow. My main goal was to stay focused on my pace. When Krista passed me I had to fight hard for third place.''
Weng also extended her lead in the overall World Cup standings to 308 points ahead of fellow Norwegian Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg, who finished fourth in the Tour.