German cross-country skiers catch up at tour de ski

German cross-country skiers catch up at tour de ski

On the 50. In the 35-kilometer pursuit race from cortina d’ampezzo to toblach, tobias angerer finished in 14th place and thus caught up with the others in the overall classification. Jens filbrich (frankenhain) also sees as 18. Light at the end of the tunnel. New leader is norwegian petter northug, who won ahead of alexander legkov (russia) and dario cologna (switzerland).

Things look even better for the german women. Another energetic performance was shown by denise herrmann. The oberwiesenthaler finished sixth. Katrin zeller (oberstdorf) advanced to 13th place with the fastest time of the day after a brilliant chase over 15 kilometers. Poland’s justyna kowalczyk defends the red jersey of the leader with her day’s success.

Angerer looked poised again after days of doubt. "Today i had the form i had in canada three weeks ago. In the first three stages of the tour I was completely at a loss as to what was wrong with me and what the reason was, because nothing worked. This exchange is now over," remarked the man from vachendorf. With a "mad ski", as he described it, he chased off from starting position 30 and had with the russian alexander bessmertnich and daniel richardsson (sweden) two allies, who provided for tempo and drove the group already fast to the pulk running in front of it.

"Unfortunately it didn’t go on like that because the three canadians in the group slowed down especially in the downhills for alex harvey, who was in the top group. That was a pity, because otherwise we would have come even closer," said the 2006/07 tour winner, who had the second-best time of the day. Now optimism prevails again for angerer. "If the ski runs and that is often the case in this weather with sunshine and slight minus degrees, it can go on for a while."Just 22.3 seconds separate him from fifth place in the overall standings. There is no longer any talk of an early surrender, as was the case on new year’s day.

Not even filbrich, who has competed in all 50 tour stages and has also managed to catch up with the front places. "The 18. I don’t like the court, but I tried to save my strength today. I succeeded quite well and now the classic race is coming up on friday, so I’m counting on something," the athlete from thuringia remarked.

Denise herrmann lost fourth place in the overall standings, but sixth place feels like a victory. "I mustn’t even think about the rough names of cross-country skiing i’m fighting against at the moment," said the woman from saxony, who ran at her own pace with an incredible amount of self-confidence, didn’t allow herself to be upset by the onrushing swede charlotte kalla and ultimately rewarded herself. "She is now reaping the rewards of her hard training. She has invested an enormous amount and is on the way to becoming a very strong all-rounder," praised national coach frank ullrich.

He was also impressed by the appearance of katrin zeller. "Somehow i always get along especially well here in italy. The way it went today is the way I imagined it would go. And now i hope that the auart trend will continue," said the oberstdorf resident.