Sergey Ustiugov becomes 1st to lead Tour de Ski from start to finish
Russian skier wins 6 of 7 stages; Alex Harvey earns career-best finish
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 with a time of 30 minutes, 27.7 seconds — one 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.
Canada's Alex Harvey finished seventh in the final stage with a time of 33:07.4 and also finished a career-best seventh in the overall standings.
"It was quite good today," said Harvery, whose performance in the event was highlighted by a third-place finish in the 15km pursuit.
"...This gives me a lot of confidence for next year to know that if I'm in the top-three I am fast enough to keep it together on the last day and get on the overall podium."
Canada's only other finisher was Devon Kershaw in 25th place with a time of 39:59.9.
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.
Weng breaks through
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-kilometre event in Val di Fiemme.
Weng finished 1:37.0 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.
With files from CBC Sports