Russian skiers won the seventh stage of the World Cup in Rybinsk

For the Russian team Sunday turned out to be the most successful day of the home stage – the seventh stage of the Cross-country Skiing World Cup in Rybinsk.

All three days of the competition Russians were among the leaders. On Friday, Evgeniy Belov and Sergey Ustyugov in the 15 km freestyle race took the second and third places and on Saturday Ustiugov clocked  the second time in the sprint. Andrey Parfyonov finished behind him. Andrey Parfyonov stepped onto the World Cup podium for the first time in his career. Natalya Matveeva won silver in the Women’s Sprint.

Sunday started with the Men’s Skiathlon 15 km classic 15 km free race.

Maxim Vilegzhanin finished  2.7 seconds ahead of the titled Switzerland’s Dario Cologna.

“Today my skis worked well. Therefore, going behind Cologna on the last lap and on a climb I kept in mind that due to the sliding I must outrun him on the downhill section, – said the winner after the finish. – So it happened, I rolled out and before leaving the stadium I moved past Cologna, and at the stadium, with the crazy support of the fans, I could not lose.”

To the delight of the fans the Women’s Skiathlon 15 km event was also won by Russian athlete. Yulia Chekalova showed the best time, leaving her rivals no chance: Norwegian Martin Hagen, who was the second across the finish line, was 16 seconds behind the Russian athlete, and  Finn Riitta-Liisa Roponen who became third – 23 seconds.

It was the first World Cup gold of Yulia’s career. “At first I tried to stay among the   leaders – said Chekaleva. – I felt that I had enough power, I was performing  at the peak of my ability. And after changing dress I set my own pace. It was hard since I was going alone and I thought that they all will catch up with me soon. But the coaches helped and I performed at the peak of my ability to the finish. The audience was great. Thanks a lot to all the fans. This is my first win and I’m happy that I made it in Rybinsk on the home stage.”

Despite the fact that earlier it was stated that the World Cup in Rybinsk will be decisive for determining the composition of the Russian national team for the World Cup in Sweden (to be held from February 18 to March 1), President of the Cross-Country Skiing Federation of Russia Yelena Vyalbe decided to postpone the final choice until the next World Cup to be held in Ostersund, Sweden (February 14-15). “As long as there are questions – she said. – In particular concerning the sprint group.”