Cross-country skiing: Tour de Ski – Katharina Hennig with furious catching up in pursuit

Status: 01/01/2023 12:41 p.m

Katharina Hennig made an impressive comeback in the field of favorites at the Tour de Ski. In the pursuit race over ten kilometers in Val Müstair (Switzerland) she made up 20 places on New Year’s Day.

The 26-year-old showed a strong performance after her early retirement in the sprint the day before, working her way up from 26th place to sixth place over the ten kilometers. Hennig started 1:03 minutes behind, and at the finish it was only 41.9 seconds behind the winner, Tiril Udnes Weng.

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Hennig is catching up steadily from the start

From the start, Hennig really pushed the pace in the race, catching up on the previous day’s winner Nadine Fähndrich by ten seconds in the first 1.2 kilometers. Shortly thereafter, the Swiss was replaced at the top, Frida Karlsson, who had started fifth, caught up, and four other athletes joined them.

Nadine Fähndrich got off to an optimal start in the Tour de Ski. The Swiss lived up to her role as favorite in the women’s sprint and won all her races with ease.

Meanwhile, Hennig continued to work his way up, was only 38 seconds down after 3.7 kilometers and was able to shorten the gap further afterwards. Laura Gimmler (who ended up eleventh) also stayed in the top 10 for a long time – but she also had to let her furiously running teammate pass and then fell back a bit.

Quartet makes day win among themselves

After six kilometers Karlsson, Tiril Udnes Weng, Anne Kjersti Kjalva and Kerttu Niskanen pulled away and pushed the pace hard. Hennig’s gap increased – even if the DSV athlete worked her way up in eighth place, 34 seconds behind the leader Karlsson, who set the pace almost continuously in front. Sprint winner Fähndrich also passed her shortly afterwards.

At the front there were indications of a final sprint for victory – and Udnes Weng decided that ahead of Niskanen. For the Norwegian, who is supposed to replace the exceptional runner Therese Johaug, it was the first World Cup victory. However, the runner of the day remained Hennig, who finished sixth, 41.9 seconds behind. Overall, she had the second-best running time of all participants.

Strong team performance of the DSV

In addition to Hennig and Gimmler, Sofie Krehl (15./+1:24 minutes) also made it into the top 15. Pia Fink also showed a strong performance, working her way up from 30th to 19th place (+1:34 minutes). Victoria Carl (started 55th) also made up a lot of ground in 31st (+2:09 minutes), sprint specialist Coletta Rydzek dropped back to 32nd place as expected. Katherine Sauerbrey (made up 17 places) finished 46th (+2:52 minutes), Lisa Lohmann (+2:53 minutes) directly behind her. Alexandra Danner ended up in 64th place (+5:26 minutes).