Kerttu Niskanen is close to his record, but the threat is from the Alpe Cermis specialist, writes Anni Saarela.

    Kerttu Niskanen has skied to the podium twice in the ongoing Tour. Jussi Saarinen

    60,600 or 40,400 euros?

    Kerttu Niskas has the opportunity to more than double his season income on Sunday, when the Tour de Ski culminates in Italy’s Val di Fiemme.

    The Olympic medalist has earned 27,000 euros in prize money this season. The winner of the Tour will be rewarded with 81,000 euros, while the second place will receive almost 61,000 and the third will receive a good 40,000 euros.

    Realistically, Niskanen skis second place at most.

    The victory of the Tour will go to Frida Karlsson, if the Swede just makes it to the finish line without any wrecks.

    Karlsson has never skied the final ascent of Alpe Cermis before. There are two Tours and two suspensions in the background. The endurance machine can still not be considered a weak link.

    Tiril Weng predicts Alpe Cermis pain from the sky. Jussi Saarinen

    The situation of Niskanen, who is third in the overall standings, is delicious.

    The difference to Karlsson is more than one and a half minutes, but Tiril Weng, who is second, is only 25 seconds away. Germany’s Katharina Hennig is 23 seconds behind Niska.

    It is believed that Weng will bow in the final ascent. The Norwegian’s discouraged comments after Saturday’s 15 km start race also pointed in that direction.

    Weng was left seventh, closing the gap to Niskase.

    – I don’t see any chance of winning the Tour. I’m happy with what I’ve done on the Tour. I’m waiting for next year, the skier said.

    The Norwegian, who has skied the Tour three times, aims for the podium on Sunday, but the final ascent is proven not to be his forte. Weng has improved his ranking compared to his starting number only once – in 2019.

    Kerttu Niskanen was fifth in last year’s Tour. Lying on the ground, Krista Pärmäkoski finished fourth. EPA/AOP

    Instead of the Norwegian, Niskanen must turn his eyes to Germany.

    In the light of history, Hennig, who is fourth in the Tour, is clearly better than Niska and Weng in the final climb.

    The German, who has skied the Tour four times, has improved his ranking on the slopes of Alpe Cermis three times and once finished in the position indicated by his starting number.

    Hennig’s best finish on the ski tour is eighth (2020 and 2021).

    Katharina Hennig has succeeded in the final climb of the Tour. Jussi Saarinen

    Niskanen has already skied to the finish of the Tour eight times. It is still difficult to draw conclusions about abilities in the final ascent.

    The Suomalaištahti has been on top of Alpe Cermis at its best in the Fifthin 2014 and 2016. He has skied to the top ten five times.

    However, Niskanen has improved his ranking compared to his starting number only twice. Also twice, the ranking has remained the same.

    Free is not the strongest way for Savolainen to advance. The three races that ended with a result lower than the starting number, however, took place in the early years of his career, 2012–2014.

    Kerttu Niskanen’s best result from the Tour is Fifth place (2014, 2016 and 2022). Jussi Saarinen

    The dawn of Sunday requires Niskas to be alert from the start.

    In the co-start race, the three-time winner of Alpe Cermis Heidi Weng and the climbing specialist Delphine Claudel, who came third in the stage in the previous two seasons, will immediately increase their rankings.

    In the overall standings of the Tour, the pressure on Niskanen, who has pushed for the top spot three times, is eased by the fact that it is difficult to overtake on the slope section before the slope.

    In any case, the cards are in your own hands. On top of the ski slope, the best Tour ranking of your career and a hefty prize pool are on offer.

    You can ask for a more delicious situation.


    Overall situation of the Women’s Tour after the 6/7 race:

    1. Frida Karlsson (SWE) 2:31,16

    2. Tiril Weng (NOR), +1.12,0

    3. Kerttu Niskanen, +1.37.0

    4. Katharina Hennig (GER), +2.00,0

    5. Rosie Brennan (USA), +2.28.0

    6. Lotta Weng (NOR), +2.37,0

    7. Astrid Slind (NOR), +3.03,0

    8. Heidi Weng (NOR), +3.47,0

    9. Teresa Stadlober (AUT), +3.51,0

    10. Silje Theodorsen (NOR), +4.57,0


    14. Anne Kyllönen, +5.14,0

    Krista Pärmäkoski, Jasmi Joensuu, Anni Alakoski, Katri Lylynperä and Jasmin Kähärä interrupted.

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