Warm and sunny conditions characteristed the Nalati distance race, stage 4 of the China Tour de Ski this year. Victory went to Norway’s up-and-coming Petter Reistad in the men’s race, whereas Man Dandan was an impressive first in the women’s.
Overall tour leader Sun Qinghai did not make the transfer to Xinjiang due to other commitments with the China national team in Harbin. As such the men’s race is again wide open, and Reistad’s victory is an indication of that. The Norwegian defeated Germany’s Lukas Ebner and Robin Bryntesson, while America’s Peter Kling managed fourth place again after his sprint win in Xiwuqi two days ago. Those four were clearly better than the rest today in the beautiful Kazakh Prefecture of Xinjiang. With Qinghai out of contention, Kling is also the new overall leader with 246 points, and Bryntesson is very much back in the mix in second place with 179. Reistad is third now, and Changchun winner Niemi Impola is still hanging on to 4th ahead of China’s Tang Jinle.
Man Dandan is also in the lead following today’s outstanding victory. She was 6 seconds ahead Li Xin, and Cheng Shuang and Ma Qinghua were even more behind. Once again Lisa Svensson was the only European skier in the top 8 with a fifth place. Her hopes for a second overall victory now seem to be really over. In the general classification, Man Dandan preceeds Ma Qinghua by 35 points.
Tomorrow is the final ski sprint in Nalati to decide the outcome of the 2015 China Tour de Ski.