A windy Xiwuqi ski sprint saw an American victory today as Peter Kling beat overall leader Sun Qinghai with a clear margin. As both Bob Impola and Shang Jincai got eliminated in the 1/4 final, the Chinese ace now has a more comfortable lead. Man Dandan was the fastest woman.
The trickier conditions on the second day in Inner Mongolia seemed to be to the advantage of the European and American skiers. This was particularly clear in the women’s race, despite Man Dandan’s win. She had to fight off Lisa Svensson for the win, and Norway’s Helena Albertsen Dahlen managed a podium spot as well in fourth, behind China Tour de Ski leader Ma Qinghua. It means that Ma Qinghua’s lead is anything but safe, as both Man Dandan and Svensson are coming a bit closer. Svensson cannot be counted out, as in 2013 she also came back from behind to turn the competition upside down in Nalati, during the two final stages of the China Tour de Ski.
Sun Qinghai on the other hand increasingly looks like the most consistent of the men’s skiers, with today’s winner Peter Kling in his shadow. Hampus Lindblom is trying to keep up, and did better than Changchun victor Impola today, but the points deficit is beginning to add up. Swedish pre-race favourite Robin Bryntesson today had a much better race, finishing third in the ski sprint. For sure, Bryntesson will aim to go back home with a stage win in Nalati on his record. The final step on the podium today was for another American, Ryan Scott.
Tomorrow the China Tour de Ski caravan has a long transfer ahead to the far west of Xinjiang province, to the Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture.
Peter Kling won today’s third stage, the ski sprint in Xiwuqi