Clean sweep: Ustiugov wins again as Russia take top three spots at Tour de Ski in Italy
Ustiugov finished the 15km course in 31 minutes 2.5 seconds, while Yakimushkin followed in second, 22.6 seconds behind, and Bolshunov rounded out an all-Russian top three, 29 seconds behind the winner.
For Ustuigov it continues his fine recent form, adding to his victory in the mass start in Switzerland earlier in December.
It's a special day for the Russian team in Toblach today! Sergey Ustiugov fights back the yellow Tour leader BIB and Alexander Bolshunov ends up on the third podium spot on his birthday - a good way to end the year 🎉#fiscrosscountry#tourdeskipic.twitter.com/5CcqbdQQ9V— FIS Cross-Country (@FISCrossCountry) December 31, 2019
Ustiugov leads the overall Tour de Ski table after three races with a result of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 43 seconds.
That puts him ahead of countryman Bolshunov in second, while Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, the reigning Tour de Ski ruler, is third. Sprint king Klaebo could only manage a distant 17th place in the 15km freestyle in Toblach.
With his win in Switzerland earlier in the season, Ustiugov became only the third male skier to win a Tour de Ski stage in four consecutive seasons, after Norway’s Petter Northug and Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan.Also on rt.com Perfect start! Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov wins first stage of FIS Tour de Ski
The prestigious seven-stage Tour de Ski concludes on January 5 in Val di Fiemme, Italy, with the title contenders taking part in a breathtaking final climb stage in the alpine course on Alpe Cermis.
Along with the Tour de Ski crown, competitors are battling for vital points which will be added to the overall FIS Cross-Country World Cup standings.
Ustuigov won the 2016-17 edition of the event as well as 2017 World Championship gold in the 30km skiathlon.