Maurice Manificat toasts special victory in Davos
Maurice Manificat hailed the atmosphere at Davos as he clinched his ninth cross-country World Cup victory.
The Frenchman clocked a time of 33:56.20 to steal the victory in Switzerland, holding off Russian duo Sergey Ustiugov and Alexander Bolshunov.
Manificat is the overall world cup distance leader and will wear the red bib when the competition continues in Toblach, in Italy.
And the 31-year-old paid tribute to the supporters as he claimed victory by four seconds.
He said: "I love to compete here. It has been a few years since I last won here so I'm happy to be back on top. My season has been going well so I knew that it was possible.
Maurice Manificat of France competes during the FIS Nordic World Cup Men's and Women's Cross Country Skiathlon on December 3, 2017 in Lillehammer, Norway.Getty Images
"It is a hard race here and I am tired but thank you to Davos and the public out in the forest. Your encouragement helped very much."
Ustiugov kept Manificat in check before the Frenchman pulled clear at the end and the Russian believes he's getting stronger and stronger.
He said: "It was much better than yesterday. It was the first day that Klaebo didn't win because he isn't here so there was a chance to win.
"I feel that each race my shape is getting better and better."
Third placed Ustiugov added: "My goal was to not ski to fast and stay steady in the middle of the race and speed up in the end. I think I did that well. So I am satisfied."