Pellegrino recovers late to bag World Cup win in Cogne
Federico Pellegrino pulled off a scintillating comeback to send the home Italian fans into raptures with victory at the Cross Country Skiing World Cup.
It looked as though Pellegrino would be forced to settle for silver in home snow, with compatriot Francesco De Fabiani storming clear in the final of the 1.6km sprint free in Cogne.
But Pellegrino – who recorded the best time in qualifying – made the most of his superb form, stopping the clock in 3:09.07, less than half a second ahead of De Fabiani.
That was still enough to accrue a maiden podium with Lucas Chanavat rounding off the rostrum 0.51 seconds behind having registered the second best qualification run.
Victory in Cogne was Pellegrino's second on home soil, following up individual sprint freestyle victory in Toblach from back in 2015.
A fifth podium of the season has also taken him back to second in the sprint World Cup standings, his haul of 444 points only bettered by Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, victorious in the past five races in which he has competed.
The next set of World Cup sprinting will see the skiers head into the fifth and final period of racing, with events to come in Norway, Sweden and Canada before a champion is crowned.