Weng battles to successfully defend Tour de Ski title

Weng battles to successfully defend Tour de Ski title
By Sportsbeat

07/01/2018 at 17:01Updated

Heidi Weng was certainly not going to relinquish her Tour de Ski title without a fight and so it proved as she came from behind to defeat teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg to keep hold of her crown.

Weng began the day with a 1.8 second deficit to her teammate but they arrived at the bottom of the climb up Alpe Cermis side by side after a battling display.

And the determination was on show once more as she lifted the pace and skied away to take victory by 48.5 seconds.

In the process she became the second athlete to record back-to-back Tour de Ski overall wins after Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk, who won four in a row between 2010 and 2013.

"I am obviously so happy to win again the Tour. It was very hard," said Weng.

"When we came to the bottom of Alpe Cermis the pace was quite high. I knew when it got steep that was when I wanted to make my move."

The remaining podium place was taken by the USA's Jessie Diggins, who closed her ten second gap to Finland's Krista Parmakoski on the way down the valley to move into third place.

And while it was still 2:23.2 short of Weng's winning time, there was plenty to cheer for Diggins who took her first overall Tour de Ski podium and the first for a North American.

She said: "Today I was really good climbing. For the first time I was feeling good. I tried to be strong mentally. I skied together with Krista and we tried to keep the speed high so that the girls behind us do not get close. It was fun skiing with her."

Sportsbeat 2018