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Dabudyk and Pralong Claim FIS Worldloppet Cup 2017 Titles at Ugra Ski Marathon

release by the Worldloppet

April 09, 2017 (Russia) – Only 12 points separated the red bib holder of the FIS Worldloppet Cup 2017, Candide Pralong and second-placed Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux before the final stage at the Ugra Ski Marathon in Russia on Sunday. In the women’s ranking last year’s winner Aurelie Dabudyk only had to collect three points to secure her second consecutive overall victory.

Men's final Worldloppet podium (l-r) Prolong 3rd, Ustyugov 1st, Northug 3rd [P] Worldloppet
Yet the final FIS Worldloppet Cup athletes had some very strong company: Petter Northug Jr. (NOR) and Sergey Ustiugov (RUS) chose the Ugra Ski Marathon to extend their season. In the end, it was Ustiugov, the local hero, who used his home advantage to take the win, with an attack just a few kilometers before the finish line. He won the Ugra Ski Marathon with a 40-second margin over Northug who sprinted to a 2nd-place finish.

“I was on Ustiugov’s back when he increased the speed and tried to follow, but then I realized that there are some more kilometers to go, so I had to reduce the speed again for being strong enough in the finishing lane,” explained Northug.

Men's overall podium (l-r) Livers 3rd, [P] Pralong 1st, Perrillat-Boiteux 2nd [P] Worldloppet
Third place went to Pralong (SUI) only on a second behind Northug. After Toni Livers last year, with this 60 points for the overall ranking, the member of Team Rossignol Gel Interim brought home the FIS Worldloppet Cup goblet once more to the French marathon skiing team.

“Of course, the gold medals from Lahti weigh a lot, but to win here today is also a great feeling, also since it is my birthday. But during the race I was not so sure if I can be in front in the end. It was so hard, windy, slow. But aproximately 8 km before the finish I felt, that I can attack and I increased the speed and it worked out,” said Ustiugov who also celebrated his birthday.

In the women’s competition, Dabudyk (FRA), who dominated all season, once again had problems with the final stage in Russia.

Women's overall podium (l-r) Imoberdorf 3rd, Dabudyk 1st, Gräfnings 2nd [P] Worldloppet
“I don’t think the race or Russia is the problem, it’s because it’s the end of a long season. It is hard for me to keep my performance at the top level so long,” she said. Like last year Dabudyk was not in the running for the victory at the Ugra Ski Marathon.

With a lead of 98 points in the overall ranking her focus was simply to finish the race and she did. Once again Dabudyk, the French member of the Nordic Team Haute Savoie, is the winner of the FIS Worldloppet Cup.

The winner of the Ugra Ski Marathon was Olga Rotcheva (RUS) with a 53-second margin over Maria Gräfnings from Sweden (SAS & tg hütten). Third place went to Russia’s Mariya Guschina who was on the podium in the same spot last year.

“It is a great feeling winning here in Russia after my second place last year. The race was hard, the conditions also, so I am happy to win. There was no need for an attack, I just skied my pace the whole race and it seems like it was the fastest one,” Rotcheva concluded.

Full results:
Men here
Women here

Overall ranking:
Men here
Women here

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