Kowalczyk  reacts after crossing the finish line to win the ladies' FIS Tour de Ski after the 9km free final climb pursuit start from the lago di Tesero track to Cermis, in Val di FiemmeJustyna Kowalczyk of Poland reacts after crossing the finish line to win the ladies’ FIS Tour de Ski after the 9km free final climb pursuit start from the lago di Tesero track to Cermis, in Val di Fiemme, January 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo)

Poland’s Cross-Country Skiing super star Justyna Kowalczyk makes it 4 FIS Tour de Ski titles in a row as Therese Johaug blazes the fastest time of the day, but not enough for the overall Tour victory. Kristin Stoermer Steira (NOR) hangs on for third place.

Fourth FIS Tour de Ski title for Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
Kowalczyk had second fastest time on Alpe Cermis in 2012 but she was 7th quickest today
Justyna Kowalczyk has increased the FIS Cross-Country Overall World Cup lead to 822 points
Fastest time of 34:12.4 for Therese Johaug (NOR), second fastest time for Liz Stephen (USA), Heidi Weng (NOR) third
Johaug was 5 seconds faster in 2013 than in 2012
First individual World Cup podium for Stoermer Steira (not Stage World Cup) since 2010
Four Norwegians in top 6
Three Finns in top 9
15.000 spectators on the course

ATHLETES’ QUOTES

Kristin Stoermer Steira NOR

It’s been a fantastic Tour de Ski and the third place in the Sprint standing is certainly surprising for me. I had fun each day since the beginning of the Tour, especially the sprint competition in Val Müstair and I think I’m in a good shape at the moment. Hopefully I will improve in the next month or so, and be ready to the World Championships here in Italy.

Regarding today’s race, I knew the climb was very hard and I was focused on keeping the third spot. Eventually, I made it.

Therese Johaug NOR

Of course I’m happy with the second place, I like this race very much. I usually train a lot in the hills and that’s why I skied pretty well uphill, I guess. I’m in a good shape right now and I look forward to come back here in Val di Fiemme for the World Championships. Now I’ll have some days of relax at home.

Justyna Kowalczyk POL

Once again, it’s been a fantastic Tour de Ski. For the fourth time I sit on the first spot and I’m so happy. Every race and every Tour have their own story and the hardest one has probably been the first one I won against Petra Majdic four years ago.

I like Val di Fiemme a lot and it’s going to be a great World Championship next month. Usually I ski better after Tour de Ski, I hope it will be the same this year.

WINNER OF THE DAY – LADIES 9 KM FINAL CLIMB
1. Therese Johaug NOR 34:12.4
2. Liz Stephen USA +39.5
3. Heidi Weng NOR +1:10.8

FIS TOUR DE SKI OVERALL STANDING LADIES
1. Justyna Kowalczyk POL 2:25:21.6
2. Therese Johaug NOR +27.9
3. Kristin Stoermer Steira +2:39.5

FIS TOUR DE SKI SPRINT STANDING LADIES
1. Justyna Kowalczyk POL 2:15
2. Kikkan Randall USA 1:20
3. Kristin Stoermer Steira NOR 1:14

FIS CROSS-COUNTRY OVERALL WORLD CUP LADIES
1. Justyna Kowalczyk POL 822 points
2. Kikkan Randall USA 686 points
3. Therese Johaug NOR 532 points

WEATHER
Clear Sky, sunny, soft snow conditions. Air: 8.9°C. Snow: 0.2°C.