Russia's Legkov crosses the finish line to win the men' FIS Tour de Ski in Val di FiemmeRussia’s Alexander Legkov crosses the finish line to win the men’ FIS Tour de Ski 9km free final climb pursuit starting from the Lago di Tesero track to Cermis, in Val di Fiemme January 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo)

Russia’s Alexander Legkov dominates on Alpe Cermis to win his first ever Tour de Ski. Defending Tour de Ski winner Dario Cologna (SUI) finished second +18.7 back. Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS) took third place +40.7 sec behind.

• Top 4 skiers (Legkov, Vylegzhanin, Northug and Cologna) arrived at the base of the climb together
• Alexander Legkov pulled away just before the halfway point of the climb
• The groups response broke Northug off the back
• Dario Cologna pulled away from Vylegzhanin towards the top to finish in 2nd
• Vylegzhanin settled for third and Northug 4th
• The fastest on the day was Marcus Hellner (SWE) – 29:59.6 who crossed just behind Northug in 5th
• First World Cup win for Alexander Legkov since Ruka Triple in Kuusamo in 2010 (Stage World Cup Wins and podiums)

ATHLETES’ QUOTES
Alexander Legkov RUS

I have not practiced climbing hills this big. But in summer time rollerskiing and on snow I know that I am a strong climber. Sochi is next year, but right now I am just focused on the World Championships. Thank you to my team and my family.

Dario Cologna SUI

Alexander Legkov was too fast for me today. I was at my maximum. I couldn’t hold his pace and knew that I needed to focus on getting second place. I think we knew coming into today’s final climb that Alex was the strongest. It is important to find your own pace and not go to fast on the first climb.

Maxim Vylegzhanin RUS

I am happy for the third place. We tried to control each on the flat. ON the uphill I did not think about the others. I just wanted to get on the podium. I knew Legkov was strong and wanted to win and also that Dario would be tough to beat. Today I managed to be on the podium, so why not at the World Championships?

FIS TOUR DE SKI OVERALL STANDING MEN
1. Alexander Legkov RUS 3:29:28
2. Dario Cologna SUI +18.7
3. Maxim Vylegzhanin RUS +40.7

FIS TOUR DE SKI SPRINT STANDING MEN

1. Petter Northug NOR 1:38
2. Maxim Vylegzhanin RUS 1:28
3. Dario Cologna SUI 1:22

MEN OF THE DAY – 9 KM PURSUIT FINAL CLIMB
1. Marcus Hellner SWE 29:59.6
2. Ivan Babikov CAN +13.3
3. Roland Clara ITA +14.6

FIS CROSS-COUNTRY OVERALL WORLD CUP
1. Petter Northug NOR 559 points
2. Maxim Vylegzhanin RUS 451 points
3. Alexey Poltoranin KAZ 432 points

WEATHER
Partly Cloudy, soft snow conditions. Air: 10.0°C. Snow: 0.2°C.