Federico Pellegrino still on the podium.
In Lillehammer the blue cross-country champion conquers second place in the men's free technique sprint, won as always with arms raised by Johannes Klaebo, ruler of narrow skis who once again proved to be of another category for success number 52. However, the Aosta Valley rider finished behind the phenomenal Nordic, author of an intelligent test and forced to give his best right from the semi-final when, surrounded by his home army (with no less than four Norwegians in the battery), he found the decisive starting point to get split third place, equivalent to the first repechage time.
In the final Pellegrini remained in the top positions along the track which was not particularly wide, and when Klaebo engaged the turbo, he put the competition behind him, controlling the return of Even Northug, who finished third ahead of the Swede Edvin Anger and the two Nordics Paal Golberg and Ansgar Evensen.
For Pellegrino it is the podium number 36 in an individual race of the maximum circuit, which earns him important points in the general classification, where he consolidates the third position behind Klaebo and Golberg.
"It was a good race right from qualifying - says the Aosta Valley -. The skis were fast, I risked staying in the top part of the scoreboard, but you have to do it to get to the podium. In the semifinal, my opponents closed the door, they was forced to pull out of the hat with a powerful split to pass, even though I knew that the lucky loosers would come from my heat, in the final I found myself in the right place behind the unbeatable Klaebo.
This year I set up my races differently than in the past: I'm relatively interested in the result, I'm just focused on myself, because it's the only way that allows me to aim for the result.
I'm discovering new energies and unknown characteristics of my body: I only think about having fun, when my head is clear and serene, my body responds too.
Sunday will be the sixth race in nine days, it's as if we were in the Tour de Ski and I aim to be competitive in the 20 km too.
This can only make me proud, it's a type of approach that is bearing fruit". Tomorrow is the third and last day of competitions with the 20km classic technique.
Celebration also in the biathlon, with the second place of Lisa Vittozzi in the sprint of Kontiolahti.
The blue, already third in the individual on the Finnish track, was the protagonist in the race with the shorter format, finishing second almost two years after her last placement in the specialty, conquered in Oestersund in March 2021.