While the other leaders of the team were resting, Sasha ran 50 km under the snow. And, of course, won!
The composition of the participants in the men’s 50 km mass start at the Russian Ski Racing Championship raised logical questions. For some reason, Beijing Olympic champions Denis Spitsov and Alexei Chervotkin, Olympic medalist Ivan Yakimushkin and a number of other experienced and strong skiers did not consider it necessary to start the final race in Syktyvkar.
But in this situation there were two significant advantages. First, the chance to get on the podium came from athletes who would find it difficult to count on medals in the presence of team leaders. Secondly, the three-time Olympic champion Alexander Bolshunov clearly showed why he gained real greatness even before the end of his career.
Alexander did not miss a single race in the Russian championship. And takes away four gold coins from Syktyvkar.
The audacity did not bring happiness
In the absence of many leaders, the main competitors of Bolshunov could be considered the winner of the 2018 Olympics Andrei Larkov, as well as experienced Andrei Melnichenko, Eugene Belov and Ilya Semikov. And the course of the race from the very beginning dictated the weather conditions: in Syktyvkar shortly before the start began heavy snowfall, accompanied by a strong wind. In such a situation, we did not have to expect rapid breaks and a fast pace, and the choice of tactics and ski lubricant came to the fore.
The camera, for obvious reasons, was always looking for Bolshunov in the peloton, but for a long time there were others in the leading roles. At first, Sergei Yurkov tried to create a backwater, but by the tenth kilometer of the gap there was no trace left.
The attempt to escape from Andrei Mashchenko from the Sverdlovsk region looked much more convincing. The main group, apparently, did not believe in the ability of the candidate for master of sports to hold the lead, and quite calmly allowed him to run away for almost 30 seconds. However, the speed of the young rider was short-lived, and by the middle of the distance he was overtaken.
Two jerks of Bolshunov
The first really serious passport check was arranged by Bolshunov. At the 34th kilometer, Alexander did not stop at the food station, but drowned and created a clearing. But, as it turned out, this leap was not victorious. Experienced Larkov, Melnichenko and Artyom Nikolaev were able to get the favorite, determining the range of contenders for medals.
Pleasantly surprised Larkov, who even in the end ran very cheerfully and did not look tired. But even his haste was not enough to challenge Bolshunov. Sasha, sitting behind the rivals, emerged from behind them and rushed to the fourth gold of the competition.
Even by the end of the grueling season, having fulfilled all the goals and objectives, Sasha kept his hunger for victory and the desire to run all the races without exception. It seems that this is the answer to the question why Bolshunov became great in the heyday of his career.
Open the video