Alexander repeated the scenario of the race in Beijing. He could even stop and have tea with the fans.
Photo: © Denis Bushkovsky / Match TV
The composition of the participants of the Russian Ski Racing Championship is impressive, especially in the men’s section. Here are the Olympic champions, and the winners of the Games, and the winners of the Russian championships.
But all the names fade next to Alexander Bolshunov. In skiathlon, he ran almost half the distance alone. No intrigue.
Unfortunately, Bolshunov has no close rivals in Russia.
Vokuyev tried to impose a struggle on Bolshunov in the “classics”
Alexander Terentyev and Alexei Chervotkin missed skiathlon, and in the first kilometers of the distance not one of the heroes of Beijing stood out, but the representative of the Tyumen region Yevgeny Belov. At the 2.9 km mark he had already driven Alexander Bolshunov and company for 15 seconds. It seemed that no one would catch up with Belov in the classic part of the skiathlon, but Eugene’s advantage began to fade, and by the 7.5 km mark, Ermil Vokuyev became the leader of the peloton. He managed not only to push off with sticks, but also to greet the audience.
No one stood out as leaders anymore, skiers went in large groups. Ilya Semikov, Ilya Poroshkin, Denis Spitsov, Artem Maltsev and many others ran side by side with Vokuyev and Bolshunov at the 10.4 km mark. Spokes, by the way, in his style – the only skier without a hat. But on the change of skis still two went into the gap – Bolshunov and Vokuev came to the pits with a margin of 18 seconds. Alexander changed his shoes as quickly as possible, but Ermil slowed down and let the famous opponent forward.
Repetition of skiathlon in Beijing
The second half of the race in terms of the struggle for gold has become a formality. Everything that happened was reminiscent of skiathlon in Beijing, when Bolshunov was calmly leading in proud solitude. The gap was huge and it only increased, at the mark of 25 km San Sanych drove the opponents 50 seconds.
– He can stop, drink tea with lambs and give autographs to fans, – so described the separation of Bolshunov Olympic champion Alexander Legkov.
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Before the finish, Alexander ran, so to speak, in relaxation, which allowed the opponents to get closer by as much as 30 seconds. But the fight for silver was hot – until the last for the second position claimed 5-7 riders. As a result, Ilya Semikov finished in second place, and the bronze went to 36-year-old representative of the Komi Republic Stanislav Volzhentsev, who was tenth one and a half kilometers before the finish.
Yes, the finish showdown for silver was bright, but the victory went to Bolshunov too easily and mundanely. At the moment, no one is standing next to San Sanych. Maybe there will be a race at the Russian championship in addition to the sprint, where Alexander will be a serious competition, otherwise it will not even be interesting to watch.