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Tour de Ski: Moch breaks into second place

Tour de Ski: Moch breaks into second place

Tour de ski

Updated January 7, 2024 at 5:29 p.m

Cross-country skier Friedrich Moch has sensationally become the first German in 15 years to take the podium at the Tour de Ski. After his very strong performance, the Allgäu native was offered a Coke.

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Friedrich Moch was unbeatable: almost the entire competition had been settled entirely in the snow, but the new German cross-country skiing star was standing in the finish area on the infamous Alpe-Sermes, laughing and raising his fist. Shortly before, the Allgäu native had sensationally stormed into second place overall in the extremely difficult final stage of the Tour de Ski – the first German runner to reach the podium in 15 years.

“It's unbelievable. I was really hoping to get on the podium and I gave it my all,” said the 23-year-old, who produced an impressive performance in Val di Fiemme to take second place in the day's results, and thus his best. World Cup result: “Second in the round? I still can't understand it.”

Mosh: First, Coke

Moch's reward after the tough final climb, which was 30 percent steep, was very modest: “I'd like to have a Coke first.”

Axel Teichmann reached the last German podium to date with a third place in the third edition in 2008/09. Tobias Angerer won the first showing of the Tour de Ski in 2006/2007, and a year later Rene Sommerfeldt came in second place.

Moch only admitted defeat to Frenchman Jules Lapierre in the last group start over a distance of more than ten kilometers on Sunday, and wasted his first victory in the World Cup by only 2.4 seconds. In the overall standings, Moch was 1:19.2 minutes behind Norwegian Harald Östberg Amundsen, who finished fifth and was enough to secure the undisputed Tour win.

“We can be really proud of Friedrich, it's exciting,” said German sporting director Andreas Schlüter, who represented head coach Peter Schleckenrieder, who was suspended after the “skating affair” in Davos. “He stands on the podium here as a seasoned man.”

Moch went into the final from fourth place overall. On the toughest cross-country skiing climb, which “Moch remembers was the worst,” he still had enough strength to pull away from Lapierre. In the end, the Frenchman had slightly better legs.

Katharina Hennig 'slowly getting back into the swing of things'

“Hats off to Friedrich, he's achieved his career dream here,” said Katharina Hennig, who shortly afterwards became the best German to finish ninth in the women's race when American Sophia Lockley won the day. Victoria Karl came in 14th place. In the overall standings, the two Olympic sprint champion teams finished ninth (Karl) and 11th (Hennig).

“I didn't expect things to go this well here again,” said Hennig, who started with a lack of training after contracting COVID-19. “I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things.”

With Moch's double podium finish as well as two more places on the second stage for Karl and a third place on the day for Hennig, the German cross-country skiing team reached another Tour milestone on its way to absolute world class status. More recently, the golden generation of the 2000s, around Angerer, Sommerfeldt and Claudia Nystad, has been at a better level.

Next stop is the World Cup on home soil in Oberhof (January 19-21), which will be a great event, especially for local heroes Hennig and Karl. (M/MBO)

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