Alexander Bolshunov and Gleb Retivykh took third place in the team sprint free style at the fourth stage of the World Cup in cross-country skiing in Dresden, Germany. Yes, it was not possible to win. The second team of Norway, for which the younger brother of Petter Northug Even and Thomas Helland Larsen played, did not give up the medal, ahead of the first team of Norway. Russians Khristina Matsokina and Natalya Nepryaeva finished fifth.
The final began for Alexander Bolshunov with a broken stick. So I drove more than half the circle, but passed the baton in the general group. The sprint is swift – just have time to fix the transfer of the baton. And by the last stages six teams fought in the leaders and Alexander sent Gleb Retivykh on the road for awards first. Eh, the Norwegians could not be stopped, and the separation of the Zealous was purely emotional. But our skier defended the bronze at the finish line in the fight against the silver medalist of the individual sprint in Dresden, the Italian Federico Pellegrino .
On the eve of the sprint, Alexander finished 31st in the prologue and did not make it to the playoffs. And this despite the fact that there were no main competitors: Johannes Klebo , Eric Valnes and Emil Iversen missed the stage.
This hits the nerves, and the performances at the stages of our leader were also accompanied by either ailments or fortune-telling: will he or will not go to the start? And then, when, for example, he came out and dashingly lost, the questions arose again: why did he come out unhealthy? For what?
Alexander explained the big loss in the personal sprint of Dresden as follows: when we arrived, we skated before the start for only 10 minutes. Nothing. And in the team sprint, the muscles are already accustomed to the fast snow and completely different movements started. On such snow, even one workout is important – you need to feel these speeds. And again he admitted that not everything worked out. But while he does not know what to expect from himself, “the state is incomprehensible.”
And yet there is a bronze medal in the team sprint (Bolshunov and Retivykh were also bronze medalists of the 2021 World Championship in the team sprint). And most importantly, there is still a feeling that Bolshunov, as befits his name, returned to the big game. Coach Yuri Borodavko calls it a demonstration of forward movement, for which the athlete came to Dresden.
“For Alexander, the medal is important psychologically. But it is more important to feel the movement, the speed, that he does not drop out of the struggle. He showed quick seconds. The failure that Bolshunov experienced in the sprint was not planned. We need to find a reason. It shouldn’t be like that. “
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