Musgrave gets Italian job done to reach podium

A month of hard-fought racing has led to Cross Country ace Andrew Musgrave landing his first podium of the season in the 15km free event in Toblach, Italy.

In the interval start format, Musgrave was one of the strongest from the outset, leading through the first 5km lap of the three-lap race and maintaining that advantage through most of the second circuit.

Eventually Musgrave was overhauled by Norwegian Simen Krueger who claimed his first individual World Cup victory, while France’s Maurice Manificat edged his way into second, less than a second ahead of Musgrave.

Toblach has been a happy hunting ground for Musgrave who claimed a Stage World Cup victory there in January 2015.

Following the race, Musgrave described the result as the best of his career to date, eclipsing both that Stage World Cup victory and also his fourth place at the World Championships earlier this year in the 50km mass start in Finland.

“That’s my best result ever,” said Musgrave. “I had very good skis and I’m very happy – the team did a fantastic job and I’m really looking forward to the pursuit tomorrow.

“We’ve got a good starting position; unfortunately it’s Classic, not skate, but I think my shape’s good so should hopefully be a good day as well.”

The result had been building for Musgrave who had earned top 20 results in races over the last three World Cup weekends.

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