Russia's Alexander Bolshunov extended his lead in the 2021 Tour de Ski after storming to victory in the 15km pursuit in Toblach as he moved a step closer to defending his crown.

The 24-year-old topped an all-Russian podium to claim his fourth consecutive stage victory, finishing in 34:32.9 to beat nearest rival Ivan Yakimushkin by 55.5 seconds.

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Evgeniy Belov completed the podium after crossing the line in 35:28.5, missing out on second place to compatriot Yakimushkin by the slimmest of margins in Italy.

Russia also claimed fourth and fifth position, with Alexey Chervotkin and Andrey Melnichenko finishing in 35:29.7 and 35:31.6, respectively, as they just missed out on the medals.

Bolshunov's triumph increased his lead in the Tour de Ski standings to 2:06 over compatriot Artem Maltsev, who could only finish in eighth in Toblach after crossing in 35:45.0.

France's Maurice Manificat trails Bolshunov by 2:09 in the overall standings, having gained ground on Maltsev in second by finishing in sixth in a time of 35:34.3.

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