Tour de Ski scaled back to six events
THE INAUGURAL TOUR DE SKI cross-country competition will be shortened from 10 races to six due to mild weather and a lack of snow in the event's planned first stop in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
Despite enormous efforts by the local organizing committee, the first two stages of the event planned for Dec. 29-30, which consisted of a prologue race and pursuit races for men and women, had to be canceled. Six competitions now will take place in eight days, capped by a 1,312-foot climb to the midstation of Alpe Cermis at the Italian resort of Val di Fiemme.
After the first stage in Munich on New Year's Eve — sprint races in Munich Olympic Park — the tour will move to the village of Oberstdorf in the southernmost part of Germany, approximately two hours from Munich. A classic style and free pursuit opens competition there on Jan. 2, followed by individual 10-kilometer (women) and 15 km (men) classical races on Jan. 3.
The fourth competition — a freestyle sprint — will take place in Asiago, Italy, on Jan. 5.
The last venue is Val di Fiemme, which hosted the 2003 Nordic World Championships. On Jan. 6 the athletes will compete in a mass-start race over 15 km (ladies) and 30 km (men) in the classical technique. The last competition on Jan. 7, the so-called "Final Climb," will start in the Cross-Country Stadium Lago di Tesero and end on the Alpe Cermis. The women will race a 10 km freestyle and the men a 15 km free to determine the Tour de Ski champions.
Course maps, course profiles etc. are available on www.tour-de-ski.com.