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New cross-country stage competition set to mimic Tour de France

Ski racing is taking a page from cycling with a stage race around the New Year's Eve holiday this winter.

The Tour de Ski is a 10-day, eight-race cross-country tour newly created by the International Ski Federation. In ways analogous to cycling's Tour de France, the new tour will feature men and women competing in sprints, pursuit and distance races in three countries.

Ski racing is taking a page from cycling with a stage race around the New Year's Eve holiday this winter.

The Tour de Ski is a 10-day, eight-race cross-country tour newly created by the International Ski Federation. In ways analogous to cycling's Tour de France, the new tour will feature men and women competing in sprints, pursuit and distance races in three countries.

The tour will begin in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, Dec. 29 with a prologue event, with a 10-kilometer women's and 15 km men's pursuit event the following day. On New Year's Eve, the tour will stage a sprint competition at the Munich Olympic Park, where the FIS estimates crowds in the tens of thousands.

A classic style and free pursuit opens 2007 competition in Oberstdorf, followed by a classic distance race Jan. 2.

The tour then travels to Italy with a sprint race in Asiago. It finishes with two races in the Italian resort of Val di Fiemme.

“We are very excited about this concept,” said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper. “It is new and innovative and should be an exciting series with thrills and challenges.”

The event coordinator will be Media Partners and Viessmann and Crafts are the major sponsors of the new event.

Read Issue 2 of Ski Racing magazine in October for more on the Tour de Ski.

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