The inaugural edition of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear will now start in Munich (GER) on 31st December and continue as planned in Oberstdorf (GER), Asiago (ITA) and Val di Fiemme (ITA). Despite enormous efforts by the local organizing committee, the first two Stages at Nove Mesto na Morave (CZE), planned for 29th and 30th of December, had to be cancelled due to lack of snow.
The athletes will have optimal conditions for the opening Stage and the premiere of the Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup at the world-famous Olympic Stadium in Munich. The snow situation at the other Tour venues looks positive, too. Almost 170 athletes (65 ladies and more than 90 men) representing 22 nations have been registered for the Tour, including all the World Cup leaders. On the ladies’ side, Marit Bjoergen (NOR) skipped the pre-Christmas World Cups to prepare for the Tour, one of her main season goals. Katarina Neumannova (CZE) has set her eyes on the overall World Cup crystal globe this year and will surely be someone to reckon with, as will be current World Cup leader Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and the 2006 double Olympic Champion from Turin, Estonia’s Kristina Smigun, just to mention a few.
For the men, the possible winners are too many to count. The Norwegian team, led by current World Cup leader Eldar Roenning, is bound to be strong, as will be the young Russian team including Olympic champion Eugeni Dementiev. Last year’s World Cup champion Tobias Angerer (GER) seems to be getting in shape right in time for the Tour, too. But one should not forget Vincent Vittoz (FRA), Anders Soedergren (SWE), Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA), amongst others. The final decision of the first Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear will fall on the Summit of Cross-Country, at the top of the Final Climb on Alpe Cermis on Sunday, 7th January.
Due to the cancellation of the first two Tour Stages in the Czech Republic, the Tour prize money was reduced by 25%. The total FIS Tour de Ski 2006/2007 prize money will now amount to CHF 750’000. Concerning FIS World Cup points, the Cross-Country Committee decided that no rule changes were necessary. As planned, the winners of the overall Tour Ranking will be awarded 400 World Cup points i.e. four times the points in a normal World Cup race. However, there will be no World Cup points for any single competition as part of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski.