The first-ever Grand Prix â€˜Sprint Tour’ took place in Russia from 28th – 31st March. This new competition series consists of four Cross-Country sprint races – two in the classical and two in the free technique — held over four days. The 2007 Grand Prix â€˜Sprint Tour’ included a Mountain Sprint and a Super Sprint over 100m, staged in the Sverdlovsk region some 500 km north of Yekaterinburg in the Urals, and a Sprint Criterium (points race) and a normal FIS sprint hosted in the Khanty — Mansiysk/Yugra region in Western Siberia.
The winners of the 2007 Grand Prix â€˜Sprint Tour’ were 20-year-old Evgenia Shapovalova and former Sprint World Champion and Sapporo Team Sprint silver medalist Vassili Rotchev, both of Russia.
Shapovalova, who won her first World Cup sprint in Changchun (CHN) this season, took the victory with just a four-point margin over Alena Sidko, with Natalia Korosteleva in 3rd (both Russia). The men’s series, with participation from international sprint specialists, was won by home favorite Rotchev 25 points ahead of this season’s Swedish newcomer Emil Joensson and his teammate Peter Larsson.
â€œMy goal was to win the Sprint Tour — this was no holiday but a rather tough competition. I especially liked the Super Sprint. First I thought that 100m is a piece of cake but in the end, it was a very fast race. In fact, the speed was unbelievable and it is these types of races that make it exciting,â€ commented Rotchev following the first edition of the Grand Prix â€˜Sprint Tour’.