The FIS has issued a draft of the 2009-2010 Cross-Country World Cup Schedule. The schedule will be sent to the FIS Council for approval in its next meeting in mid-June.
Including the Olympics, there are 40 races on the calendar. The breakdown is as follows:
Individual Sprints: 13
Team Sprints: 3
Distance Races: 21
Individual Start Distance Races: 8
Mass Start Races: 8
Handicap Starts: 4
Freestyle Races: 17 (does not include relays or pursuits)
Classic Races: 16 (does not include relays or pursuits)
The season starts on November 21st in Beitostolen, Norway with an individual start 10/15km Freestyle. Overall the schedule is fairly similar to last year, with early seaosn stops in Kuusamo, Finland, Düsseldorf , Germany and Davos, Switzerland.
A new addition is Rogla, Slovenia, the host of the last races before the Christmas break. Rogla has never held a World Cup race before, and Slovenia has not had an event since Bohinj in 1993.
As was previously announced, the Tour de Ski is starting later, on January 1st in Oberhof, Germany. Toblach, Italy has replaced Nove Mesto, Czech Republic for the middle stages of the Tour.
Following the Tour, the World Cup will again stop in Otepaa, Estonia and Rybinsk, Russia, before heading to Canada.
The final World Cup races prior to the Vancouver Olympics are scheduled for Canmore – 10/15km freestyle and a classic sprint on the 6th and 7th of February. With just one week before the Olympics, it will be interesting to see what the fields will be like. With only the one individual sprint in Vancouver, the Canmore sprint will likely be well attended, and if the pre-World Championship World Cups in Italy this year are any indication, the distance race should also feature a strong field.
The season concludes with the usual tour through Scandinavia. The traditional Holmenkolen race in Oslo is back on the calendar in preparation for the 2011 World Championships. This past season the races were held in Trondheim due to construction on the stadium in Oslo.
The season concludes with the the World Cup Finals in Falun, Sweden, following the same four race format as this year.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.