Live from Oberhof: Tour de Ski Update

Topher SabotDecember 29, 2011

The 2012 Tour de Ski gets underway just over an hour when the women take to the course for a 3.1km freestyle prologue, followed an hour later by a four kilometer version for the men.

Cold temperatures overnight firmed up the course, and the snow is fast, if a bit dirty. The drop below freezing meant that there was no need to salt the course as discussed yesterday.

Organizers spent much of the day on Wednesday trucking snow to the courseā€”a mixture of the manmade variety from the adjacent ski tunnel, and natural snow from farther afield.

With a biathlon World Cup scheduled for next week, snow was held back in the ski tunnel, a clear demonstration of the relative popularity of that sport.

Nat Herz provides more details on the venue (East German), the course (big hills), and the scene (crashing cameras, not many fans and lots of general bustle) in the following video. (Note: as of 7:40 EST, as we headed out to report on the race, our video was still processing on YouTube. If it doesn’t work, check back in a half hour.)

Start list on the video board. This race will follow the new FIS Individual Start protocol with a slower skier between each of the seeded athletes.
The beer sponsor and the family area...perfect combo...
The stadium is nestled on the side of a hill, and the courses drop down below. No fans yet, but it is still hours before the start.
The French wax team.
Up to the stadium.
Testing the snow - very literally. Conditions are relatively straightforward at this point.
Not much snow for touring, but there are some non World Cuppers out and about.
The 200 meter camer track from near the top. Something broke and the remote camera went barreling down. One man tried to grab it and literrally got knocked on his back. A TV man at the bottom grabbed a metal post and quickly jammed it into the way. The camera crashed hard, and last we saw was a group of technicians huddled around the innards.
Rushing to the scene of the crash.


Topher Sabot

Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.

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