Tour de SkiNeed-to-Know Basics: Eighth Annual Tour de Ski

Brainspiral BrainspiralDecember 27, 2013
The 2012/2013 Tour de Ski women's podium, with winner Justyna Kowalczyk (c) of Poland; Norwegian runner-up Therese Johaug (l) and Norway's Kristin Størmer Steira in third. (Photo: Fiemme2013)
Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk (c) celebrates her fourth-straight Tour de Ski victory last year in Val di Fiemme, Italy. She shared the 2012/2013 Tour de Ski podium with Norwegians Therese Johaug (l) in second and Kristin Størmer Steira in third (r). (Photo: Fiemme2013)

With the eighth-annual Tour de Ski starting 24 hours from 8 a.m. EST, we thought we’d give you a rundown of what’s happening when and who’s racing.

The short-and-simple: TdS

The stages: seven in nine days

The places: Oberhof, Germany (Dec. 28-29), Lenzerheide, Switzerland (Dec. 31 & Jan. 1), Cortina d’Ampezzo-Toblach, Italy (Jan. 3), Val di Fiemme, Italy (Jan. 4-5)

The races:

  • Dec. 28: 3/4.5 k freestyle prologue (women at 14:00/men at 15:15 CET), Oberhof. Start lists: women | men
  • Dec. 29: Freestyle sprint (heats start at 14:30 CET), Oberhof
  • Dec. 31: Freestyle sprint (heats at 14:45), Lenzerheide
  • Jan. 1: 10/15 k classic mass start (men at 13:00/women at 15:45 CET), Lenzerheide
  • Jan. 3: 15/35 k freestyle pursuit (women at 10:30/men at 12:15 CET), Cortina to Toblach
  • Jan. 4: 5/10 k classic individual start (men at 11:00/women at 15:45), Val di Fiemme
  • Jan. 5: 9 k freestyle pursuit/final climb (women at 13:30/men at 15:00 CET)

The players:

Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) powers to the top of the Alpe Cermis and her fourth Tour de Ski victory. (Photo: Fimme2013)
Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk powers to the top of the Alpe Cermis and her fourth Tour de Ski victory last season. (Photo: Fimme2013)

221 athletes from 26 nations

  • Justyna Kowalczyk: four-time defending champ from Poland. She’s one of three women to have completed all seven Tours to date, with Finland’s Riitta-Liisa Roponen and Ukraine’s Valentina Shevchenko
  • Marit Bjørgen: the Norwegian powerhouse is back after skipping last season’s Tour because of a heart scare. The three-time Olympic gold medalist and 12-time world champion has yet to win the Tour, but finished second twice (in 2007 and 2012).
  • Alexander Legkov: men’s defending champ from Russia
  • Petter Northug: the Norwegian runner-up in three straight Tours (2009-2011), who has yet to win overall and one of three men to finish all seven editions of Tour. Germany’s Jens Filbrich and Italy’s Giorgio Di Centa are the others.
  • (Not racing: Dario Cologna: Swiss skier who won three Tours in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Recently started skiing again after tearing an ankle ligament and having surgery in November. Hopes to race Alpen Cups Jan. 10-12 in Chamonix, France.)

The stakes:

  • Grand-total prize money: 560,000 Swiss francs = Nearly $630,000 U.S. dollars
  • Overall male and female winners take home 90,000 Swiss francs (Just under $102,000 dollars)
  • Winner of each stage: 3,000 Swiss francs ($3,400 dollars)
  • Sprint winner: 6,000 Swiss francs ($6,800 dollars) 

The point: $$$, World Cup points (overall winners get 400 World Cup points and half of the regular World Cup points will be awarded per stage), and a tune-up for the Olympics in February

U.S./Canadian lineup (tentative):

Liz Stephen finishing the final climb up the Alpe Cermis in last year's Tour de Ski. This year, she had the second-fastest time up the nine kilometer track, and moved into 15th in the final Tour standings.
Liz Stephen racing the final climb up the Alpe Cermis in the 2011/2012 Tour de Ski. Last year, she had the second-fastest time in the 9 k freestyle pursuit, and finished 15th in the overall Tour.

US Ski Team:

All seven stages:

  • Noah Hoffman
  • Jessie Diggins
  • Liz Stephen

First four stages:

  • Andy Newell
  • Simi Hamilton
  • Sophie Caldwell
  • Holly Brooks

Canada:

All seven stages:

  • Devon Kershaw
  • Ivan Babikov
  • Alex Harvey (may skip final climb)
  • Lenny Valjas (may skip final climb)

First four stages:

  • Dasha Gaiazova
  • Perianne Jones

Who’s out:

  • Chandra Crawford: training in Canada
  • Kikkan Randall: training in Davos, Switzerland
  • Ida Sargent: training in Davos
  • Sadie Bjornsen: training in France

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