When Ski Tour Canada 2016 was announced as the finale to the 2015/2016 cross country World Cup season last year, North American fans were excited at the prospect of the first race of its kind taking place this side of the pond. At the recent 2015 FIS Calendar Committee meeting in Varna, Bulgaria the Tour’s dates and races were confirmed giving fans a better idea of what to expect come spring of 2016. Starting with a freestyle sprint in Gatineau, Quebec and concluding with 10 and 15 k classic pursuits in Canmore, Alberta the eight-stage Tour will take place over the course of the first 12 days of March.
Ski Tour Canada 2016 at a glance:
Gatineau, March 1: Freestyle Sprint
Montréal, March 2: 13/22 k Classic Mass Start
Québec City, March 4: Freestyle Sprint
Québec City, March 5: 10/15 km Freestyle Pursuit
Canmore, March 8: Classic Sprint
Canmore, March 9: 15/30 km Skiathlon
Lake Louise, March 11: 10/20 km Freestyle Individual Start
Canmore, March 12: 10/15km Classic Pursuit
Early on in the planning process, Ski Tour Canada (originally billed as Tour du Canada) was set to take place in mid-February. However, the prospect of hosting the tour on North American soil in the middle of the season was too complex, and the event was moved to the end of the season.
According to a press release by Cross Country Canada, the next step for tour will be a list from FIS technical and marketing officials to examine and approve each venue’s stadium and courses. “The next major milestone includes a visit in August by the FIS technical staff and marketing representatives to approve tracks and stadium layouts used on each stage of the tour,” Dave Dyer, director of events at Cross Country Canada, said in the press release. “With under a year to go before the Tour gets underway, we’re really excited about the project and can’t wait for the 2015-2016 season to start!”
The organizing committee behind Ski Tour Canada recently unveiled a website for the event along with a new logo. Check out the tour’s first promotional video, featuring retired skier and Olympic gold medalist Chandra Crawford, below.