Pre-Tour de Ski Brief

FasterSkierDecember 26, 2019

The Tour de Ski (TdS) is well into its teenage years. This year’s edition, the 14th, features three locales and the following races with a few minor new twists to excite this seasonal highlight of cross-country World Cup racing. 

Lenzerheide, Switzerland (stages 1-2) Dec. 28, 29

  • Stage 1: 10/15 k freestyle mass start. A mass start initiates the TdS this year, that’s new. It replaces the timeworn prologue.
  • Stage 2: Skate sprint

Toblach, Italy (Stages 3-4) Dec. 31, Jan. 1

  • Stage 3: 10/15 k individual start skate
  • Stage 4: 10/15 k classic pursuit (the pursuit start position is based on the Dec. 31st skate race, not overall time).

Val di Fiemme, Italy (Stages 5-7) Jan. 3, 4, 5

  • Stage 5: 10/15 k mass start classic
  • Stage 6: Classic sprint
  • Stage 7: Final climb – mass start skate. The mass start on the Alpe Cermis is a new format. 

Overall (time based) Standings

The TdS is relatively basic when it comes to determining the winner: it’s the skier with the shortest elapsed time over seven stages. In TdS edition’s past, traditionally that was the first athlete across the finish line atop the Cermis, as that has traditionally been a pursuit start format. This year, with a mass start on the final climb, it’s possible for the stage winner and the overall TdS champion to be different skiers.

If you are drilling down on an athlete’s overall time and their corresponding overall TdS rank, here’s how time bonuses come into play. “Bonus” seconds are on offer during the sprint and mass start stages (excluding the final climb). Bonus seconds are subtracted from an athlete’s race day time, and then the overall time — a cumulative time for stages raced — is calculated.

Sprints offer time bonuses for 1-30th place. 

For mass starts, bonus seconds are up for grabs at intermediate points. Only the top-10 skiers through an intermediate point receive a time bonus. They receive 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 seconds, respectively.

Points Competition

Within the TdS, there is also a points competition. Less prestigious than the overall? Yes. But the points incentivize spicier racing as the top-three in the overall points standings receive a money prize. Below is a table detailing how and when points are acquired. 

Just to be clear, these TdS points are different than World Cup points. World Cup points will be awarded after each stage and after the overall standings are finalized. World Cup points are used to determine the sprint, distance, and overall World Cup rankings. 


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