Martin Sundby

Four-Time Tour Winner Kowalczyk Withdraws, Protests ‘Unfair Changes’

The Tour de Ski's four-time defending champion Justyna Kowalczyk was conspicuously absent on Saturday from this season’s Tour opener, the women's 3-kilometer freestyle prologue in Oberhof, Germany. Ultimately, she withdrew from the Tour because she and her coaches deem it unfair. "Everything was organized so as Justyna Kowalczyk had no chance to win the Tour de Ski," her coach said.

Lukas Bauer's (CZE) masterfully paced race ousted Eldar Roenning (NOR) from the victors chair today in Kuusamo, Finland, allowing the veteran Czech to claim his first victory since 2010. Bauer's pace in the 10 k classic race saw his split times trailing throughout the first 8 k to both Roenning and Dmitriy Japarov (RUS), before accelerating in the final kilometers to best grab the victory time by 2.4 seconds.