Tour de Ski
The Tour de Ski (TdS) is a cross-country skiing event held annually since 2006 (2006/2007 season) in Central Europe, modeled on the Tour de France of cycling. Each Tour de Ski has consisted of six to nine stages, held during late December and early January in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. The prize money for the event amount to 1,055,000 Swiss francs (844,000 euros), shared out on both men and women. Men's and women's events are held together on the same days, with the only difference being the distance skied.
Cross-country skiing had been through a period of renewal from the early 1980s, when the free technique was first introduced to the World Championships which led to a rush of new events, including pursuit skiing, sprint skiing and eventually long mass start races, to complement the old time trial or individual start style of skiing. The Tour is another such new event, and the idea has been reported to come from former Olympic gold medallist Vegard Ulvang. Ulvang has also brought up the idea of a tour of the Barents Region, Tour de Barents, with races in Kirkenes (Sandnes) and Vadsø in Finnmark and Murmansk in Russia.
Jürg Capol, FIS' chief executive officer for cross-country competitions, said that FIS originally wished to start the race in the Alps. However, as neither Austria or Switzerland were interested, the opening two races were to be held in Nové Město na Moravě in the Czech Republic. A week before the Tour was due to start, FIS announced that snow conditions in Nové Město were not good enough, and cancelled the two races there.
Skiers from France, Germany and Norway, among others, said that the Tour de Ski was among their targets for the 2006–07 season, with Norwegian skier Jens Arne Svartedal claiming that the winner would have "extreme respect" for winning such an extreme race.
After the first Tour, reactions among athletes were largely positive. Norwegian athletes said "it was a good concept", German winner Tobias Angerer claimed the Tour "has a great future", though many of the athletes expressed concern over the final climb up an alpine skiing hill both before and after the race. The director of FIS' cross-country committee, Vegard Ulvang, said the finish would be in the same place next year, but the way up could be changed. Ulvang also claimed that the Tour had been a success, and a "breakthrough for FIS" Ulvang did, however, admit that there would have to be some changes, as up to a third of participants in the Tour have struggled with illness or injury after the competition.
Newspaper comments were divided: in Expressen's opinion, the finish was the "most enjoyable competition seen in years," while Roland Wiedemann in Der Spiegel said this "should be the future of cross-country skiing". Critical commentaries appeared in Göteborgs-Posten, criticising the fact that sprinters didn't have a chance in the overall standings, and Wiesbaden Kurier, describing it as a reality show and a skiing circus.
The next Tour was held between 28 December 2007 and 6 January 2008, in the Czech Republic and Italy. Oberstdorf in Bavaria was originally scheduled to host two races, but cancelled as the German Ski Association could only arrange a race on 2 January.
At a meeting in Venice, Italy, on 7 May 2009, TdS officials met with official from the Giro d'Italia road bicycle racing to learn from the stage race to further improve TdS competition for the 2009–2010 event.
The overall results are based on the aggregate time for all events, as well as bonus seconds awarded on sprint and mass start stages.
The two sprint races carry bonus seconds for the finish, which are subtracted from the overall time.
In mass start competitions, intermediate points carry bonus seconds; 15 to the winner, 10 to number two, and 5 to number three. The same amount of seconds are awarded at the finish.
The final stage of the race includes heavy climb up to Alpe Cermis. The competitors start with the gaps they have from earlier stages, so the first one on the top is the overall winner.
Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) 4 (2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013)
Dario Cologna (SUI) 3 (2008/2009, 2010/2011, 2011/2012)
Lukáš Bauer (CZE) 2 (2007/2008, 2009/2010)
Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) 2 (2006/2007, 2008/2009)
Alexander Legkov (RUS) 1 (2012/2013)
Charlotte Kalla (SWE) 1 (2007/2008)
Tobias Angerer (GER) 1 (2006/2007)
Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) 1 (2013/2014)
Therese Johaug (NOR) 1 (2013/2014)
Most overall wins in a row
Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) 4 (2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013)
Dario Cologna (SUI) 2 (2010/2011, 2011/2012)
|2007||Tobias Angerer (GER)||Alexander Legkov (RUS)||Simen Østensen (NOR)||Tor Arne Hetland (NOR)|
|2008||Lukáš Bauer (CZE)||René Sommerfeldt (GER)||Giorgio Di Centa (ITA)||Petter Northug (NOR)|
|2009||Dario Cologna (SUI)||Petter Northug (NOR)||Axel Teichmann (GER)||Tor Arne Hetland (NOR)|
|2010||Lukáš Bauer (CZE)||Petter Northug (NOR)||Dario Cologna (SUI)||Petter Northug (NOR)|
|2011||Dario Cologna (SUI)||Petter Northug (NOR)||Lukáš Bauer (CZE)||Dario Cologna (SUI)|
|2012||Dario Cologna (SUI)||Marcus Hellner (SWE)||Petter Northug (NOR)||Dario Cologna (SUI)|
|2013||Alexander Legkov (RUS)||Dario Cologna (SUI)||Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS)||Petter Northug (NOR)|
|2014||Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)||Chris Jespersen (NOR)||Petter Northug (NOR)||Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)|
|2007||Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)||Marit Bjørgen (NOR)||Valentina Shevchenko (UKR)||Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)|
|2008||Charlotte Kalla (SWE)||Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)||Arianna Follis (ITA)||Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)|
|2009||Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)||Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN)||Petra Majdič (SLO)||Petra Majdič (SLO)|
|2010||Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)||Petra Majdič (SLO)||Arianna Follis (ITA)||Petra Majdič (SLO)|
|2011||Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)||Therese Johaug (NOR)||Marianna Longa (ITA)||Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)|
|2012||Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)||Marit Bjørgen (NOR)||Therese Johaug (NOR)||Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)|
|2013||Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)||Therese Johaug (NOR)||Kristin Størmer Steira (NOR)||Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)|
|2014||Therese Johaug (NOR)||Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (NOR)||Heidi Weng (NOR)||Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (NOR)|
Most wins in stages Tour de Ski
- State at 6 January 2013
Most successful countries
State at 5 January 2014
- , from fiscrosscountry.com.
- (Norwegian) Ny æra for langrenn, Dagsavisen, 25 November 2006.
- (Norwegian) Tour på Nordkalotten, langrenn.com, published 24 November 2006.
- (Norwegian) Jürg Capol snakker om Tour de Ski, langrenn.com quoting Le Matin, 20 November 2006.
- (German) Interview mit Vincent Vittoz (FRA) zur Tour de Ski, from xc-ski.de, retrieved 19 December 2006.
- (German)langläufer angerer gewinnt in la clusaz, from dpa, retrieved 19 December 2006.
- (Norwegian) Tour-favoritter i kø, Tor Kise Karlsen, ANB, published 10 November 2006.
- (Norwegian) –Utrolig godt fornøyd, Karin Harstensen, Østlandets Blad, 9 January 2007.
- (German) "Tour de Ski hat große Zukunft", ZDF, retrieved 9 January 2006.
- (Norwegian) Ulvang varsler Tour-endringer, Nettavisen, retrieved 9 January 2007.
- (Norwegian) Ulvang: - Touren en suksess, NTB, retrieved from vg.no, 9 January 2007.
- (Norwegian) Ulvang varsler Tour-endringer, ANB-NTB, retrieved 29 January 2006.
- (Swedish) Tomas Pettersson: Dags att flytta Tour de ski till Sverige - nu, Expressen, retrieved 9 January 2007.
- (German) Jubel über die Tour der Leiden, by Roland Wiedemann, Der Spiegel, retrieved 9 January 2007.
- (Swedish) Upplägget måste förändras i Tour de Ski, Göteborgs-Posten, retrieved 9 January 2007.
- Ski-Zirkus, Rolf Lehmann, Wiesbaden Kurier, retrieved 9 January 2007.
- (Norwegian) Dropper Tour i Tyskland, Kim Nystøl, NRK, published 30 November 2007, retrieved 9 December 2007.
- FIS-Ski.com 14 May 2009 article on 7 May 2009 meeting between Tour de Ski and Giro d'Italia officials in Venice. - accessed 16 May 2009.