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Tour de Ski 2017 Preview – Snow Conditions, Contenders, Can Norway be Beaten ?

release by FIS XC

December 29, 2016 – The 11th edition of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski, Dec. 31-Jan. 8, will soon be underway and organizers are reporting good snow conditions at the four venues. The competition schedule for TdS 2017 will therefore be carried out as planned.

Tour de Ski 2017 Map [P] FIS

Val Müstair (SUI)
On New Year’s Eve and New Year 2016/17 the Val Müstair will once again be the center of cross-country skiing. The region receives the Tour de Ski for the third time but the first with two stages. Every second year, the Tour de Skis stops in Val Müstair in the home of the brothers Dario and Gianluca Cologna. Thanks to good weather conditions the LOC could produce enough snow and both sprint and distance competition tracks are ready.

Watch video here.

Oberstdorf (GER)
Good snow conditions are reported from Oberstdorf, host of the 3rd and 4th stage of the Tour de Ski. Athletes and spectators can look forward to the best snow conditions and a 2.5km loop in the cross-country stadium Ried.
In addition to great sporting experiences, the fun for the winter sports fans in the stadium is not to be missed, so the organizing committee will also be compiling an entertaining and eventful side program for all cross-country fans for the 11th edition of the Tour de Ski. For example a live band will create a great atmosphere for the stadium in the sporting breaks.

Erdinger Arena in Oberstdorf [P] FIS

Toblach, (ITA)
Only one stage is going to take place in Toblach, Italy. The Nordic arena in the Puster valley is also ready to welcome the best Cross-Country skiers of the world. 5 km Ladies and 10 km F men are scheduled on 6th January 2017.

Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Val di Fiemme is the traditional host of the final stages of the Tour de Ski including the famous Final Climb. In spite of lack of natural snow the Tour de Ski track is already ready and also the Final Climb has been be open since Christmas. The connection between the CC Stadium and start of Olimpia III (Marcialonga track)  has also been completed.

Side events program features Fiemme Follk in the party tent on Saturday at 16.30, Après-Ski Race DJ Set in the party tent  and at 18.30 Fiemme Rock & Roll and Pasta Party Felicetti. On Sunday 8th January at 9.30 Rampa con i Campioni and Tour del Gusto all night long (see program attached) will take place.

Val di Fiemme [P] FIS

Women – Can Norway Deliver a 4th Consecutive Clean Sweep ?

This is edition number 11 of the Tour de Ski. Justyna Kowalczyk has more overall Tour-wins than any other athlete with four. The only four other women to win the overall classification are Virpi Kuitunen and Therese Johaug twice, Charlotte Kalla and Marit Bjørgen with one win.

Kowalczyk has 14 stage wins in the Tour de Ski, most of all athletes (Petter Northug has 13 wins in men’s competition). Among the women Marit Bjørgen and Therese Johaug are closest with 11 stage wins, Virpi Kuitunen has eight wins.

Kowalczyk also has the most stage podiums with 28. Bjørgen and Johaug are second with 25 stage podiums. Petter Northug has the most stage podiums of all with 31.

Norway has claimed all three overall podium positions in the last three Tour de Ski events.

Last year's final women's podium [P] Nordic Focus

Stefanie Böhler is the only woman to have started in all 10 editions of the Tour de Ski. Böhler has finished the Tour seven times, with an 11th place in 2015 as her best result. Four athletes have finished Tour de Ski eight times: Therese Johaug, Justyna Kowalczyk, Valentina Shevchenko and Riitta-Liisa Roponen.

Justyna Kowalczyk has started the most Tour de Ski stages with 68. Therese Johaug has started 67, Aino-Kaisa Saarinen 66 and Böhler 63 stages.

Norwegian athletes have won 29 of the 75 stages held in the Tour de Ski. Poland has 14 wins (Kowalczyk) and Finland has 10 victories. A total of 10 different countries have won a Tour de Ski stage among the women.

Norwegian athletes have a total of 102 podiums in ladies’ events, Poland and Finland are sharing second place with 29 stage podiums. A total of 13 countries have finished on the podium.

Stina Nilsson [P] Nordic Focus
Only six different women have won World Cup Tours. Marit Bjørgen (10), Therese Johaug (5), Justyna Kowalczyk (5), Virpi Kuitunen (3), Heidi Weng (1), Charlotte Kalla (1) are the six winners.

The last 10 World Cup Tours have seen a Norwegian winner (Johaug 5, Bjørgen 4, Weng 1) since Justyna Kowalczyk won the Tour de Ski in January 2013.

Heidi Weng won her first World Cup Tour in Lillehammer in December, after eight previous overall podiums (0-2-6).

Weng has a total of 16 stage podiums in the Tour de Ski, 4th on the all-time list, behind Kowalczyk, Bjørgen and Johaug.

Weng has only one stage victory and finished second 8 times (third 7 times). No athlete has more than 15 stage finishes in 2nd and 3rd position. Kowalczyk, Bjørgen and Johaug all have 14 stage finishes in 2nd/3rd position.

Krista Pärmäkoski finished 3rd in the 3-Days Tour in Lillehammer in December. This was Finland’s first finish on the podium in an overall Tour since Virpi Kuitunen won the Tour de Ski in 2009.

Norwegian athletes won 21 consecutive World Cup Tour stages and were unbeaten from January 2014 to January 2016. Since (and including) Sophie Caldwell won the Sprint classic stage in Tour de Ski in January 2016, non-Norwegian athletes have won six of the 16 stages held.

Non-Norwegians have won the last three World Cup Tour stages held in distance races. Krista Pärmäkoski won (had the fastest time) in the pursuit both in Ski Tour Canada and in the 3-Days Tour in Lillehammer, while Jessica Diggins won the 5km freestyle in Lillehammer.

Sundby’s Streak – Who Can Stop Him ?

This is edition number 11 of the Tour de Ski. Dario Cologna has the most overall wins with three. Lukas Bauer and Martin Johnsrud Sundby have two wins, while Alexander Legkov, Petter Northug and Tobias Angerer have one each.

Petter Northug has won the most stages in Tour de Ski with 13, more than twice as many as Lukas Bauer, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Alexey Poltoranin and Dario Cologna with five.

Northug has the most stage podiums in the Tour de Ski with 31 (Justyna Kowalczyk has 28). Dario Cologna has 21, while Martin Johnsrud Sundby is now third on the all-time list with 12 stage podiums.

Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) [P] Nordic Focus
Martin Johnsrud Sundby won the Tour de Ski in 2016 by 3:15.7 ahead of Finn Hågen Krogh. This is the biggest winning margin ever in the Tour de Ski. The 2015 edition has the smallest winning margin, when Petter Northug won 0:16.6 ahead of Evgeniy Belov (after Martin Johnsrud Sundby was DSQ).

Martin Johnsrud Sundby won four stages in last season’s Tour de Ski, the first time a man won four stages in a Tour de Ski.

Ahead of the 11th Tour de Ski, Petter Northug is the only athlete to finish all 75 stages held. Northug will not participate this year.

Devon Kershaw and Jean Marc Gaillard are the two other athletes to start in all 10 previous editions of the Tour de Ski.

10th Anniversary cake [P] FIS
After Northug’s 75 stages, Giorgio Di Centa has started 67 stages, Kershaw and Gaillard in 66 stages.

In total among the men, 12 different countries have won a stage in the Tour de Ski. Norway has 28 stage wins, Germany 8, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia 6 stage wins.

A total of 14 different countries have finished on the podium in a Tour de Ski stage. Norway has 70 podiums, Russia 26 and Switzerland 24.

Norway claimed the first two positions overall in the 2016 edition of the Tour de Ski. This is the second time a country occupied the first two positions, Norway took all three positions on the overall podium in 2014.

Matti Hekkinen finished third in the 3-Days Tour in Lillehammer in December. This was the first time a Finnish man finished on the overall podium of a World Cup Tour.

Martin Johnsrud Sundby has won the last eight World Cup Tour events has finished with a valid result. He also finished first in the ninth, the Tour de Ski 2015, but was later disqualified.

Apart from the 2015 Tour de Ski, Sundby is unbeaten in a World Cup Tour for more than three years, since Petter Northug won the World Cup Final in March 2013.

No other athlete has won more than two consecutive World Cup Tours (Cologna and Northug).

Sundby has the most World Cup Tour victories with 8 (from 25 held). Northug has 6 overall victories, Dario Cologna 5.

Northug has the most overall World Cup Tour-podiums with 13, ahead of Cologna’s 10 and Sundby’s 9.

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