This has been one of the most frequently asked questions in the last few months. So far we have 19 nations at the start with 58 ladies and 75 men. This number may change if an athlete for example gets sick. The Tour is a tough event and the nations only enter the best athletes for it.
There were no big surprises in the nomination of the participants for the Tour de Ski. Nearly all "big" names are included, with the exception of few of the sprinters and Johan Olsson, the winner of the Interval start race in Davos, will be at start in Oberhof on the 27th of December.
The participating nations are:
- Andorra with a one-man team Francois Souli
- Austria, with Christian Hoffmann and young Katerina Smutna in the ladies;
- Canada with Sarah Renner, Devon Kershaw and neo-Canadian Ivan Babikov in the lead
- Czech Republic, with Lukas Bauer, the Tour de Ski winner from last year
- Estonia, with the veteran Jaak Mae
- Finland, with the two-time overall World Cup winner Virpi Kuitunen and current World Cup leader Aino Kaisa Saarinen
- France, with Vincent Vittoz, World Champion from Oberstdorf
- Germany, with World Champion Axel Teichmann along with Claudia Nystad, Jens Filbrich, Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle
- Italy, with Olympic Champions Giorgio Di Centa and Pietro Piller Cottrer and, for the ladies, Arianna Follis
- Norway, with all the big names including Marit Bjoergen, Astrid Jacobsen, Therese Johaug, Eldar Roenning, Tor Arne Hetland and Petter Northug, to mention just a few
- Poland, with Justyna Kowalczyk
- Russia, starting for example Alexander Legkov and Eugeni Dementiev,
- Slovenia, led by Petra Majdic
- Switzerland, including Seraina Mischol and Dario Cologna
- Slovakia, led by Martin Bajcicak
- Sweden, with a strong team including Anders Soedergren and Charlotte Kalla.
- Ukraine, led by Valentina Shevchenko
These are only some examples. The complete list of the participating athletes is available here.