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FIS Tour de Ski starts in a few days

Mon, Dec  28, 2009 - By FIS

The fourth edition of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear will get underway in few days. For the first time this exciting race series will start on New Year's Day in Oberhof, Germany. This season, the three Oberhof Stages will be followed by a sprint in Prague. After a rest day the Tour will continue with another premiere, an A to B race from Cortina to Toblach with a 17 km handicap start for the ladies and a 35 km for the men. The men will start in the center of Cortina, the ladies at Lago di Landro. After a classical distance race in the new Nordic arena in Toblach the finals of the Tour de Ski will be carried out in Val di Fiemme, including the now legendary Final Climb onto Alpe Cermis on Sunday, 10th January 2010.

Return to Toblach

The 2009/2010 Tour also represents a return of the FIS Cross-Country World Cup to Toblach after a break of six years. Toblach has previously hosted the World Cup in 1986, 1993, 1998 and 2003. In 1993 local heroine Manuela Di Centa captured her first World Cup victory and went onto win the overall World Cup in the 1995/1996 season.
Record in the number of participants

Some 120 athletes from 23 nations have registered their participation for this year's edition of the Tour de Ski - a new record in its history. Beside many traditional Cross-Country nations such as all the Nordic and Central European countries, the United States with Andrew Newell will be at the start for the first time.

Given that the early season's World Cups have seen six different winners for both genders, last year's champions Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and Dario Cologna (SUI) can expect to be challenged by many new and old names, including the current World Cup leader Petter Northug of Norway who had a victorious weekend at the first time World Cup venue of Rogla (SLO). Marit Bjoergen, the ladies standings leader, has decided to skip the Tour de Ski despite earning two podiums in Rogla.

Oberhof (GER)
Friday, 1st January 2010
Prologue 
Women 2.5 km 
Men 3.75 km 
free technique, individual start
Oberhof (GER)
Saturday, 2nd January 2010

Pursuit 
Women 10km
Men 15km
classical technique, 'handicap' start

Oberhof (GER)
Sunday, 3rd January 2010
Sprint 
Women 1,3km
Men 1,3km
classical technique, qualification and finals
Prague (CZE)
Monday, 4th January 2010

Sprint 
Women 1,2km
Men 1,2km
free technique, qualification and finals

Cortina d'Ampezzo to Toblach (ITA)
Wednesday, 6th January 2010

Distance
Women 16km 
Men 35km 
free technique, handicap start

Toblach (ITA)
Thursday, 7th January 2010

Distance
Women 5km 
Men 10km
classical technique, individual start

Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Saturday, 9th January 2010
Distance
Women 10km
Men 20km
classical technique, mass start
Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Sunday, 10th January 2010
Final Climb
Women 9km
Men 10km
free technique, 'handicap' start