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2018 Tour again promises great ski battles!

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The 11th edition of China Tour de Ski will commence on new year's day and end on 9 January after five thrilling stages in four different locations. The 16th Vasaloppet China is scheduled as stage 3 on 4 January.

The Luneng Ski Resort in Changbai Shan, Jilin Province, kicks off this year's stage race with the traditional ski sprint. From there, the ski tour moves to Changchun for the next two stages. The sprint at Deer Valley, followed by the classic-style ski marathon Vasaloppet China, which this year enters its 16th edition already. The sprinters among the participants will be back at the front in stages four and five. First is a new destination for a 1.3K race: Yan'an in Shaanxi province.The final stage will again be in the outskirts of Beijing, in the Shijinglong Resort.

27-year-old Simon Persson is one of the top favourites in this year’s men's competition at China Tour de Ski. Coming from Sweden, Persson is known as a fast sprinter who was won medals at the national championships and many international races. He has also scored points in the World Cup of cross country skiing and competed in 25 World Cup races in total. Persson will be facing the number two from last year: Samuel Rege Gianasso. The Frenchman also won last year's final stage and that's always a morale booster at the start of the new tournament. The 2018 China Tour de Ski also welcomes a genuine world champion at the start line. Emanuele Becchis is the king of the roller ski sprint and quite simply the world’s best in the discipline. After winning everything there is to win, the 24-year-old Italian now also wants to prove he can be successful in cross country ski in winter time. Another skier to watch is Lukas Johansson, younger brother of Adam and Emil, who both have won our China Tour de Ski in the past.

The international skiers are as always up against a team of local Chinese skiers, and especially the female Chinese skiers have scored big successes in the past. Man Dandan is one of them. She won the overall Tour in 2009 and 2015, and she is expected to use her wealth of experience to challenge for victory again. However, we have a two-time China Tour de Ski winner from Sweden at the starting line this year, too: Lisa Svensson was the best in 2013 and 2016. Both Man Dandan and Lisa Svensson can become the first woman to win China Tour de Ski three times!

Other female skiers who can play their role are Mimmi Bjorn and Jackline Lockner, who has recently scored impressive race results.