Traditional blue skies for the 17th edition of the biggest cross-country ski event in China, but the cold wind made conditions more treacherous than previously expected for the 50k classic-style ski marathon, which also opened the 2019 FIS WorldLoppet Cup. The race favourites stayed together for basically the whole race, a few attempts notwithstanding, such as by Frenchman Benoit Chavet. As the skiers went into the final kilometre, 13 of them were still together to contest the sprint for the victory!
Chinese Wang Qiang scored a tactically brilliant win today with an obvious advantage on Changbaishan Luneng Resort, the first stage of 2019 Tour de Ski China.
The 25-year-old Chinese attacked early, got reeled in, but still had enough juice in the legs to win the sprint to the line. In the past few years, he had never won a stage. Today, he rode away his frustration. In women’s competition, Russian Marina Chernousova surprisingly won the race.