2013 female China Tour de Ski champion Lisa Svensson is only one outstanding name of another class field for the upcoming edition of China's greatest ski event. In fact, the Chinese Ski Association is entering its most talented skiers to oppose the assembled group of Europeans and Northern Americans with a view to next year's Winter Olympics 2022 election.
Traditions are there to be upheld and so Nordic Ways begins also 2015 with the popular professional China Tour de ski stage race in northern China. Six stages feature on this year's programme in three distinct regions: Jilin, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang.
Nordic Ways want to take the opportunity and join in the congratulations and celebrations to all the Cross country Olympic Sprint Medalists in Sochi 2014 and especially we want to congratulate the previous participants and winners in the China Summer Ski Sprint Tour, Maiken Caspersen Falla to her Olympic gold medal and Teodor Peterson to his Olympic silver medal. Women gold medalist, Maiken Caspersen Falla, won all the stages in 2009 edition of the Summer Ski Sprint Tour and Men silver medalist, Teodor Peterson, was the winner in 2010.
After an exciting Ski Sprint at the Nalati Ski Arena Swedish skiers Adam Steen and Ida Lindkvist became the champions of the 2014 China Tour de Ski. Both turned a deficit into an advantage on the sixth and final stage of the tour, as Anders Hoegberg stranded in the semi finals and the ill-stricken Astrid Bruland was particularly unlucky after dominating the early stages of the women's competition.
New Zealander Nils Koons scored the first ever non-European stage victory in the China Tour de Ski at the Nalati Ski Arena near the border with Kazakhstan in China's Xinjiang region today. Koons finished well ahead of overall classification contenders Anders Hoegberg, Adam Steen and Viktor Gustafsson. Ida Lindkvist took her second consecutive stage win as she narrowly outsprinted last year's Nalati queen Lisa Svensson.
Sweden's Adam Steen turned the China Tour de Ski upside down this morning with as much convincing as surprising a win in the Xiwuqi Ski Sprint today. What's more, Steen saw overall leader Anders Hoegberg struggle to only 8th place and takes over as overall leader of the Tour! In the women's Isa Lindkvist rose to the occasion and outsprinted Lisa Svensson and Astrid Bruland.
The third stage of this year's China Tour de Ski in Inner Mongolia's Xiwuqi Ski Arena went surprisingly to Lukas Johansson, the younger brother of two-time champion Adam Johansson. Lukas managed to stay just ahead of Anders Hoegberg in the 5km medium distance race, while the latter grabs the lead in the overall classification. Astrid Bruland on the other hand grabbed her second stage win and is firmly in charge of the women's competition.
Sweden's Anders Hoegberg has claimed the second stage of the 2014 China Tour de Ski and his fourth Vasaloppet China title in Changchun's Jingyuetan today. The 38-year-old veteran was clearly fastest during the 45km long classic style race and arrived at the finish solo. The women's race was again won by a domestic skier: Ma Qinghua outpaced yesterday's winner Astrid Bruland.
The first stage of the 2014 China Tour de Ski, a brand new sprint stage in Changchun's Jingyuetan Park, confirmed the rise of Victor Gustafsson as a protagonist for this year's tournament. Both Adam Johansson and Anders Hoegberg still seemed a bit rusty and 'only' achieved 7th and 12th place respectively. In the women's Norway's Astrid Bruland is taking the fight to Lisa Svensson with a strong win.
With only a few days to go until the start of the 2014 China Tour de Ski, preparations are on track and we all look forward to great competitions. In accordance with last year the tour will cover a very large part of northern China and in addition to the international travel, the international and domestic athletes will travel more than 9000km domestically just between the event venues.