The 2012 China Tour de Ski started this afternoon, 28 December, in Xiwuqi, Inner Mongolia with the traditional mass start 5.7km race for men and women. Sweden’s Andreas Hoegberg (photo)immediately proved he is once again in great shape coming to China with a sprint win today over Finland’s Kusti Kitttilae. Six seconds later, Philipp Bachl from Austria completed the podium.
The women’s competition over 3.8km saw two Norwegian athletes take top honours with Solveig Steinsland edging Solveig Andreassen in another sprint with two. A little further behind was France’s Elodie Bourgeois Pin.
The Inner Mongolian leg of China Tour de Ski traditionally started in a pleasant atmosphere with a colourful and cultural opening ceremony, which portrayed several authentic features of the ethnic Mongolian lifestyle. The competition took place in cold but ideal conditions under a bright blue sky with little to no wind.