The 2013 China Tour de Ski is halfway and after four stages we have a clear leader in the men’s competition and a very close battle in the women’s. Nothing has been concluded yet, and we can look forward to some more great skiing in Xinjiang for the rest of the week.
Kusti Kittilae is keeping the Swedish squad in check with a 80-point lead and two stage victories so far. Adam Johansson, a former winner of China Tour de Ski, will have to dig deep to clainm his second title. He was fastest in the Xiwuqi sprint, though, which seems to indicate we may know a lot more about his chances for the overall after today’s sprint competition at Tianshan Tianchi. The same counts for Bill Impola: strong in the distance events, but struggling in the sprint so far. Stage hunters may be a factor, too, as they take away valuable points from the protagonists in the overall.
Incredibly, Frida Hallqvist and Lisa Svensson both scored 236 points in four stages. The former leads due to her distance stage win in Xiwuqi. Svensson has been the queen of regularity in the competition, but a stage victory has eluded her to date. Keep an eye out on China’s remarkable Chen Shuang: winner of the Changchun long distance stage and second again yesterday at Tianshan Tianchi. If her body has fully recovered from the icy weather in Jilin she is definitely not out of this yet. Julia Jansson won yesterday’s first distance stage in Xinjiang with authority and it will be interesting to see how she fares in the ski sprint today.
China Tour de Ski: overall top 30 after stage 4