The 2017 China Tour de Ski started in Changbai Shan on new year’s day with sprint stage wins for Norway’s Haaron Hjelstuen and China’s Li Xin. The new Luneng Resort had a grand opening therefore under sunny and fine ski conditions.
While European skiers had control of the men’s competition, the female skiers of the Chinese national team took matters in their hands. What was obvious today as well is the tight racing between many athletes, promising a hotly contested Tour de Ski over the remaining five stages in the next week.
Haakon Hjelstuen beat France’s Samuel Rege Grammo for the stage win, with China’s Zhu Minguang third and another Norwegian, Kent-Ole Clausen in fourth.
Li Xin outsprinted Meng Honguan and the two Swedish skiers Julia Jansson, very experienced racing in China by now, and Linda Danvind-Walm.
From Changbai Shan the tour moves to Jilin’s capital Changchun for the freestyle race at Deer Valley and the classic style Vasaloppet China on Wednesday.