Sellis and Steinsland fastest sprinters in Xiwuqi

Siim Sellis narrowly outsprinted Finland's Kusti Kittilae in the final of the second stage of China Tour de Ski in Xiwuqi, Inner Mongolia. Sellis looked very strong throughout the preliminary rounds all day, and also immediately seemed to take control of the final 1.3k race. But in the final metres Kittilae still came dangerously close. Third place went to yesterday's winner Anders Hoegberg.

The women's event saw three Norwegian athletes against France's Elodie Bourgeois Pin in the final. As yesterday, Solveig Steinsland had the final word as the claimed victory again before this morning's fastest qualifier Anna Svendson and Bourgeois Pin.

China Tour de Ski: Hoegberg wins stage 1

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.

Swiss female champion Mischol to CTDS

China Tour de Ski and its main event Vasaloppet China will also feature a number of top female athletes this year. Multiple Swiss champion and three-time Olympic Games qualifier Seraina Mischol will be lining up in Xiwuqi and Changchun as one of the top favourites in the female competition.

Coming from Davos in Switzerland's magnificent Engadin region, Mischol also has 14 World Championship starts on her impressive skiing record, as well as over 100 FIS World Cup starts. Talking about experience!