VAL MUSTAIR, Sui.—Four of Canada’s top cross-country ski athletes are set to hit the start line for their annual nine-day journey through Europe while taking on the best Nordic athletes on the planet in the 11th edition of the epic Tour de Ski.
Canada’s Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, Len Valjas and Graeme Killick will ski into the spotlight when the world’s best all-round cross-country ski athletes kick off the ultimate grind in high-performance sport in Val Mustair, Switzerland on December 31.
Modeled after the Tour de France in cycling, one of the featured events on the Nordic calendar will test some of the most physically and mentally fit athletes in the world in seven punishing races at four different venues in three countries to determine the king and queen of cross-country skiing.
Healthy, fit and hungry for the podium, Canada will focus on fighting for the podium at each stage while contending for spots in the top-10 in the overall Tour.
Cross Country Ski de Fond Canada has assigned Ivan Babikov the coaching duties for the Tour, and has assembled a closely-knit wax team of six experienced techs. With no margin for error allowed on ski preparation if you want to contend for the overall Tour lead, the Canadians will have one of the best athlete-to-wax tech ratios for each Tour stage.
Who: Alex Harvey (St.-Ferreol, Qué.)
Devon Kershaw (Sudbury, Ont.)
Graem Killick, (Fort McMurray, Alta.)
Len Valjas (Toronto)
Ivan Babikov – Coach
When: December 31, 2016 – January 8, 2017
December 31 – Val Mustair, Sui. January 6 – Toblach, Ita.
Skate Sprint 10km Skate
January 1 – Val Mustair, Sui. January 7 – Val di Fiemme, Ita.
10km Classic Mass Start 15km Classic Mass Start
January 3 – Oberstdorf, GER January 8 – Val di Fiemme, Ita.
10km Skiathlon 9km Skate Pursuit
January 4 – Oberstdorf, Ger.
15km Skate Pursuit