Courtesy of http://www.fiscrosscountry.com

With just two days to go until the start of the 7th edition of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski presented by Craft Sportswear in Oberhof, Germany, the weather is yet again a major story. After days of above seasonal temperatures, the stadium is showing the wear of days of warm wind and rain. Despite the warm temperatures, the rest of the race track which has more protection from the wind is holding up quite well. Work crews will work well into the night tonight spreading artificial snow in the stadium. This snow was made by the Organizing Committee in case this exact scenario occurred.

The races that will begin this Saturday with the ladies 3km/men’s 4km free technique prologues. Although the forecast does not look promising, there is no concern for a successful event here in Oberhof. FIS Race Director Pierre Mignerey is not worried about the race not taking place. “With an experienced OC, and by careful use of the snow, everything should be set for yet another exciting Tour de Ski.”

The races will conclude in Oberhof Sunday with ladie’s 9km/men’s 15km pursuit start classic events.

Other major points for this year’s Tour is the arrival of 6 National team wax trucks. Joining Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland will be Germany, Italy and Russia. Finland will debut their waxing truck at the World Championships in Val di Fiemme in February.

The teams have begun to arrive throughout the week. Most will arrive tomorrow. Notable absences will be that of Marit Björgen, Vibeke Skofterud, Eldar Roenning, and Martin Johnsrud Sundby for Norway, and Anders Södergren for Sweden. It was announced this week that Germany’s Axel Teichmann has been cleared to start on Saturday.

Both Dario Cologna and Justyna Kowalczyk will be looking for their 4th Tour de Ski titles. For Kowalczyk it would be her fourth consecutive win.