Emily Nishikawa and Dahria Beatty, seen here during the 2018 Olympics, are both skiing for Canada in the Tour de Ski. (Bob Nishikawa/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa and Dahria Beatty debut at Tour de Ski

Alex Harvey is the top Canadian in 15th place after four races

Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa and Dahria Beatty are both off to strong starts at the FIS Tour de Ski, considered the highlight of the cross-country skiing season behind only the Olympics and the World Championships.

The Tour de Ski is an annual competition that takes place over nine days in three countries. This year, the Canadian contingent consists of Beatty and Nishikawa on the women’s side and Alex Harvey, Len Valjas and Bob Thompson on the men’s side.

Action got underway in Toblach, Italy, on Dec. 29 with a free sprint event.

Top spot in ladies’ qualifying went to American Sadie Bjornsen with a time of two minutes and 35.95 seconds.

Beatty was the top Canadian in 49th with a time of two minutes and 45.37 seconds. Nishikawa was 61st, finishing in two minutes and 48.83 seconds.

In the finals, Sweden’s Stina Nilsson secured first place while teammate Ida Ingemarsdotter was second. American Jessica Diggins finished third.

Racing continued on Dec. 30 with a 10-kilometre free race, also in Toblach.

Natalia Nepryaeva of Russia was the first to finish, crossing the line with a time of 23 minutes and 19.9 seconds. Second place went to Norwegian Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg with a time of 23 minutes and 20.2 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Russian Anastasia Sedova in 23 minutes and 30.8 seconds.

Nishikawa was the first Canadian, finishing in 35th place with a time of 25 minute and 4.5 seconds. Beatty finished 56th with a time of 25 minutes and 43.5 seconds.

After a day off on New Year’s Eve, the tour moved to Val Müstair, Switzerland, for another free sprint event.

Nilsson qualified in first place with a time of three minutes and 30.52 seconds. Beatty was 39th in three minutes and 46.23 seconds, followed by Nishikawa in 48th place with a time of three minutes and 49.03 seconds.

In the finals, Nilsson again finished first, followed by a pair of Americans — Sophie Caldwell and Diggins — in second and third.

The tour moved again, this time to Oberstdorf, Germany, for a classic mass start race on Jan. 2.

Norway’s Oestberg was the ladies’ winner, finishing the 10-km race in 32 minutes and 8.9 seconds. Nepryaeva was second and Sedova was third with times of 32 minutes and nine seconds, and 32 minutes and 14.2 seconds respectively.

Nishikawa skied to a 34th place finish with a time of 34 minutes and 27.6 seconds.

After four of seven races, Oestberg sits first overall in the standings with a time of one hour and 5.6 seconds. Nepryaeva is in second, just 24.1 seconds back, followed by Yulia Belorukova in third.

Nishikawa sits in 36th position, six minutes and 4.3 seconds behind the leader.

In the ladies’ sprint standings, Nilsson is first followed by Diggins in second and Oestberg in third.

On the men’s side of things, victory in the free sprint at Toblach on Dec. 29 went to Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo.

The top Canadian was Harvey in 50th, followed by Valjas in 55th and Thompson in 62nd.

In the 15-km free race on Dec. 30, Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov was the winner.

Harvey was again the top Canadian, finishing in 14th. Valjas was 70th and Thompson was 83rd.

In the sprint in Val Müstair on Jan. 1, the win again went to Norway’s Klaebo. The top Canadian was Alex Harvey in 37th, followed by Thompson in 62nd and Valjas in 72nd.

Victory in the men’s 15-km classic mass start went to Norway’s Emil Iversen.

Harvey was again the top Canadian, finishing 14th, while Thompson was 64th and Valjas was 67th.

Four races into the tour, top spot belongs to Klaebo with Ustiugov in second and Iversen in third. Harvey sits in 15th place while Valjas and Thompson are 65th and 66th overall.

In the sprint standings, Klaebo is first, Iversen is second and Norway’s Sindre Bjoernestad Skar is third. Harvey is currently in 19th place.

The Tour de Ski continues on Jan. 3 with a skate pursuit event in Oberstdorf before moving to Val di Fiemme, Italy, for a classic mass start on Jan. 5 and the final skate pursuit hill climb on Jan. 6.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon RCMP are making an appeal for information in the case of Mary Ann Ollie, who was murdered in Ross River last year and whose case remains unsolved. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read