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Weng Won the World Cup

Madshus racers plastered the 2017 FIS Overall World Cup podium: Heidi Weng (NOR) won, Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd, and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was 3rd. Photo: Nordic Focus
Madshus racers plastered the 2017 FIS Overall World Cup podium: Heidi Weng (NOR) won, Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd, and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was 3rd. Photo: Nordic Focus

Madshus racers plastered the 2017 FIS Overall World Cup podium: Heidi Weng (NOR) won, Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd, and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was 3rd. Photo: Nordic Focus

“The Crystal Globe is heavier than I expected,” Heidi Weng (NOR) said after the awards ceremony.

Since the FIS World Cup season opener in Finland in November, Weng has been consistently on the podium all season long, and took home the crystal globe after the mini tour in Canada this weekend. The 26-year-old moved in on the podium in December and has hardly given it up since.

Weng went into the 10-kilometer pursuit in Quebec (CAN), the final race of the mini tour and the very last race of the 2017 World Cup season, with a 1-second lead. She skied strategically smart the whole way, but lost the sprint finish by 1.2 seconds to Marit Bjørgen (NOR).

“It was a great race between me and Marit. But I probably should have saved the attack and energy for the home stretch,” Weng said after the pursuit race.

However, second place in the mini tour was plenty to secure the Overall World Cup victory, where Madshus racers plastered the entire podium.

Owning the podium
Heading into the mini tour World Cup final in Quebec, Weng lead the overall World Cup by 300 points to Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) and had already secured the overall victory. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was third. This was also the final ranking.

Weng also won the 2017 Distance World Cup, while Pärmäkoski was third.

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Krista Parmakoski (FIN) at the individual sprint in Quebec (CAN) the weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) at the individual sprint in Quebec (CAN) the weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Delivered on all goals
Going into the 2017 season, Weng had the overall World Cup as a main goal, along with the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti (FIN) and the FIS Tour de Ski.

At the end of the season, Weng has delivered on all: She won the Overall World Cup and the Distance World Cup, she won Tour de Ski, and she took home three medals from the World Championships: She helped Norway to gold in both the team sprint and the 4x5km relay, and won the silver medal in the 30km skate mass start in Lahti.

Pärmäkoski also took home two medals from the World Championships: she won the silver medal in the 7.5km + 7.5km duathlon and anchored Finland to the bronze medal in the relay.

Heidi Weng (NOR) won the Crystal Globe for the 2017 World Cup season. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) won the Crystal Globe for the 2017 World Cup season. Photo: Nordic Focus

The Queen of the Monster Hill

08.01.2017, Val di Fiemme, Italy (ITA):
Heidi Weng (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, tour de ski, final climb women, Val di Fiemme (ITA). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.
08.01.2017, Val di Fiemme, Italy (ITA): Heidi Weng (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, tour de ski, final climb women, Val di Fiemme (ITA). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

Heidi Weng (NOR) won the overall 2017 FIS Tour de Ski, after the final climb up Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Starting the final stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski 20 seconds behind the overall leader, Heidi Weng (NOR) was on a mission.

There was never a question who was the queen of the monster hill in Val di Fiemme: Heidi Weng made her move at the base of the hill, parked her competition and just kept widening the gap as the hill got steeper. At the top of the hill, Weng won by a solid margin, her first overall Tour de Ski victory.

“This is a huge victory for me, especially after a Tour where I feel like the margins have not been in my favor. It has been a very tough tour for me. I came into the tour feeling a bit tired and I didn’t feel like I had the preparation that I need for a tour,” Weng said after her race.

“But in Toblach on Friday, I started to feel like my body responded better. Before the stage today, I had decided to conserve my energy on the approach and not surge until the bottom of the hill,” Weng said to reporters, adding that she still had more to offer.

“It seems like the monster hill was not as hard as I remember it from previous tours. I had an extra gear that I could have used if I needed it,” she said.

Weng also had the fastest time for the day on the 9km distance, and won the stage as well as the overall Tour.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) with her 2017 Tour de Ski trophy. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) with her 2017 Tour de Ski trophy. Photo: Nordic Focus

Finally on the podium
Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) pulled off a solid final stage as well, finishing second overall and nailing her first overall Tour de Ski podium finish.

The 26-year-old has competed in six Tour de Ski stage races, and has been fourth overall three times before. For her, finally landing the podium huge.

“I had really good day. I have been fourth so many times, so it is great to be on the podium. Today, I felt great and surprisingly fast on the climb,” Pärmäkoski said after her race.

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Krista Parmakoski (FIN) on her way to the finish on the final stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski, where she was 2nd overall. Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) on her way to the finish on the final stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski, where she was 2nd overall. Photo: Nordic Focus

Best monster hill finish
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) came in fourth overall, but skied her strongest ever Alpe Cermis stage, and for a while the podium was within reach.

“Before the start of the final stage, I certainly didn’t believe I had any chance at the podium. But right now, I almost wish the hill had been just a little longer. I never thought I would ever say that, and knowing that I probably could have caught her if it were just a little longer makes the fourth place overall almost harder to handle,” Østberg said after her race.

At the same time, Østberg was thrilled for her teammate’s overall victory.

“I believed in Heidi from the start and knew it would be hard to beat her up this hill. She has been the strongest skier all season long, and the overall victory was so well deserved,” Østberg said.

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg leading the pack during the 5km classic mass start in Val Mustair (SUI) on January 1, the 2nd stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: NordicFocus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg leading the pack during the 5km classic mass start in Val Mustair (SUI) on January 1, the 2nd stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: NordicFocus

Dominated the Tour
For six of the seven days of the 2017 Tour de Ski, at least one of the girls have been on the podium. Combined for the 2017 Tour de Ski the three Madshus racers have collected 10 podium finishes: two stage wins, four second-place finishes and four third-place finishes.

At the second stage of the Tour, the turbo trio took over the entire podium: Ingvild Flugstad Østberg won the 5km classic mass start event, with Heidi Weng in second place and Krista Pärmäkoski in third. For the overall Tour de Ski, the three girls were first, second and fourth.

Madshus dominated the Tour de Ski podium in Val Mustair (SUI) after the 5km classic mass start race: Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (center) won, with Heidi Weng (left) in 2nd place and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) in 3rd place. Photo: Nordic Focus

Madshus dominated the Tour de Ski podium in Val Mustair (SUI) after the 5km classic mass start race:
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (center) won, with Heidi Weng (left) in 2nd place and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) in 3rd place. Photo: Nordic Focus

Dominated the Mini Tour

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), Heidi Weng (NOR), Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), left to right, dominated the World Cup podium at the mini tour in Lillehammer this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), Heidi Weng (NOR), Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), left to right, dominated the World Cup podium at the mini tour in Lillehammer this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), Heidi Weng (NOR), Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), left to right, dominated the World Cup podium at the mini tour in Lillehammer this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

The Madshus girls plastered the podium at the World Cup mini tour in Lillehammer: Heidi Weng won, Ingvild Østberg was second and Krista Pärmäkoski was third overall.

When Heidi Weng (NOR) won her first ever World Cup sprint race on home turf in Lillehammer on Friday, she could hardly believe it was true.

“I can’t believe I won a sprint. It’s amazing. I don’t really understand what happened at the end of the heat, but I felt that my technique was good and I double-poled really well. Still, I was expecting everyone to glide up on my side any time before the finish line, and I was thinking to myself that if I win this, it’s just sick. But I had such good skis, perfect grip and amazing glide. It was so fun,” Weng said after her race.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) during the 5km skate race at the FIS world cup in Lillehammer (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) during the 5km skate race at the FIS world cup in Lillehammer (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

On Saturday, Weng was back on the podium with a second place in the 5-kilometer skate race, which was the second stage of the mini tour. The first two stages left her with a 20-second lead for the final stage, the 10-kilometer classic pursuit on Sunday.

And on Sunday, Weng left no doubt: She was the queen of the mini tour. While she made it look easy, the 25-year-old admitted she never felt confident before crossing the finish line of the 10-kilometer classic pursuit. “The first lap was good, but on the second lap I was so stiff I took the corners easy. I was certain I would be caught on the last lap, and I was so happy that I managed to keep the gap all the way in. But I had to work so hard with my head. On that last hill, I was telling myself that I can’t give up now, but I was expecting to see Krista cruise by me at any point,” Weng said after the final stage of the mini tour.

While Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) fell short of the podium during the first two days of the mini tour, her performances at the sprint and skate races left her in second place overall prior to the final pursuit. On Sunday, she was beyond happy to be on the podium. “I had a goal to make the podium this weekend, and being second was more than I expected,” she said after her race on Sunday.

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) on her way to 2nd place in the final stage of the FIS World Cup mini tour in Lillehammer (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) on her way to 2nd place in the final stage of the FIS World Cup mini tour in Lillehammer (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

Pärmäkoski was also excited about her mini tour in Lillehammer, and especially her last race on Sunday, where she also posted the fastest time of the day despite a dramatic fall on the last lap.

“I felt like I was flying today. It was an amazing race. My body worked very well and my skis were perfect. It was an advantage to ski behind Ingvild (Flugstad Østberg). On the last downhill, I had to take my chances if I wanted to win. The fall was unfortunate but I am happy for 3rd place,” Pärmäkoski said after the race on Sunday.

With the mini tour victory, Weng is now leading the overall 2017 FIS World Cup, with Østberg in second place and Pärmäkoski in third.

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Krista Parmakoski (FIN)  was 3rd in the pursuit at FIS World Cup in Lillehammer (NOR), despite a fall on the final lap of the 10km race. Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 3rd in the pursuit at FIS World Cup in Lillehammer (NOR), despite a fall on the final lap of the 10km race. Photo: Nordic Focus

Also this weekend
Pål Golberg (NOR), who was leading the sprint world cup after winning the sprint race at the FIS World Cup opener in Finland last weekend, also made it to the men’s final in the sprint on Friday, but broke a pole right after the start gun went off.

At the IBU biathlon World Cup in Östersund (SWE), Anaïs Bescond (FRA) started the season with a second place in the women’s 15-kilometer normal competition, which was the first individual World Cup race for the season.

At the Ski Classic long-distance series, Sara Lindborg (SWE) followed up her third place in the prologue last weekend with a third place again in the 35-kilometer La Sgambeda in Italy.

Ready to Race

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) will compete in the mass start on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) will compete in the mass start on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) is ready for the World Cup season opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

The weekend marks the opening of the World Cup season for Nordic and biathlon, as well as the kick-off for the 2017 Ski Classics long-distance series.

It will be a busy season for both fans and racers, so mark your calendar for the season highlights.

The IBU biathlon World Cup opens in Östersund (SWE) on November 27 with the mixed team relay in the afternoon and the single mixed relay in the evening. The World Cup opener continues with the women’s 15km normal on November 30, the men’s 20km normal on December 1, sprints for men and women on December 3 and concludes with pursuit races for men and women on December 4.

The IBU World Cup season consists of nine World Cup rounds:
Nov 25-Dec 4: Österssund (SWE)
Dec 6-11: Pokljuka (SLO)
Dec 13-18: Nove Mesto (CZE)
Jan 2-8: Oberhof (GER)
Jan 10-15: Rupholding (GER)
Jan 17-22: Antholz-Anterselva (ITA)
Feb 27-March 5: Hochfilzen (AUT)
March 7-12: Pyeongchang (KOR)
March 14-19: Oslo (NOR)

The 2017 FIS Nordic World Cup opens in Ruka (FIN) with races for both cross-country and Nordic combined on November 26-27. For cross-country, the World Cup opens with classic sprint races on Saturday, followed by 10/15-kilometer skate races on Sunday. The Nordic Combined racers open their season with Gundersen Large Hill 142m and 10-kilometer cross-country on both Saturday and Sunday.

Then the cross-country World Cup continues with 12 rounds including Tour de Ski and two mini tours throughout the winter:
Nov 26-27: Ruka (FIN)
Dec 2-4: Lillehammer (NOR) mini tour
Dec 10-11: Davos (SUI)
Dec 17-18: La Clusaz (FRA)
Dec 31-Jan 8: Tour de Ski
Jan 14-15: Toblach (ITA)
Jan 21-22: Ulricehamn (SWE)
Jan 28-29: Falun (SWE)
Feb 3-5: PyeongChang (KOR)
Feb 18-19: Otepää (EST)
March 8: Drammen (NOR)
March 11-12: Oslo (NOR)
March 16-19: Tyumen (RUS) mini tour

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg won the 10-kilometer season opener at Beitostølen on Friday, and was third in the 10-kilometer skate race on Saturday. Photo: Geir Olsen

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won the 10-kilometer season opener at Beitostølen last weekend, and is excited to get started with the 2016-17 FIS World Cup. Photo: Geir Olsen

For Nordic Combined, there are 12 World Cup rounds this season:
Nov 26-27: Ruka (FIN)
Dec 2-4: Lillehammer (NOR)
Dec 17-18: Ramsau (AUT)
Jan 7-8: Lahti (FIN)
Jan 13-15: Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Jan 21-22: Chaux-Neuve (FRA)
Jan 27-29: Seefeld (AUT)
Feb 4-5: PyeongChang (KOR)
Feb 10-11: Sapporo (JAP)
March 11: Oslo (NOR)
March 15: Trondheim (NOR)
March 18-19: Schonach (GER)

Two World Championships
Additionally, the IBU World Championships take place in Hochfilzen (AUT) from February 8-19, and the FIS Nordic World Championships take place in Lahti (FIN) from February 21-March 5.

5-month marathon party
Also, the Ski Classics long-distance race series opens on November 27 with a team prologue in Pontresina, Switzerland, and continues through mid-April with the final taking place in Levi, Finland. For the 2017 season, there are 28 professional teams and almost 200 racers in the pro category.

For the first time, the race series ventures outside Europe, featuring the Vasaloppet China on January 4 as a part of the 2017 race schedule.

Read more about the 2017 Ski Classics season

The 2017 Ski Classics Schedule
Event 1: 27th November, Prologue Pontresina Switzerland 10 km
Event 2: 3rd December, La Sgambeda Livigno Italy 35km
Event 3: 4th January, Changchun Vasaloppet China 50km
Event 4: 14th January, Kaiser Maximilian Lauf Seefeld Austria 60km
Event 5: 21st January, La Diagonela St Moritz Switzerland 65km
Event 6: 29th January, Marcialonga Trentino Italy 70km
Event 7: 11th February, Toblach-Cortina Italy 50km
Event 8: 19th February, Jizerska Padesatka Czech Republic 50km
Event 9: 5th March, Vasaloppet Sweden 90km
Event 10: 18th March, Birkebeinerrennet Norway 54km
Event 11: 26th March, Årefjällsloppet Sweden 65 km
Event 12: 1st April, Reistadløpet Bardufoss Norway 50km
Event 13: 8th April, Ylläs-Levi Finland 55km

Each year, 15,800 racers embark on the 90 kilometer journey from Sälen to Mora. Photo: Vasaloppet

Each year, 15,800 racers embark on the 90 kilometer journey from Sälen to Mora. Photo: Vasaloppet

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