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Three double podiums

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) earned her first World Cup podium for the season when she won the 10km skate race in Davos (SUI) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) earned her first World Cup podium for the season when she won the 10km skate race in Davos (SUI) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) earned her first World Cup podium for the season when she won the 10km skate race in Davos (SUI) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Madshus racers dominate both the biathlon and cross-country World Cup competitions on Sunday.

First, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) earn her first World Cup victory of the season, winning the 10-kilometer skate race in Davos (SUI) by five seconds.

“A race like this is what I train for every day of the year. I started out conservatively, and I really had no idea I was skiing all that fast, but the coaches kept telling me I as ahead. This was a fantastic day for me, and Davos is my favorite World Cup venue,” Østberg said after the race.

Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) snagged the last podium spot, her second World Cup podium this season.

The next FIS World Cup races take place in Toblach (ITA) on December 16-17.

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Ole Einar Bjoerndalen skied the first leg for Norway at the IBU World Cup relay in Hochfilzen (AUT) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen skied the first leg for Norway at the IBU World Cup relay in Hochfilzen (AUT) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

At the IBU Biathlon World Cup relay, Ole Einar Bjørndalen helped Norway to a spectacular victory. The Norwegian team won by a 2-minute margin in the challenging conditions in Hochfilzen (AUT). Benedikt Doll skied the second leg for Germany, who was second after beating France by 40 seconds.

In the women’s relay, Vanessa Hinz skied the first leg for Germany and laid the foundation for first place, while Anais Bescond anchored France to third place.

The IBU World Cup now moves on to Annecy (FRA) on Dec 14 to 17 for the final round before Christmas.

Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to first place in the IBU World Cup relay in Hochfilzen (AUT) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to first place in the World Cup relay in Hochfilzen (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

What a way to start the season

Hans Christer Holund was twice on the podium in equally many attempts in the season opener at Beitostølen this weekend. Photo: Geir Olsen

Madshus racers posted seven podiums at the Norwegian cross-country and biathlon season opener events this weekend.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) won the biathlon mass start at Sjusjøen (NOR) on Sunday, with Anaïs Bescond (FRA) in second place.

“It was really fun. I did exactly what I set out to do and it worked,” Olsbu said after her race.

Olsbu became the first Norwegian woman to ever win the season opener in Sjusjøen.

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Marte Olsbu (NOR) won the season opener at Sjusjøen on Sunday. File photo: Nordic Focus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) won the season opener at Sjusjøen on Sunday. File photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg were second and third, respectively, at the 10km classic race that opened the Beitostølen season opener in Norway on Friday morning.

“It felt really good but very painful at the same time, almost unusually painful. But it was really fun to race again and go really hard,” Østberg said after her first race of the season.

Weng admits that she was nervous before the start, but relieved to finish second.

“I didn’t feel like I skied super fast up the hills, and I never thought I would be on the podium today, so I’m super excited about the race. It was really fun, and I’m really happy to be back in the racing again,” she said.

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Heidi Weng was second in the 10km classic race at Beitostølen on Friday. Foto: Geir Olsen

Heidi Weng was second in the 10km classic race at Beitostølen on Friday. Foto: Geir Olsen

In the afternoon Hans Christer Holund finished third in the men’s 15km classic. The young Madshus racer Johan Hoel finished fifth after leading much of the race and impressed both fellow racers and the experts.

“This is by far the best race I’ve done at Beitostølen ever. I feel like I have a lot to prove after a bad season last year, and hope to be a part of the mix when the national team is naming the 2018 Winter Olympics team,” Hoel said to reporters after his race.

Holund was content with his third place in the first event of the season.

“My main focus for this season is to race well at the World Cup and secure a spot on the Olympic team. In order to do that, I need to race well from the start, so these races are important,” explained Holund, who followed up with second place in the 15km skate race on Sunday.

Weng also concluded her weekend with another podium on Sunday. She was third in the 10km skate race.

Hans Christer Holund was twice on the podium in equally many attempts in the season opener at Beitostølen this weekend. Photo: Geir Olsen

Hans Christer Holund was twice on the podium in equally many attempts in the season opener at Beitostølen this weekend. Photo: Geir Olsen

 

German Team Power

Benedikt Doll (GER) at the IBU world cup biathlon in Antholz (ITA), this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus
Benedikt Doll (GER) at the IBU world cup biathlon in Antholz (ITA), this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) at the IBU world cup biathlon in Antholz (ITA), this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Germany earns three World Cup relay podiums in two days.

Madshus racers contributed to five World Cup relay podium this weekend, between the biathlon World Cup in Anterselva (ITA) and the cross-country World Cup in Ulricehamn (SWE).

On Saturday, the German biathlon relay team powers into a photo finish first place in the men’s 4×7.5km, with Benedikt Doll skiing the second leg for his team.

On Sunday, the German women follow suit, with Vanessa Hinz on the first leg setting the stage for the victory in the 4x6km relay. France snagged second place in the women’s relay, with Anaïs Bescond skiing the third leg for her team.

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Vanessa Hinz (GER) at the IBU biathlon World Cup in Antholz (ITA) this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Vanessa Hinz (GER) at the IBU biathlon World Cup in Antholz (ITA) this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

At the cross-country World Cup on Sunday, Sandra Ringwald anchored Germany to second place in the women’s 4x5km relay, beating Sweden by 0.2 second. This was the first World Cup podium for Germany since 2010.

“I did not want to be fourth again. I managed to stay in contact with Hanna (Falck). At the finish, I gave everything I had. It is absolutely amazing to be second,” Ringwald said after her race.

Norway won the women’s cross-country relay, 8 seconds ahead of Germany. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Heidi Weng left their teammates in a good position after skiing the first and second leg, respectively, for Norway.

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Sandra Ringwald (GER) at the FIS world cup in Ulricehamn (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Sandra Ringwald (GER) at the FIS world cup in Ulricehamn (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

On Saturday, Krista Pärmäkoski was second at the 10k skate race in Ulricehamn (SWE).

“I had a great day. I have proven to myself I can ski fast also in free technique. Of course 10 km Classic in Lahti is the big goal for me.”

For Pärmäkoski, this was a significant race in terms of preparing for the World Championships at home in Lahti (FIN) at the end of February.

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd in the 10km skate race at the FIS cross-country World Cup in Ulricehamn (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd in the 10km skate race at the FIS cross-country World Cup in Ulricehamn (SWE). 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.

Back on the Podium

Heidi Weng at the 7.5km uphill skate race Lysebotn Opp on Thursday, where she was second. Photo: Blink2016
Heidi Weng at the 7.5km uphill skate race Lysebotn Opp on Thursday, where she was second. Photo: Blink2016

Heidi Weng at the 7.5km uphill skate race Lysebotn Opp on Thursday, where she was second. Photo: Blink2016

Madshus racers collected five podium finishes at the 2016 Blink Summer Ski Festival in Sandnes (NOR).

On Thursday July 28, Heidi Weng (NOR) pulled into second place in the brutal 7.5-kilometer uphill skate roller ski race Lysebotn Opp. In the men’s race, Madshus racer Simen Andreas Sveen (NOR) was third. Both men and women raced the same distance.

In the men’s 15km skate mass start on Friday, July 29, Pål Golberg (NOR) was third, only a tenth of a second behind second place and less than a second from first place.

Finally, in the women’s biathlon sprint finals on Saturday July 30, Anaïs Bescond (FRA) was second and Marthe Olsbu (NOR) was third.

Complete results all events 

However, the 2016 Blink Summer Ski Festival opened on Wednesday July 27 with the inaugural Blink Classic roller ski marathon in Sandnes where Madshus marathon racer Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) was just one second from the podium. The 62km classic roller ski race was the first event in a brand new international roller ski series. The next event in the 3-race series is Alliansloppet in Sweden August 19-21.

The 2016 edition of the annual summer roller ski festival in Sandnes event attracted over 1,200 skiers and biathletes from more than 20 nations to compete in a variety of roller ski events over the course of four days. Read more about the 2016 Blink Summer Ski Festival.

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