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Ready for World Cup-Level Racing in July

Heidi Weng at Lysebotn OPP last summer. Photo: Blink

Heidi Weng at Lysebotn OPP last summer. Photo: Blink

The Blink ski festival in Sandnes (NOR) opens on Wednesday and is now the largest summer ski festival in the world.

Each year, more than a 100 of the top World Cup level skiers and biathletes take part in the BLINK events, including Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Krista Pärmäkoski, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, Heidi Weng, Øystein Pettersen and more. The festival and events are also open to future stars, elite and amateur skiers, and more than 5000 kids are expected to stop by the kids’ world section to try out roller skiing and laser biathlon.

This year’s BLINK summer ski festival takes place from July 26 to July 29, and features a number of races and events, starting with the 60-kilometer Blink Classic classic roller ski race on July 26 that is a part of a brand new marathon roller ski world cup.

Next up is Lysebotn OPP on Thursday, July 27. The 7.5-kilometer uphill race is expected to be a fierce fight between Heidi Weng, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Krista Pärmäkoski – the Madshus’ turbo trio from the World Cup. Check out the start lists HERE

Friday July 28 and Saturday July 29 feature a number of cross-country and biathlon events in Sandnes city center, including sprints, super sprints and mass start races. Check out the complete schedule HERE

Kids get a chance to try their hand at biathlon. Photo: BLINK/ Axelar Svein Erik Fylkesnes

Kids get a chance to try their hand at biathlon. Photo: BLINK/ Axelar Svein Erik Fylkesnes

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.

Race Ready Already

Ole Einar Bjørndalen at the Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink
Ole Einar Bjørndalen at the Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink

Ole Einar Bjørndalen at the Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink

The annual BLINK summer ski festival is expecting World Cup racers from 17 nations.

It’s summer, but skiers have lots to look forward to long before the snow falls: The traditional BLINK summer ski festival in Sandnes (NOR) at the end of July attracts elite skiers and biathletes from all the top teams.

Madshus racers are among the top contenders in all disciplines, from marathon to cross-country and biathlon, sprint and uphill races.

The 2016 BLINK festival runs from July 27 to 30, with World Cup level racers from almost 20 nations: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Austria, Italy, France, USA, Canada, Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain and Switzerland.

As of June 15, there 950 racers entered for the opening uphill race Lysebotn OPP and 1220 racers entered for the city center cross-country and biathlon competitions, including 15-20 national teams: 100 senior men cross-country, 50 senior women cross-country, 70 senior men biathlon, 50 senior women biathlon.

Among the top Madshus racers on the start list: Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (xc), Heidi Weng (xc), Pål Golberg (xc), Simen Andreas Sveen (xc), Ole Einar Bjørndalen (biathlon), Marte Olsbu (biathlon), all from Norway. Also, French biathlete Anaïs Bescond, German national team cross-country racers Hanna Kolb, Sandra Ringwald, Monique Siegel and Tim Tscharnke, as well as Swedish racers Markus Ottosson and Fredrik Bytröm.

Also, 240 racers are entered for the brand new Blink Classics long-distance roller ski race, and several of the professional marathon teams are present: Stian Hoelgaard (Team Leaseplan GO), Johan Kjølstad and John Kristian Dahl (Team United Bakeries), as well as Øystein Pettersen (Madshus Marathon team).

Heidi Weng in the Lysebotn Opp roller ski race last summer. Photo: Blink

Heidi Weng in the Lysebotn Opp roller ski race last summer. Photo: Blink

 

Cashed in at Blink

Barbro Kvaale (NOR) won the 10k mass start and the sprint at the 2015 Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink
Barbro Kvaale (NOR) won the 10k mass start and the sprint at the 2015 Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink

Barbro Kvaale (NOR) won the 10k mass start and the sprint at the 2015 Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink

Madshus athletes have not been wasting their summer. At the Blink Summer Ski Festival in Sandnes, Norway, this weekend, they swept up the awards across the board.

Heidi Weng set the stage with a blowout victory in the brutal uphill roller ski race Lysebotn Opp on Thursday afternoon.

Complete results Lysebotn Opp

On Friday, Madshus cross-country skier Barbro Kvaale (NOR) followed Weng’s example: Kvaale collected all the preems and the overall victory in the mass start.

Complete results women 10k mass start

On Saturday, Kvaale kept it up, winning the sprint race from start to finish. She won her quarterfinal and her semifinal, and then cruised solo into victory in the final in one of the most competitive fields in the history of the Blink Festival.

Complete results sprint

The Blink Summer Ski Festival celebrated its 10 anniversary this year. Next year, the festival expands to four days, adding a long-distance classic race that will be a part of the new World Classic Tour.

Heidi Weng left everyone far behind as she paraded into victory on the uphill race Lysebotn Opp during the 2015 Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink

Heidi Weng left everyone far behind as she paraded into victory on the uphill race Lysebotn Opp during the 2015 Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink

Weng Crushed Her Competitors

Heidi Weng left everyone far behind as she paraded into victory on the uphill race Lysebotn Opp during the 2015 Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink
Heidi Weng left everyone far behind as she paraded into victory on the uphill race Lysebotn Opp during the 2015 Blink Summer Ski Festival. Photo: Blink

Heidi Weng left everyone in the dust and skied alone to the finish line in the uphill race Lysebotn Opp on Thursday. Photo: Blink

Heidi Weng (NOR) beat everyone on the uphill roller ski race Lysebotn Opp, leaving no doubt who owns the monster hill climb.

The uphill time trial Lysebotn Opp on Thursday afternoon features a grueling 7.5-kilometer course with a total of 640 meters elevation gain, and was the opening event for the 2015 Blink Summer Ski Festival.

Weng, who struggled in the same uphill race last summer, had considered her strategy carefully. She started out conservatively, then increased the pace more and more the steeper the terrain. And nobody could follow.

“Last year, I really hit the wall here on these hills, and the main reason was that I started out way too hard. So this time, I had decided to be a little more careful from the start, and my strategy held up all the way to the finish line,” Weng said to the local newspaper Aftenbladet after her race.

Weng comes off her strongest World Cup season ever, and is also the Norwegian champion of uphill trail running after winning the brutal and prestigious event Skuggedalen Opp on May 30. The 4.4km uphill race features more than 500 meters of elevation gain.

 

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