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Wrapping up the World Cups

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS
Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS

The IBU biathlon World Cup wraps up the 2017 season in Holmenkollen, while cross-country returns to Canada for a 3-day mini tour this weekend.

Madshus podium girls Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), Heidi Weng (NOR) and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) returns to Canada for the final World Cup weekend of the season.

The mini tour opens with skate sprints for men and women on March 17, continues with 10km and 15km classic mass starts for women and men respectively on Saturday, and concludes with 10km and 15km pursuits on Sunday.

Heading into the mini tour world cup final in Quebec, Weng is leading the overall World Cup with a total of 1746 points. Pärmäkoski sits in second place with 1446 points, while Østberg is third with 1352 points total.

Weng also leads the distance World Cup, while Pärmäkoski is third.

Bitahlon party
For the biathlon racers, the 2017 World Cup will conclude in Holmenkollen (NOR), the host of the 2016 IBU World Championships. The weekend features sprint races for men and women on Friday, March 17, continues with men’s and women’s pursuit races on Saturday, and concludes with mass start events on Sunday.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) earned her first two World Championship medals in Oslo last year when she won the bronze medal in the mixed relay and then anchored Norway to gold in the women’s relay. Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR), who won three individual medals at the World Championships in Oslo last year, as well as helping Norway to gold in the men’s relay, is also looking forward to cap off the season on home turf.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) anchored Norway to gold in the relay at the 2016 IBU world championships in Oslo (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) anchored Norway to gold in the relay at the 2016 IBU world championships in Oslo (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

Plastering the Tour Podium

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: NordicFocus

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

After two stages, Madshus racers are dominating the 2017 Tour de Ski.

The 9-day stage race competition opened with sprint races in Val Müstair (SUI) on New Years Eve, where Heidi Weng (NOR) snagged third place, despite having a rough day.

“To be third in a skate sprint is a great success for me. My body felt stiff almost the whole day, but at the end I made it to the podium. I am very happy,” Weng said after her race.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) was 3rd in the skate sprint in Val Mustair (SUI) on New Years Eve. Photo: NordicFocus

Heidi Weng (NOR) was 3rd in the skate sprint in Val Mustair (SUI) on New Years Eve. Photo: NordicFocus

On Sunday, the Madshus Turbo Trio owned the podium: Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) pulled off a perfect 5km classic race, with Heidi Weng (NOR) in 2nd place and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) in 3rd place. Østberg pulled away from Weng and the rest of the field and won the mass start event in 13 minutes and 21.2 seconds. Weng was seven seconds behind, and Pärmäkoski was 11.4 seconds behind Østberg.

“I was really angry with myself after the sprint on Saturday, and I needed a half hour to myself after that race. I wanted to come back hard, because I know I’m in good shape. I gave it everything today, and I made it,” Østberg said to reporters after the 5km on Sunday.

Østberg is now leading the overall Tour as the racers move on to Oberstdorf (GER) for the next two stages: a 5/5km and 10/10km skitahlon for women and men respectively on Tuesday, followed by 10km/15km pursuit races on Wednesday.

Overall Tour de Ski after 2 stages:
1. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR)
2. Heidi Weng (NOR) +10 seconds

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 with Heidi Weng right behind during the 5km classic mass start in Val Mustair (SUI) on January 1, the 2nd stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: NordicFocus

Tour Stars

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

All eyes are on these girls as the 11th Tour de Ski gets underway on December 31: 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 2017 FIS Tour de Ski starts on New Years Eve: Get ready for nine days of racing excitement.

The Tour opens with skate sprint races for men and women in Val Mustair (SUI), and concludes on January 8 with the 9-kilometer skate pursuit up Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme (ITA), also known as “the monster hill.”

Going into the 11th FIS Tour de Ski, Madshus athletes are dominating the list of top contenders in the women’s field. Heidi Weng (NOR) is leading the overall World Cup with 654 points, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) sits in second place with 621 points and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) in third place with 453 points.

At the 2016 Tour de Ski, Østberg was second overall, 53 seconds ahead of Weng in third place. Pärmäkoski was eighth overall.

Weng has one Tour de Ski stage victory, as well as eight second-place finishes and seven third-place finishes for a total of 16 Tour de Ski podiums. Krista Pärmäkoski won (had the fastest time) in the pursuit both in the 2016 Ski Tour Canada and in the 3-day mini-tour in Lillehammer on December 7.

2017 Tour de Ski Schedule
Dec 31: Sprint, Free Technique, Val Mustair (SUI)
Jan 1: 5/10km mass start, Classic Technique, Val Mustair (SUI)
Jan 3: 5/5km and 10/10km skiathlon, Oberstdorf (GER)
Jan 4: 10/15km pursuit, Free Technique, Oberstdorf (GER)
Jan 6: 5/10km interval start, Free Technique, Toblach (ITA)
Jan 7: 10/15km mass start, Classic Technique, Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Jan 8: 9km pursuit, Free Technique, Val di Fiemme (ITA)

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada in March 2016. Photo: FIS

The Weng Way

Heidi Weng (NOR) won the 10km world cup skate race in La Clusaz (FRA) on Saturday. Photo: NordicFocus
Heidi Weng (NOR) won the 10km world cup skate race in La Clusaz (FRA) on Saturday. Photo: NordicFocus

Heidi Weng (NOR) won the 10km World Cup skate race in La Clusaz (FRA) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) swept up the final podiums before the World Cup takes a break for Christmas.

On Saturday, Weng won the 10-kilometer World Cup skate race in La Clusaz (FRA). On Sunday, she anchored Norway to first place in the relay.

Ad while Weng won the 10-kilometer on Saturday, Madshus teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was third.

“I didn’t expect to win today. I had to give it everything I had left. I knew I had to be in 1st or 2nd position coming into the finish stretch if I wanted to win. Toward the end of the race, I could still see both Marit (Bjørgen) and Ingvild (Flugstad Østberg), and I thought they would pass me, so it was great to see my name as the winner,” said Weng.

More than just a World Cup podium
With the World Cup victory in La Clusaz, her third for the season so far, Weng reclaims the yellow World Cup leader bib.

The victory on Saturday also earned Weng the anchor leg for the relay on Sunday. The Norwegian women had made a deal prior to the 10km skate race: The skier who placed the best in Saturday’s race would ski the final leg of the relay.

On Sunday, the Norwegian women were back on the top of the podium. Weng anchored Norway to first place in the World Cup relay, after a stellar opening by Østberg on the leg.

The FIS cross-country World Cup now takes a break until the Tour de Ski starts in Switzerland on December 31. The 9-day tour concludes in Val di Fiemme, Italy, on January 8, 2017.

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) skied the first leg for Norway at the 4x4km World Cup relay in La Clusaz (FRA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg skied the first leg for Norway at the 4x4km World Cup relay in La Clusaz (FRA) on Sunday, after being 3rd in the 10km skate race on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

They did it again!

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), and Krista Parmakoski (FIN) plastered the FIS World Cup podium at the 15km skate race in Davos (SUI). Photo: Nordic Focus
Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), and Krista Parmakoski (FIN) plastered the FIS World Cup podium at the 15km skate race in Davos (SUI). Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), and Krista Parmakoski (FIN) plastered the FIS World Cup podium at the 15km skate race in Davos (SUI). Photo: Nordic Focus

The Madshus girls plastered the podium in Davos (SUI), just like they did last weekend in Lillehammer.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), Heidi Weng (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (NOR) were first, second and third, respectively, at the 15-kilometer skate race in Switzerland on Saturday.

Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won and also earned her first World Cup podium for the season. She beat teammate Heidi Weng (NOR) by 7.8 seconds, while Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) was third.

“I never thought I would win here today. My strategy was to start out controlled and focus on my technique, rather than think about skiing fast. Whenever I obsessed about skiing fast, my technique fell apart and I had to slow down to speed up,” Flugstad Østberg said after her race.

For Flugstad Østberg, the Davos venue is special. This is where she earned her first World Cup podium in a distance event, almost exactly a year ago.

“I made some solid gains in the longer distances last year, and I have worked hard for years, so this was really fun,” she said.

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won her first World Cup race of the season in Davos (SUI). Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won her first World Cup race of the season in Davos (SUI). Photo: Nordic Focus

Weng was content with her second place, and happy for Flugstad Østberg’s victory. “I started out very easy, but it was hard and I had to work with my head. I am very happy for Ingvild, and it’s really fun that we can switch off winning races,” Weng said.

On Sunday, Flugstad Østberg was back on the podium with second place in the skate sprint. After earning her second podium for the weekend, she now leads the overall World Cup.

“I’m really excited about the race. I actually felt better and better as the day went out, and I feel like I skied well technically. This has been an amazing weekend for me in Davos,” Flugstad Østberg said to Norwegian broadcaster NRK after the sprint.

Next weekend, the World Cup moves to La Clusaz (FRA).

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was 2nd in the FIS World Cup skate sprint on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was 2nd in the FIS World Cup skate sprint on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Biathlon
Marte Olsbu (NOR) was third in the sprint at the World Cup in Pokljuka (SLO) on Friday. On Saturday, she led the pursuit for much of the race, but the final lap was too hard and at the end of the day Olsbu finished in ninth place.

On Sunday, Vanessa Hinz skied the opener leg for Germany and helped her team to first place in the women’ 4×6-kilometer relay the World Cup, while Benedikt Doll helped Germany to third place in the men’s 4×7.5-kilometer relay.

Benedikt Doll (GER) helped Germany to 3rd place in the IBU world cup relay in Pokljuka (SLO). Focus: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) helped Germany to 3rd place in the IBU world cup relay in Pokljuka (SLO). Focus: Nordic Focus

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