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Check out the World Cup calendars!

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay at the IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

The 2017-18 World Cup season is just around the corner – check out the race schedules and mark your calendar.

National season openers are already well underway. Both Sweden and Finland hosted FIS-sanctioned cross-country races this weekend, and Norway is next up with the Beitostølen season opener on November 17 to 19.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay at the IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay at the 2016-17 IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

Both the International Ski Federation and the International Biathlon Union kick off the World Cup season in the end of November, and as usual. The first Nordic events take place in Finland, while Sweden hosts the first biathlon World Cup events.

Take a peek at some of the athletes to watch this season 

2017/18 IBU World Cup
November 24-December 2: Östersund, Sweden
December 5-10: Hochfilzen, Austria
December 12-17: Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France
January 2-7: Oberhof, Germany
January 9-14: Rupholding, Germany
January 16-21: Antholz-Anterselva, Italy
February 9-25: Olympic Winter Games, South Korea
March 6-11: Kontiolahti, Finland
March 13-18: Holmenkollen, Norway
March 20-25: Tyumen, Russia

See the full IBU Schedule

How do the racers prepare for the season? Find out more 

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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

2017/18 FIS Cross-Country World Cup
November 24-26: Ruka, Finland
December 2-3: Lillehammer, Norway
December 9: Davos, Switzerland
December 16-17: Toblach, Italy

Tour de Ski
December 30: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
December 31: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
January 1: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
January 3: Oberstdorf, Germany
January 4: Oberstdorf, Germany
January 6: Val di Fiemme, Italy
January 7: Val di Fiemme, Italy

January 13-14: Dresden, Germany
January 20-21: Planica, Czech Republic
January 26-28: Seefeld, Austria
February 9-25: Olympic Winter Games, South Korea
March 3-4: Lahti, Finland
March 7: Drammen, Norway
March 10-11: Oslo, Norway
March 16-18: Falun, Sweden

See the full FIS Cross-Country World Cup schedule 

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Paal Golberg (NOR) won the sprint race at the FIS World Cup cross-country opener in Ruka (FIN) last year. Photo: Nordic Focus

Pål Golberg (NOR) won the sprint at the FIS World Cup opener in Ruka (FIN) last year. Photo: Nordic Focus

2017/18 FIS Nordic Combined World Cup
November 24-26: Ruka, Finland
December 2-3: Lillehammer, Norway
December 16-17: Ramsau, Austria
January 6-7: Otepää, Estonia
January 12-14: Val di Fiemme, Italy
January 20-21: Chaux-Neuve, France
January 26-28: Seefeld, Austria
February 3-4: Hakuba, Japan
February 14, 20, 22: Olympic Winter Games, South Korea
March 3-4: Lahti, Finland
March 10: Oslo, Norway
March 13-14: Trondheim, Norway
March 17-18; Klingenthal, Germany
March 24-25: Schonach, Germany

See the full FIS Nordic Combined Schedule

 

“First place feels really special”

Benedikt Doll (GER) hauled into gold in the sprint on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The World Cup season is just around the corner. These are some of the racers to keep an eye on this winter.

Benedikt Doll (GER) hauled into gold in the sprint on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) hauled into gold in the sprint at the 2017 IBU World Championships. Photo: Nordic Focus

Biathlon
Benedikt Doll (GER)
– the ambitious German from Titisee-Neustadt earned the gold in the sprint at the 2017 World Championships in Hochfilzen (Austria) in February, with a 0.7 second margin. This was his first individual World Championships gold medal, and only the third time in his entire career that Doll shot clean.

“It’s amazing. It’s unreal. First place feels really special,” Doll said to reporters after his race.

Doll also helped Germany to silver in the relay at the 2016 World Championships in Holmenkollen (Norway), and has several World Cup podiums and Junior World Championship medals.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) – the 26-year-old from Froland anchored Norway to gold in relay at the 2016 World Championships in Holmenkollen (Norway), and also helped Norway to the bronze medal in the mixed relay at the same championships. Olsbu comes into the season as the reigning Norwegian champion in the mass start event as well as the in summer biathlon, and eager to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang (South Korea) in February.

The 2018 IBU Biathlon World Cup opens with a full round of races in Lillehammer(NOR) November 22-26.

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Marte Olsbu (NOR) is aiming for the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. Photo: Nordic Focus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) is aiming for the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. Photo: Nordic Focus

Cross-country
Hans Christer Holund (NOR)
– a stayer at the World Cup level, the 28-year-old had his breakthrough at the international level in the 2016 season, posting several World-Cup podium finishes. Last season, he injured his shoulder in the final weeks prior to the season, but still managed to come back in time for the World Cup. This season, Holund has his eyes set on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang (South Korea) in February. In July, he won the brutal uphill rollerski race Lysebotn Opp by a full minute, leaving the entire World Cup elite in the dust.

Hans Christer Holund (NOR) was 3rd in the 15km classic at the FIS World Cup in Otepaeae (EST). Photo: Nordic Focus

Hans Christer Holund (NOR) is coming off a flying World Cup season and going for more. Photo: Nordic Focus

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) – the strong all-round racer from Gjøvik, hardly needs further introduction. Performing in both distance and sprint races, Østberg has earned multiple World Cup podiums since her first appearance on the international circuit in November 2008. At the 2014 Olympics in Sochi (RUS), she helped Norway to gold in the team sprint and earned a silver medal in the sprint event. At the 2015 World Championships in Falun (SWE), she again helped Norway to gold in the team sprint. She was third in the overall 2017 World Cup, and with a total of 48 World Cup podiums and 105 top-10-finishes.

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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

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (center), with Heidi Weng (left) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) during the 2017 Tour de Ski in Val Müstair (SUI). Photo: Nordic Focus

Liz Stephen (USA) – New on the Madshus team this season, the 30-year-old from Vermont is known throughout the racing community as one of the best climbers in the world. She has been a part of the US Ski Team since 2007, and was a part of the 2010 and 2014 U.S. Olympic team, as well as the U.S. World Championship teams in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015.

“I’m really excited to be on Madshus this season,” says Stephen, who is aiming for her third Olympics with the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang (South Korea).

The 2018 FIS World Cup season opens with a mini tour in Ruka (Finland) on November 24.

Liz Stephen (USA) at the World Cup/Pre-OLympics in, Pyeong Chang (KOR). Photo: NordicFocus

Liz Stephen (USA) at the World Cup/Pre-OLympics in, Pyeong Chang (KOR). Photo: NordicFocus

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

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