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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

Madhus is the second most winning brand on the 2016 FIS World Cup.

Madshus is positioned firmly as one the top two brands for World Cup points earned during the 2015-16 FIS World Cup season.

Regardless of breakdown – overall World Cup, distance World Cup, sprint World Cup, men or women, Madshus is second only to giant Fischer on the global brands ranking according to statistics released by the International Ski Federation (FIS).

“I think I get it now”

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won the 5km skate race in  Lenzerheide (SUI) on January 3, the third stage of the 2016 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won the 5km skate race in Lenzerheide (SUI) on January 3, the third stage of the 2016 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won the 5km skate race in Lenzerheide (SUI) on January 3, the third stage of the 2016 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild F. Østberg (NOR) is aiming to step it up again for the 2016-17 season.

the 25-year-old Norwegian just finished an amazing season, her best to date. On May 1, Østberg formally started preparing for the 2016-17 season, aiming to step it up yet another notch. But she admits she has needed some time just to let the season sink in.

“There was a while where I literally couldn’t believe it was real, and it lasted a little into the spring, but I’m starting to realize it now,” Østberg said to NTB last week.

At the 2014 Olympics in Sochi (RUS), she earned the silver medal in the sprint and helped Norway to gold in the team sprint. At the 2015 World Championships in Falun (SWE) she helped Norway to gold in the team sprint again. This season, she has dominated the Wold Cup podium, week after week.

“It was unreal. Prior to the 2015-16 season, I hadn’t been on the World Cup podium for a distance race at all, and this season, I was pretty much on the podium every weekend throughout the entire winter. In tours and regular World Cups,” she says of the season that became her major World Cup breakthrough.

Østberg, who comes from the small town of Gjøvik, says that even for family and friends and those who know her really well, it hasn’t been easy to put words to what they’ve seen this season.

“I’m sure some expect that I will take the same giant leaps next winter, but I’m getting close to the top now, and the higher you get, the more difficult it becomes to take the next steps,” Østberg explains.

“It’s actually not realistic to make similar gains next season, but my goal for the upcoming season is to keep improving,” she says.

It’s a wrap!

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) and Heidi Weng at the FIS world cup relay in Nove Mesto (CZE). Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) and Heidi Weng at the FIS world cup relay in Nove Mesto (CZE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) and Heidi Weng at the FIS world cup relay in Nove Mesto (CZE). Photo: Nordic Focus

The elite skiers have already started the 2017 training season, making this a great time to look back at the 2016 achievements. And what a season it was for the Madshus racers!

Taking a look at some of the major highlights from the season, there is a lot to celebrate in the 2015-16 season. Just take a look at a random week in February: Dominating four sports 

The king of Biathlon, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, opened the IBU World Cup season with a podium at the first possible opportunity, in Östersund (SWE) the first week of December. But he reigned the grounds at the 2016 Holmenkollen World Championships, earning no less than four medals on home turf: gold in the relay, silver in the sprint and the pursuit and bronze in the mass start. At 42 years old. He now has over 40 World Championship medals, and he is not retiring any time soon, said the father to be, who is expecting a daughter in October.

Read more: The King Continues 

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Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) won four medals during the 2016 IBU World Championships on home turf in Oslo. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) won four medals during the 2016 IBU World Championships on home turf in Oslo. Photo: Nordic Focus

Also at the 2016 Holmenkollen World Championships, Marte Olsbu (NOR) stepped up and earned her first World Championship medal as she anchored Norway to gold in the women’s 4x6km relay.

“This is the biggest I have ever experienced. I can’t believe it’s true,” Olsbu said after the relay.

Anaïs Bescond (FRA) took home two silver medals from Holmenkollen: the 15km normal competition and the relay.

Read the full recap of the Madshus podium party at the 2016 World Championships in Holmenkollen 

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Marte Olsbu anchored Norway to gold in the relay. Photo: Nordic Focus

Marte Olsbu anchored Norway to gold in the relay. Photo: Nordic Focus

In the Ski Classics, Madshus Marathon racer John Kristian Dahl (NOR) won both the 90-kilometer Vasaloppet in Sweden on March 6, and the 54-kilometer Birkebeinerrennet in Norway on March 19. In doing so, he made history: He was the first Norwegian and only the second racer to ever do so in the 93-year-long legacy of the Vasaloppet. The last to win both races back to back in the same season was Sven-Åke Lundbäck back in 1981.

Read more: Nailing the Double 

Two weeks later, Dahl was second in Årefjällsloppet on April 2, which was the Ski Classic Final. The Dahl capped the long-distance season with winning the world’s longest cross-country race: The 200-kilometer Nordenskiöldsloppet in Sweden, the longest ski marathon in the world, in 8 hours 35 minutes and 17 seconds.

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John Kristian Dahl (NOR) won Vasaloppet on March 6, then he won the Birkebeinerrennet on March 21, and is one of only 2 racers to win both in the same season. Photo: Ulf Palm

John Kristian Dahl (NOR) won Vasaloppet on March 6, then he won the Birkebeinerrennet on March 21, and is one of only 2 racers to win both in the same season. Photo: Ulf Palm

Also, Madshus Marathon racers Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) and Emilia Lindstedt (SWE) won the Ski Classic Youth bibs, awarded to the best racers age 26 and under.

Even in a year without any major championships for the FIS cross-country and Nordic Combined, Madshus racers, still brought home an impressive number of podium finishes. The highlights were many and bright, but Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Heidi Weng (NOR) really dominated the FIS World Cup this season. The duo brought in podium finishes and victories both in the Tour de Ski in January and the brand new Ski Tour Canada as well as the regular World Cup schedule, in sprints as well as distance races.

Read more: Tour de Podium 

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Heidi Weng (left) and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg after the final stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: Nordic Focus 

Heidi Weng (left) and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg after the final stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: Nordic Focus

In Nordic Combined, World Cup rookie Jarl Riiber (NOR) showed no respect for the established elite. He cleaned up the hardware at the 2015 FIS Junior World Championships in Kazakhstan taking home two individual gold medals and bronze in the team competition, and became a permanent member of the Norwegian World Cup team for the 2015-16 season. The 18-year-old stepped up to the challenge. He opened the season by winning the Norwegian national championships in November, and delivered podium finishes on the World Cup throughout the season.

 

Ready to Rumble

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR)
at the IBU World Cup in Holmenkollen in March 2014. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) at the IBU World Cup in Holmenkollen in March 2014. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) at the IBU World Cup in Holmenkollen in March 2014. Photo: Nordic Focus

The 2016 IBU World Championships get underway in Oslo on Wednesday and run until March 13, while the FIS World Cup gears up for the brand new Tour de Canada, which is the 2016 season finale.

The 2016 IBU World Championships in Holmenkollen is the 48th biathlon World Championships, and the organizers are expecting about 350 athletes from almost 40 nations. More than 1,300 volunteers are helping out to make the events and competitions run smoothly. The venue in Holmenkollen can hold 25,000 spectators. Over the course of the 10 competition days, there will be announced 11 World Champions.

For Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR),  the 2016 World Championships on home turf is his overall career goal. The king of biathlon, who is in his 24th World Cup season, is the most winning winter sport athlete in the World.

This is the competition schedule for the World Championships in Holmenkollen
March 2: Opening ceremony downtown Oslo
March 3: Mixed relays
March 5: 10km sprint (men), 7.5km sprint (women)
March 6: 12.5km pursuit (men), 10km pursuit (women)
March 9: 15km individual competition (women)
March 10: 20km individual competition (men)
March 11: 4x6km relay (women)
March 12: 4×7.5km relay (men)
March 13: 12.5km mass start (women), 15km mass start (men)
March 13: Closing ceremony at Holmenkollen

The FIS cross-country World Cup season finale is also somewhat of a championship: The brand new Tour de Canada features 8 competitions in 12 days, starting with the skate sprints in Gatineau on Tuesday, March 1.

For many of the World Cup skiers, including Madshus racer Pål Golberg (NOR), this tour is one of the season highlights.

This is Tour de Canada 2016
March 1: Sprint Freestyle, Gatineau
March 2: 13km Classic (women), 20km Classic (men), Montreal
March 4: Sprint Freestyle, Quebec City
March 5: Pursuit 10km (women), 15km (men) Freestyle, Quebec City
March 8: Sprint Classic, Canmore
March 9: Skiathlon 15km (women), 30km (men), Canmore
March 11: 10km (women), 15km (men) Freestyle, Canmore
March 12: Pursuit 10km (women) 15km (men), Canmore

 

Leaving Europe

Hans Christer Holund (NOR) was third in the 30km skiathlon in Lahti (FIN) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Hans Christer Holund (NOR) was third in the 30km skiathlon in Lahti (FIN) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Hans Christer Holund (NOR) was third in the 30km skiathlon in Lahti (FIN) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Hans Christer Holund (NOR) was third in the men’s 30km skiathlon on Sunday, his second individual World Cup podium this season.

“It is awesome to be on the podium again,” Holund said after his race on Sunday.

Heidi Weng scored two WC podiums at her favorite venue, while Ingvild F. Østberg and Hans Christer Holund had one each in Lahti (FIN) as a last prep for the final WC tour in Canada.

Heidi Weng (NOR) was third in the skate sprint in Lahti on Saturday, and second in the 15km skiathlon on Sunday.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was third in the skiathlon, barely missing the podium in sprint on Saturday where she finished fourth in the final.

With the podium finishes this weekend, Østberg heads into the last FIS tour of the season in second place in the overall FIS World Cup 2016, in second place in the FIS Sprint World Cup 2016 and in third place in the FIS Distance World Cup 2016. Weng heads into the Tour de Canada in third place in the overall World Cup and in second place in the FIS Distance World Cup.

The World Cup races in Lahti (FIN) this weekend was the end of the FIS World Cup in Europe for the 2016 season. Now the World Cup moves to Canada to wrap up the 2016 season with a brand new tour March 1-12.

This is Tour de Canada 2016
March 1: Sprint Freestyle, Gatineau
March 2: 13km Classic (women), 20km Classic (men), Montreal
March 4: Sprint Freestyle, Quebec City
March 5: Pursuit 10km (women), 15km (men) Freestyle, Quebec City
March 8: Sprint Classic, Canmore
March 9: Skiathlon 15km (women), 30km (men), Canmore
March 11: 10km (women), 15km (men) Freestyle, Canmore
March 12: Pursuit 10km (women) 15km (men), Canmore

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