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Dream Start to Tour de Ski


Heidi Weng (NOR) is now second overall in the FIS 2015 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus


Saturday, Heidi Weng (NOR) opened Tour de Ski 2015 with her best skate performance to date, placing second in the 3.3-kilometer prologue – only 10 seconds behind first place. Then Weng followed up with a second place in the 10km classic pursuit, where she beat Therese Johaug (NOR) in Johaug’s strongest event.


“I think I had a good race,” Weng said after her race in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Sunday.


“I tried to stay focused. Therese (Johaug) came on the first hill, and then I was trying to pick up some seconds on the climbs,” Weng said, explaining that she worked with her competitor trying to move up to first place.


“We helped each other today. Therese was very strong on flat sections. I tried to break away on the last hill before the finish,” said Weng, who beat JOhaug by 0.6 seconds in the 10km classic race.


After the opening prologue in Oberstdorf on Saturday, Weng couldn’t contain her excitement, for her second place, which is her best World Cup finish to date.


“I’ve never skied this well in a skate race. I don’t understand what’s happening with my skating. I’ve done three World Cup skate races and I’ve been on the podium three times. It’s a dream start for my Tour de Ski,” Weng said after the prologue.


“I felt like I skied slow. The plan was to start slower and speed up on the second lap, but I got so stiff on the first lap, so when I got to the big hill on the second lap, I could just think about digging, digging, digging to get to the top and then not crash on the downhill,” Weng said of her race.


After two of the seven stages in the 2015 Tour de Ski, Weng has every reason to shine as the skiers moves on to Val Muistar, Switzerland, for stage three: skate sprints on January 7. The next day features 15k/35k skate pursuit from Cortina to Toblach, Italy.


On January 9, the skiers get a second rest day before the final two stages in Val di Fiemme, Italy.


On Saturday, January 10, there are 10k classic mass starts for both men and women in Val di Fiemme, and on January 11, the Tour concludes with the brutal 9k skate pursuit for both men and women up Alpe Cermis.


1. Marit Bjoergen, NOR, 36:50.6
2. Heidi Weng, NOR, +1:01.2
3. Therese Johaug, NOR, +1:06.8
4. Stina Nilsson, SWE, +1:48.5
5. Nicole Fessel, GER, +1:52.7

Complete ladies’ Overall Tour standings 


My Best Skate Race Ever


Heidi Weng (NOR) considers the 10K skate at the World Cup in Davos this weekend her best skate race to date. Photo: Nordic Focus



Heidi Weng (NOR) has become a standard fixture on the World Cup podium this season, but considers Saturday’s 10K skate in Davos her best race to date.


Weng’s third place was more than just a podium. It was a small victory for the girl who’s traditionally been stronger in the classic events.


“I tried during the whole summer to improve my skating technique,” Weng said after her race.


She had prepared carefully for the race, the last World Cup distance competition before Tour de Ski.


“My plan was to start out slower and speed up on the second lap. I was skiing safe in the downhills. I was focused on finishing on the podium.”


And she did.


“I think this was my best skate race ever,” she said after the race.


Now Weng heads home for Christmas as third overall in the distance World Cup, and fourth in the overall World Cup.


But Weng was not the only Madshus skier on the World Cup podium this weekend.


Cross-country skier Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), who won the World Cup sprint in Davos last weekend, pulled off an impressive third place in the skate sprint on Sunday, despite reporting that she felt less than optimally rested for the race.


“This is my second podium in two weeks,” Oestberg said after her race on Sunday.


“Today was a good race, but I did not feel quite as good as last weekend. Stina (Nilsson) passed me on the last climb, but I am really, really happy about the third place,” she said.


Oestberg, who has performed well above expected for the early season, is now second overall in the sprint World Cup, and third in the overall World Cup.


Complete results from the FIS World Cup


At the biathlon World Cup in Pokljuka, Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) climbed to the top of the podium again in the men’s pursuit on Saturday after a killer effort both at the range and in the tracks. That followed his third place finish in the men’s sprint on Friday.


The 29-year-old didn’t miss a single target in either event.


“It was fun today. This is one of the easiest days at the range in my career. I just pulled the trigger over and over again, and the targets fell like flies,” Svendsen said to Norwegian TV station NRK after the pursuit on Saturday.


And on Sunday, Anais Bescond (FRA) secured yet another Madshus podium in the women’s mass start where she was second.


Complete results from the IBU World Cup

Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) did not miss a single target at the range on Saturday. (Photo: Screenshot)



Podiums Across the Board


Oeystein Pettersen (NOR) went straight to the podium in the first marathon of the 2014-15 Ski Classics season. Photo: Ski Classics


Five World Cup podiums, two podiums in the first Ski Classics distance and the fastest finish times in the Ski Classics time trial – not a bad weekend for Madshus athletes.


First, Tore Berdahl and Johan Kjoelstad delivered the fastest times in the Ski Classics Pro Team Tempo team time trial in Livigno, Italy, on Saturday. The event is a brand new format in the Ski Classics, and although 15km is hardly a marathon, it allows the pro team racers to show off their colors, collect valuable points toward the overall race series, and set the order for the first marathon event in the 2014-15 Ski Classics, the 35km La Sgambeda Classic on Sunday.


The Madshus marathon racers continued to impress in the Ski Classics on Sunday. Johan Kjoelstad (NOR) and Oeystein Pettersen (NOR) snagged two of the three spots on the podium in the 35km La Sgambeda classic race. Kjoelstad and Pettersen finished within half a second of each other, in second and third place respectively.


After the first Ski Classics weekend, Kjoelstad is now second overall in the Ski Classics Champion competition, while Pettersen is second in the overall Ski Classics Sprint Champion competition and third in the Ski Classics Champion competition.


The next race in the ski classics is Jizerska Padesatka on January 11.

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Didrik Toenseth posted his best WC finish to date in the 15km classic on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus


On the cross-country World Cup in Davos, Didrik Toenseth (NOR) finished second in the 15km classic race on Saturday, just a hop and a skip down the road from the Ski Classics action in Livigno. This is Toenseth’s top World Cup result to date.


“My plan was to ski three even laps. I tried to keep the same pace. I thought that the course here would not fit me because I like steeper uphills,” Toenseth said to the FIS after the race.


The 23-year-old has been on a rally since the season started, and hopes to carry the momentum into the World Championships in Falun later this winter.


Read more about Toenseth’s season opener 


With strong performances since the World Cup started in the end of November, Toenseth is now second in the FIS Distance World Cup, and third in the FIS overall World Cup.


On Sunday, Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) bagged her very first World Cup victory when she won the sprint in Davos (SUI) after having dominated both the qualifier and every heat through the final.


Read more about Oestberg’s first World Cup victory


With the victory in Davos, Oestberg is now second in the FIS Distance World Cup, and third in the FIS overall World Cup.


The World Cup continues with further races in Davos on Dec 20-21.

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Timofey Lapshin helped Russia to victory in the IBU World Cup relay. Photo: Nordic Focus


Also, in the IBU Biathlon World Cup Madshus racers secured both first and third place in the men’s relay in Hochfilzen on Saturday. Timofey Lapshin and Maxim Tsvetkov helped Russia to victory, while Emil Hegle Svendsen helped Norway to third place in the 4×7.5km relay.


Finally, Madshus biathlete Anais Bescond (FRA) was third in the women’s pursuit at the World Cup in Hochfilzen on Sunday.


The IBU World Cup now moves to Pokljuka December 18-21.

Anais Bescond (FRA) was third in the IBU World Cup pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus



Six Podiums and WC Lead


Biathlete Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) pulled into third place in the WC pursuit in Östersund (SWE) on Sunday, and remains in the yellow WC leader bib. Photo: Nordic Focus


The biathlon World Cup season opener left Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) with one victory and a third place in Östersund (SWE), while the cross-country skiers were on the podium every day during the World Cup mini-tour in Lillehammer (NOR).


Emil Hegle Svendsen shows that he’s back on track this season, opening his World Cup season with winning the 20km individual competition in Östersund (SWE) on December 3. Svendsen was the only racer to nail every single shot at the range, and creamed his competitors. On Sunday, he was back on the podium finishing third in the pursuit.


“This venue has pretty challenging courses, with long uphills, and only a little bit of recovery on the descents. The entry to the range is fairly easy, but the conditions at the range are often challenging,” Svendsen said to Norwegian TV station NRK.


“These courses have proven to suit me well,” said Svendsen who now leads the overall biathlon World Cup.
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Heidi Weng (NOR) was on the podium three days in a row during the World Cup mini tour in Lillehammer this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus


In the FIS cross-country mini-tour in Lillehammer, Madshus racers Pål Golberg (NOR) and Heidi Weng (NOR) opened the show with two podiums: Golberg won the men’s classic sprint and Weng was third in the women’s sprint.


On Saturday, Weng continued with another strong third place in the women’s 5km skate race, before capping her weekend with yet another third place in the women’s 10km classic pursuit.


Furthermore, Didrik Tønseth (NOR) had the fastest time in the men’s 15km pursuit on Sunday. Heidi Weng had the second fastest time in the women’s 10km pursuit. After this weekend, both Golberg and Weng is now third in the overall World Cup.


This week, the biathletes move on to the second World Cup round, which takes place in Hochpfilzen (AUT), while the cross-country skiers travel to Davos (SUI) for their next World Cup races.



It’s World Cup Time!


Madshus cross-country skier Heidi Weng (NOR) is ready for the World Cup opener i Finland this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus


This weekend marks the start of the 2014-15 World Cup season for cross-country, Nordic combined and biathlon, featuring opening races in Finland and Sweden, respectively.


The FIS Cross-Country World Cup opens in Ruka, Finland, with classic sprint races for men and women on Saturday, and continues with classic 10km and 15km races for women and men respectively on Sunday.


Check out the national team rosters 


Complete results can be found after the events on the FIS web site


The Nordic Combined World Cup also takes place in Ruka, Finland, and gets underway with qualifications on the hill on Thursday, November 27. Friday features provisional competition, Saturday the athletes will go to the ski jumping hill in the late morning and race the 10km Gundersen format cross-country competition in the afternoon. Finally, the Nordic Combined World Cup opener concludes with the team competition on Sunday.


Complete results for Nordic combined can be found after the events on the FIS web site


The biathletes will gather in Östersund, Sweden, for an entire week of IBU World Cup competitions, starting with mixed relays on Sunday, November 30. On December 3, the racing continues with 20km individual competition for men, followed by the women’s 15km individual competition on December 4. On Saturday December 6, both men’s and women’s sprint races are on the schedule, before the first World Cup concludes with pursuit races for both men and women on Sunday December 7.


Madshus racers are eager to get started with the international race season, including all-time most winning biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR), who opened his season with winning the mass start at the Norwegian national season opener two weeks ago – with a field that was worthy of a World Cup.


For complete schedules, start lists and results, please visit the IBU home page.


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