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Podiums on all circuits

Jarl Magnus Riiber at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Lillehammer. Photo: Geir Olsen
Jarl Magnus Riiber at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Lillehammer. Photo: Geir Olsen

Jarl Magnus Riiber at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Lillehammer. Photo: Geir Olsen

Madshus racers posted podiums in the FIS Nordic World Cup, the IBU Biathlon World Cup as well as the Ski Classics marathon series.

Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) opened the cross-country world cup weekend with second place in the women’s classic sprint on Saturday.

“I’ve been feeling better and better since the World Cup opener in Ruka last week, and this was a good day for me. I like early starts, and in every heat, I was feeling better,” said Pärmäkoski, who now leads the overall sprint World Cup.

Then Heidi Weng followed suit with second place in the skiathlon on Sunday. Weng is in second place in the overall World Cup standings.

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Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd in the classic sprint on Saturday- Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd in the classic sprint on Saturday- Photo: Nordic Focus

For the men, Pål Golberg (NOR) posted the fastest time in the classic sprint qualifier on Sunday.

On Sunday, Hans Christer Holund (NOR) posted another strong podium finish in the men’s 30-kilometer skiathlon, only 6.8 seconds behind the winner.

“I thought the last climb was a bit tough and started to fall pretty far behind so I’m very happy to be on the podium,” Holund said after his race on Sunday.

In Nordic Combined, Jarl Magnus Riiber helped Norway to first place in the team competition on Saturday.

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Hans Christer Holund was 3rd in the 30km skiathlon on Sunday. Photo: Geir Olsen

Hans Christer Holund was 3rd in the 30km skiathlon on Sunday. Photo: Geir Olsen

Finally, Marte Olsbu (NOR) finished the first IBU Biathlon World Cup round with third place in pursuit on Sunday. Olsbu opened the World Cup in Östersund by helping Norway to first place in the mixed relay on November 26.

In the Ski Classics, Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) was third in the La Sgambeda 35-kilometer race in Livigno, Italy, on Saturday. The marathon series opened last weekend with the 12-kilometer Pro Team Prologue in Switzerland, but this weekend’s race was the first of the long-distance races for the season.

Marte Olsbu was 3rd in the IBU World Cup, pursuit in Östersund. Photo:  Nordic Focus

Marte Olsbu was 3rd in the IBU World Cup, pursuit in Östersund. Photo: Nordic Focus

What a way to start the season

Hans Christer Holund was twice on the podium in equally many attempts in the season opener at Beitostølen this weekend. Photo: Geir Olsen

Madshus racers posted seven podiums at the Norwegian cross-country and biathlon season opener events this weekend.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) won the biathlon mass start at Sjusjøen (NOR) on Sunday, with Anaïs Bescond (FRA) in second place.

“It was really fun. I did exactly what I set out to do and it worked,” Olsbu said after her race.

Olsbu became the first Norwegian woman to ever win the season opener in Sjusjøen.

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Marte Olsbu (NOR) won the season opener at Sjusjøen on Sunday. File photo: Nordic Focus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) won the season opener at Sjusjøen on Sunday. File photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg were second and third, respectively, at the 10km classic race that opened the Beitostølen season opener in Norway on Friday morning.

“It felt really good but very painful at the same time, almost unusually painful. But it was really fun to race again and go really hard,” Østberg said after her first race of the season.

Weng admits that she was nervous before the start, but relieved to finish second.

“I didn’t feel like I skied super fast up the hills, and I never thought I would be on the podium today, so I’m super excited about the race. It was really fun, and I’m really happy to be back in the racing again,” she said.

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Heidi Weng was second in the 10km classic race at Beitostølen on Friday. Foto: Geir Olsen

Heidi Weng was second in the 10km classic race at Beitostølen on Friday. Foto: Geir Olsen

In the afternoon Hans Christer Holund finished third in the men’s 15km classic. The young Madshus racer Johan Hoel finished fifth after leading much of the race and impressed both fellow racers and the experts.

“This is by far the best race I’ve done at Beitostølen ever. I feel like I have a lot to prove after a bad season last year, and hope to be a part of the mix when the national team is naming the 2018 Winter Olympics team,” Hoel said to reporters after his race.

Holund was content with his third place in the first event of the season.

“My main focus for this season is to race well at the World Cup and secure a spot on the Olympic team. In order to do that, I need to race well from the start, so these races are important,” explained Holund, who followed up with second place in the 15km skate race on Sunday.

Weng also concluded her weekend with another podium on Sunday. She was third in the 10km skate race.

Hans Christer Holund was twice on the podium in equally many attempts in the season opener at Beitostølen this weekend. Photo: Geir Olsen

Hans Christer Holund was twice on the podium in equally many attempts in the season opener at Beitostølen this weekend. Photo: Geir Olsen

 

“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

Ready for the World Championships

Heidi Weng 3rd sprint Otepää Feb 18-17 - Nordic Focus 680x
Heidi Weng 3rd sprint Otepää Feb 18-17 - Nordic Focus 680x

Heidi Weng (NOR) was 3rd in the sprint at the FIS World Cup in Otepaeae (EST). Photo: Nordic Focus

Heading into the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships, Madshus racers are dominating the overall World Cup on the women’s side.

Heidi Weng (NOR) sits in first place with 1651 points, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) in second place with 1285 points and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) in third place with 1262 points. The same order goes for the overall distance World Cup.

Weng is also third in the overall sprint world cup going into the World Championships this week.

Final prep for Lahti
At the FIS cross-country World Cup last weekend, Heidi Weng (NOR) was third in the sprint on Saturday and again in the 10km classic race on Sunday at the World Cup in Otepää (EST).

Also on Sunday, Hans Christer Holund (NOR) skied an impressive 15km classic race, and was rewarded with a podium finish. Holund was third in the race but possibly the happiest skier on the podium.

“This third place means a lot to me. I’ve had a difficult season with the (shoulder) injury in the fall. At the finish, I could not believe I was third. This is probably the hardest 15 km I have ever skied. The course was tough, and the snow conditions made it even harder, so I started out conservatively and stepped it up as the race progressed,” Holund said.

Holund is an extra for the Norwegian national team World Championships squad.

The Otepää weekend was the last World Cup prior to the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti (FIN), which open on Wednesday, February 22. The first races are on Thursday, February 23.

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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) was 3rd in the 15km classic at the FIS World Cup in Otepaeae (EST). Photo: Nordic Focus

2017 FIS Nordic World Championships schedule
Cross-Country:
February 23: Sprint men and women
February 25: 15km skiathlon (women), 30km skiathlon (men)
February 26: team sprint men and women
February 28: 10km classic women
March 1: 15km classic men
March 2: relay women (4x5km)
March 3: relay men (4×7.5km)
March 4: 30km skate women
March 5: 50km skate men

Nordic combined
February 24: NH100/10km
February 26: Team competition NH100/4x5km
March 1: LH130/10km
March 3: Team sprint LH130/2×7.5km

The Longest Toe

Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay on Sunday and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) on January 28. Photo: Nordic Focus
Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay on Sunday and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) on January 28. Photo: Nordic Focus

Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) in January. Photo: Nordic Focus

…belongs to Håvard Taugbøl (NOR), while the younger crew collected hardware at the FIS U23 and Junior World Championships.

Håvard Solås Taugbøl skied onto the Lahti (FIN) World Championships team with strong performances at the Norwegian National Championships this weekend.

While the Lahti World Championships team was announced after the Norwegian National Championships skiathlon events on Saturday, Taugbøl’s most impressive performance for the weekend was anchoring Lillehammer Skiklub to the podium at the 3×10 kilometer relay on Sunday. Coming into the finish lane in fourth place, Taugbøl secured the bronze medal for his club. Despite being blocked repeatedly for the sprint finish, the 23-year-old sprint specialist surged toward the line and had the longest toe as they both reached across the line. Marathon specialist Øystein Pettersen skied the first leg for Lillehammer.

Taugbøl has posted several top 10 in the World Cup this season and had the fastest qualifier time at the Toblach World Cup three weeks ago. He won the FIS sprint at Gålå in December and was second in the Scandinavian Cup sprint in Lillehammer the following weekend, and this weekend he was third in the sprint at the national championships. Combined, these efforts earned him a ticket to the Norwegian sprint team at the FIS World Championships in Finland.

Also, Hans Christer Holund helped his club LYN Ski to gold in the relay. Holund, who skied the second leg for LYN, surged to create a gap for his team that nobody was able to close, and LYN won by more than a minute. Prior to the relay, Holund was named an extra to the World Championships team.

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Hans Christer Holund (NOR) skied the 2nd leg for LYN Ski at Norwegian Championships relay on Sunday and surged to secure a gap that nobody could close, helping his team to gold. Here from the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Hans Christer Holund (NOR) skied the 2nd leg for LYN Ski at Norwegian Championships relay and surged to secure a gap that nobody could close, helping his team to gold. Here from Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Among the women, Heidi Weng was on the podium in all the individual competitions at the national championships. On Thursday, she was third in the 10km classic. Then she was second in the skate sprint on Friday, and third again for the skiathlon on Saturday. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg was second in the classic race on Thursday. Also, Marte Bjørnsgaard helped Lillehammer to silver in the 3x5km relay on Sunday.

Meanwhile, at the FIS U23 and Junior World Championships in Utah (USA), January 30 to February 5, Madshus skiers earned medals in both the junior and the U23 category. Junior Petter Stakston (NOR) took home the silver medal in the classic sprint on Monday, January 30, after posting the fastest qualifier time in the event. Junior Marte Mæhlum Johansen (NOR) first earned the silver medal in the 5-kilometer skate on Thursday, then continued with gold in the skiathlon on Friday. Junior Harald Østberg Amundsen (NOR) was third in the skiathlon. Additionally, Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver in the women’s U23 5-kilometer skate race on Thursday.  Finally, on Sunday, Amundsen and Jon Rolf Skape Hope helped Norway to gold in the relay.

Complete results all events

Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver medal in the womens 5km skate race at the FIS U23 World Championships in Utah (USA) on Thursday. Photo: NSF/Team Veidekke

Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver medal in the womens 5km skate race at the FIS U23 World Championships in Utah (USA) on Thursday. Photo: NSF/Team Veidekke

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