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Double dress rehearsal

Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR), was on the podium 3 times in 3 days at the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup in Seefeld (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

The 2019 World Championships preview in Seefeld was also a final chance to race before the Olympics.

Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR) posted three podium finishes in three days at the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup mini tour.

“I had amazing skis, and I also did well at the jumping hill. Having been on the podium three times in three days I know I have my skiing under control, and I have gained a lot of confidence going into the Olympics in less than two weeks,” Riiber says after the final 15km skate race.

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Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR), was on the podium 3 times in 3 days at the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup in Seefeld (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR), was on the podium 3 times in 3 days at the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup in Seefeld (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

In the FIS cross-country World Cup, Heidi Weng (NOR) back on the podium again for a final test before the Olympics, which open on February 9. Based on her second place in the women’s 10km skate mass start on Sunday, she feels on track for the Winter Games in South Korea.

“I felt strong, and I feel like I could have been faster, but I did a couple of tactical mistakes on the final lap,” Weng said after her race.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was fourth, but is content with her performance considering the training load and altitude camp leading up to the race weekend.

“I am happy with my race. I skied well and my technique is solid, but I didn’t make the best tactical choices today and spent a lot of time at the front pulling the pack. But I feel like I am on track, and I am confident that my training plan will do the trick,” Østberg says.

This was the final World Cup weekend before the Olympics.

Heidi Weng pushing for the finish line at the World Cup in Seefeld (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng pushing for the finish line at the World Cup in Seefeld (AUT). Photo:
Nordic Focus

On track for the Olympics

Krista Parmakoski (FIN)  won the 10km classic at the FIS world cup in Planica (SLO) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Krista Parmakoski (FIN)  won the 10km classic at the FIS world cup in Planica (SLO) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) won the 10km classic at the FIS world cup in Planica (SLO). Photo: Nordic Focus

Double World Cup victory bodes well for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang (KOR) in February.

Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) who won the women’s 10-kilometer classic race at the FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Planica (SLO) on Sunday, with Heidi Weng (NOR) in third place.

Pärmäkoski is exited to feel back on track after illness earlier this season.

“We had a training camp here in the summer, and when I saw the competition tracks here, I said to my coach that I will have a good race in Planica this winter,” Pärmäkoski said after her race.

“It has happened, and it feels great to finally have my first win (of the season). I wanted to get faster as the race went on, and when I saw that I was battling with Charlotte (Kalla), I really pushed hard over the final kilometer,” she explained.

Heidi Weng was also content with her performance in the race.

“It’s good to be on the podium with the other ladies today. It was a tough race, but I had fun racing it. The course profile didn’t suit me with the long gradual hills. My plan was to start slower and then speed up and I tried my best to push over the top of the hills,” Weng says.

In Nordic Combined, Jarl Magnus Riiber helped Norway to victory in the World Cup team competition in Cahux-Neuve (FRA) on Sunday. The team beat Germany by 13.1 seconds after stellar performances both on the hill and on the track.

Jarl Magnus Riiber helped Norway to victory in the team competition at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Chaux-Neuve (FRA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Jarl Magnus Riiber helped Norway to victory in the team competition at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Chaux-Neuve (FRA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Tour de Thriller

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), and Heidi Weng Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), and Heidi Weng Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), and Heidi Weng dominated the 2108 Tour de Ski.  Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg finished first and second in the 2018 Tour de Ski.

The Norwegian duo dominated Tour de Ski from the first weekend in Lenzerheide (SUI), and prior to the last stage, only 1.8 seconds separated Østeberg from Weng. However, the final stage was no thriller. Weng passed Østberg at the base of the alpine hill, and kept increasing the gap. At the end, Weng crossed the finish line 48 seconds ahead of Østberg.

“I am really happy, I had a very good day, and it’s always really fun to cross the finish line here,” Weng said after her impressive stage up the alpine hill Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme (ITA).

“I have very good experiences from Val di Fiemme, but I didn’t remember this stage to be so hard. I guess I say that every time,” Weng said with a laugh.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) ahead of Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) at the 10km classic mass start in Val di Fiemme (ITA). Photo; Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) ahead of Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) at the 10km classic mass start in Val di Fiemme (ITA) on Saturday, which was the second to last stage of the 2018 FIS Tour de Ski. Photo; Nordic Focus

Østberg, who went into the final two stages this weekend with a 57-second lead to Weng, gave up 55 seconds in Saturday’s 10km classic mass start. That left Østberg with a 1.8 second lead going into the final stage: the monster climb up the alpine hill Alpe Cermis. That is exactly the stage where Weng made up a minute on Østberg last year, and won the overall 2017 Tour de Ski.

“I tried to give Heidi a good fight today, and I am very happy with my second place overall at the Tour de ski,” said Østberg, who also posted the third fastest time for the stage.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was 2nd overall at the 2018 FIS Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was 2nd overall at the 2018 FIS Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Østberg and Weng dominate Tour de Ski opener

Ingvild Oestberg (NOR) has a solid overall lead headed into the meat of the 2018 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Oestberg (NOR) has a solid overall lead headed into the meat of the 2018 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild F. Østberg is headed into the meat of the Tour de Ski with a solid overall lead. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Heidi Weng are headed into the meat of the 2018 FIS Tour de Ski with a solid overall lead on the rest of the pack after a stellar opening weekend to the 7-stage event in Lenzerheide (SUI).

Despite tricky conditions in both the opening sprint race on Saturday, December 30, and the following 10km classic individual start race on Sunday, December 31, Østberg delivers a solid victory in the 10km classic individual start race, 25 seconds ahead of Weng in second place, and took the overall Tour lead heading into stage 3.

“It was really difficult to ski well both uphill and downhill, so I was really happy to ski well here today,” Østberg said after her impressive race on Saturday.

Østberg finished the challenging classic course in 26:59, and also earned 15 bonus seconds for the stage victory. Accordingly, she started the third stage, a 10km skate pursuit race, 32 seconds ahead of Weng.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) was second both in the classic 10km and the 10km skate pursuit in Lenzerheide. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) was second both in the classic 10km and the 10km skate pursuit in Lenzerheide. Photo: Nordic Focus

On Monday, January 1, Østberg held on to her overall lead after winning the pursuit by 27.8 seconds, still with Weng in second place. Behind the two Madhus racers, there is a gap of almost a minute down to the next racer.

“It was a very hard fight out there today. I was gaining seconds on Heidi, and then losing them again. But it’s great to have the red leader bib for another day, although I think I will lose it soon,” Østberg said after the first three races of the seven stage event.

Top 3 overall Tour de Ski (after three out of seven stages)
1. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) 56:18.6
2. Heidi Weng (NOR), +32.8 seconds
3. Jessie Diggins (USA), +1:26.9

The Tour de Ski now takes a rest day and moves on to Oberstdorf (GER) for the next two stages on January 3 and 4. The Tour concludes with two stages in Val di Fiemme (ITA) on January 6 and 7.

Read more about the 2018 FIS Tour de Ski: Seven stages, nine days and 400 FIS points

Illustration: FIS

Illustration: FIS

Seven stages, nine days and 400 FIS points

Heidi Weng (NOR) with her FIS Tour de Ski trophy after the final climb in Val di Fiemme (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus
Heidi Weng (NOR) won the 2017 FIS Tour de ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) won the 2017 FIS Tour de ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

All you need to know about the 2018 Tour de Ski.

The 12th edition of the FIS Tour de Ski stage race opens with sprint competitions in Lenzerheide (SUI) on December 30, continues with individual start classic races on December 31 and skate pursuit races on January 1. The tour then moves on to Oberstdorf (GER) for the next two stages: classic sprints and skate mass start races on January 3 and 4. Finally, the tour concludes with two stages in Val di Fiemme (ITA) on January 6 and 7.

See complete schedule below

Madshus racer Heidi Weng (NOR), who is aiming to defend her 2017 overall Tour de Ski title, heads into the Tour as second in the 2018 FIS distance World Cup, and third in the overall World Cup.

The overall Tour champion takes home 400 FIS points, as well as 50 points for each stage victory during the Tour de Ski.

Learn more about formats, FIS points and bonus seconds

2018 Tour de Ski
Dec 30: Skate Sprint, Lenzerheide (SUI)
Dec 31: Classic 10km/15km individual start, Lenzerheide (SUI)
Jan 1: Skate 10km/15km pursuit, Lenzerheide (SUI)
Jan 3: Sprint Classic, Oberstdorf (GER)
Jan 4: Skate 10km/15km mass start, Oberstdorf (GER)
Jan 6: Classic 10km/15km mass start, Val di Fiemme (ITA)

Heidi Weng (NOR) with her FIS Tour de Ski trophy after the final climb in Val di Fiemme (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) with her FIS Tour de Ski trophy after the final climb in Val di Fiemme (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

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