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“I felt amazing today”

Heidi Weng (NOR) in front of Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), during the 10km pursuit in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was 2nd in the classic pursuit at the FIS world cup in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was 2nd in the classic pursuit in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) moved up from sixth to second place in the classic pursuit in Toblach.

“It was a great team effort from the Norwegian team. I had great skis and my fitness is exactly where it should be for this time of the season. I was a little bit upset that I didn’t ski according to plan yesterday, so today was great,” says Østberg.

After winning the 10km in Davos last weekend, Østberg had a rough start in Toblach and was sixth in the 10km skate race on Saturday. But despite starting the 10km classic pursuit 29 seconds behind, moved up to an impressive second place.

Heidi Weng (NOR) opened the final World Cup weekend before Christmas with was third in the 10km skate at the FIS World Cup in Toblach (ITA) on Saturday, and was excited to post another World Cup podium, her seventh consecutive this season.

“I’m satisfied with my performance today. I’ve always had a hard time on this course. The last few kilometers today were really tough, and I felt like I could hardly move, but the result proves that I can keep up with the best, despite all the problems. I can build on that,” Weng said after the skate race.

On Sunday, she maintained her podium spot after a solid classic race and finished the 10km classic pursuit in third place.

Østberg and Weng go into the FIS Tour de Ski in second and third place respectively, in the overall World Cup. Additionally, Weng is second overall in the distance World Cup.

Heidi Weng (NOR) in front of Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), during the 10km pursuit in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) in front of Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), during the 10km pursuit in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

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

Solid World Cup Opener

Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to 2nd place in the single mixed relay at the IBU biathlon World Cup in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Madshus racers posted several podiums in the cross-country and biathlon World Cup openers, as well as Ski Classics.

Benedikt Doll helped Germany to 3rd place in the mixed relay at the IBU biathlon world Cup in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll helped Germany to 3rd place in the mixed relay at the IBU biathlon world Cup in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

At the FIS Cross-Country World Cup opener in Ruka (FIN), Pål Golberg (NOR) opened the 2017-18 season the same way as last year: on the podium. For Golberg, the second place finish in the classic sprint on Friday was important, as the classic sprint is one of the events on the schedule at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang (KOR) in February.

Now, he is looking forward to the next World Cup sprint, which takes place on his home turf in Lillehammer on Saturday. “I’ve been thinking about the upcoming World Cup sprint ever since I broke a pole at the start of the sprint race in Lillehammer a year ago,” Golberg says.

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Pål Golberg (NOR) was 2nd in the classic sprint in Ruka on Friday. Photo: NordicFocus

Pål Golberg (NOR) was 2nd in the classic sprint in Ruka on Friday. Photo: NordicFocus

On Saturday, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was third in the 10-kilometer classic race, the second stage of the mini-tour in Ruka.

“I am really happy with my third place and I had a strong finish. The conditions were not easy, so the plan was to start carefully and stay in control,” she said after her race.

While Heidi Weng (NOR) and Hans-Christer Holund (NOR) didn’t make the podium at the final stage of the minitour in Finland, they posted the second and third fastest times, respectively, for the skate races on Sunday, which secured them several points in the overall FIS World Cup.

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was 2nd in the 10km classic at the FIS world cup in Ruka (FIN) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) at the 10km classic in Ruka (FIN) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

On Sunday, the 2017-18 IBU biathlon World Cup opened with both single mix relay and conventional mixed relay in Österssund (SWE). Vanessa Hinz helps Germany to second place in single mixed relay, the first event at the IBU biathlon World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Afterward, Benedikt Doll helped Germany to third place in the mixed relay.

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Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to 2nd place in the single mixed relay at the IBU biathlon World Cup in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to 2nd place in the single mixed relay at the IBU biathlon World Cup in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Sunday also marked the start of the 2017-18 Ski Classics marathon series with the 12-kilometer Pro Team Prologue in Switzerland. Team Lager 157 (SWE) won the team competition, placing four racers among the top six men, including Madshus racer Fredrik Byström (SWE) in second place.

Madshus racers also placed fifth with Simen Østensen (NOR) from Team BN Bank, sixth with Jimmie Johnson (SWE) from Lager 157, seventh with Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) from Team Koteng and tenth with Marcus Johansson (SWE) from Lager 157.

In the women’s prologue, Astrid Øyre Slind (NOR) from Team Koteng was second. After the first of the season’s 11 events, Lager 157 is in first place overall, and Team Koteng in second.

Lager 157 won the Pro Team Prologue, which was the first event in the 2017-18 Ski Classics marathon series. Photo: Magnus Östh

Lager 157 won the Pro Team Prologue,  the first event in the 2017-18 Ski Classics series. Photo: Magnus Östh

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

 

Ready for World Cup-Level Racing in July

Heidi Weng at Lysebotn OPP last summer. Photo: Blink

Heidi Weng at Lysebotn OPP last summer. Photo: Blink

The Blink ski festival in Sandnes (NOR) opens on Wednesday and is now the largest summer ski festival in the world.

Each year, more than a 100 of the top World Cup level skiers and biathletes take part in the BLINK events, including Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Krista Pärmäkoski, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, Heidi Weng, Øystein Pettersen and more. The festival and events are also open to future stars, elite and amateur skiers, and more than 5000 kids are expected to stop by the kids’ world section to try out roller skiing and laser biathlon.

This year’s BLINK summer ski festival takes place from July 26 to July 29, and features a number of races and events, starting with the 60-kilometer Blink Classic classic roller ski race on July 26 that is a part of a brand new marathon roller ski world cup.

Next up is Lysebotn OPP on Thursday, July 27. The 7.5-kilometer uphill race is expected to be a fierce fight between Heidi Weng, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Krista Pärmäkoski – the Madshus’ turbo trio from the World Cup. Check out the start lists HERE

Friday July 28 and Saturday July 29 feature a number of cross-country and biathlon events in Sandnes city center, including sprints, super sprints and mass start races. Check out the complete schedule HERE

Kids get a chance to try their hand at biathlon. Photo: BLINK/ Axelar Svein Erik Fylkesnes

Kids get a chance to try their hand at biathlon. Photo: BLINK/ Axelar Svein Erik Fylkesnes

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