Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) at Tour de Ski. Photo: Madshus
What a start to the 2013 racing season! Team Madshus athletes are posting World Cup victories and podium finishes across the board – Nordic combines, biathlon and cross-country skiing – and have delivered more than 30 World Cup podiums just this season.
Based on the first part of the season, there is a lot to be happy about: Just this past weekend, Madshus had three girls among the top six overall in the FIS Tour de Ski 2013. Kristin Størmer Steira (NOR) was third overall and posted her first Tour de Ski overall podium finish. Krista Laehteenmaeki (FIN) was fourth and Heidi Weng (NOR) was sixth. Weng was also second overall in the World Cup minitour in Kuusamo (Finland) early in the season.
Young talent Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) has also posted a number of strong performances this season, most notably in the Tour de Ski sprint when she put on the brakes right before crossing the finish line, just to let Kristin S. Steira to advance to the final. Østberg, however, was the lucky loser of the heat and moved on to the final herself, where she was second overall – and Steira was third.
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) and Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) are back in business on the biathlon scene, and pushing the limits and their competitors.
In Nordic Combined, Magnus Moan (NOR) has also had an amazing comeback this season after struggling with injuries and illness. Moan has no less than four World Cup victories this season.
Next weekend, the Swix Ski Classics long-distance series gets underway with the 50-kilometer Jizerska Padesatka (CZE). Madshus Marathon Team is eager to get on track, literally speaking. The 2012 FIS Marathon Cup champion, Madshus skier Stanislav Rezac (CZE) is reported to be in great shape and ready to rock. As are Madshus racers Jerry Ahrlin (SWE), Thomas Alsgaard (NOR), Susanne Nyström (SWE) and Laila Kveli (NOR), among others. And 3-time Vasaloppet champion Jörgen Brink (SWE) is aiming for his fourth Vasaloppet title in a row.
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Joergen Brink (SWE) is aiming for his fourth consecutive victory at Vasaloppet. Photo: Madshus
And finally, Madshus racers make up half of the Norwegian National Team to the FIS Junior World Champioships in Liberec (CZE) Jan. 20-27: Hilde Landheim, Hege Langmo, Marit Robertsen, Ingeranne Nakstad, Trude Nonstad Fornes, Håvard Taugbøl, Morten Teksnes and Vebjørn Turtveit. Additionally, Madshus racers account of four of 12 racers to U23 Worlds: Emilie Kristoffersen, Barbro Kvåle, Hallvard Løfald and Mathias Rundgreen. At the Biathlon Junior Worlds, Madshus racers seven of the team’s racers and one alternate: Marie Nørstebø, Kristin Sandeggen, Lotte Lie and Aslak Nenseter in the youth bracket, as well as Erling Aalvik, Frida Strand Kristoffersen and Rikke Hald Andersen in the junior bracket. Nina Støvern is named the alternate to the junior women’s team.
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Hilde Landheim already has fond memories of the courses in Liberec. She won gold there at the 2011 Youth Olympics. Photo: Submitted
Of course, there have been several more strong performances both by veteran Madshus racers and young coming stars. At Madshus, we are excited about the rest of the season and the upcoming 2013 FIS Nordic World Championships and the 2013 IBU World Championships. Let it snow.