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Sweeping the long and the short

Ida Sargent (USA) at the FIS cross-country World Cup team sprint in Dresden (GER). Photo: Nordic Focus
Ida Sargent (USA) at the FIS cross-country World Cup team sprint in Dresden (GER). Photo: Nordic Focus

Ida Sargent (USA) at the FIS cross-country World Cup team sprint in Dresden (GER). Photo: Nordic Focus

Podium performances in the Ski Classics marathon, the FIS World Cup team sprint and the IBU biathlon World Cup relay.

In the Ski Classics long-distance series, Sara Lindborg (SWE) delivered a solid podium finish in Austria – her first for the season – with second place in the 60-kilometer Kaiser Maximilian Lauf.

The race, which was the third event in the 2018 Ski Classics marathon series, was also the first event in the new mini cup “Alp Trophy.” The Alp Trophy is a bonus to the top racer overall in the three Alpine races Maximilian Lauf in Austria, La Diagonela in Switzerland on January 20, and Marcialonga in Italy on January 28.

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Sara Lindborg (SWE) was 2nd in the Ski Classics Kaiser Maximilian Lauf in Seefeld (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

Sara Lindborg (SWE) was 2nd in the Ski Classics Kaiser Maximilian Lauf in Seefeld (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

At the IBU biathlon World Cup in Rupholding (GER), Anna Magnusson helped Sweden to third place again for the second week in a row. This was the last World Cup relay prior to the Olympics in South Korea, which take place February 9 to 25.

On Sunday, Ida Sargent (USA) helped USA to third place in the World Cup team sprint in Dresden (GER). This was her third World Cup podium, and her second third place in the team sprint event. Last year, she was third in the same event at the pre-Olympics in South Korea.

Anna Magnusson helped Sweden to third place in the IBU biathlon World Cup relay in Rupholding (GER). Photo: Nordic Focus

Anna Magnusson helped Sweden to third place in the IBU biathlon World Cup relay in Rupholding (GER). Photo: Nordic Focus

Three double podiums

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) earned her first World Cup podium for the season when she won the 10km skate race in Davos (SUI) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) earned her first World Cup podium for the season when she won the 10km skate race in Davos (SUI) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) earned her first World Cup podium for the season when she won the 10km skate race in Davos (SUI) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Madshus racers dominate both the biathlon and cross-country World Cup competitions on Sunday.

First, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) earn her first World Cup victory of the season, winning the 10-kilometer skate race in Davos (SUI) by five seconds.

“A race like this is what I train for every day of the year. I started out conservatively, and I really had no idea I was skiing all that fast, but the coaches kept telling me I as ahead. This was a fantastic day for me, and Davos is my favorite World Cup venue,” Østberg said after the race.

Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) snagged the last podium spot, her second World Cup podium this season.

The next FIS World Cup races take place in Toblach (ITA) on December 16-17.

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Ole Einar Bjoerndalen skied the first leg for Norway at the IBU World Cup relay in Hochfilzen (AUT) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen skied the first leg for Norway at the IBU World Cup relay in Hochfilzen (AUT) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

At the IBU Biathlon World Cup relay, Ole Einar Bjørndalen helped Norway to a spectacular victory. The Norwegian team won by a 2-minute margin in the challenging conditions in Hochfilzen (AUT). Benedikt Doll skied the second leg for Germany, who was second after beating France by 40 seconds.

In the women’s relay, Vanessa Hinz skied the first leg for Germany and laid the foundation for first place, while Anais Bescond anchored France to third place.

The IBU World Cup now moves on to Annecy (FRA) on Dec 14 to 17 for the final round before Christmas.

Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to first place in the IBU World Cup relay in Hochfilzen (AUT) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Vanessa Hinz helped Germany to first place in the World Cup relay in Hochfilzen (AUT). 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

Check out the World Cup calendars!

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay at the IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

The 2017-18 World Cup season is just around the corner – check out the race schedules and mark your calendar.

National season openers are already well underway. Both Sweden and Finland hosted FIS-sanctioned cross-country races this weekend, and Norway is next up with the Beitostølen season opener on November 17 to 19.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay at the IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) raced the opening leg in the mixed team relay at the 2016-17 IBU World Cup opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

Both the International Ski Federation and the International Biathlon Union kick off the World Cup season in the end of November, and as usual. The first Nordic events take place in Finland, while Sweden hosts the first biathlon World Cup events.

Take a peek at some of the athletes to watch this season 

2017/18 IBU World Cup
November 24-December 2: Östersund, Sweden
December 5-10: Hochfilzen, Austria
December 12-17: Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France
January 2-7: Oberhof, Germany
January 9-14: Rupholding, Germany
January 16-21: Antholz-Anterselva, Italy
February 9-25: Olympic Winter Games, South Korea
March 6-11: Kontiolahti, Finland
March 13-18: Holmenkollen, Norway
March 20-25: Tyumen, Russia

See the full IBU Schedule

How do the racers prepare for the season? Find out more 

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Madshus racers plastered the 2017 FIS Overall World Cup podium: Heidi Weng (NOR) won, Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd, and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was 3rd. Photo: Nordic Focus

Madshus racers plastered the 2017 FIS Overall World Cup podium: Heidi Weng (NOR) won, Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd, and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) was 3rd. Photo: Nordic Focus

2017/18 FIS Cross-Country World Cup
November 24-26: Ruka, Finland
December 2-3: Lillehammer, Norway
December 9: Davos, Switzerland
December 16-17: Toblach, Italy

Tour de Ski
December 30: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
December 31: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
January 1: Lenzerheide, Switzerland
January 3: Oberstdorf, Germany
January 4: Oberstdorf, Germany
January 6: Val di Fiemme, Italy
January 7: Val di Fiemme, Italy

January 13-14: Dresden, Germany
January 20-21: Planica, Czech Republic
January 26-28: Seefeld, Austria
February 9-25: Olympic Winter Games, South Korea
March 3-4: Lahti, Finland
March 7: Drammen, Norway
March 10-11: Oslo, Norway
March 16-18: Falun, Sweden

See the full FIS Cross-Country World Cup schedule 

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Paal Golberg (NOR) won the sprint race at the FIS World Cup cross-country opener in Ruka (FIN) last year. Photo: Nordic Focus

Pål Golberg (NOR) won the sprint at the FIS World Cup opener in Ruka (FIN) last year. Photo: Nordic Focus

2017/18 FIS Nordic Combined World Cup
November 24-26: Ruka, Finland
December 2-3: Lillehammer, Norway
December 16-17: Ramsau, Austria
January 6-7: Otepää, Estonia
January 12-14: Val di Fiemme, Italy
January 20-21: Chaux-Neuve, France
January 26-28: Seefeld, Austria
February 3-4: Hakuba, Japan
February 14, 20, 22: Olympic Winter Games, South Korea
March 3-4: Lahti, Finland
March 10: Oslo, Norway
March 13-14: Trondheim, Norway
March 17-18; Klingenthal, Germany
March 24-25: Schonach, Germany

See the full FIS Nordic Combined Schedule

 

“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

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