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Podiums in 3 Sports, 2 Continents

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was second in the 30km classic mass start in Holmenkollen (NOR) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was second in the 30km classic mass start in Holmenkollen (NOR) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was second in the 30km classic mass start in Holmenkollen (NOR) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Østberg shines on the cross-country World Cup, Doll is on the biathlon WC podium and Madshus marathon racers make their mark in Austria.

Madshus racers fielded half of the women’s final at the World Cup classic sprint in Drammen (NOR) on Wednesday. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) hauled into second place, only narrowly beaten on the finish line.

“I’m really happy for being second today. I am on the right way now again. Maiken (Caspersen Falla) was strong, and I am happy for her to win here in Drammen for the third time in a row,” Østberg said after the sprint race.

Krista Pärmakoski (FIN) was fourth in the sprint final, while Heidi Weng (NOR) was fifth.

On Sunday, Østberg was back on the World Cup podium with yet another second place in the 30km classic mass start in Holmenkollen (NOR).

While nobody could fight Thersese Johaug for the victory, Østberg battled the challenging conditions and finished 30 seconds ahead of third place, her best finish to date in a 30-kilometer event.

“It was an amazing race. It was a big fight for second and third place. I was expecting that somebody would attack on the last lap, but it was little bit surprising that it was me. I gained some seconds (on the last lap), and managed to keep the gap to the finish line,” Østberg said after the brutal race.

“Therese was too far ahead. Second place today smashed my previous best. Second place is like a victory,” she said.

Additionally, Heidi Weng (NOR) was fourth and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) was seventh, putting three Madshus racers among the top seven.

Østberg now sits in second place in the overall World Cup, second in the sprint World Cup and third in the distance World Cup. Weng is second in the distance World Cup and third in the overall World Cup.

Complete results 

Dominating the marathons
Also on Sunday, the Ski Classics Johan Kjølstad (NOR) narrowly missed the overall victory in the Kaiser Maximillian Lauf in Austria.

Petter Eliassen won the event after thrilling sprint finish, although both Kjølstad and Eliassen clocked in at 3:02:35. Kjølstad is now third in the overall 2016 Ski Classics standings.

In the men’s race, there were a total of four Madshus marathon racers among the top seven: Tore Bjørseth Berdal (NOR) in fourth, Stanislav Rezac (CZE) in sixth and John Kristian Dahl (NOR) in seventh place.

Stian Hoelgaard (NOR, who was 11th in the Kaiser Maximillian Lauf, now has a lead of more than 100 points in the overall youth competitions. In the women’s youth competition, Emilia Lindstedt (SWE) is more than 350 points ahead of the second-place skier, and also sits in fifth place in the overall Ski Classics standings.

The 65km classic race in Seefeld, Austria, replaced the Ski Classics event König Ludwiglauf in Germany, which was cancelled due to lack of snow.

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Johan Kjølstad (NOR) was a split second from the overall victory at the 65km Kaiser Maximilian Lauf in Austria on Sunday. Photo: Ski Classics

Johan Kjølstad (NOR) was a split second from the overall victory at the 65km Kaiser Maximilian Lauf in Austria on Sunday. Photo: Ski Classics

Complete results 

Doll on the World Cup podium
Also this weekend, Benedikt Doll (GER) was second in the 15km mass start at the IBU World Cup in Canmore, Canada.

Complete results

Six WC Podiums

Norway won the 4x5km World Cup relay in Nove Mesto (CZE) on Sunday. From left: Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, Therese Johaug, INgvild Flugstad Østberg (Madshus) and Heidi Weng (Madshus). Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjørndalen (left) and Erlend Bjøntegaard helped Norway to third place in the IBU World Cup relay on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjørndalen (left) and Erlend Bjøntegaard helped Norway to third place in the IBU World Cup relay on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Another productive weekend for the Madshus World Cup racers, netting six podiums in one days.

Relays and Madshus racers seem to be a good combination.

First, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Heidi Weng helped Norway to victory in the FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Nove Mesto (CZE), where Østberg skied the opening leg and Weng skied the second leg in the women’s 4x5km relay. This was Norway’s tenth consecutive relay victory in the World Cup. Then Mathias Rundgreen helped Norway to first place in the men’s 4×7.5km relay at the same venue.

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Norway won the 4x5km World Cup relay in Nove Mesto (CZE) on Sunday. From left: Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, Therese Johaug, INgvild Flugstad Østberg (Madshus) and Heidi Weng (Madshus). Photo: Nordic Focus

Norway won the 4x5km World Cup relay in Nove Mesto (CZE) on Sunday. From left: Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, Therese Johaug, INgvild Flugstad Østberg (Madshus) and Heidi Weng (Madshus). Photo: Nordic Focus

On Saturday, Weng and Østberg were both top 10 in the 10km skate race in Nove Mesto, finishing sixth and ninth respectively, while Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) rounded out the top 10 in tenth place.

The FIS Cross-Country World Cup now moves to Norway featuring the traditional sprint races in Drammen (NOR) on February 3, followed by distance races in Holmenkollen (NOR) on February 5-7.

Complete results 

In the IBU Biathlon World Cup, Anaïs Bescond helped France to victory in the women’s relay on Sunday. Then later that day, Benedikt Doll helped Germany to second place in the men’s relay, where Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Erlend Bjøntegaard took Norway to third place. The IBU World Cup events were held in Anterselva (ITA) at almost 2.000 meters above sea level, which cause trouble for some athletes.

The next IBU World Cup events take place in Canmore (CAN) on February 1-7.

Complete results 

Anais Bescond helped France to victory in the IBU World Cup relay in Anterselva (ITA) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Anais Bescond helped France to victory in the IBU World Cup relay in Anterselva (ITA) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Waited a Year for First

Emil Hegle Svendsen (left) and Ole Einar Bjørndalen (far right) helped Norway to victory at the IBU relay in Ruhpolding (GER) on Friday, the 1st relay victory for the team in a year. Photo: Nordic Focus
Emil Hegle Svendsen (left) and Ole Einar Bjørndalen (far right) helped Norway to victory at the IBU relay in Ruhpolding (GER) on Friday, the 1st relay victory for the team in a year. Photo: Nordic Focus

Emil Hegle Svendsen (left) and Ole Einar Bjørndalen (far right) helped Norway to victory at the IBU relay in Ruhpolding (GER) on Friday, the 1st relay victory for the team in a year. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjørndalen opened the relay for Norway, while Emil Hegle Svendsen anchored the team to victory at the IBU World Cup relay in Rupholding (GER).

It’s been a full year since the Norwegian men last won a World Cup relay, and with less than two months to go until the World Championships on home turf in Holmenkollen (NOR) in March, the victory was a much needed confidence-builder for the team.

The team performance on Friday also reestablished Norway as a clear favorite to win the relay gold at the World Championships in Oslo. Ole Einar Bjørndalen skied the first leg for Norway, while Emil Hegle Svendsen skied the final leg of the relay and secured the victory.

“We like the pressure. We like being favorites. And when we can win despite shooting as poorly as we did today, we are favorites,” Ole Einar Bjørndalen said to Aftenposten reporters after the race.

On Sunday, Miriam Gössner (photo) helped Germany to second place in the biathlon relay on home turf in Rupholding (GER).

Complete results from the IBU World Cup in Rupholding 

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Miriam Gössner helped Germany to 2nd place in the World Cup relay on home turf in Ruhpolding, (GER) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Miriam Gössner helped Germany to 2nd place in the World Cup relay on home turf in Ruhpolding, (GER) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The FIS cross-country World Cup featured an individual sprint in Planica (SLO) on Saturday and a team sprint the next day, both skate. On Saturday, Heidi Weng cruised into third place in the women’s sprint, less than a week after finishing third overall in the 2016 Tour de Ski. Given the toll of the eight races in ten days, and the features of the course in Planica, Weng was almost surprised to be on the podium this weekend as well as outsprinting Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) in a mad dash for the finish line.

“I am still surprised with third today. I thought Ingvild beat me in the finish. I still felt tired after the Tour de Ski but it got better during the day. I like the course here in Planica,” Weng said after her race on Saturday.

On Sunday, Weng kept it up and helped Norway to second place in the team sprint, while fellow Madshus racer Hanna Kolb helped Germany to third place.

Complete results from the FIS World Cup in Planica 

Heidi Weng skied into 3rd place in the World Cup skate sprint in Planica (SLO) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng skied into 3rd place in the World Cup skate sprint in Planica (SLO) on Saturday. On Sunday, she helped Norway to 2nd place in the team sprint. Photo: Nordic Focus

Dominated the WC Podiums

Ole Einar Bjørndalen at the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with a second place in the sprint on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjørndalen opened the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with a second place in the sprint on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjørndalen opened the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with a second place in the sprint on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The last World Cup weekend before the holidays yielded no less than 11 podium finishes for the Madshus racers.

The biathletes were first out, opening the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with the men’s 10km sprint on Thursday night: Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) wasted no time, and went straight to the podium with an impressive second place finish.

His best performance in a long time,” said expert commentator Ola Lunde of the veteran after the race.

On Sunday, Bjørndalen snagged his second podium for the weekend, finishing third in the mass start, behind teammate Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR). Super-Svendsen was just a hair from the victory in the mass start after delivering a smoking second half of the race.

The next round in the IBU World Cup is January 8-10, 2016, in Nove Mesto (CZE).

Complete results from the IBU World Cup in Pokljuka 

For the Nordic combined crew, the Norwegian Madshus racers dominated Saturday’s competition in Ramsau (AUT), claiming all the podium spots: Magnus Moan (NOR) won, while Magnus Krog (NOR) was second and reigning Norwegian national champion Jarl Riiber was third. On Sunday, Riiber, who is a rookie on the senior World Cup circuit this season, was back on the podium for the second day in a row, with a strong second place.

The Nordic Combined World Cup takes a break over the holidays and starts up in 2016 with two competitions in Klingethal (GER) on January 2-3.

Complete results from the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup 

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Jarl Riiber (NOR) was third in the Nordic Combined World Cup in Ramsau (AUT) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Jarl Riiber (NOR) was third in the Nordic Combined World Cup in Ramsau (AUT) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The FIS cross-country World Cup moved to Toblach, Italy, for the last round of races before the 2016 Tour de Ski. On Saturday, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg posted another second place in the skate sprint. On Sunday, she was back on the podium again with a third place in the 10-kilometer classic race, just behind fellow Madshus racer Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), who posted her first World Cup podium for the season.

“I am so excited to be on the podium. I have been waiting for this moment since the beginning of the season. I knew the energy and fitness was there, but until today I haven’t been able to show that in my results. The whole Finnish team was amazing today,” Pärmäkoski said after her race.

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Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) earned her first podium finish for the season on Sunday, with second place in the 10km classic at the World Cup in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) earned her first podium finish for the season on Sunday, with second place in the 10km classic at the World Cup in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Østberg, who has established her self as a solid distance racer this season as well as one of the best sprinters in the world, was equally excited about her third place.

“It was very tight, and great battle between me, Krista and Heidi (Weng). I lost a lot at the end of the race but I am really satisfied with third place. The season has been so great for me. I nearly cannot believe it. I’m so happy that things have worked so well for me,” said Østberg.

Also on Sunday, Alexander Bessmertnykh (RUS) skied into an impressive second place in the men’s 15-kilometer classic in Toblach.

“It is great to be back on the podium again,” said Bessmertnykh, who chose to ski with kick wax,.

While about half of the racers chose to go without on the challenging course, The Russian did not regret his decision.

“I had a very good race, and it was a good choice to go with kick wax. I had amazing skis. Our service team did a great job,” Bessmertnykh said.

The FIS World Cup resumes on January 1 with the first event of the 10-day stage race Tour de Ski, where sprint races in Lenzerheide (SUI) are the first races.

Complete results from the FIS Cross-country World Cup 

Solid World Cup Weekend

Miriam Gössner (GER) hauled into third place in the 7.5km sprint in Hochfilzen, (AUT). Photo: NordicFocus
Miriam Gössner (GER) hauled into third place in the 7.5km sprint in Hochfilzen, (AUT). Photo: NordicFocus

Miriam Gössner (GER) hauled into third place in the 7.5km sprint in Hochfilzen, (AUT). Photo: NordicFocus

Both biathletes and cross-country skiers brought on their show and hauled home one relay and four individual WC podiums.

Friday morning, Madshus biathlete Miriam Gössner (GER) finished third in the women’s sprint at the IBU World Cup in Hochfilzen (AUT). Missing only once, Gössner was 21 seconds behind first place.

On Sunday, Emil Hegle Svendsen anchored Norway to second place in the men’s relay. The IBU World Cup now moves on to round 3, which takes place in Pokljuka (SLO) December 17-20.

Complete results from the second IBU World Cup round

The FIS cross-country World Cup featured one distance race and one sprint competition in Davos (SUI) this weekend.

On Saturday, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, might just have been the happiest girl on the podium after her second place in the 15km skate race in Davos (SUI).

“Who would have thought that I would be on the podium here,” Østberg said after her race. The 24-year-old, who won the 2014 Olympic team sprint and the 2015 World Championships team sprint, has made substantial gains in distance events this season.

Heidi Weng (NOR) was right behind Østberg, with a solid third place. Østberg followed up with another strong podium finish in the skate sprint on Sunday. At the end of the day, she was third after posting the fastest qualifier time and winning every heat until the final.

Next weekend, the FIS cross-country World Cup moves to Toblach (ITA) for the last round of World Cup races before the holidays. Next up is the tenth anniversary for the Tour de Ski, from January 1-10, 2016.

Complete results from the third FIS World Cup round 

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was on the podium both Saturday and Sunday during the FIS World Cup in Davos (SUI). Photo: NordicFocus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was on the podium both Saturday and Sunday during the FIS World Cup in Davos (SUI). Photo: NordicFocus

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