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Crushing the Competition


Emil Hegle Svendsen delivered both at the range and on the course, anchoring Norway to victory in the biathlon WC relay in Rupholding (GER). Photo: Screenshot


On Thursday, Emil Super-Svendsen served up a smoking anchor performance in the men’s 4×7.5km biathlon relay. Then Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg dominated the World Cup sprints from start to finish on Saturday and helped Norway to 2nd place in the team sprint on Sunday.


In Saturday’s individual sprint in Tallin, Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) won everything from start to finish. She had the fastest qualifying time and won every heat she was in, including the final.


“I had incredible skis. Prior to the final, I was unsure whether to grab the klister skis or my Zeros, but I opted for klister and gained a few meters on the last hill into the stadium,” Oestberg said to TV2 after the race.


Oestberg’s World Cup victory on Saturday was the second in her career. The first was in Davos, Switzerland, in December.


“This was every bit as fun as the first time. To earn my second World Cup victory for the season feels just unreal,” Oestberg said.


The individual sprint at the World Championships in Falun, Sweden, in February are also in classic technique, so Saturday’s competition was an important test run for the World Cup racers.


In the team sprint on Sunday, Oestberg powered Norway to an impressive second place in a three-way sprint with Sweden and Poland.


“We felt good, and tried to get a big gap. Unfortunately the plan did not work as we had hoped, but the second place is good,” she said with a smile.  The next FIS World Cup races take place in Rybinsk, Russia, featuring 10/15km skate, sprints and skiathlon races on January 23-25.

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Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) earned her second individual World Cup victory this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus


And on the Ski Classics long-distance cup, Karma goes a long way – read more about the drama in Switzerland where Madshus marathon team racer Oeystein Pettersen won the sprint finish but donated half of the prize money to 84th place racer.

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Oeystein Pettersen (NOR) won La Diagonela in Switzerland, his first Ski Classics victory, in a sprint finish after 43km. Photo: Ski Classics


On the Biathlon World Cup circuit there was plenty of action in Rupholding, Germany. On Thursday, Norway’s team, consisting of three Madshus racers including Emil Hegle Svendsen on the anchor leg, delivered an impressive victory in the 4 x 7.5km relay.


For the entire last kilometer of the race, Svendsen was right on the tails of Simon Schempp (GER). Then, on the final 200 meters, Svendsen accelerated, passed Schempp and could cross the finish line with his hands above his head. A calculated and perfectly executed plan.


“I went balls to the wall from the last shooting, and latched on to his tails. I needed to regain some energy, and I know I am efficient in the turns, so I tried to float on my technique. That was the plan, and it seemed to work quite well,” Svendsen said to Norwegian TV station NRK after the race.


“It feels great to be on top again. This was a tasty victory,” he added.


Madshus teammate Ole Einar Bjoerndalen raced the first leg for Norway, and Erland Bjoentegaard skied the second leg.


Additionally, Russia’s relay team with Timofey Lapshin on the second leg secured a second Madshus podium finish in the race. The biathlon World Cup moves to Anterselva, Italy, January 22-25.


Emil Hegle Svendsen was untouchable on the anchor leg in the 4×7.5km biathlon relay in Rupholding (GER) on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus

My Best Skate Race Ever


Heidi Weng (NOR) considers the 10K skate at the World Cup in Davos this weekend her best skate race to date. Photo: Nordic Focus



Heidi Weng (NOR) has become a standard fixture on the World Cup podium this season, but considers Saturday’s 10K skate in Davos her best race to date.


Weng’s third place was more than just a podium. It was a small victory for the girl who’s traditionally been stronger in the classic events.


“I tried during the whole summer to improve my skating technique,” Weng said after her race.


She had prepared carefully for the race, the last World Cup distance competition before Tour de Ski.


“My plan was to start out slower and speed up on the second lap. I was skiing safe in the downhills. I was focused on finishing on the podium.”


And she did.


“I think this was my best skate race ever,” she said after the race.


Now Weng heads home for Christmas as third overall in the distance World Cup, and fourth in the overall World Cup.


But Weng was not the only Madshus skier on the World Cup podium this weekend.


Cross-country skier Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), who won the World Cup sprint in Davos last weekend, pulled off an impressive third place in the skate sprint on Sunday, despite reporting that she felt less than optimally rested for the race.


“This is my second podium in two weeks,” Oestberg said after her race on Sunday.


“Today was a good race, but I did not feel quite as good as last weekend. Stina (Nilsson) passed me on the last climb, but I am really, really happy about the third place,” she said.


Oestberg, who has performed well above expected for the early season, is now second overall in the sprint World Cup, and third in the overall World Cup.


Complete results from the FIS World Cup


At the biathlon World Cup in Pokljuka, Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) climbed to the top of the podium again in the men’s pursuit on Saturday after a killer effort both at the range and in the tracks. That followed his third place finish in the men’s sprint on Friday.


The 29-year-old didn’t miss a single target in either event.


“It was fun today. This is one of the easiest days at the range in my career. I just pulled the trigger over and over again, and the targets fell like flies,” Svendsen said to Norwegian TV station NRK after the pursuit on Saturday.


And on Sunday, Anais Bescond (FRA) secured yet another Madshus podium in the women’s mass start where she was second.


Complete results from the IBU World Cup

Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) did not miss a single target at the range on Saturday. (Photo: Screenshot)



Podiums Across the Board


Oeystein Pettersen (NOR) went straight to the podium in the first marathon of the 2014-15 Ski Classics season. Photo: Ski Classics


Five World Cup podiums, two podiums in the first Ski Classics distance and the fastest finish times in the Ski Classics time trial – not a bad weekend for Madshus athletes.


First, Tore Berdahl and Johan Kjoelstad delivered the fastest times in the Ski Classics Pro Team Tempo team time trial in Livigno, Italy, on Saturday. The event is a brand new format in the Ski Classics, and although 15km is hardly a marathon, it allows the pro team racers to show off their colors, collect valuable points toward the overall race series, and set the order for the first marathon event in the 2014-15 Ski Classics, the 35km La Sgambeda Classic on Sunday.


The Madshus marathon racers continued to impress in the Ski Classics on Sunday. Johan Kjoelstad (NOR) and Oeystein Pettersen (NOR) snagged two of the three spots on the podium in the 35km La Sgambeda classic race. Kjoelstad and Pettersen finished within half a second of each other, in second and third place respectively.


After the first Ski Classics weekend, Kjoelstad is now second overall in the Ski Classics Champion competition, while Pettersen is second in the overall Ski Classics Sprint Champion competition and third in the Ski Classics Champion competition.


The next race in the ski classics is Jizerska Padesatka on January 11.

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Didrik Toenseth posted his best WC finish to date in the 15km classic on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus


On the cross-country World Cup in Davos, Didrik Toenseth (NOR) finished second in the 15km classic race on Saturday, just a hop and a skip down the road from the Ski Classics action in Livigno. This is Toenseth’s top World Cup result to date.


“My plan was to ski three even laps. I tried to keep the same pace. I thought that the course here would not fit me because I like steeper uphills,” Toenseth said to the FIS after the race.


The 23-year-old has been on a rally since the season started, and hopes to carry the momentum into the World Championships in Falun later this winter.


Read more about Toenseth’s season opener 


With strong performances since the World Cup started in the end of November, Toenseth is now second in the FIS Distance World Cup, and third in the FIS overall World Cup.


On Sunday, Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) bagged her very first World Cup victory when she won the sprint in Davos (SUI) after having dominated both the qualifier and every heat through the final.


Read more about Oestberg’s first World Cup victory


With the victory in Davos, Oestberg is now second in the FIS Distance World Cup, and third in the FIS overall World Cup.


The World Cup continues with further races in Davos on Dec 20-21.

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Timofey Lapshin helped Russia to victory in the IBU World Cup relay. Photo: Nordic Focus


Also, in the IBU Biathlon World Cup Madshus racers secured both first and third place in the men’s relay in Hochfilzen on Saturday. Timofey Lapshin and Maxim Tsvetkov helped Russia to victory, while Emil Hegle Svendsen helped Norway to third place in the 4×7.5km relay.


Finally, Madshus biathlete Anais Bescond (FRA) was third in the women’s pursuit at the World Cup in Hochfilzen on Sunday.


The IBU World Cup now moves to Pokljuka December 18-21.

Anais Bescond (FRA) was third in the IBU World Cup pursuit on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus



Six Podiums and WC Lead


Biathlete Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) pulled into third place in the WC pursuit in Östersund (SWE) on Sunday, and remains in the yellow WC leader bib. Photo: Nordic Focus


The biathlon World Cup season opener left Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) with one victory and a third place in Östersund (SWE), while the cross-country skiers were on the podium every day during the World Cup mini-tour in Lillehammer (NOR).


Emil Hegle Svendsen shows that he’s back on track this season, opening his World Cup season with winning the 20km individual competition in Östersund (SWE) on December 3. Svendsen was the only racer to nail every single shot at the range, and creamed his competitors. On Sunday, he was back on the podium finishing third in the pursuit.


“This venue has pretty challenging courses, with long uphills, and only a little bit of recovery on the descents. The entry to the range is fairly easy, but the conditions at the range are often challenging,” Svendsen said to Norwegian TV station NRK.


“These courses have proven to suit me well,” said Svendsen who now leads the overall biathlon World Cup.
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Heidi Weng (NOR) was on the podium three days in a row during the World Cup mini tour in Lillehammer this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus


In the FIS cross-country mini-tour in Lillehammer, Madshus racers Pål Golberg (NOR) and Heidi Weng (NOR) opened the show with two podiums: Golberg won the men’s classic sprint and Weng was third in the women’s sprint.


On Saturday, Weng continued with another strong third place in the women’s 5km skate race, before capping her weekend with yet another third place in the women’s 10km classic pursuit.


Furthermore, Didrik Tønseth (NOR) had the fastest time in the men’s 15km pursuit on Sunday. Heidi Weng had the second fastest time in the women’s 10km pursuit. After this weekend, both Golberg and Weng is now third in the overall World Cup.


This week, the biathletes move on to the second World Cup round, which takes place in Hochpfilzen (AUT), while the cross-country skiers travel to Davos (SUI) for their next World Cup races.



Svendsen Has a Lot More to Offer


Emil Hegle Svendsen crushed his competitors at the first individual World Cup in Östersund (SWE) this week. Photo: Nordic Focus


Madshus biathlete Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR) crushed his competitors in the first individual World Cup race of the season.


Svendsen shot clean in the 20km race, the only one to do so among more than 100 racers, and won by 1 minute and 17 seconds to collect his 37th World Cup victory.


Svendsen was unbeatable at the range, and had the sixth fastest time on the course. Now he is aiming to top that at the sprint race on Saturday, explaining that he generally needs a couple of races to get the skiing all dialed in.


“I have a lot more to offer. I don’t really nail the timing for the skating, and I don’t quite find the flow on the uphill. So there are still a lot to work on,” Svendsen says to Norwegian TV station NRK.


But at the range Svendsen is fully on track.


“I have developed some good routines at the range, which work very well for me,” he says.


The men’s World Cup sprint is the next event for Svendsen, scheduled for Saturday December 6 at 11:30 CET in Östersund (SWE).



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