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Wrapping up the World Cups

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS
Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS

Heidi Weng (NOR), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) swept the podium on the 7th stage of Ski Tour Canada. Photo: FIS

The IBU biathlon World Cup wraps up the 2017 season in Holmenkollen, while cross-country returns to Canada for a 3-day mini tour this weekend.

Madshus podium girls Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), Heidi Weng (NOR) and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) returns to Canada for the final World Cup weekend of the season.

The mini tour opens with skate sprints for men and women on March 17, continues with 10km and 15km classic mass starts for women and men respectively on Saturday, and concludes with 10km and 15km pursuits on Sunday.

Heading into the mini tour world cup final in Quebec, Weng is leading the overall World Cup with a total of 1746 points. Pärmäkoski sits in second place with 1446 points, while Østberg is third with 1352 points total.

Weng also leads the distance World Cup, while Pärmäkoski is third.

Bitahlon party
For the biathlon racers, the 2017 World Cup will conclude in Holmenkollen (NOR), the host of the 2016 IBU World Championships. The weekend features sprint races for men and women on Friday, March 17, continues with men’s and women’s pursuit races on Saturday, and concludes with mass start events on Sunday.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) earned her first two World Championship medals in Oslo last year when she won the bronze medal in the mixed relay and then anchored Norway to gold in the women’s relay. Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR), who won three individual medals at the World Championships in Oslo last year, as well as helping Norway to gold in the men’s relay, is also looking forward to cap off the season on home turf.

Marte Olsbu (NOR) anchored Norway to gold in the relay at the 2016 IBU world championships in Oslo (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

Marte Olsbu (NOR) anchored Norway to gold in the relay at the 2016 IBU world championships in Oslo (NOR). Photo: Nordic Focus

Ready for the World Championships

Heidi Weng 3rd sprint Otepää Feb 18-17 - Nordic Focus 680x
Heidi Weng 3rd sprint Otepää Feb 18-17 - Nordic Focus 680x

Heidi Weng (NOR) was 3rd in the sprint at the FIS World Cup in Otepaeae (EST). Photo: Nordic Focus

Heading into the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships, Madshus racers are dominating the overall World Cup on the women’s side.

Heidi Weng (NOR) sits in first place with 1651 points, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) in second place with 1285 points and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) in third place with 1262 points. The same order goes for the overall distance World Cup.

Weng is also third in the overall sprint world cup going into the World Championships this week.

Final prep for Lahti
At the FIS cross-country World Cup last weekend, Heidi Weng (NOR) was third in the sprint on Saturday and again in the 10km classic race on Sunday at the World Cup in Otepää (EST).

Also on Sunday, Hans Christer Holund (NOR) skied an impressive 15km classic race, and was rewarded with a podium finish. Holund was third in the race but possibly the happiest skier on the podium.

“This third place means a lot to me. I’ve had a difficult season with the (shoulder) injury in the fall. At the finish, I could not believe I was third. This is probably the hardest 15 km I have ever skied. The course was tough, and the snow conditions made it even harder, so I started out conservatively and stepped it up as the race progressed,” Holund said.

Holund is an extra for the Norwegian national team World Championships squad.

The Otepää weekend was the last World Cup prior to the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti (FIN), which open on Wednesday, February 22. The first races are on Thursday, February 23.

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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) was 3rd in the 15km classic at the FIS World Cup in Otepaeae (EST). Photo: Nordic Focus

2017 FIS Nordic World Championships schedule
Cross-Country:
February 23: Sprint men and women
February 25: 15km skiathlon (women), 30km skiathlon (men)
February 26: team sprint men and women
February 28: 10km classic women
March 1: 15km classic men
March 2: relay women (4x5km)
March 3: relay men (4×7.5km)
March 4: 30km skate women
March 5: 50km skate men

Nordic combined
February 24: NH100/10km
February 26: Team competition NH100/4x5km
March 1: LH130/10km
March 3: Team sprint LH130/2×7.5km

The Longest Toe

Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay on Sunday and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) on January 28. Photo: Nordic Focus
Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay on Sunday and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) on January 28. Photo: Nordic Focus

Håvard Solås Taugbøl (NOR) had the longest toe at the Norwegian National Championships relay and anchored Lillehammer to bronze. Here from the World Cup in Falun (SWE) in January. Photo: Nordic Focus

…belongs to Håvard Taugbøl (NOR), while the younger crew collected hardware at the FIS U23 and Junior World Championships.

Håvard Solås Taugbøl skied onto the Lahti (FIN) World Championships team with strong performances at the Norwegian National Championships this weekend.

While the Lahti World Championships team was announced after the Norwegian National Championships skiathlon events on Saturday, Taugbøl’s most impressive performance for the weekend was anchoring Lillehammer Skiklub to the podium at the 3×10 kilometer relay on Sunday. Coming into the finish lane in fourth place, Taugbøl secured the bronze medal for his club. Despite being blocked repeatedly for the sprint finish, the 23-year-old sprint specialist surged toward the line and had the longest toe as they both reached across the line. Marathon specialist Øystein Pettersen skied the first leg for Lillehammer.

Taugbøl has posted several top 10 in the World Cup this season and had the fastest qualifier time at the Toblach World Cup three weeks ago. He won the FIS sprint at Gålå in December and was second in the Scandinavian Cup sprint in Lillehammer the following weekend, and this weekend he was third in the sprint at the national championships. Combined, these efforts earned him a ticket to the Norwegian sprint team at the FIS World Championships in Finland.

Also, Hans Christer Holund helped his club LYN Ski to gold in the relay. Holund, who skied the second leg for LYN, surged to create a gap for his team that nobody was able to close, and LYN won by more than a minute. Prior to the relay, Holund was named an extra to the World Championships team.

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Hans Christer Holund (NOR) skied the 2nd leg for LYN Ski at Norwegian Championships relay on Sunday and surged to secure a gap that nobody could close, helping his team to gold. Here from the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Hans Christer Holund (NOR) skied the 2nd leg for LYN Ski at Norwegian Championships relay and surged to secure a gap that nobody could close, helping his team to gold. Here from Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Among the women, Heidi Weng was on the podium in all the individual competitions at the national championships. On Thursday, she was third in the 10km classic. Then she was second in the skate sprint on Friday, and third again for the skiathlon on Saturday. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg was second in the classic race on Thursday. Also, Marte Bjørnsgaard helped Lillehammer to silver in the 3x5km relay on Sunday.

Meanwhile, at the FIS U23 and Junior World Championships in Utah (USA), January 30 to February 5, Madshus skiers earned medals in both the junior and the U23 category. Junior Petter Stakston (NOR) took home the silver medal in the classic sprint on Monday, January 30, after posting the fastest qualifier time in the event. Junior Marte Mæhlum Johansen (NOR) first earned the silver medal in the 5-kilometer skate on Thursday, then continued with gold in the skiathlon on Friday. Junior Harald Østberg Amundsen (NOR) was third in the skiathlon. Additionally, Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver in the women’s U23 5-kilometer skate race on Thursday.  Finally, on Sunday, Amundsen and Jon Rolf Skape Hope helped Norway to gold in the relay.

Complete results all events

Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver medal in the womens 5km skate race at the FIS U23 World Championships in Utah (USA) on Thursday. Photo: NSF/Team Veidekke

Thea Krokan Murud (NOR) earned the silver medal in the womens 5km skate race at the FIS U23 World Championships in Utah (USA) on Thursday. Photo: NSF/Team Veidekke

Sprint, distance and marathon podiums

29.01.2017, Falun Sweden (SWE):
Heidi Weng (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, mass women, Falun (SWE). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.
29.01.2017, Falun Sweden (SWE): Heidi Weng (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, mass women, Falun (SWE). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

Heidi Weng (NOR) in front of Ingvild Flugstad (NOR) at the FIS World Cup 15km classic mass start in Falun (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng and Ingvild F. Østberg were back on the podium at the FIS cross-country World Cup, while Johan Kjølstad and Sara Lindborg posted Ski Classics podiums at the Marcialonga.

Heidi Weng (NOR) opened the World Cup weekend in Falun (SWE) with third place in the skate sprint on Saturday.

“I had never competed in the sprint here in Falun before. So this was new for me, and I am happy with the result. It’s good as well for the Overall World Cup lead as Krista (Parmakoski) was just behind me today, so I have a few more points,” Weng said after her race on Saturday.

On Sunday, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was a fraction of a second away from victory in the 15km classic mass start in Falun.

“I felt really good today. I thought I could win. I didn’t ski the final climb well on the sprint course and Marit (Bjørgen) got a gap and I wasn’t able to close it. I wasn’t satisfied with yesterday’s sprint result, so it’s good to be back on the podium today,” Østberg said after her race.

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28.01.2017, Falun Sweden (SWE): Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, individual sprint, Falun (SWE). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) at the FIS World Cup sprint in Falun (SWE) on Saturday. Photo:  Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng in third place for the second day in a row, but had to dig deep for her second podium. I was so tired today. The others were getting a gap on the Morderbacken each lap, but I was able to come back to them on the downhill. I thought Stina might catch me, so I am very happy to make the podium today,” Weng said.

For Weng and Østberg, the Falun races this weekend was the last World Cup competitions for a while. Østberg joins the national team for an altitude camp in the Alps in preparation for the World Championships in Lahti (FIN) in the end of February, while Weng is preparing at her family’s cabin at Skeikampen (NOR).

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29.01.2017, Falun Sweden (SWE): Heidi Weng (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, mass women, Falun (SWE). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

Heidi Weng (NOR) at the FIS World Cup 15km Classic mass start on Sunday in Falun (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

Also on Sunday, Johan Kjølstad was second at the Marcialonga, beating Morten Eide Pedersen on the finish line. Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) was fifth overall, and increased his major lead in the overall youth competition where he already had a gap of more than 200 points prior to the Marcialonga.

Sara Lindborg (SWE) was third in the women’s race, and is also third in the Ski Classics overall this season. Lindborg and fellow Madshus marathon racer Astrid Øyre Slind (NOR) lead the women’s field for much of the race. Due to lack of snow, the 70-kilometer classic event was shortened to 57km this year.

Johan Kjølstad (left) was second in the Marcialonga. Photo: Team United Bakeries

Johan Kjølstad (left) was second in the Marcialonga. Photo: Team United Bakeries

German Team Power

Benedikt Doll (GER) at the IBU world cup biathlon in Antholz (ITA), this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus
Benedikt Doll (GER) at the IBU world cup biathlon in Antholz (ITA), this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Benedikt Doll (GER) at the IBU world cup biathlon in Antholz (ITA), this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Germany earns three World Cup relay podiums in two days.

Madshus racers contributed to five World Cup relay podium this weekend, between the biathlon World Cup in Anterselva (ITA) and the cross-country World Cup in Ulricehamn (SWE).

On Saturday, the German biathlon relay team powers into a photo finish first place in the men’s 4×7.5km, with Benedikt Doll skiing the second leg for his team.

On Sunday, the German women follow suit, with Vanessa Hinz on the first leg setting the stage for the victory in the 4x6km relay. France snagged second place in the women’s relay, with Anaïs Bescond skiing the third leg for her team.

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Vanessa Hinz (GER) at the IBU biathlon World Cup in Antholz (ITA) this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

Vanessa Hinz (GER) at the IBU biathlon World Cup in Antholz (ITA) this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

At the cross-country World Cup on Sunday, Sandra Ringwald anchored Germany to second place in the women’s 4x5km relay, beating Sweden by 0.2 second. This was the first World Cup podium for Germany since 2010.

“I did not want to be fourth again. I managed to stay in contact with Hanna (Falck). At the finish, I gave everything I had. It is absolutely amazing to be second,” Ringwald said after her race.

Norway won the women’s cross-country relay, 8 seconds ahead of Germany. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Heidi Weng left their teammates in a good position after skiing the first and second leg, respectively, for Norway.

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Sandra Ringwald (GER) at the FIS world cup in Ulricehamn (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Sandra Ringwald (GER) at the FIS world cup in Ulricehamn (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

On Saturday, Krista Pärmäkoski was second at the 10k skate race in Ulricehamn (SWE).

“I had a great day. I have proven to myself I can ski fast also in free technique. Of course 10 km Classic in Lahti is the big goal for me.”

For Pärmäkoski, this was a significant race in terms of preparing for the World Championships at home in Lahti (FIN) at the end of February.

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd in the 10km skate race at the FIS cross-country World Cup in Ulricehamn (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) was 2nd in the 10km skate race at the FIS cross-country World Cup in Ulricehamn (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

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