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Four Medals in Two Days

Heidi Weng helped Norway to gold in the team sprint on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Krista Parmakoski (FIN) won the silver medal in the 15km skiathlon at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti (FIN). Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) won the silver medal in the 15km skiathlon at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti (FIN). Photo: Nordic Focus

The 2017 FIS World Championships are on, and so are the Madshus racers.

On Saturday, Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) earned the silver medal in the women’s 15km skiathlon on home turf in Lahti (FIN).

“It was such a great feeling that …. aaaaaaaaah… everything was so good. The uphills were less steep than yesterday. Everything was so easy,” Pärmäkoski said to reporters after the race.

On Sunday, Heidi Weng helped Norway to victory in the team relay. Weng, who skied the first leg for the team, nearly cried as she watched her teammate Maiken Caspersen Falla pull in to the gold medal with a solid gap to Russia in second place.

“I have always dreamt about racing the team sprint, and being able to do that with the reigning World Champion and win the gold was amazing,” Weng said after the race, admitting that she was quite nervous about the event as well.

“You never know what happens in a relay, and I was afraid that I would mess it up for Maiken, but fortunately, it all went well. I skied better as the race progressed, and I was able to calm down a bit. There was a lot of chaos at the beginning, so I decided it was better to sit in the front of the pack and relax,” Weng said.

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Heidi Weng helped Norway to gold in the team sprint on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng helped Norway to gold in the team sprint on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Later on Sunday, Magnus Moan and Magnus Krog helped Norway to silver in the Nordic Combined team competition. With this medal, veteran Moan made history: He is the first Nrodic Combined athlete to earn a medal at seven different FIS World Championships.

“I am extra proud that I earned this medal in the team competition. My team means a lot to me. Without them, and the support of my family, none of this would be possible,” Moan said after the team competition.

The 2017 FIS World Championships in Lahti continue on Tuesday, with the women’s 10km classic event.

Cross-country
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
March 1: LH130/10km
March 3: Team sprint LH130/2×7.5km

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

Ready to Race

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) will compete in the mass start on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) will compete in the mass start on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) is ready for the World Cup season opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

The weekend marks the opening of the World Cup season for Nordic and biathlon, as well as the kick-off for the 2017 Ski Classics long-distance series.

It will be a busy season for both fans and racers, so mark your calendar for the season highlights.

The IBU biathlon World Cup opens in Östersund (SWE) on November 27 with the mixed team relay in the afternoon and the single mixed relay in the evening. The World Cup opener continues with the women’s 15km normal on November 30, the men’s 20km normal on December 1, sprints for men and women on December 3 and concludes with pursuit races for men and women on December 4.

The IBU World Cup season consists of nine World Cup rounds:
Nov 25-Dec 4: Österssund (SWE)
Dec 6-11: Pokljuka (SLO)
Dec 13-18: Nove Mesto (CZE)
Jan 2-8: Oberhof (GER)
Jan 10-15: Rupholding (GER)
Jan 17-22: Antholz-Anterselva (ITA)
Feb 27-March 5: Hochfilzen (AUT)
March 7-12: Pyeongchang (KOR)
March 14-19: Oslo (NOR)

The 2017 FIS Nordic World Cup opens in Ruka (FIN) with races for both cross-country and Nordic combined on November 26-27. For cross-country, the World Cup opens with classic sprint races on Saturday, followed by 10/15-kilometer skate races on Sunday. The Nordic Combined racers open their season with Gundersen Large Hill 142m and 10-kilometer cross-country on both Saturday and Sunday.

Then the cross-country World Cup continues with 12 rounds including Tour de Ski and two mini tours throughout the winter:
Nov 26-27: Ruka (FIN)
Dec 2-4: Lillehammer (NOR) mini tour
Dec 10-11: Davos (SUI)
Dec 17-18: La Clusaz (FRA)
Dec 31-Jan 8: Tour de Ski
Jan 14-15: Toblach (ITA)
Jan 21-22: Ulricehamn (SWE)
Jan 28-29: Falun (SWE)
Feb 3-5: PyeongChang (KOR)
Feb 18-19: Otepää (EST)
March 8: Drammen (NOR)
March 11-12: Oslo (NOR)
March 16-19: Tyumen (RUS) mini tour

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg won the 10-kilometer season opener at Beitostølen on Friday, and was third in the 10-kilometer skate race on Saturday. Photo: Geir Olsen

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won the 10-kilometer season opener at Beitostølen last weekend, and is excited to get started with the 2016-17 FIS World Cup. Photo: Geir Olsen

For Nordic Combined, there are 12 World Cup rounds this season:
Nov 26-27: Ruka (FIN)
Dec 2-4: Lillehammer (NOR)
Dec 17-18: Ramsau (AUT)
Jan 7-8: Lahti (FIN)
Jan 13-15: Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Jan 21-22: Chaux-Neuve (FRA)
Jan 27-29: Seefeld (AUT)
Feb 4-5: PyeongChang (KOR)
Feb 10-11: Sapporo (JAP)
March 11: Oslo (NOR)
March 15: Trondheim (NOR)
March 18-19: Schonach (GER)

Two World Championships
Additionally, the IBU World Championships take place in Hochfilzen (AUT) from February 8-19, and the FIS Nordic World Championships take place in Lahti (FIN) from February 21-March 5.

5-month marathon party
Also, the Ski Classics long-distance race series opens on November 27 with a team prologue in Pontresina, Switzerland, and continues through mid-April with the final taking place in Levi, Finland. For the 2017 season, there are 28 professional teams and almost 200 racers in the pro category.

For the first time, the race series ventures outside Europe, featuring the Vasaloppet China on January 4 as a part of the 2017 race schedule.

Read more about the 2017 Ski Classics season

The 2017 Ski Classics Schedule
Event 1: 27th November, Prologue Pontresina Switzerland 10 km
Event 2: 3rd December, La Sgambeda Livigno Italy 35km
Event 3: 4th January, Changchun Vasaloppet China 50km
Event 4: 14th January, Kaiser Maximilian Lauf Seefeld Austria 60km
Event 5: 21st January, La Diagonela St Moritz Switzerland 65km
Event 6: 29th January, Marcialonga Trentino Italy 70km
Event 7: 11th February, Toblach-Cortina Italy 50km
Event 8: 19th February, Jizerska Padesatka Czech Republic 50km
Event 9: 5th March, Vasaloppet Sweden 90km
Event 10: 18th March, Birkebeinerrennet Norway 54km
Event 11: 26th March, Årefjällsloppet Sweden 65 km
Event 12: 1st April, Reistadløpet Bardufoss Norway 50km
Event 13: 8th April, Ylläs-Levi Finland 55km

Each year, 15,800 racers embark on the 90 kilometer journey from Sälen to Mora. Photo: Vasaloppet

Each year, 15,800 racers embark on the 90 kilometer journey from Sälen to Mora. Photo: Vasaloppet

All in for the Ladies

The FIS is moving to develop a formal Nordic Combined program for women, eventually working it into the FIS World Cup and the Olympics. Photo: Nordic Focus.

The FIS is moving to develop a formal Nordic Combined program for women, eventually working it into the FIS World Cup and the Olympics. Photo: Nordic Focus.

The FIS is establishing a women’s continental cup in Nordic Combined starting next season, with formal World Championships to follow the next year.

At the 2016 International Ski Federation fall meeting, the FIS determined to establish a FIS ladies’ Continental Cup starting in the 2017/18 season, allowing women to participate in Nordic Combined at the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships in 2019, a proposal to the IOC for its inclusion to the program of the Winter Youth Olympic Games 2020 in Lausanne (SUI), a first FIS ladies’ World Cup series in 2020/21 and the ambition to include ladies’ Nordic Combined at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (CHN).

A draft of Continental Cup rules for ladies will be drawn up prior to the 2017 FIS spring meetings and the FIS Calendar Conference in Portoroz (SLO) next May. Furthermore, a mixed gender event will be considered for the FIS Youth Cup Finals 2017 in Trondheim (NOR). The proposal for women’s Nordic Combined program is still subject to approval by the FIS Council.

World Cup Kicks Off in Ruka

Noah Hoffman (USA) was 6th in the season opener this weekend. Here from the 15k skate at FIS World Championships in Falun (SWE). Photo: 
NordicFocus
Noah Hoffman (USA) was 6th in the season opener this weekend. Here from the 15k skate at FIS World Championships in Falun (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

Noah Hoffman (USA) was 6th in the season opener last weekend. Here from the 15k skate at FIS World Championships in Falun (SWE). Photo: NordicFocus

The November 26-29 season opener weekend features six FIS World Cup events for cross-country and two for Nordic Combined.

With fresh snow in Kuusamo/Ruka (FIN), the stage is set for a rock-n-roll start to the traditional FIS Nordic Opening. In addition to the cross-country and Nordic combined events, there will be two FIS ski jumping competitions in Ruka as well.

Cross-Country Skiing
While the cross-country “Ruka Triple” mini tour took a break from the World Cup schedule last season, the popular stage race is back and treats racers to a sprint on Friday, a skate distance on Saturday and a classic pursuit on Sunday.

For Madshus racer Noah Hoffman (USA), the Finnish venue holds both good and bad memories.

“I have a lot of experience with this venue, both bad and good. Two years ago, I won the final stage of the opening mini-tour World Cup here. Last year, I broke my ankle in the 15km classic here. So, I’m hoping to channel the good and not so much the bad here this year,” Hoffman said to Madshus.com prior to the World Cup opener. Read more about Hoffman’s 2014 adventure in Finland.

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Noah Hoffman broke his ankel during the 15km skate race in Kuusamo last year. Photo: NoahHoffman.com

Noah Hoffman broke his ankel during the 15km skate race in Kuusamo last year. Photo: NoahHoffman.com

Hoffman is excited for the season to get underway, and for a season with no major championships, he is particularly excited about the World Cup tours, of which there are several this year.

“I really like the mini-tours and the full tours. They suit my strengths well, and I like having lots of races in a row,” said Hoffman, who is coming off a solid 6th place in the 15km skate race at the Swedish FIS season opener last weekend.

Between the Ruka season opener this weekend and the season finale in March, there are 36 competitions per gender across nine countries on the 2016 World Cup schedule. In a season with no major championships, the Tour de Ski, which celebrates its 10th anniversary will be one of the major goals for many of the racers. Additionally, the new Tour de Canada, which is scheduled from March 1-10, 2016, is already drawing significant attention both from the racers and the fans. The new tour also serves as the 2016 season finale.

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Heidi Weng fighting the last few meters to the finish line up Alpe Cermis, the last stage of the 2015 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng fighting the last few meters to the finish line up Alpe Cermis, the last stage of the 2015 Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Madshus racers claimed five podium finishes at the FIS Season opener in Beitostølen (NOR) November 13-15, and then two podiums and several top-10 finishes at the Swedish and Finnish season openers this weekend, which bodes well for the first World Cup events. Madshus racer Hans Christer Holund (NOR) posted two podiums at Beitostølen, while Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), Heidi Weng (NOR) and Pål Golberg each had one podium at the 2016 season opener. Read more about the Nov 13-15 season opener.

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Hans Christer Holund (NOR)

Hans Christer Holund (NOR)

Nordic Combined
According to the FIS, this season there is a bigger field of athletes than in a long time. Madshus promising young racer Jarl Riiber (NOR) is certainly one to keep an eye on this season. He just moved up from the juniors with a gold and a bronze medal from the 2015 FIS Junior World Championships in Almaty (KAZ), and was 13th at the World Cup in Trondheim in March.

The 2016 FIS Nordic Combined World Cup treats the athletes to twelve different venues across Europe. The third edition of the Nordic Combined Triple in Seefeld (AUT) is among the season highlights for the Nordic Combined racers. Also, the Nordic Combined competitions in Schonach (GER) will also be a special occasion, as the village is hosting the events for the 50th time.

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