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Tour de Thriller

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), and Heidi Weng Photo: Nordic Focus
Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), and Heidi Weng Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), and Heidi Weng dominated the 2108 Tour de Ski.  Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg finished first and second in the 2018 Tour de Ski.

The Norwegian duo dominated Tour de Ski from the first weekend in Lenzerheide (SUI), and prior to the last stage, only 1.8 seconds separated Østeberg from Weng. However, the final stage was no thriller. Weng passed Østberg at the base of the alpine hill, and kept increasing the gap. At the end, Weng crossed the finish line 48 seconds ahead of Østberg.

“I am really happy, I had a very good day, and it’s always really fun to cross the finish line here,” Weng said after her impressive stage up the alpine hill Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme (ITA).

“I have very good experiences from Val di Fiemme, but I didn’t remember this stage to be so hard. I guess I say that every time,” Weng said with a laugh.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) ahead of Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) at the 10km classic mass start in Val di Fiemme (ITA). Photo; Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) ahead of Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) at the 10km classic mass start in Val di Fiemme (ITA) on Saturday, which was the second to last stage of the 2018 FIS Tour de Ski. Photo; Nordic Focus

Østberg, who went into the final two stages this weekend with a 57-second lead to Weng, gave up 55 seconds in Saturday’s 10km classic mass start. That left Østberg with a 1.8 second lead going into the final stage: the monster climb up the alpine hill Alpe Cermis. That is exactly the stage where Weng made up a minute on Østberg last year, and won the overall 2017 Tour de Ski.

“I tried to give Heidi a good fight today, and I am very happy with my second place overall at the Tour de ski,” said Østberg, who also posted the third fastest time for the stage.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was 2nd overall at the 2018 FIS Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was 2nd overall at the 2018 FIS Tour de Ski. Photo: Nordic Focus

The Queen of the Monster Hill

08.01.2017, Val di Fiemme, Italy (ITA):
Heidi Weng (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, tour de ski, final climb women, Val di Fiemme (ITA). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.
08.01.2017, Val di Fiemme, Italy (ITA): Heidi Weng (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, tour de ski, final climb women, Val di Fiemme (ITA). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.

Heidi Weng (NOR) won the overall 2017 FIS Tour de Ski, after the final climb up Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Starting the final stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski 20 seconds behind the overall leader, Heidi Weng (NOR) was on a mission.

There was never a question who was the queen of the monster hill in Val di Fiemme: Heidi Weng made her move at the base of the hill, parked her competition and just kept widening the gap as the hill got steeper. At the top of the hill, Weng won by a solid margin, her first overall Tour de Ski victory.

“This is a huge victory for me, especially after a Tour where I feel like the margins have not been in my favor. It has been a very tough tour for me. I came into the tour feeling a bit tired and I didn’t feel like I had the preparation that I need for a tour,” Weng said after her race.

“But in Toblach on Friday, I started to feel like my body responded better. Before the stage today, I had decided to conserve my energy on the approach and not surge until the bottom of the hill,” Weng said to reporters, adding that she still had more to offer.

“It seems like the monster hill was not as hard as I remember it from previous tours. I had an extra gear that I could have used if I needed it,” she said.

Weng also had the fastest time for the day on the 9km distance, and won the stage as well as the overall Tour.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) with her 2017 Tour de Ski trophy. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng (NOR) with her 2017 Tour de Ski trophy. Photo: Nordic Focus

Finally on the podium
Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) pulled off a solid final stage as well, finishing second overall and nailing her first overall Tour de Ski podium finish.

The 26-year-old has competed in six Tour de Ski stage races, and has been fourth overall three times before. For her, finally landing the podium huge.

“I had really good day. I have been fourth so many times, so it is great to be on the podium. Today, I felt great and surprisingly fast on the climb,” Pärmäkoski said after her race.

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Krista Parmakoski (FIN) on her way to the finish on the final stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski, where she was 2nd overall. Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) on her way to the finish on the final stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski, where she was 2nd overall. Photo: Nordic Focus

Best monster hill finish
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) came in fourth overall, but skied her strongest ever Alpe Cermis stage, and for a while the podium was within reach.

“Before the start of the final stage, I certainly didn’t believe I had any chance at the podium. But right now, I almost wish the hill had been just a little longer. I never thought I would ever say that, and knowing that I probably could have caught her if it were just a little longer makes the fourth place overall almost harder to handle,” Østberg said after her race.

At the same time, Østberg was thrilled for her teammate’s overall victory.

“I believed in Heidi from the start and knew it would be hard to beat her up this hill. She has been the strongest skier all season long, and the overall victory was so well deserved,” Østberg said.

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg leading the pack during the 5km classic mass start in Val Mustair (SUI) on January 1, the 2nd stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: NordicFocus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg leading the pack during the 5km classic mass start in Val Mustair (SUI) on January 1, the 2nd stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: NordicFocus

Dominated the Tour
For six of the seven days of the 2017 Tour de Ski, at least one of the girls have been on the podium. Combined for the 2017 Tour de Ski the three Madshus racers have collected 10 podium finishes: two stage wins, four second-place finishes and four third-place finishes.

At the second stage of the Tour, the turbo trio took over the entire podium: Ingvild Flugstad Østberg won the 5km classic mass start event, with Heidi Weng in second place and Krista Pärmäkoski in third. For the overall Tour de Ski, the three girls were first, second and fourth.

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

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

Plastering the Tour Podium

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
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: NordicFocus

Madshus dominated the Tour de Ski podium in Val Mustair (SUI): Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (center) won the 5km classic race, Heidi Weng (left) was 2nd and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) was 3rd. Photo: NordicFocus

After two stages, Madshus racers are dominating the 2017 Tour de Ski.

The 9-day stage race competition opened with sprint races in Val Müstair (SUI) on New Years Eve, where Heidi Weng (NOR) snagged third place, despite having a rough day.

“To be third in a skate sprint is a great success for me. My body felt stiff almost the whole day, but at the end I made it to the podium. I am very happy,” Weng said after her race.

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Heidi Weng (NOR) was 3rd in the skate sprint in Val Mustair (SUI) on New Years Eve. Photo: NordicFocus

Heidi Weng (NOR) was 3rd in the skate sprint in Val Mustair (SUI) on New Years Eve. Photo: NordicFocus

On Sunday, the Madshus Turbo Trio owned the podium: Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) pulled off a perfect 5km classic race, with Heidi Weng (NOR) in 2nd place and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) in 3rd place. Østberg pulled away from Weng and the rest of the field and won the mass start event in 13 minutes and 21.2 seconds. Weng was seven seconds behind, and Pärmäkoski was 11.4 seconds behind Østberg.

“I was really angry with myself after the sprint on Saturday, and I needed a half hour to myself after that race. I wanted to come back hard, because I know I’m in good shape. I gave it everything today, and I made it,” Østberg said to reporters after the 5km on Sunday.

Østberg is now leading the overall Tour as the racers move on to Oberstdorf (GER) for the next two stages: a 5/5km and 10/10km skitahlon for women and men respectively on Tuesday, followed by 10km/15km pursuit races on Wednesday.

Overall Tour de Ski after 2 stages:
1. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR)
2. Heidi Weng (NOR) +10 seconds

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg leading the pack during the 5km classic mass start in Val Mustair (SUI) on January 1, the 2nd stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: NordicFocus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg leading the pack with Heidi Weng right behind during the 5km classic mass start in Val Mustair (SUI) on January 1, the 2nd stage of the 2017 Tour de Ski. Photo: NordicFocus

Tour Stars

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), Heidi Weng (NOR), Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), left to right, dominated the World Cup podium at the mini tour in Lillehammer this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

All eyes are on these girls as the 11th Tour de Ski gets underway on December 31: Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR), Heidi Weng (NOR), Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), left to right, dominated the World Cup podium at the mini tour in Lillehammer this weekend. Photo: Nordic Focus

The 2017 FIS Tour de Ski starts on New Years Eve: Get ready for nine days of racing excitement.

The Tour opens with skate sprint races for men and women in Val Mustair (SUI), and concludes on January 8 with the 9-kilometer skate pursuit up Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme (ITA), also known as “the monster hill.”

Going into the 11th FIS Tour de Ski, Madshus athletes are dominating the list of top contenders in the women’s field. Heidi Weng (NOR) is leading the overall World Cup with 654 points, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) sits in second place with 621 points and Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) in third place with 453 points.

At the 2016 Tour de Ski, Østberg was second overall, 53 seconds ahead of Weng in third place. Pärmäkoski was eighth overall.

Weng has one Tour de Ski stage victory, as well as eight second-place finishes and seven third-place finishes for a total of 16 Tour de Ski podiums. Krista Pärmäkoski won (had the fastest time) in the pursuit both in the 2016 Ski Tour Canada and in the 3-day mini-tour in Lillehammer on December 7.

2017 Tour de Ski Schedule
Dec 31: Sprint, Free Technique, Val Mustair (SUI)
Jan 1: 5/10km mass start, Classic Technique, Val Mustair (SUI)
Jan 3: 5/5km and 10/10km skiathlon, Oberstdorf (GER)
Jan 4: 10/15km pursuit, Free Technique, Oberstdorf (GER)
Jan 6: 5/10km interval start, Free Technique, Toblach (ITA)
Jan 7: 10/15km mass start, Classic Technique, Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Jan 8: 9km pursuit, Free Technique, Val di Fiemme (ITA)

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 in March 2016. Photo: FIS

What a Tour!

03.01.2016, Lenzerheide, Switzerland (SUI):
Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) - FIS world cup cross-country, tour de ski, pursuit women, Lenzerheide (SUI). www.nordicfocus.com. © Felgenhauer/NordicFocus. Every downloaded picture is fee-liable.
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) came in 2nd overall in the 2016 Tour de Ski, far beyond her own expectations. Photo: NordicFocus

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) came in 2nd overall in the 2016 Tour de Ski, far beyond her own expectations. Photo: NordicFocus

At the end of the Tour de Ski Ingvild Flugstad Østberg was in tears over her second place, and Heidi Weng was third overall – for the third time.

Norwegian duo Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Heidi Weng dominated the 10-day stage race from day one, effectively making the tenth anniversary edition of the Tour de Ski a Madshus podium party.

Østberg started the tour with a third place finish in the sprint, continued with a second place in the 15km classic mass start, and on the third day, she climbed to the top of the podium in the 5km skate pursuit.

Since then, Østberg has held onto the red leader bib. By the time she entered the final stage, Østberg had almost a 40-second lead. However, on the brutal 9-kilometer skate leg up the alpine hill Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme (ITA), she lost the overall Tour victory. But Østberg didn’t feel like she lost the race.

“This has been a Tour of a different world for me. I am tired, proud and content, and I feel the tears are coming,” Østberg said after her race.

Tour de Victory
“This second place is a huge win for me, to do what I’ve done here. I had never thought I could manage to be on the podium in the overall Tour de Ski. That is a victory for me,” Østberg said.

“I am very proud to be on the podium in all of the Tour de Ski stages.”

Weng has also made a number of trips to the podium throughout the tour. She was third overall for the third straight year. And on the second to last stage, she posted her very first World Cup victory.

“I cannot believe it,” Weng said of her stage win in the 10-kilometer classic mass start event.

“I was the best today, and I still can’ t believe it. It’s not every day that I beat Ingvild in a sprint finish, so when we came up toward the finish, I thought that it’s now or never. But I know INgvild has a strong sprint finish, so I was afraid that she was going to catch me any second. But she never did,” Weng said of her race.

“Before the race, I felt really tired, so I barely even warmed up. I just thought I needed to save my energy for the actual race,” Weng added.

After the Tour de Ski, Østberg is in second place in the overall 2016 World Cup, and Weng in third place.

Complete Tour de Ski results 

Heidi Weng (NOR) outsprinted INgvild Flugstad Östberg (NOR) for the stage win in the 10km Classic mass start on January 9, Wengs first individual World Cup victory. Photo: NordicFocus

Heidi Weng (NOR) outsprinted Ingvild Flugstad Östberg (NOR) for the stage win in the 10km Classic mass start on January 9, Wengs first individual World Cup victory. Photo: Nordic Focus

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