Who to watch and what to watch this winter

The 2019-20 World Cup season is rapidly approaching. Here is a peak at what’s on the schedule and who to watch this season, for the FIS Nordic World Cup, the IBU biathlon World Cup and the Ski Classics.

The 2019-20 FIS Cross-Country World Cup starts in Ruka, Finland, on November 30, and concludes in Canmore, Canada, on March 22.

While there are no major championships this season, FIS is launching a brand new race series in Sweden and Norway in February: The FIS Ski Tour 2020. The race series consists of six races ranging from sprints to 50-kilometer marathon, and is set up with a similar format to the traditional FIS Tour de Ski: as a series of individual races that each are scored separately as well as overall for the entire series.

The FIS Tour de Ski is scheduled for December 28 through January 5, as usual featuring a full range of sprints and distance events including the brutal final race up the alpine hill Alpe Cermis in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) is ready for her 12 World Cup Season. The 28-year-old has earned four Olympic medals and six World Championship medals. She has started in 215 World Cup events and been on the podium 28 times, including five victories.

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Krista Parmakoski (FIN)on her way to 3rd place in the 10km skate at the FIS World Cup in Davos (SUI) last season. Photo: Nordic Focus

Among the up and coming racers, be sure to keep an eye on Helene Marie Fossesholm. While still just a junior, the 18-year-old is routinely beating racers among the top ten in the FIS World Cup. This winter, she earned no less than three medals at the FIS Junior World Championships.

Also pay attention to Hedda Østberg Amundsen (NOR). The strong 20-year-old was among the top 10 at the Beitostølen FIS season opener events last fall, and continued to post solid results throughout the season.

Related coverage: Meet Team Beijing 2022 

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Helene Marie Fosseholm (NOR) took home three medals from the 2019 FIS Junior World Championships in Lahti (FIN).

The IBU World Cup season opens on November 28 in Östersund, Sweden, and concludes in Oslo, Norway, on March 22. The 2020 IBU World Championships take place in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy, from Feb 12 through 23.

This season, Team Madshus is fielding a mix of proven World Cup veterans and newly signed racers.

Among the new racers Roman Rees (GER) is certainly one to watch. Rees joins fellow Madshus racers Benedikt Doll and Vanessa Hinz on the German national team.

“With the signing of Roman Rees, we now have several of the strongest German biathletes as part of Team Madshus. We are very excited for the upcoming season,” says Per Wiik, global marketing director at Madshus.

Additionally, young and promising racers such as Sivert Bakken (NOR) and Vebjørn Sørum (NOR) will add to the biathlon excitement this season.

Related coverage:
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What a medal party! 

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Roman Rees (GER) during the IBU World Cup sprint in Oslo (NOR) this winter. Photo: NordicFocus

And finally, looking at the Ski Classics marathon series, Madshus racer Astrid Øyre Slind (NOR) is eager to embark on a new season. The 2020 Ski Classics starts on November 29 in Livigno, Italy, and concludes on April 4, in Finland. Slind was second overall in the 2019 Ski Classics series. The 31-year-old was on the podium in all but two events of the 13 events and helped her Team Koteng to win the overall best team for the season. This summer Slind won the double-pole version of the 7.5-kilometer Lysebotn Opp uphill race during the Blink Summer Ski Festival.

Astrid Øyre Slind won Reistadløpet 2019 on Saturday. Photo: Visma Ski Classics