Team Madshus dominates the podiums in five countries

Team Madshus dominates the podiums in five countries

Another amazing weekend for Madshus racers, netting 23 podiums and several top-10 finishes across two continents.

Astrid Øyre Slind after winning the 40-kilometer Ski Classics race La Venosta in Italy on December 14.

Astrid Øyre Slind (NOR) crushed her competitors in the Ski Classics event La Venosta in Italy on Saturday, winning the 40-kilometer classic race by more than three minutes on her new Madshus Redline Double-Pole skis. This was Slind’s first victory for the season, but second podium finish. Two weeks ago, the marathon specialist was second at the 15-kilometer Ski Classics Prologue in Livigno, Italy, only 21 seconds from first and more than a minute ahead of third place.

However, the race for the podiums started long before Saturday.

On Thursday and Friday, Vilde Nilsen (NOR) set the standard for the weekend, winning both the short and the middle distance races back to back at the para Nordic World Cup in Lillehammer. Despite breaking a pole in the short race on Thursday, the 18-year-old won by almost a minute both days. Birgit Skarstein (NOR) was third in the sit-ski event on Thursday, and fifth on Friday.

The races at Lillehammer this weekend also served as the pre-World Championships for the para Nordic racers: Lillehammer is hosting the Para-Nordic World Championships in February 2021.

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Vilde Nilsen

In Nordic Combined, Tara Geraghty-Moats (USA) left Park City (USA) with no less than three back-to-back victories in the COC season opener, the women’s equivalent of the World Cup in Nordic Combined.

“It was the perfect way to start the Continental Cup Season. I am very happy with my cross-country skiing, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. I think the month of training in Norway was a huge part of my success here. I had a crash in Lillehammer during the ski jumping World Cup earlier in December, which was a bit annoying, but I had no injuries and was able to compete in Park City,” Geraghty-Moats said of her season opener weekend.

Leif Torbjørn Næsvold (NOR) was third in the men’s race both on Friday and Sunday, and fourth on Saturday – just shy of the podium.

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Tara Geraghty-Moats (USA) at the Nordic Combined COC races in Park City (USAA). Photo: Essi Kenttala

In the biathlon World Cup, Benedikt Doll anchored Germany to second place in a thriller sprint finish in Hochfilzen, Austria, on Sunday afternoon. The 29-year-old, who has been competing in biathlon since 1997 and at the international level for more than a decade, was two seconds short of first place. The IBU World Cup now moves on to Le Grand Bornand, France, for a new set of races December 19 through 22.

Benedikt Doll (GER) at the IBU world cup biathlon relay in Hochfilzen (AUT). Photo: Nordic Focus

At the Norwegian biathlon Cup opener at Lygna (NOR), Madshus racers posted no less than nine podiums in two days: On Saturday, Juni Arneklev was first in the women’s 20-22 normal program and Sigrid Bilstad Neraasen was third among the senior women. Jørgen Krogsæter won the men’s 20-22 normal program with Vetle Rype Paulsen in second place.

On Sunday, Sivert Bakken won the men’s 20-22 sprint at Lygna with Vebjørn Sørum in second place, and Sturla Holm Lægreid was second among the senior men. In the women’s 20-22 sprint, Åsne Skrede was second and Arnekleiv was third.

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Jørgen Krogsæter

In the cross-country Scandinavian Cup in Vuokatti, Finland, Tiril Liverud Knudsen (NOR) was second in the 20-kilometer classic race on Saturday, less than a second from first place. Vebjørn Turtveit (NOR), who posted an impressive fourth place at the World Cup last weekend, was third in the men’s 30-kilometer in Vuokatti on Saturday, only three seconds from first place, and moved up to second place in the skate race on Sunday. Johanne Harviken (NOR) was third in the women’s skate race on Sunday, while Liverud Knudsen came in fourth.

Finally, at the FIS cross-country World Cup, which took place in Davos, Switzerland, Krista Pärmäkoski hauled into a strong fifth place in the women’s 10-kilometer skate race on Sunday after being 10 in the sprint on Saturday. The FIS cross-country World Cup returns to Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on December 28-29 with the first two stages of the 2020 Tour de Ski.

Tiril Liverud Knudsen