Young, hungry and #SeriouslyFast

Young, hungry and #SeriouslyFast

Madshus racers pull off another impressive weekend, posting several strong podium finishes both in biathlon and cross-country.

On the biathlon side, Madshus racers kept making their mark on the World Cup in Kontiolahti (FIN).

Sturla Holm Lægreid (NOR), who won the first biathlon World Cup event of the season in Kontiolahti (FIN) last weekend, was just shy of the podium this Saturday, finishing fourth in the pursuit after starting out in the 18 position. Right behind the 23-year-old World Cup was Benedikt Doll (GER) in fifth place. The seasoned World Cup veteran climbed three spots from after finishing eighth in the sprint on Thursday.

On Sunday, Lægreid caps off the World Cup weekend in Kontiolahti with another World Cup victory: The national team rookie skied the opening leg of the relay, exchanging in first place. An hour later, Doll anchored Germany to third place in the relay, putting Madshus racers in two of the three spots on the podium.

Saturday afternoon, Anaïs Bescond and Vanessa Hinz did the same in the women’s relay, helping France and Germany to second and third place, respectively. Both skied the first leg of the relay.

The IBU biathlon World Cup now moves on to Hochfilzen (AUT) for three races on December 11 through 13: sprint, pursuit and relay for both men and women.

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Sturla Holm Laegreid (NOR) skied the opening leg at the IBU World Cup Biathlon relay in Kontiolahti (FIN) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

For the cross-country skiers, the World Cup that was scheduled for December 4 through 6 in Lillehammer was cancelled due to the corona pandemic. However, the races were replaced by a 3-day Norway Cup weekend with start lists worthy of a World Cup, where Madshus racers earned a handsome collection of podiums.

Cool-headed from the start to the finish line, U23 World Champion Harald Østberg Amundsen crushed the established World Cup elite in the 15km skate at Lillehammer on Saturday morning.

“I knew from the start that I had a shot at winning, and when I got out on the course, I just felt good. It was one of those days where everything was flowing. I was ahead from the first split, and when I got close to the finish, I just gave it everything I had,” Østberg Amundsen explains.

The 22-year-old national team rookie started out hard and kept increasing the gap kilometer by kilometer, showing no respect for the multiple Olympians and World Champions. He beat them all by a comfortable margin, nearly 20 seconds ahead of the next racer.

“It’s easy to push hard when you feel great,” says Amundsen, comparing the race to the 30-kilometer skate race at the World Championships this winter.

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Harald Østberg Amundsen won the 15km skate race in Lillehammer on Saturday. Photo: Madshus

Just a couple of hours later, turbo junior Helene Marie Fossesholm keeps sending cold shivers down the neck of the World Cup elite. Once again, the 19-year-old crushed her competitors, while fellow Madshus racer Karoline Simpson Larsen snags the last spot on the podium at the 10km skate in Lillehammer.

On Sunday, Fossesholm followed suit, and signed off with another podium finish in the 10-kilometer classic.

Karoline Simpson-Larsen (left) was 3rd and Helene Marie Fossesholm was 2nd in the 10km skate race at Lillehammer. Photo: Madshus