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.