HomeTag Heidi Weng

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/08/2020-Blink-Johaug-1-1-1280x720.jpeg

Times are what they are. Precautions are the name of the game. This year’s Blink Festival in Norway played to a reduced field and limited spectators due to COVID precautions. Some races, as will be noted, included modified race rules to limit close contact between athletes.    Lysebotn Opp – 06/08 The Lysebotn Opp is perhaps the marquee event. It features lovely fjord views and a grueling 7.5-kilometer uphill skate switchbacking up a mountainside. In...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/03/Johaug1320vt006-e1583067014689.jpg

Sports fans talk a lot about home field advantage. Which team will play at home at Game 7 of the World Series? Or in the playoffs before the Stanley Cup? Home turf and the swells of a crowd whose numbers are skewed toward the home team has an undeniable effect. Yes, the Norwegian team of Tiril Udnes Weng, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, Therese Johaug, and Heidi Weng won yet another 4×5-kilometer relay with a time of...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/02/Group29022020fm12935-e1582981847653.jpg

In a typical season, you might expect late February in Lahti, Finland to look wintery. 61 degrees North latitude, ample snow on the ground and clinging to the trees, maybe even a reindeer? In fact, in a plug for the venue showed a woman skiing through a snow-laden town and arriving at the base of the towering ski jumps.  But it was not so today. Women time-trialed through the woods for two laps on a...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/02/Johaug20220vt065.jpg

Nature has a lovely way of being, well, natural. In other words; marginally unpredictable, sometimes downright uncomfortable, and finicky. Prior to the Ski Tour 2020’s Stage 4 weather forecast and on-the-ground big-wind gust reality, the stage had been scheduled to pulse 38-kilometers from Storlein, Sweden to Meråker, Norway in a point to point event. Cool, right? An international border crossing during a race, with a single sanctioned coaching/feed zone for athletes around the 25 k...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/02/Johaug18220vt190.jpg

When Therese Johaug wins a sprint qualifier by 4.5 seconds and Sophie Caldwell qualifies in 23rd, you know it is not your average course. Held at the Swedish national alpine ski area in Åre, today’s event seemed to blend the infamous climb up the Alpe Cermis in the final stage of the Tour de Ski with skier cross on perhaps the shortest but toughest sprint on the World Cup. A gradual uphill start led skiers...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/02/Johaug16220vt054.jpg

The early evening show, under the lights of Östersund, Sweden’s ski stadium, Stage 2 of the Ski Tour 2020 – a 10-kilometer classic pursuit – got underway as the plentiful moisture falling from the sky transitioned from steady rain to big snowflakes. This was a 10 k race with three discrete tales. First, the story with the least tension.  That would be Norway’s Therese Johuag’s 10 k effort. Which, despite the pursuit format, was a...

Here we go again. A new Scandinavian Ski Tour takes the spot of a World Championship or Olympic Games during this off-cycle year. Six stages working east from Östersund, Sweden to Trondheim, Norway, beginning with today’s 10-kilometer individual start freestyle event.  Under clear skies, light fading and shadows lengthening as the sunset looms just a few hours away, the women time trialed through the tall conifers to set the tone of the overall tour standings....

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/02/Group09022020fm10155.jpg

As always, it was a reset: a new day at the start of a World Cup race. On Sunday, the ribbon of snow in Falun, Sweden offered an opportunity for a sixty-six women field to race head to head in a 10 k mass start freestyle race. With a course that some noted was softened in difficulty by eliminating the infamous Moderbakken climb — which has become a feared incline on the World Cup circuit...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/01/Johaug25120vt032.jpg

Here at FasterSkier, we do not play the odds. Some contributors we know play Noah Hoffman’s Fantasy League – but we steer clear of rolling the dice on cross-country skiing. But the women’s skiathlon events on the World Cup may not be the biggest payouts since in recent history they have been a lock.  Oberstdorf in Oberstdorf, Germany — the site of next year’s Nordic Ski World Championships — required no crystal ball of an...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/01/Johaug19012020fm8343-e1579437315480.jpg

Yesterday’s snow coated Nové Město, Czech Republic, clinging to the tall pines and masking the unsettling contrast of the man made ribbon of snow. Though wintry precipitation continued to fall, cheering crowds filled the stadium, ringing bells and sounding horns as racers passed through. Picking up where they left off after the skate stage, athletes set out onto the arduous tracks for a 10-kilometer classic pursuit. Steep climbs, sharp curves, and gentler though rippling terrain...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/01/Johaug18012020fm7966-e1579350548516.jpg

“It has everything,” Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla told FIS before the start of the 10-kilometer interval start skate in Nové Město, Czech Republic. Though she was describing the steep uphills and working downhills, found along the 5 k track, it might have also been an apt description for what the weather had in store. As athletes headed out on course, the light icy precipitation transitioned into chunky white flakes accumulating on the deteriorating ribbon of man...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/01/Johaug05012020fm7218.jpg

The fateful Alpe Cermis. The 10-kilometer capstone of the Tour de Ski, athletes complete the 1.5 k sprint loop before following the river valley down to the base of the alpine hill, climbing steeply for nearly 400 vertical meters to the finish. Bodies aching with the cumulative fatigue of the tour, racers are totally spent at the finish of the event. Crossing the line, they collapse with their faces pressed into the snow gasping for...

The 100th Tour de Ski Stage in Val di Fiemme, Italy, featuring a four lap 10-kilometer mass start classic. Coupling the results in distance racing over the last 14 months since Therese Johaug returned to the world cup and those of Stage 4, it seemed like a safe bet to predict a rematch between Johaug and her teammate Ingvild Flugstad Østberg. Another opportunity to race head-to-head over every meter of the course, and for Johaug...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/01/Group01012020fm6481.jpg

Pursuit day at the Tour de Ski. Fifty-one skiers chased the yellow Tour de Ski leaders bib of Norway’s Therese Johaug during Stage 4, a 10-kilometer classic pursuit. Start times for the day’s pursuit were based on time back in Stage 3, a 10 k interval start skate.  Johaug started first, with Norwegian teammate Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, 0.1 seconds back. A few skiers raced off with a small enough time deficit to dream of making...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/12/Oestberg31122019fm6156.jpg

Toblach, Italy. A stunning stadium and backdrop with the Dolomites lording over the venue and a steady cling-clang of baritone bells greeted skiers along portions of the course. Stage 3 in Toblach, a 10-kilometer interval start skate, turbocharged the 2019-2020 Tour de Ski (TDS).  After two stages, a Stage 1 mass start skate and Stage 2 skate sprint, Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva sat atop the overall standings. In third overall, Norway’s imminent threat, Therese Johaug, was positioned...

Day two of the Tour de Ski offered the American women the Sisyphean task of earning back time after a miss on ski and wax selection in Stage 1 prevented them from performing to their capability. This was particularly so for Jessie Diggins, a favorite for the overall tour podium who finished the first stage in 29th 1:20 behind Norway’s pace-setting Theresa Johaug. Her teammate Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, also a top all-arounder, was in the...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/12/Johaug281219cm171-1.jpg

Saturday marked the start of the 14th Tour de Ski in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Forgoing the traditional prologue start to determine time back to the leader, organizers threw in a spicy 11-kilometer mass start freestyle. Easy to follow for fans, maybe not so much for those following in the wake of Norway’s Therese Johaug.  The scene was a Swiss winter ideal: plentiful snow, portions of the course dappled in sunlight, others shrouded in a drifting-in and...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2019/12/Johaug81219vt061.jpg

The Tour de Ski begins with a mass start bonanza on Saturday. In this non-championship year, the TDS takes on marquee status as one the season’s premier prizes. Seven stages with a variety of disciplines, this 14th edition promises a loaded field of skiers. For the women, Therese Johaug of Norway is the easy favorite. Johaug appears programmed for dominance — the TdS features five distance stages. Norway has been well suited for the TdS....

Day two in Davos, Switzerland looked much like the first; blue skies, fast tracks, and spectacular alpen backdrop. Following an interval start, athletes time-trialed through two 5-kilometer loops loops of a course that predominantly climbs the first 3k, ripping back toward the stadium the last two. Gone are the days of the stopwatch and furious arithmetic, coaches with tablets peppered the woods near checkpoints to relay information to their athletes as they skated by, hunting...

Athletes warmed up amidst fat falling snowflakes as a storm blanketed Lillehammer, Norway. The gun fired, and a flurry of this snow clouded the boots, poles, and relay socks as a wave of skiers strode their way up and out of the Birkebeiner Stadium for the first leg of the women’s 4 x 5-kilometer relay.  With outstanding performances in the first two World Cup race weekends, it is clear that the U.S. women are hot....