It was at the end of October that Udnes Weng got covid and had to cancel the Norwegian season premiere, but then she hoped to run the World Cup premiere in Ruka at the end of November.

But she was completely sunk by covid and is only now ready to start competing again in what has become a nightmare season and the dream of defending the cup title has long since been crushed.

"Extra nervous before the first race"

Now the debut will take place in the Scandinavian Cup in Otepää, Estonia this weekend. It's a tough program: classic sprint, 20 km classic and 10 km free, where she is registered for all the races.

"It hasn't been the season I had in mind, but I'm hoping for a few good weeks ahead. It's a bit strange to start the competition season now, and it's always extra nervous before the first race, says Tiril Udnes Weng to the Norwegian Ski Federation.

Last season, Udnes Weng won the overall cup ahead of Jessie Diggins and Kerttu Niskanen.