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  #91  
Old 01-01-13, 23:38
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I really don't like the sprint format as part of a stage race. So much depends on luck of the draw, and giving out ridiculous levels of time bonus only prejudices the outcome of the actual race. I mean, a minute?!

Actually, I'll go a step further. I don't like the sprint format as part of the World Cup, period. I appreciate it's good for fans and can be exciting, but I look upon it as no different to the Gelsenkirchen and Moscow biathlon events, or maybe the Blink Festival biathlon races since those have qualifiers and finals the same as the XC sprints. It's a carnival, a festival and a bit of fun, but I can't see it as a real event.
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  #92  
Old 01-01-13, 23:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToreBear View Post
That's bad news. He did race oddly that final lap, I guess this explains why.

Do you know if the injury only affects his shooting, or does it affect his skiing too?

I'm hoping he goes all out for Val di Fiemme in the 15k freestyle and the mens relay. He would strenghten the team in the relay, and due to bad skiis we never really got to see what he could do in the 15k in Gallivare.
It seemed weird, cos he looked like he'd done an extra penalty loop.

I think if it's a fairly short term injury, he'll go all out for the biathlon WCs and try to get the World Cup overall since he has a lead and bearing in mind there are relays at all of the next 3 World Cup events he could get away with not losing too much on that front. If it's going to be relatively long term and affect his World Championships as well as wiping out his World Cup hopes, then I see him going to Val di Fiemme.
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  #93  
Old 01-02-13, 05:18
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i thought it was a crazy sprint day...and i agree, the sprint bonification system sucks - getting 60 seconds is out of proportion with the effort and could potentially skew the gc. luckily, it did not interfere this time !

despite the expectations, none of the main gc contenders with known sprinting proclivity (except vyleg) scored, in fact they failed to various degrees, and yet they retained excellent chances for the overall, well, except northug imo. xplain'...

unless petter somehow eeks out 1 to 1.5 minute advantage before the last climbing stage on sunday, i dont see how he can win the overall. i mean, he is certainly capable of winning or a podium in tomorrow's 35k skating pursuit. but i don't see him outracing cologna, hellner, poltoranin and particularly the russians in the coming 5k and 15k classic races. thus his space for time bonuses is quite limited.

i am impressed if not surprised by vyleg's strength

oh, and forgot to add, i am ok with the swedes and the norwegians using the team tactic as needed. it is part of ski racing.
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Last edited by python; 01-02-13 at 05:21.
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  #94  
Old 01-02-13, 10:09
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Tore: Petter is a slow starter in sprint, live with it. What should the swedes have done? Get out off the track and took off their hats for Petter? You have great knowledge in skiing but now you are one-eyed.

This is bad sportsmanship: http://www.expressen.se/sport/langds...er-bangransen/

And what is this? Who do Petter think he is? He must come down on earth.
http://www.expressen.se/sport/langds...ck-bast-plats/
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  #95  
Old 01-02-13, 11:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libertine Seguros View Post
I really don't like the sprint format as part of a stage race. So much depends on luck of the draw, and giving out ridiculous levels of time bonus only prejudices the outcome of the actual race. I mean, a minute?!

Actually, I'll go a step further. I don't like the sprint format as part of the World Cup, period. I appreciate it's good for fans and can be exciting, but I look upon it as no different to the Gelsenkirchen and Moscow biathlon events, or maybe the Blink Festival biathlon races since those have qualifiers and finals the same as the XC sprints. It's a carnival, a festival and a bit of fun, but I can't see it as a real event.
You must be an old Norwegian traditionalist! Norwegians are usually the ones being dragged kicking and screaming into new developments in skiing. First it was the freestyle, then it was the mass start, then it was the sprints and the sprint relay. Same with biathlon and the mixed relay.

Personally I like new developments. More athletes get a chance to win. More viewers are atracted to the fun, specialist athletes are developed. I like it.

As for the Tour sprints, I think it's good. They keep tweaking to get more competition throughout the race. Also new skiers are showing their abilities in regards to sprinting and distance. What I haven't liked about the tour is that often specialist sprinters show up and make sure overall contenders can't qualify, and then withdraw with their sprint cup points intact. Since there is only one sprint this year and the course is so high and heavy most of the specialists have stayed away. I think that has been a good thing this year.

As for Biathlon I agree. These different events don't bring any added value to me in the World cup. Though I have to admit I prefer XC if I was forced to choose between watching one or the other. Anyway I think the biathlon union has a lot of different formats prepared if they think the sport needs something new. Though as far as I know, they are very happy with the way things are now, so I don't see much changing in the immediate future.


Quote:
It seemed weird, cos he looked like he'd done an extra penalty loop.

I think if it's a fairly short term injury, he'll go all out for the biathlon WCs and try to get the World Cup overall since he has a lead and bearing in mind there are relays at all of the next 3 World Cup events he could get away with not losing too much on that front. If it's going to be relatively long term and affect his World Championships as well as wiping out his World Cup hopes, then I see him going to Val di Fiemme.
And not just one either! I think he took a little time in deciding how bad the injury was before deciding to deal with the pain to finnish. Hopefully he can train alternatively so it doesn't set him back for the rest of the season.

Last edited by ToreBear; 01-02-13 at 12:08.
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  #96  
Old 01-02-13, 12:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by python View Post
i thought it was a crazy sprint day...and i agree, the sprint bonification system sucks - getting 60 seconds is out of proportion with the effort and could potentially skew the gc. luckily, it did not interfere this time !

despite the expectations, none of the main gc contenders with known sprinting proclivity (except vyleg) scored, in fact they failed to various degrees, and yet they retained excellent chances for the overall, well, except northug imo. xplain'...

unless petter somehow eeks out 1 to 1.5 minute advantage before the last climbing stage on sunday, i dont see how he can win the overall. i mean, he is certainly capable of winning or a podium in tomorrow's 35k skating pursuit. but i don't see him outracing cologna, hellner, poltoranin and particularly the russians in the coming 5k and 15k classic races. thus his space for time bonuses is quite limited.

i am impressed if not surprised by vyleg's strength

oh, and forgot to add, i am ok with the swedes and the norwegians using the team tactic as needed. it is part of ski racing.
I don't think Petter is that bad uphill. But we still don't know how good Cologna is if he has to go all out. Last years race was not representative of what Petter can do on the last stage. He was exhausted after waxing mistakes on the 35k and 5k classic. Also the Norwegians did not have skiis at their usual level on the last stage. Hellner and Kershaw had much better skiis. But of course I think Hellner is much better on the uphill than Petter. I think Petter needs perhaps 30 seconds at the bottom of the hill to keep a Hellner in top form with good skiis behind him. Bauer is another matter.

As for the Classic races, Northug is quite good in classic. His double polling has become really good, so unless there is another big mistake in the materials department he should be OK. As for the 15k classic, I havent yet checked were the bonus seconds are situated, but I have hope that he has a plan/energy.

As for Vyleg, me to. He has made my nose itch in the past, but his performance so far is as expected. But that discussion is for another thread.

As for the tactics/sportsmanship I agree. I saw a replay of the Northug vs. 3x sweden, and I think the swedes were skiing fair, and were just using good tactics. That Northug was not able to outmanouver them was his own fault. I think he spent too much energy in the quarter final and played it to conservative in the early stages of the semi final.

Though I am a bit puzled Emil didn't let Hellner go to the final. I think Emil was very tired on the final stretch and was unsure of were Northug was, so he went for it. If Northug had gone through and not Hellner it would have been a disaster.

I think if Emil had been more aware of his surroundings and less tired he would have let Hellner go through. His incredible quarterfinal performance no doubt had a performance cost in the semi final.
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  #97  
Old 01-02-13, 12:43
maltiv maltiv is offline
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Kinda ridiculous that they have a restday, then a sprint, followed by another restday. They have essentially raced for around 3 km's over the course of 3 days...and those who didn't make it through the prologue have basically had 3 rest days in a row!
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  #98  
Old 01-02-13, 13:57
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I'm not puzzled they didn't let Hellner go to the final. Skiing is an individual sport in their eyes. Hellner said he would gladly have accepted the help to advance into the final, but understands that this is not a bike race with a team leader (even though the Norwegians seem to have a different thing in mind, with Steira's advance into the finals). Emil should definitely not have let Hellner through if anything though, if anyone is should've been Halfvarsson - but no blame should be put on anyone. Still, I think they should have raced like the Norwegians did letting Steira go through. Emil wasn't even supposed to be at this Tour and has abandoned anyway, but whatever.

I was very impressed otherwise with Johaug. No way Kowalczyk can keep Johaug behind her now.

As for the upcoming race, Northug will not do ANY work in his front group with Cologna and Vyleg - but Vyleg will surely do most of the work. Legkov will go all out, probably catching the front group too - meaning there will be an extreme pace up there. Harvey has to follow Legkov. Chernousov is in a precarious situation, and will probably be caught by Bauer and Hellner from behind. Olsson and Poltoranin also have a chance of attaching themselves to Hellner and Bauer.

It's going to be very hard for Hellner and Bauer to catch up to the front group, but it could happen. What I really wonder is: how much will Cologna do in the front.

As for the women's, I really don't see a lot of changes. I only see Kalla advancing slightly, Johaug getting a bit closer to Kowalczyk and Herrmann to move down the rankings a bit.
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  #99  
Old 01-02-13, 13:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sworks View Post
Tore: Petter is a slow starter in sprint, live with it. What should the swedes have done? Get out off the track and took off their hats for Petter? You have great knowledge in skiing but now you are one-eyed.

This is bad sportsmanship: http://www.expressen.se/sport/langds...er-bangransen/

And what is this? Who do Petter think he is? He must come down on earth.
http://www.expressen.se/sport/langds...ck-bast-plats/
Actually his starting has actually improved in the sprint. It's just that Emil is so much better so you don't notice it. Of course Petter is not as fast as the specialist sprinters. And of those Emil is numero uno.

As for the tactics, the situations that seemed suspect happened throughout the heat. But, you are right it was good tactics, and not unsportsmanship. I was trying to contrast this vs. the Steira situation that Tylers Twin brought up and amplified my dissapointment to contrast the viewpoints. Mind you my debt of feeling was not as intense as what the post indicates.

Having seen the race again, without a hangover and biased excitement the situations i noticed on first viewing seem like good racing by Emil and Halvarsson. Halvarsson has been impressive so far in this tour. The talent he showed last season in Sjursen is beginning to show. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in a sprint after a distance race. Perhaps in sochi he will cause me a lot of stress if he goes up againts Northug in the relay.

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Originally Posted by sworks View Post
I Disagree, and now Im sober and rested. That situation was amplified in the Swedish media because of the harsh penalty Daniel Richardsson received.

Northugs transgression in this situation is something no one would have brought up if it were not for the Richardsson case. What Northug did has been common througout races before, and is still common. It's just that no one has made anything out of it/noticed anything. If someone were to be disquallified for things like that there would have been a lot of disqualifications. Northug got a yellow card because of the Richardsson case, not because he did something that was unfair. Remember getting your ski outside of the marked area, carries a risk in itself. Something Cologna is a good illustration of in this years tour sprint. It's not something you want to do if you can avoid it.

As for what Daniel Richardsson did in last years tour. His transgression was much more severe than what Northug did. I think the reason he was penalized so harshly(much to harsh IMO) is that this was something that the team leaders were explicitly told was strictly forbidden in the pre race meeting the day before.

What Daniel did was not easily discernable in the broadcast, so did not get that much attention. Basicly what he did was advance past the field using about a 100 to 200 meters of forbidden area. Thereby bypassing maybe 20-30 skiers giving himself an unfair advantage. My impression is that Daniel forgot this was not allowed and got caught up in the rush of gaining so many places. Not any intension to cheat. I think part of the reason his punishment was so severe was that the rules only had two types of sanctions available. Last in the field or a yellow card. They figured that what he did deserved more than a yellow card, something I agree with, but the resulting last placing was totally over the top. But alas, those were the rules. A fair punishment in that situation would have in my opinion been a time penalty of maybe max 30 seconds. I hope this has been changed in the rules now so that penalties are no longer so unproportional.

Anyway Richardssons form meant he had no tour chances anyway, so the competition itself was not affected that much in the end. But that still doesn't make his harsh punishment right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sworks View Post
And what is this? Who do Petter think he is? He must come down on earth.
http://www.expressen.se/sport/langds...ck-bast-plats/
I don't think he drives the buss or parks it

The situation were his buss takes up a spot that is reserved for a team vehicle is obviously the organizers fault. The Northug express is obviously at the bottom of the list when it comes to choice of parking location.

As for Northug having a bus. Well he/his personal sponsors are responsible for that, so no economical burden on the Norwegian team. Northug is very professional in every aspect, especially the science of resting/sleeping. And previous tours have shown that this is something with room for improvement. So he tries something new to improve his ability to recover between the races, which has previously been one of his weak areas. He seems to need a very quiet environment around him when he is in competition and training and this might provide it for him.

As for the ethical/moral questions of him having a personal comamobil. It does leave a sour taste on my social democratic taste buds. But if he wins I will be able to handle the personal hypocracy and let this one slide.
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  #100  
Old 01-02-13, 14:26
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I think it's right that they're doing what they can to get their team leader to win. I'm angered that the Swedes aren't doing all they can to help Hellner/Olsson tbh. It was done successfully in the 2010 Olympic Skiathlon, where Södergren and Hellner went up and slowed the pace in the chasing group to allow Olssons break to succeed. Obviously, had Northug not his misfortunes, it might have been a different race - but still.
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