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  #131  
Old 01-04-13, 12:29
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epic ride by grande poltoranin _O_

good day for us the astana fans, that was one for the history books.
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  #132  
Old 01-04-13, 12:31
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Originally Posted by maltiv View Post
Agree. In general, the distances in TDS are way too short, not only for women. In total, the men go 90 km over the course of 9 days. That's a whopping 10 km average per day. Most people do a lot more than that when on winter holidays

For the women, every race is basically a sprint. Which is why Kowalczyk and Bjørgen are so dominant. Real skiers like Johaug and Steira would be a lot closer if they had some long races.
Totally agree.
Even that final climb is not really all that difficult.
After all it's only 20 minutes of climbing.
I guess they are doing this to be attractive to the broad audience who are not really into cross country skking. Personally, i don't like this at all.
Tomorrow they have 10 and 15km mass sstarts. Seriously, this is somewhat pathetic.
Mass start races only make sense if the thea are of decent distance.
Otherwise, they highly favor the short distance sprint type guys.
If they are continuing like this, they 'll totally destroy cross country skiing as we once knew it

Last edited by Bavarianrider; 01-04-13 at 12:37.
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  #133  
Old 01-04-13, 12:38
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epic ride by grande poltoranin _O_

good day for us the astana fans, that was one for the history books.
Great race, finally he showed his potential!
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  #134  
Old 01-04-13, 12:40
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Poltoranin - epic.
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  #135  
Old 01-04-13, 15:32
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Agree with maltiv and bavarian: the endurance side of things is downplayed too much imo. Sure, there are anaerobic efforts on every leg, but even so the distances are not overwhelming. No question in my mind, the athletes can recover from that - and more

Anyway, ditch the sprints, double up all distances for men and multiply by 1,5 for the ladies, and perhaps add 2-3 stages. Find wider ie more GC friendly tracks if possible for the races that go from A to B. And race more from A to B. Also the Alpe is borderline over the top towards the circus side of things. Way worse than Angliru or Zoncolan IMO. A more skiable or less steep climb could be obtained too, I assume. Wouldn't surprise me if Libertine could name one right away.

The race is enjoyable, but to me the bottom line is this: Isn't the Tour supposed to offer something different from the WC to begin with? The Alpe and Men's long leg are something, but they fall up short IMO. Too much same old same old for my liking.

Yet, if the goal is to produce just that, then they're doing a good job I guess.

Last edited by meat puppet; 01-04-13 at 15:36.
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  #136  
Old 01-04-13, 15:34
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The Tour this year is shorter too, to accommodate riders who want to race the World Championships later. It therefore couldn't be too hard.
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  #137  
Old 01-04-13, 15:57
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I know that that's the argument, but don't necessarily agree. First, the Worlds are 1,5-2 months away, so there is time to recover. It's a bit like Vuelta and the Worlds, only the Tour is shorter and the skiing Worlds are longer, and the recovery time is (or, can be made) much longer.

Anyway, I guess this boils down to the opinion that to me the concept of aiming to peak for a couple races only per season is a bit funny, alienated even if you will. Not sayin it's not the correct thing to do. Of course the game is brutal and any advantage should be sought, so it all makes perfect sense from the athletes' POV to perhaps treat the tour as a 2nd priority.. Feel free to disagree, this is just a weekend warrior talking.

Nonetheless, the tour would fit in between the long distance races and normal WC circuit if it was made a bit harder. The athletes must choose their priorities anyhow. Maybe the more endurance driven skiers would take it as their no 1 goal.

Last edited by meat puppet; 01-04-13 at 15:59.
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  #138  
Old 01-04-13, 18:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maltiv View Post
Agree. In general, the distances in TDS are way too short, not only for women. In total, the men go 90 km over the course of 9 days. That's a whopping 10 km average per day. Most people do a lot more than that when on winter holidays

For the women, every race is basically a sprint. Which is why Kowalczyk and BjÝrgen are so dominant. Real skiers like Johaug and Steira would be a lot closer if they had some long races.
This is the problem with the sprint being so popular and overused on the calendar - you weight things too far in favour of powerhouse athletes and limit the potential field of winners. And as long as races of short distance and carnival freak show sprints predominate on the calendar, then there's little reason to BE a real skier like a Johaug or a Steira. Why would you waste your time when you can win way more and make way more money being Scott Steiner on skis?

If we are going to accept that the sprint circus is here to stay, then we shouldn't be marginalising the endurance events, because they're what give the Tour variety. Rather than homologising the courses so that the races produce similar spectacle every time (which creates a handful of marketable names but reduces depth and makes the spectacle a bit boring) they should embrace the variety.

The sprints should be an occasional circus. I don't find the Alpe as worrisome for the sport as I do the proliferation of sprints, because as things stand the Alpe, gimmickry though it is, is a one-off event. Are there any other similar events with real pro competition? Maybe the Lysebotn Opp, but that's an off-season rollerski race. However, if there weren't so many sprints there wouldn't be the need to create such an extreme gimmicked event as the Alpe to counterbalance it. Shortening all the events and going for broke on the gimmickry with stupid over-the-top bonuses for short sprints and super steep finales? It's like Unipublic have taken over the FIS.
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  #139  
Old 01-04-13, 21:16
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i agree with these observations.

also, if i got the whiff of the norwegian media reporting on petter's preparation focus for THIS tds, he was de-emphesizing the importance of opening stages and concentrating on his endurance for the final stages...

my comment was not to belittle northug's classic proficiency (his record speaks for itself) but to point that his competitors (including this tour's only classic race so far) seem to have found an antidote to petter's tactics. i also had in mind legkov's win in the last year tds short classic tt. it seems the competitors are aware of petter's vintage tactic of hanging on with the best to only outsprint them at the end.

we shall see a lot in just few hours
Don't worry no belittleing detected. The tactic of keeping high power over a long time might have worked 2-3 years ago. Not anymore. If Petter is in good shape with competitive skis I have trouble seeing anyone doing that. He is one of the strongest in interval starts at the moment.

One concern with Petter is his ability to maintain the same style for a long time like in thursdays race. He needs to be able to alternate the tecnique he uses more often than say Dario and Hellner when on skate 3. This is no problem in most courses, but in the Cortina-Toblach race it can be a bit too much for him.

However tomorrows mass start in val de fiemme in classic style could give the Russians an oppurtunity to shake him off with bicycle tactics. I don't think it will work, but if he has a bad day and they are having good days it might work.
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  #140  
Old 01-04-13, 21:23
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Originally Posted by Libertine Seguros View Post
This is the problem with the sprint being so popular and overused on the calendar - you weight things too far in favour of powerhouse athletes and limit the potential field of winners. And as long as races of short distance and carnival freak show sprints predominate on the calendar, then there's little reason to BE a real skier like a Johaug or a Steira. Why would you waste your time when you can win way more and make way more money being Scott Steiner on skis?

If we are going to accept that the sprint circus is here to stay, then we shouldn't be marginalising the endurance events, because they're what give the Tour variety. Rather than homologising the courses so that the races produce similar spectacle every time (which creates a handful of marketable names but reduces depth and makes the spectacle a bit boring) they should embrace the variety.

The sprints should be an occasional circus. I don't find the Alpe as worrisome for the sport as I do the proliferation of sprints, because as things stand the Alpe, gimmickry though it is, is a one-off event. Are there any other similar events with real pro competition? Maybe the Lysebotn Opp, but that's an off-season rollerski race. However, if there weren't so many sprints there wouldn't be the need to create such an extreme gimmicked event as the Alpe to counterbalance it. Shortening all the events and going for broke on the gimmickry with stupid over-the-top bonuses for short sprints and super steep finales? It's like Unipublic have taken over the FIS.
Remember that the sprints usually don't displace the longer races. Only a few skiers focus on both the distance and the sprint cup.

Also the sprints are a great way to introduce young skiers to the world cup level before they have the capacity for the distance races. Also it might give more nations and atletes a chance to show themselves.
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