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  #231  
Old 01-21-13, 19:53
sworks sworks is offline
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The worst of the "things" mentioned above is Skofterud, I think. But my memory is maybe not so good. The link from nrk just stopped when Skofterud started her move. Any other link of that, someone?
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  #232  
Old 01-23-13, 11:09
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Originally Posted by sworks View Post
The worst of the "things" mentioned above is Skofterud, I think. But my memory is maybe not so good. The link from nrk just stopped when Skofterud started her move. Any other link of that, someone?
You might have to download a torrent/magnet.

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/7858800

A nice site to find more races:
http://nordicxplained.wordpress.com/...ountry-skiing/




I'm enjoying watching SM on svt now. Emma Wiken was really impressive even though some of the strongest contenders were missing.

The mens race is going to be exciting. All the best Swedes are starting.
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  #233  
Old 01-23-13, 15:06
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Olsson didn't start. Hellner won ahead of Richardsson in a sprint, Södergren 3rd.
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  #234  
Old 01-24-13, 09:37
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is anyone following the junior and u23 worlds in Liberec ?

what really got my attention this year was that unlike their senior compatriots, norrmännen are far from dominant.

after 3 days, germany leads with 8 medals (3 golds) whilst norway has only one bronze…it’s unlikely that the talent pool is drying (iirc, last year norges collected 10 medals) but what’s happening this year ?

torebear, any thoughts ?
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  #235  
Old 01-24-13, 23:49
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is anyone following the junior and u23 worlds in Liberec ?

what really got my attention this year was that unlike their senior compatriots, norrmännen are far from dominant.

after 3 days, germany leads with 8 medals (3 golds) whilst norway has only one bronze…it’s unlikely that the talent pool is drying (iirc, last year norges collected 10 medals) but what’s happening this year ?

torebear, any thoughts ?
Hmm, Well I think there are some different things involved. Anyway Ragnild Haga got gold in u23 10km freestyle, so it's not that bad.

We have the nationals now, and those who are eligible to compete in the u23 class who have a chance of qualifying for Val di Fiemme are likely focusing on that.

For the Girls we have Heidi Weng and Martine Ek Hagen. Heidi Weng would likely dominate the distance races in the u23. Ek Hagen would also probably be able to win on the freestyle events and podium on a good day in skiathlon.

As for the sprints, I think Maiken Kaspersen Falla is just about eligible in u23 and would be a favorite, but she is focusing on the WC. But otherwise the best girls were sent, they just weren't as good as their competitors.

Though I expect the Norwegian placings to improve in the coming events being over longer distances. I also have a feeling Norwegians are a bit better in classic at a younger age than their competitors.

For the men u23 Krogh is just about eligible and Tønseth is eligible and might place highly if they were not hoping for a WC spot and hence competing in the nationals. I say might, because the competition is very good.

For example Andrew Musgrave came 4th in 15km u23 freestyle. He is very good in this distance. He came third in the Norwegian nationals last year. Since he's from the UK, Thomas Alsgaard who came 4th was given the Bronze medal. There might be an improvement for the Norwegians when classic style comes into play, but I don't really expect any dominance. The other U23s just seem to be very good.

For the sprints, Golberg is just about eligeble for u23, so he might have been on the podium. But again, those who podiumed are very good, so there would be no guarantees.


In the Junior category there is no leakage, so what you see is what you get. I don't see the Norwegian girls/womens recent domination as something that will continue forever. I see things going in cycles across different times. I see other nations having good youngsters coming up, and their development programs improving, meaning they are likely to reach the top level and the chance of the next Bjørgen coming from some place other than Norway increases. Thats why I savor our current domination, because when it ends I can remember the good times.

On the boys/mens side, there has been no Norwegian domination. Only Northug who has kept us in the game. But there are a lot of good skiers coming up through the ranks, so that it's no longer just about Northug.

But as always look for Norway in the upcoming junior relays. When it comes to putting up a full team with out any obvious weaknesses. I think only the Russians have the same depth.

On a more general note, it looks like the Germans are finally coming back into play. They seem to have a lot of good youngsters and the younger seniors are beginning to make their mark.


Direct links to the results for anyone interested:
Liberec u23/juniors:
http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.h...event_id=31938

Norwegian championship:
http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.h..._suchsector=CC

Swedish championship:
http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.h..._suchsector=CC
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  #236  
Old 01-26-13, 12:31
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Mäkäräinen took gold in Finnish XC nats, 10k freestyle. Probably partly due to her being closer to top form than the XC skiers and well tapered, but beating Roponen was actually quite a feat.

Mostly I have mixed feelings tho, and I quite dislike the way the Finnish media hypes her as the great white hope - whilst Punkkinen is coaching. No questions are being asked, of course, although "Sinivalkoinen valhe" implicated him in a damning manner, and of course there is a good amount of that kinda media history too.

Last edited by meat puppet; 03-05-13 at 18:53.
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  #237  
Old 01-27-13, 05:42
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since there were no world cup events yesterday, I busied myself following other high quality xc races…

being the numbers person, 2 very different results (that in theory should not have been this far apart) jumped at me. both were set in the same discipline -skiathlon, same distance 30km, same day - yesterday. but at different races hudreds of km apart.

the first race was in Liberec at the world u23. the 3 winners averaged just under 1:12.
Source: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2013/CC/2...13CC2292RL.pdf

the second race was in Gåsbu at the norwegian championships. the 3 winners averaged just over 1:21.
Source: http://www.langrenn.com/stigende-for...9501-1743.html

the differences would not be so surprising if the 2nd race did not contain several of the worlds most accomplished adult skiers (northug, sundby, rønning) as well as the brigh norwegian young talent (tønseth)

why is the glaring, almost 10 minute (13%) difference whereas (for a casual observer) northug should have slaughtered the youngsters ?

of course, the reason i picked this example was to illustrate the complexity of xc skiing results that some fans are too quick to ascribe to the clinic…the huge dependence on the elements - weather, snow conditions, topography etc.
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  #238  
Old 01-27-13, 13:04
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Did anyone else see Piller Cottrer's fall in the Marcialonga? That was brutal... Great with for J. Aukland there too.

And for the Swedish Championships, Hellner only placed 3rd after Richardsson and the winner Olsson in the 15km freestyle. Didn't expect Hellner being so far behind too. Olsson is looking great for the WC.
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  #239  
Old 01-27-13, 20:17
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The IBU have rather thoughtfully, as there is no World Cup this week, allowed us to stream the Junior WC races (but not the Youth ones) from Obertilliach.

Uliana Kaisheva is clearly ready for the Juniors; the Russian outskied everybody to a ridiculous level, with 1 penalty she won the sprint over 6km by a full minute, and doubled up with a comfortable pursuit win despite 4 errors. Italy's Lisa Vittozzi (clean shooting) and Russia's Svetlana Mironova (1 penalty) made up the rest of the medals in the sprint, but fell away in the pursuit, with Kazakh Galina Vishevskaya climbing from 5th with 1 penalty to 2nd, and German Marion Deigentesch, who despite matching Kaisheva's shooting record was over 2 minutes down in 16th in the sprint, shot 19/20 and outskied Zhuravok (who went 20/20) on the final lap to get the bronze medal.

The male Youth sprint was a much tighter affair, with nobody having too clear a ski advantage. France's Fabien Claude took the win with 2 penalties, though the USA's Sean Doherty started a couple of minutes behind and came closest, matching the Frenchman's shooting but not his ski time, to finish 3 seconds behind. Rene Zahkna of Estonia finished 3rd, with 1 penalty. Amazingly, no Germans or Russians (the latter having been particularly successful at these championships) in the top 10, but as opposed to the women, there were 19 male youths inside a minute, leading to a tense pursuit. Claude wilted at the range, with 7 penalties in all, with Doherty having just 3 and clearly outskiing Zahkna to take the win. Fredrik Rørvik of Norway won a keenly fought battle for 3rd, again with 3 penalties, while key movers were Niklas Homberg of Germany (climbing from 22nd to 5th) and Vemund Gurigard of Norway (from 26th to 7th), who both shot with 3 penalties but gained time on Doherty and Zahkna.

Onto the Juniors, where I actually got to see the races so can go on what I remember as well as just the reports.

First up was the women's sprint. The early running was made by Annika Knoll of Germany, who put a lot of time into those that went before her despite 2 penalties, to the point where it was amazing to see how far she tumbled down the rankings. World Cup semi-regular Daria Yurlova of Estonia was the first to overhaul her, shortly followed by Frenchwoman Enora Latuillière. Most of the main names went in the middle bunch, and the next key name was Germany's Franziska Preuß, a very promising 18yo competitor still eligible for the Youth events, who many German fans have high expectations of. She missed one in prone, but shot clear in standing in incredible time (seriously, she shoots in standing at a pace even Tora Berger might be hard pushed to match), however a few minutes later she was overhauled first by Austria's Lisa Theresa Hauser and then France's Anaïs Chevalier, who both posted times around 13" better than the young German, with clean shooting the key. Both were made to look like rank amateurs by Germany's other major contender, Laura Dahlmeier, however. Dahlmeier has a lot of Germany's fans' tongues wagging & was indeed a contender for slot 6 at Antholz. After this weekend I wouldn't be surprised to see her at Holmenkollen, Sochi or Khanty-Mansiysk. She shoots slowly and methodically, but she shot all 10 targets and the time she set was almost a minute ahead of the two other sharpshooters despite her slower range time. The only one who could contend with her was Russia's Olga Podchufarova, who set a blindingly fast course time, but paid for it with 3 penalties in standing, ending up 48" behind. The last threat to the German was Norway's Hilde Fenne, who has been excellent in relays for them this season... but she has not peaked at the right time for these championships, with 3 penalties but a time more than a minute off Podchufarova's.

Going into the pursuit, Dahlmeier had a significant lead & while Podchufarova was able to eat into it a bit with her skiing time, she lost all the time she made at the range when she missed in the second standing. Preuß made light work of Chevalier and Hauser on the trails to move into 3rd very early on. It was in the first standing that the race turned upside down; Laura Dahlmeier is the kind of biathlete I love. She is fast, but she is vulnerable. The pressure struck her in the first standing, and she followed in the footsteps of many a German star before her - Disl, Neuner, Gößner - with 3 misses to Podchufarova's 1, meaning her advantage was cut to just 6 seconds. With her insanely fast shooting style, Preuß would have taken the lead had she hit all 5, but she could only manage 4. Meanwhile, behind, others struggling at the range in standing allowed Vanessa Hinz, a converted XC skier who's only been doing biathlon a year, to step up to 4th place with 18/20 on the day. At the final shoot, Dahlmeier and Podchufarova were together... Podchufarova shot 4/5, Dahlmeier 3... but even if they shot equal it was a foregone conclusion as Podchufarova shot fairly quickly, Dahlmeier very methodically. Or would it have been? What we do know is that Preuß moved ahead of Dahlmeier due to fast and accurate shooting, emerging 21" behind Podchufarova with Dahlmeier at 37"... but at the finish Dahlmeier had turned this deficit to just 17", with Preuß only losing 3 more seconds to the Russian who had been the second fastest skier on the day (the fastest was Hilde Fenne, but with 9 penalties she became an irrelevance to those at the front). So was Podchufarova easing up knowing she had the win, or did Dahlmeier pace the race better and have that much in reserve? Either way, both are really good prospects if this is anything to go by, as is bronze medallist Preuß. The big movers were Russia's Elena Ankudinova (20th to 8th with 2 penalties) and France's Coline Varcin (21st to 10th with just 1).

The men's sprint was laid out fairly similarly to the women's, with the main names going in the middle order. Russia's Aleksandr Chernyshov set the early time to beat, with 2 penalties, and Vetle Sjåstad Christiansen, who has had some good performances at the World Cup level this season, most notably at Östersund, showed that again Norwegians hadn't quite peaked this right, as despite shooting 10/10 (which only 4 people managed) and setting a long-time target time, he couldn't make the podium. The big deal was Maxim Tsvetkov, who won the sprint and pursuit at Junior level in both 2011 and 2012, and posted a mind-boggling ski time again in the sprint, only for his composure to desert him at the range and, after 2 penalties in standing, he only quashed Christiansen's time rather than obliterating it. A couple of decent challengers missed 1 target, and still fell nearly a minute shy of Tsvetkov's time - Quentin Fillon-Maillet of France and Roman Rees of Germany - but it was left to two consecutive starters to make the decisive moves. Aleksandr Loginov missed one shot in standing; Johannes Thingnes Bø missed one in prone. Both posted times akin to Tsvetkov's after two laps, so we could be forgiven that given the extra miss, they would fall away from his time at the finish. But we would be wrong, for Loginov posted the fastest time, 11" ahead of his compatriot, and Bø fell 5" behind. The only remaining challenger was yet another Russian, Timur Makhambetov, as long as he could shoot cleanly in standing. He couldn't, and had to settle for 6th.

Onto the pursuit then, and the first bit of news was that Christiansen, 4th in the sprint, had chosen not to take the start. This left a huge gap between the leading trio and the chasers a minute behind. Tsvetkov fought hard on the first lap to catch up to the leading duo, but paid for it when he missed one in prone 1 and had to do all that work again, but he was helped by Bø setting a seemingly very pedestrian pace. The next trio on the trails were Makhambetov, Fillon-Maillet and Rees, with the Russian again being the one to miss. At prone 2, Bø missed, giving Loginov the clear advantage and putting himself back behind Tsvetkov, while Rees shot clear and rid himself of any company. The Russians started to work to distance him and came in to standing 1 together, but both had respective meltdowns - Loginov missing 2 and Tsvetkov 3 - meaning Bø could take the lead if he shot well... but he missed 2 himself. This gave the fast-shooting Rees the chance - Rees shoots rather like Andi Birnbacher, taking a bit of time to set up his position but once shot 1 is away shot 5 is shortly afterwards. Knowing a medal was a possibility he went for it, shooting at the kind of speed normally reserved for Tora Berger and repeater rifles, but sometimes shooting at that speed sacrifices accuracy, and so it was, missing 2 himself and falling back into the clutches of Fillon-Maillet, who just missed 1. Tsvetkov's faster skiing and quicker shooting times meant that he completed his 3 laps shortly behind Loginov's 2, with Bø some 30 seconds behind. Coming into shooting 4, it was a question of which Russian would blink first? The answer was both, as they both missed shot number 1 simultaneously. This time it was Tsvetkov who missed 2 and Loginov 3, so Bø didn't have as much time as he had at shooting 3. Perhaps because of that, he didn't overthink things, just shot, getting all 5 quickly and reminding us of his brother's explosion onto the scene. This time, Rees and Fillon-Maillet didn't get the chance, because Bø was off on the trails already. They missed 2 each to sacrifice the medals anyhow. Tsvetkov trailed in 15" behind Bø having started 6" behind and with 3 extra misses; he was the fastest on the trails, but Bø raced smarter, as Tsvetkov seemingly took too much out of himself in the skiing to be able to control the shots; Loginov took home the bronze. Few big movers in the pursuit, despite the close times; Giuseppe Montello, the Italian, was by far the best of these, shooting 19 out of 20, en route to 7th from 20th position.
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  #240  
Old 01-27-13, 21:16
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Let's examine a bit of what this means.

- with the retirements of Olofsson-Zidek, Ekholm and Nilsson in short order, the Swedes have more or less become a one-gender team. Ferry and Bergman won't be around much longer, however, and while Lindström is good, it's panic stations for depth otherwise. Of Sweden's four male entries in the Junior Worlds, Henrik Fristedt and Viktor Agestam were 41st and 55th, while Daniel Gustavsson and Peppe Femling had off days and didn't make the pursuit. Neither of those qualified made significant gains in the pursuit, Fristedt missing 6 and staying in 41st, and Agestam missing 8 but climbing to 52nd. For the girls it's less apocalyptic; the three girls entered - Anna Wikström, Anna Svedin Thunström and Emma Nilsson - all qualified for the pursuit, but Wikström was the best, 22nd at 2'53 with 2 penalties; even shooting clear she'd have been 2 minutes off Dahlmeier's time at best. Nilsson didn't start the pursuit while the other two both lost places; Wikström missed 4 at prone 1, but recovered well, so it wasn't a pointless exercise. Nevertheless, there is very good reason to fear for the future in Swedish biathlon - they didn't put anybody in the top 20 of either youth sprint either, but Markus Stenberg climbed from 27th to 15th in the male youth pursuit. It might be their best option in the near future to persuade Chardine Sloof to change nationalities, since she's based in Sweden anyhow, and I shan't imagine she has much opportunity for assistance on the level she'd get from the Swedish team in the Dutch squad, which more or less consists of her and her brother.

- where will some of these juniors go? The Russians have a stacked lineup as it is in the World Cup, especially for the men. Tsvetkov has lain waste to these championships for 3 years now, can they really just put him into the IBU Cup like they've done others? At the same time, people like Slepov and Iourieva are showing in the IBU Cup they need to be given the runouts at the World Cup level. I'm not saying these guys are the finished article, but Tsvetkov's more or less been at the same level for three years now and ought to be being given the opportunity to step up, but who makes way in the team the Russians have at the moment? For the women it's a bit easier, as Podchufarova is the only one who is clearly ready for the step up, and she can easily be rotated into the side occasionally at the expense of a less constant team member, like Korovina or Iourieva, to see how she settles in, although unlike Germany and Norway Russia have always tended to take the Mixed Relay seriously, whereas the former tend to use it as an opportunity to get a look at some prospects or people fighting for a place in the other relays.

- while much has been made of the lacking depth of the German women of late, with Henkel not likely to continue past the Olympics, and while some (myself included) have been waiting for Gößner to break out like she has done for a couple of years now, it was by no means sure she would. Bachmann has underperformed this year, and Horchler has been a pleasant surprise. Underneath these though, there's only Franzi Hildebrand, as Sachenbacher-Stehle has been worryingly off the pace and at 32 is clearly not the long term answer anyway, while Döll has retired, Hammerschmidt has been decent but struggling for ski pace and Hennecke hasn't really been given the opportunity to show what she can do outside the IBU-Cup. It's therefore refreshing then, that two of the best prospects in Juniors are German. You could make the argument that they are THE two best prospects, as Dahlmeier and Podchufarova came out of the weekend equal, but with Podchufarova seemingly having less scope for improvement in that she's already pretty slick while Dahlmeier is still raw, and with Preuß still being of the age to be in Youth and picking up medals in the Juniors, and shooting the way she is, she's one of the biggest prospects out there. One wonders what would have happened had Preuß raced against the youths, would it have been so easy for Kaisheva? Or should Kaisheva have been in the Juniors, like Preuß?

- France continue in their recent tradition. Fillon-Maillet and Dumont are not especially quick on the trails but are pretty reliable in the range; Varcin really impressed me with her shooting, however Anaïs Chevalier seemed to be the exception; she's fairly quick but wasn't as accurate, while Enora Latuillière was perfect in prone, but prone to mistakes in standing.

- Bø excepted, the Norwegians didn't seem to get this right at all. Frida Strand Kristoffersen was good in the sprint, then missed 4 in prone 1 in the pursuit and tumbled out of the top 10, while Hilde Fenne set the fastest course time in the pursuit (having been a minute off Podchufarova's in the sprint), and also the fastest shooting time, but it's no good shooting fast when you only hit 11/20. She's better than a 13th and 14th place and she knows it. The Norwegians on the other hand have some good options for moving up as the team looks to be keen to give the younger competitors a chance at the top level. Brun-Lie, Fenne, Gjermundshaug and Christiansen have all been seen in the WC this year, while Bø has been in the relay at Antholz and several others have IBU-Cup experience. Naturally OEB won't be around forever, and it looks like they need to crystallise the new squad around Svendsen and seemingly the elder Bø if he can recapture his form of two years ago, and for the women Tora Berger is the obvious leader, but she and Flatland are both over 30, with Solemdal the young star on the team. Elise Ringen has taken a big step backward this year, it seems, while Eckhoff and Horn have made strides - but neither have really cemented their place in the team (indeed, despite being in the World Cup top 30 it seems Tiril Eckhoff will only be in Nové Město as a reserve) so there are opportunities there.

- quite refreshing to see some good Canadian and US performances, especially among the youths. America's team is getting older (Burke and Bailey both in their 30s, Hakkinen over 35) so it's nice to see some new blood coming in there. Also impressed at there being several Croats, hopefully they can develop the sport there in the coming years and add somebody else to the mix.
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