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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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30 Dec 2012 21:45

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here's Northug's bus:

Image

And no, that's not for the entire Norwegian team, it's only for Northug himself...
maltiv
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31 Dec 2012 13:47

I know, it's ludicrous.
User avatar jsem94
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01 Jan 2013 05:29



They are waxers not magicians. Hellner uses too much grip wax. He has payed for it many times in the tour. Usually the waxers get the blame by the Swedish media. He isn't technically skilled enough to adapt his technique to the conditions. No one could expect to have a good grip in that loose snow for too long.

Olsson, technically skilled, and adaptable. He had a good race.
Emil. Uses power. With such loose snow, that is not effective.
Richardsson, great double polling and adaptable when on form. He is not yet in top shape, and his double polling would be less effective because of the loose snow and the thin layer of it over the asphalt.

Halvarsson did a good race, my guess is that he has the skills to adapt to the situation.

Had the Russians not put down the gas for the entire race, and a larger group had come together Helners overdose on grip wax might have been beneficial, since there would have been a lot more tight maneuvering.

But as the race turned out, he was exposed.

I remember the classics race on the second last day from two years ago. All the Norwegians went for maximum glide. On the uphill they were the first in herring bone, but on the downhill they were fast. Hellner had a horrible race, while Richardsson had a good race. The waxers were blamed, but the truth is Hellner used to much wax and had a horrible glide as a consequence.

I think the waxing team is just doing PR. Though they should work on their organizing skills if it was as chaotic as the article implies.
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01 Jan 2013 15:31

quite a comeback by emil jönsson after a fall in the 1st round :eek:

my my, a vulgar display of power from randall.
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01 Jan 2013 16:22

You still get a whole MINUTE of bonus time for this crap?! Thank god there's only one of these this year.
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01 Jan 2013 17:27

Proof that swedes are more sportsmanlike than norwegians (Østberg vs Steira, Jönsson/Halvarsson vs Hellner). ;)

ToreBear wrote:They are waxers not magicians. Hellner uses too much grip wax. He has payed for it many times in the tour. Usually the waxers get the blame by the Swedish media. He isn't technically skilled enough to adapt his technique to the conditions. No one could expect to have a good grip in that loose snow for too long.

Olsson, technically skilled, and adaptable. He had a good race.
Emil. Uses power. With such loose snow, that is not effective.
Richardsson, great double polling and adaptable when on form. He is not yet in top shape, and his double polling would be less effective because of the loose snow and the thin layer of it over the asphalt.

Halvarsson did a good race, my guess is that he has the skills to adapt to the situation.

Had the Russians not put down the gas for the entire race, and a larger group had come together Helners overdose on grip wax might have been beneficial, since there would have been a lot more tight maneuvering.

But as the race turned out, he was exposed.

I remember the classics race on the second last day from two years ago. All the Norwegians went for maximum glide. On the uphill they were the first in herring bone, but on the downhill they were fast. Hellner had a horrible race, while Richardsson had a good race. The waxers were blamed, but the truth is Hellner used to much wax and had a horrible glide as a consequence.

I think the waxing team is just doing PR. Though they should work on their organizing skills if it was as chaotic as the article implies.


Skiers are reluctant to criticize the ski prep team and any criticism is usually toned down. It means something when a skier says "worst skis I ever had". Jönsson would never, ever have said that if the skis did not suck. Even Olsson lost 45 seconds.
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01 Jan 2013 20:32

Martin Fourcade fell on the final lap of the pursuit in the Gelsenkirchen World Team Challenge event, and has injured his shoulder. So far reports are tentative on how long he will be out; he will definitely miss the whole Oberhof meet, but may potentially miss Ruhpolding, Antholz and even the World Championships in Nové Mesto as well, depending on how long it takes to heal. He will be replaced in the French lineup by his brother, who returns from injury this week.
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01 Jan 2013 23:13

Tyler'sTwin wrote:Proof that swedes are more sportsmanlike than norwegians (Østberg vs Steira, Jönsson/Halvarsson vs Hellner). ;)


I had problems making sense of your statement. For me the Østberg/steira situation was a beautiful sacrifice, and a sign of team spirit. While the Jönsson/Halvarsson vs Hellner situation was a heat were the Swedes were borderline unsportsmanlike in the way Jönsson and Halvarsson went about sabotaging a competitors chances in a race.

The fact that Hellner didn't make it through was to me poetic justice. All the stuff they did against Northug to get Hellner to the final, and they still managed to mess it up by out sprinting Hellner. And even more comical Jönsson/Halvarsson ended up last in the final.

So for me ethically, it is sabotaging your opponent vs. sabotaging your self to get a team mate a head.

When the Swedes did that during the race, I was about to chop off my foot( I'm 1/16th Swedish), drive to Sweden and burn down my parents cabin there, to cleanse the shame of being connected to Sweden.

But I remembered that my blood alcohol level might still be above the 0,2% level so I got a cup of coffee instead.:p

And luckily Cologna got caught on something putting him only 7 seconds ahead of Northug for the next stage. So the damage was minimal in the end.


But back to your original statement, I really was puzzled so I decided to get some info from the other side of the border.

http://www.expressen.se/sport/langdskidor/steira-till-final-jag-tror-inte-mina-ogon/

http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/vintersport/skidor/article16005890.ab

http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/vintersport/skidor/article16005946.ab



The story seems to be that the Jönsson/Halvarsson beat Hellner to the finish as it would never cross their mind to think tactically like those devious unsportsmanlike Norwegians.

Though they seemed to do all in their power to keep Hellner in the game in the earlier heats though.

Strange.

For balance here is one from a Norwegian tabloid:
http://www.dagbladet.no/2013/01/01/sport/langrenn/sprint/northug/25041759/

No sour grapes there.

To be frank I found the Swedish tactics a bit irritating. Unsportsmanlike? I don't know. Perhaps it was more annoying how successful they were in blocking him? Perhaps I'm too biased to asses it?

As for Steira/Østberg, I don't see it as unsportsmanlike at all. Perhaps i'm too biased here too?

Tyler'sTwin wrote:Skiers are reluctant to criticize the ski prep team and any criticism is usually toned down. It means something when a skier says "worst skis I ever had". Jönsson would never, ever have said that if the skis did not suck. Even Olsson lost 45 seconds.


Back to waxing.:D

I agree. Dissing your wax technicians is a big no no. That's why I am skeptical when tabloids refer criticism from skiers.

On his blog he is much more diplomatic:
http://annaoemil.se/2012/12/30/typiskt/

Now I'm not saying the swedes had great skiis, it's more that under the conditions some skiers are going to have problems no matter how good the skiis are.

And the conditions were really bad for everybody.
http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/vintersport/skidor/article16001362.ab

And Olsson lost a lot of time because he got stuck in traffic. Also he was working on his own while Legkov and Vyleg. were alternating on keeping the pace. Had Olsson been in Hellners position from the start he would have had no problems keeping up.
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01 Jan 2013 23:27

meat puppet wrote:quite a comeback by emil jönsson after a fall in the 1st round :eek:

my my, a vulgar display of power from randall.
and good freestyle tecnique. She has certainly improved over the the years. Since there is a rest day tomorrow we might see another great race from her on thursday. But my guess is lack of recovery time will begin to take a toll at the end of the week.

Libertine Seguros wrote:You still get a whole MINUTE of bonus time for this crap?! Thank god there's only one of these this year.


What did'nt you like?
I thought it was quite exciting. :confused:
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01 Jan 2013 23:32

Libertine Seguros wrote:Martin Fourcade fell on the final lap of the pursuit in the Gelsenkirchen World Team Challenge event, and has injured his shoulder. So far reports are tentative on how long he will be out; he will definitely miss the whole Oberhof meet, but may potentially miss Ruhpolding, Antholz and even the World Championships in Nové Mesto as well, depending on how long it takes to heal. He will be replaced in the French lineup by his brother, who returns from injury this week.


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.
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01 Jan 2013 23:38

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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01 Jan 2013 23:40

ToreBear wrote: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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02 Jan 2013 05:18

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 :confused:

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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02 Jan 2013 10:09

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/langdskidor/har-aker-northug-over-bangransen/

And what is this? Who do Petter think he is? He must come down on earth.
http://www.expressen.se/sport/langdskidor/svenska-stromstrulet---northug-fick-bast-plats/
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02 Jan 2013 11:59

Libertine Seguros wrote: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!:D 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.


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.
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02 Jan 2013 12:39

python wrote: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 :confused:

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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02 Jan 2013 12:43

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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02 Jan 2013 13:57

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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02 Jan 2013 13:59

sworks wrote: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/langdskidor/har-aker-northug-over-bangransen/

And what is this? Who do Petter think he is? He must come down on earth.
http://www.expressen.se/sport/langdskidor/svenska-stromstrulet---northug-fick-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 Sjursøen 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.



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.

sworks wrote:And what is this? Who do Petter think he is? He must come down on earth.
http://www.expressen.se/sport/langdskidor/svenska-stromstrulet---northug-fick-bast-plats/


I don't think he drives the buss or parks it:D

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.:o
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