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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Re:

27 Jan 2019 14:33

Singer01 wrote:I'm watching on time delay but Riiber just took 45 seconds out of the leader (admittedly a poor skiier) in 2km. If he keeps developing it is going to ruin Nordic Combined for a decade.

It's alright, he'll probably pop his shoulder out of its socket getting out of the bath at some point and miss half a season knowing his injury record.
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

27 Jan 2019 14:49

Maltsev is a solid skier, he doesn't race WC's often, as there is obviously a lot of competition to make the Russian WC team on a regular basis, but never thought he'd stay with Ustiugov and then drop him and beat him by 20 seconds!! He extended his lead on Krüger as well!!! That's a very good Russian second team. Bolshunov and Ustiugov are not at their best, it was obvious today. I do also think that Bolshunov did too much work in that wind on the 2nd leg. Niskanen caught them quickly, but what Bolshunov should have done is have Bessmertnykh and the Finn do their share of the pacemaking after a while. 10 second loss isn't a disaster, but his shape isn't optimal and his tactics were poor in the 2nd half of his leg. On the other hand, he was probably thinking of extending the lead over Norway, but Tønseth skied very well today. Iversen will most likely be their opening leg skier, then you likely have a fight between Tønseth and Sundby for leg 2, Krüger on leg 3 and Klæbo on the anchor. The Russians will have an even more tougher task of finding their best 4, assuming everyone is in decent form in Seefeld. Good to see Hyvarinen hang tough and the man that often kills Finland's chances, Lehtonen, have a decent run.

Totally the right call to have Halfvarsson ski the scramble leg for Sweden. He stuck to the Russians and got the crowd pumped up. Had they had anyone else, it would have been a gap already on leg 1. Speaking of the crowd, hats off to the Swedes and Ulricehamn for amazing support. What was there, up to 50000 fans today? In tough conditions, snow, wind, blowing snow, and they were fair to everyone, cheering on every skier from every country. Pity the men couldn't reward them, but the number of spectators was a wonderful change from what we've seen so far this year, including Norway.
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27 Jan 2019 15:42

Speaking of men XC, it feels like everyone else apart from Russia and Norway has thrown in the towel. The last top skier to emerge from elsewhere has been Niskanen, and even he emerged already 5 years ago. In 2017 Lahti world champs Norway and Russia beat the rest of the field by 2,5 minutes in relay. I expect this gap to be a regular occurence in the long 4x10 relay as long as they haven't got their waxing wrong, somebody doesn't have a serious off-day or they aren't playing cat and mouse with each other. In Lahti worlds they were on form and pushing like crazy, hence the gap.

The only point of interest could be if a "world team" could be fielded against Russia and Norway. Maybe something like Harvey, Niskanen, Manificat, Cologna? After all, all the other countries apart from first two have at best one top skier. By the way, has Hellner retired? I haven't noticed his name this year. He is about the same age as Northug, so not so old yet.
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

27 Jan 2019 17:28

Singer01 wrote:@ kokoso, His age for age performances are at least as good. However who knows who comes along and maybe does to JTB what he has done to Fourcade. 3 months ago nobody would have doubted that Fourcade would overtake OEB, now's it's possible he doesn't.

I've had on my mind overall palmares, not age for age palmares.
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

27 Jan 2019 18:31

BullsFan22 wrote:Maltsev is a solid skier, he doesn't race WC's often, as there is obviously a lot of competition to make the Russian WC team on a regular basis, but never thought he'd stay with Ustiugov and then drop him and beat him by 20 seconds!! He extended his lead on Krüger as well!!! That's a very good Russian second team. Bolshunov and Ustiugov are not at their best, it was obvious today. I do also think that Bolshunov did too much work in that wind on the 2nd leg. Niskanen caught them quickly, but what Bolshunov should have done is have Bessmertnykh and the Finn do their share of the pacemaking after a while. 10 second loss isn't a disaster, but his shape isn't optimal and his tactics were poor in the 2nd half of his leg. On the other hand, he was probably thinking of extending the lead over Norway, but Tønseth skied very well today. Iversen will most likely be their opening leg skier, then you likely have a fight between Tønseth and Sundby for leg 2, Krüger on leg 3 and Klæbo on the anchor. The Russians will have an even more tougher task of finding their best 4, assuming everyone is in decent form in Seefeld. Good to see Hyvarinen hang tough and the man that often kills Finland's chances, Lehtonen, have a decent run.

Totally the right call to have Halfvarsson ski the scramble leg for Sweden. He stuck to the Russians and got the crowd pumped up. Had they had anyone else, it would have been a gap already on leg 1. Speaking of the crowd, hats off to the Swedes and Ulricehamn for amazing support. What was there, up to 50000 fans today? In tough conditions, snow, wind, blowing snow, and they were fair to everyone, cheering on every skier from every country. Pity the men couldn't reward them, but the number of spectators was a wonderful change from what we've seen so far this year, including Norway.


Yeah, Russians will indeed have a difficult job. But it's World Championships and you have to take into account the previous races as well. I expect the first leg to be the guy that does the best 15km classics. And save one of the guys from the Spitsov, Melnichenko, Belov group for the 3rd leg.
craig1985 wrote:And BTW, DenisMenchov, smile a bit.
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Re: Re:

27 Jan 2019 18:49

Libertine Seguros wrote:
Singer01 wrote:I'm watching on time delay but Riiber just took 45 seconds out of the leader (admittedly a poor skiier) in 2km. If he keeps developing it is going to ruin Nordic Combined for a decade.

It's alright, he'll probably pop his shoulder out of its socket getting out of the bath at some point and miss half a season knowing his injury record.

He might only need half a season.
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

27 Jan 2019 19:55

Great day for in the men relay. Their depth is really impressing. Still, beating Norway in Seefeld will be tall order, maybe an impossible one.
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

27 Jan 2019 21:45

Bavarianrider wrote:Great day for in the men relay. Their depth is really impressing. Still, beating Norway in Seefeld will be tall order, maybe an impossible one.


It will be tough, but with good form and good skis, they can do it. There's a lot of talk and debate about who to put and where to put them, not just the relay, but the individual events as well. Only Russia and Norway have this luxury on the men's side, nobody else comes close.
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

28 Jan 2019 18:38

Bavarianrider wrote:Great day for in the men relay. Their depth is really impressing. Still, beating Norway in Seefeld will be tall order, maybe an impossible one.


I guess it would be Klaebo vs Ustiugov on the final leg. Umm, I guess Klaebo would win in a head-to-head sprint. But if Russia can get a head-start before the final leg, they can win. Can easily happen, especially if somebody in Norway's team has an off-day, which by the way can easily happen. It's just that at least 3 skiers are usually still in great form, and this saves them, since nobody else has had that depth.

In Lahti Russia was just a handful of seconds behind Norway. In Pyeongchang Russia was 10 seconds behind, despite missing Ustiugov. Now they are stronger than before.
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29 Jan 2019 08:22

What concerns the upcoming world championships, then it's worth remembering that in both Lahti and Pyeongchang Norway won 7 golds out of 12 available in cross-country skiing. I assume it will be in the same range in Seefeld as there is no reason to think Norway has gone weaker.

Thinking of how the rest would be distributed, I assume 1-2 to Sweden in female skiing, Niskanen in classic, about 2 golds to Russia and a wild-card if someone, i.e Harvey or Cologna, is in great form.
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29 Jan 2019 12:43

I fully expect Johaug to win 4 golds. 10km C, skiathlon, relay and 30km F mass start.
craig1985 wrote:And BTW, DenisMenchov, smile a bit.
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

29 Jan 2019 12:44

zarnack wrote:
Bavarianrider wrote:Great day for in the men relay. Their depth is really impressing. Still, beating Norway in Seefeld will be tall order, maybe an impossible one.




In Lahti Russia was just a handful of seconds behind Norway. In Pyeongchang Russia was 10 seconds behind, despite missing Ustiugov. Now they are stronger than before.


In both Lahti and Pyeongchang Chervotkin was a very weak link. In South Korea last year, Larkov and Bolshu did an amazing job, but he fell so far behind that Spitsov never had a chance against Klaebo.
craig1985 wrote:And BTW, DenisMenchov, smile a bit.
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Re:

29 Jan 2019 13:14

zarnack wrote:Thinking of how the rest would be distributed, I assume 1-2 to Sweden in female skiing, Niskanen in classic, about 2 golds to Russia and a wild-card if someone, i.e Harvey or Cologna, is in great form.


There's probably a chance in the two sprint competitions, yeah, even without Nilsson. Maybe also in the relay if Kalla can manage to get back into her normal shape.
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Re:

29 Jan 2019 18:22

DenisMenchov wrote:I fully expect Johaug to win 4 golds. 10km C, skiathlon, relay and 30km F mass start.

And with no Nilsson at least 1 of the 2 sprint races. Then Klaebo wins same 3 events he won at the Olympics and the men win at least 1 other event. Maybe 9 if things go really well/bad depending how you look at it.
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29 Jan 2019 20:09

Retyvikh and Ustiugov vs Klaebo and probably Skar will be really entertaining in the Team Sprint though.
craig1985 wrote:And BTW, DenisMenchov, smile a bit.
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Re: Re:

29 Jan 2019 20:14

Singer01 wrote:
DenisMenchov wrote:I fully expect Johaug to win 4 golds. 10km C, skiathlon, relay and 30km F mass start.

And with no Nilsson at least 1 of the 2 sprint races. Then Klaebo wins same 3 events he won at the Olympics and the men win at least 1 other event. Maybe 9 if things go really well/bad depending how you look at it.


I don't think it's going to be one way traffic for the Norwegians. The Russians have a much deeper team this year then they had in either Lahti or Pyeongchang. Ustiugov didn't race, Bessmertnykh, didn't race, Belov didn't race, Melnichenko is healthier and is a different skier this year, Retyvikh is a darkhorse for the sprint and could be a pick to ski in the team sprint...Now they have Maltsev who surprised in the relay and actually got on the podium in Dresden in the team sprint...

The French have a deep team as well, but there hope is in the skate races and sprint.

The Finns surprised me in Ulricehamn. I knew Niskanen would have a good leg, but Hyvarinen had a great leg and Lehtonen and Heikkinen kept them relatively close to the podium.

The Swedes battled the French and one figures that all things being equal, or close to it, the fight for bronze should be between those three teams.

Individually it's again Russia vs Norway and then individuals like Niskanen, Cologna, Harvey, Halfvarsson, Manificat that can fight for medals.
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Re:

29 Jan 2019 20:26

DenisMenchov wrote:Retyvikh and Ustiugov vs Klaebo and probably Skar will be really entertaining in the Team Sprint though.


I think it's highly unlikely that Retyvikh and especially Skar race the team sprint. Likely that Bolshunov and Ustiugov race for Russia and Klaebo and Iversen race for Norway.
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Re: Re:

29 Jan 2019 20:44

Singer01 wrote:
DenisMenchov wrote:I fully expect Johaug to win 4 golds. 10km C, skiathlon, relay and 30km F mass start.

And with no Nilsson at least 1 of the 2 sprint races.

I haven't had a look at the courses so far, but no matter what it looks like, Falla would need to improve massively to stand a chance to win a freestyle sprint. Norway clearly won't be the favorite in that one.
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Re: Re:

29 Jan 2019 21:20

BullsFan22 wrote:
DenisMenchov wrote:Retyvikh and Ustiugov vs Klaebo and probably Skar will be really entertaining in the Team Sprint though.


I think it's highly unlikely that Retyvikh and especially Skar race the team sprint. Likely that Bolshunov and Ustiugov race for Russia and Klaebo and Iversen race for Norway.


Oh, yeah. It's classics sprint, nonetheless, I expect Bolshu to miss the Team Sprint, and Sergey to miss 15km C. Others need to get opportunities in such a big team. And Retyvikh is an obvious choice for the second leg.
craig1985 wrote:And BTW, DenisMenchov, smile a bit.
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Re: Re:

30 Jan 2019 01:09

DenisMenchov wrote:
BullsFan22 wrote:
DenisMenchov wrote:Retyvikh and Ustiugov vs Klaebo and probably Skar will be really entertaining in the Team Sprint though.


I think it's highly unlikely that Retyvikh and especially Skar race the team sprint. Likely that Bolshunov and Ustiugov race for Russia and Klaebo and Iversen race for Norway.


Oh, yeah. It's classics sprint, nonetheless, I expect Bolshu to miss the Team Sprint, and Sergey to miss 15km C. Others need to get opportunities in such a big team. And Retyvikh is an obvious choice for the second leg.


Bolshunov will likely miss the skiathlon and race the team sprint. The team sprint is the day after the skiathlon, plus Bolshunov has higher chances to win a medal in the team sprint then in a skiathlon. Ustiugov raced everything but the individual 15km in Lahti, and if he's fit, he'll likely do the same in Seefeld. He can recover quicker than Bolshunov, so my guess is that he's doing the first three races. Since he's the defending champion in the skiathlon, the Russians get an extra spot. My guess would be Ustiugov, Belov, Melnichenko, Spitsov and Larkov for that one. For Bolshunov, who knows, maybe they'll sit him for the skiathlon AND the sprint (which is the first race on the program) so he's very fresh for the team sprint, 15km classic and the relay.

Last time it was easy for them to pick skiers because seemingly half of their medal hopefuls were missing, and obviously the youngsters like Spitsov were not even on the team.

Skar is notably better in skating so unless a number of the other guys are below par or are sick, he won't pair with Klaebo. Iversen, Brandsdal, Fossli, maybe even Toenseth could do that one. The course in Seefeld isn't as hard as Lahti so perhaps a sprinter+sprinter pairing may not be bad.
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