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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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30 Jan 2019 12:10

If Nilsson goes missing for Sweden, that would be a bit tricky for them. Obviously they can still win the sprints, but it would be a close call. Missing Nilsson in the final leg of 4x5 would be too much of a handicap though, as Sweden would have two potential weak links in relay instead of one. Still probably good enough for silver though.

Johaug is a shoe-in for women distances, but obviously anything can happen and you can have a bad day. Remember, what happened to Norwegian skis in 2015 Falun 10 km freestyle. But by far the strongest discipline for Johaug is 30 km. The only question there is by how many minutes she is going to win, lol.

As for men. I think team sprint would be very interesting between Norway and Russia, and actually I see Niskanen-Hakola (I guess?) as a bit of wildcard there. Remember how Finland almost won 2017 Lahti classic team sprint.
zarnack
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Re: Re:

30 Jan 2019 13:01

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.


Well, Norway won 9 in 2015 Falun. And 8 in 2011 Oslo. They have totally dominated the 2010's, more than in any previous decade. Certainly not good in my view. :razz: And it doesn't look like this overall trend is going to change. Russia in men and Sweden in women can offer a bit of a challenge in depth, but nothing like an overall turnaround.

However, to touch a related subject - what I find interesting is that this hasn't always been the case. If you count gold medals won in cross-country skiing in the olympics and world championships until 1990 - USSR, Sweden and Finland all won more than Norway. I'm not entirely sure, what changed after 1990. Of course, USSR collapsed, but this doesn't explain the other two Nordic countries. By the way, 1990+ coincides also with Norway emerging strongly in alpine skiing, while they were just a minor player there before.

One reason I can find is that oil was discovered in Norway in 1969. And until 1980's they were slightly lagging behind Sweden in living standards. But since then Norway has been top 3 country in the world in GDP per capita. So in terms of resources they are in a more advantageous position they used to be.

But it's a fascinating topic on which I would like to hear more explanations and views.
zarnack
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Re:

30 Jan 2019 15:20

zarnack wrote:If Nilsson goes missing for Sweden, that would be a bit tricky for them. Obviously they can still win the sprints, but it would be a close call. Missing Nilsson in the final leg of 4x5 would be too much of a handicap though, as Sweden would have two potential weak links in relay instead of one. Still probably good enough for silver though.

Johaug is a shoe-in for women distances, but obviously anything can happen and you can have a bad day. Remember, what happened to Norwegian skis in 2015 Falun 10 km freestyle. But by far the strongest discipline for Johaug is 30 km. The only question there is by how many minutes she is going to win, lol.

As for men. I think team sprint would be very interesting between Norway and Russia, and actually I see Niskanen-Hakola (I guess?) as a bit of wildcard there. Remember how Finland almost won 2017 Lahti classic team sprint.

In my memory that was a snow issue not a ski issue, the big ski problem was the olympics 4x5 relay.

With regard to why they have been so dominant, avoiding the clinic, sometimes a golden generation does emerge. The women i think haven't won fewer than 5 golds out of 6 since about 2009, coinciding with the emergence of 2 otherworldly talented athletes coming to the forefront (possibly the 2 greatest female XC skiiers of all time). The rest of the team have been successful and deep, but not really head and shoulders above the competition.
Singer01
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Re:

30 Jan 2019 19:07

zarnack wrote:If Nilsson goes missing for Sweden, that would be a bit tricky for them. Obviously they can still win the sprints, but it would be a close call. Missing Nilsson in the final leg of 4x5 would be too much of a handicap though, as Sweden would have two potential weak links in relay instead of one. Still probably good enough for silver though.

Johaug is a shoe-in for women distances, but obviously anything can happen and you can have a bad day. Remember, what happened to Norwegian skis in 2015 Falun 10 km freestyle. But by far the strongest discipline for Johaug is 30 km. The only question there is by how many minutes she is going to win, lol.

As for men. I think team sprint would be very interesting between Norway and Russia, and actually I see Niskanen-Hakola (I guess?) as a bit of wildcard there. Remember how Finland almost won 2017 Lahti classic team sprint.


In case Hakola is in his best shape (even better than Otepaa), I see him and Niskanen even better team for classic team sprint than Jauhojarvi-Niskanen. And the latter duo won OG and was indeed very close winning in Lahti without the bad luck.
bambino
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Re: Re:

30 Jan 2019 19:20

bambino wrote:
zarnack wrote:If Nilsson goes missing for Sweden, that would be a bit tricky for them. Obviously they can still win the sprints, but it would be a close call. Missing Nilsson in the final leg of 4x5 would be too much of a handicap though, as Sweden would have two potential weak links in relay instead of one. Still probably good enough for silver though.

Johaug is a shoe-in for women distances, but obviously anything can happen and you can have a bad day. Remember, what happened to Norwegian skis in 2015 Falun 10 km freestyle. But by far the strongest discipline for Johaug is 30 km. The only question there is by how many minutes she is going to win, lol.

As for men. I think team sprint would be very interesting between Norway and Russia, and actually I see Niskanen-Hakola (I guess?) as a bit of wildcard there. Remember how Finland almost won 2017 Lahti classic team sprint.


In case Hakola is in his best shape (even better than Otepaa), I see him and Niskanen even better team for classic team sprint than Jauhojarvi-Niskanen. And the latter duo won OG and was indeed very close winning in Lahti without the bad luck.


It was precisely because of luck that they won in Sochi. It was simply karma in Lahti.

Hakola I am not sure has the stamina to last the whole race. It's the main reason why he hasn't gotten on a WC podium yet, at almost 28 years of age. He often qualifies in the top 10, but then loses steam in the heats.
BullsFan22
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30 Jan 2019 19:51

Just pick Strandvall and let him loose in the changeover area, if you want it to be about luck. It'll be sheer randomness who stays upright.
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Re: Re:

30 Jan 2019 21:45

BullsFan22 wrote:
bambino wrote:
zarnack wrote:If Nilsson goes missing for Sweden, that would be a bit tricky for them. Obviously they can still win the sprints, but it would be a close call. Missing Nilsson in the final leg of 4x5 would be too much of a handicap though, as Sweden would have two potential weak links in relay instead of one. Still probably good enough for silver though.

Johaug is a shoe-in for women distances, but obviously anything can happen and you can have a bad day. Remember, what happened to Norwegian skis in 2015 Falun 10 km freestyle. But by far the strongest discipline for Johaug is 30 km. The only question there is by how many minutes she is going to win, lol.

As for men. I think team sprint would be very interesting between Norway and Russia, and actually I see Niskanen-Hakola (I guess?) as a bit of wildcard there. Remember how Finland almost won 2017 Lahti classic team sprint.


In case Hakola is in his best shape (even better than Otepaa), I see him and Niskanen even better team for classic team sprint than Jauhojarvi-Niskanen. And the latter duo won OG and was indeed very close winning in Lahti without the bad luck.


It was precisely because of luck that they won in Sochi. It was simply karma in Lahti.

Hakola I am not sure has the stamina to last the whole race. It's the main reason why he hasn't gotten on a WC podium yet, at almost 28 years of age. He often qualifies in the top 10, but then loses steam in the heats.


Hakola was just 9th in Otepaa 15km classic in one of the most demanding courses in the World Cup. Lost to the 3rd place less than 15s and won i.e. Larkov. He is definitely not pure sprinter anymore thus can still be in final in good day and top 12 in normal day. He has slowly became almost Jauhojarvi level distance classic skier with sprint ability.
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31 Jan 2019 11:50

To be honest, his 9th place has a lot to do with the fact that he was Bib 51, while Niskanen was Bib 53. That's also the reason he was almost exactly one minute behind him.
craig1985 wrote:And BTW, DenisMenchov, smile a bit.
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31 Jan 2019 14:52

Johaug won Norwegian championships in 10 km with a gap of 1:10.

I don't know. I can understand that she is a great talent and all that, but some things are just too abnormal. Like Mühlegg's performance was too good to be true.

The only way excitement would return to female skiing would be if she got caught again... Until then she keeps making others look like amateurs. It kind of devalues female skiing in its entirety. Like in 2016 World Cup races, where she basically ran away from others from the start.
zarnack
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31 Jan 2019 15:43

well, that is a smaller margin than in Otepää at least ;). Jacobsen seems to be getting in decent shape right for the Worlds.

I agree though, in classic technique she's on a different level at the moment. In skating there's a small chance of beating her.
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Re:

31 Jan 2019 21:41

search wrote:well, that is a smaller margin than in Otepää at least ;). Jacobsen seems to be getting in decent shape right for the Worlds.

I agree though, in classic technique she's on a different level at the moment. In skating there's a small chance of beating her.


The tracks in Seefeld are not as tough as Ruka or Otepaa or Lillehammer or even Ulricehamn (the additional hill really made it tougher!) so hopefully the gaps won't be big. I also think that if the conditions aren't soft, it'll help the others. In the Lahti 30km, the women's front pack was unusually 'large.' This was mostly due to the hard-packed, fast conditions. Nobody was able to breakaway. If the conditions are like that in Seefeld, we may see a similar story.

The women's relay will not be easy for Norway, I don't think. The Swedes, even without Nilsson could challenge. If Andersson skis the way she has been this season, and Kalla is able to get to the level she is capable of reaching for major races, plus solid legs from Settlin/Ingemarsdotter (Karlsson is a good bet as well), they can certainly stick with the Norwegians. The Russians could as well. Belorukova was just coming back from illness last weekend, so I don't think we saw the best of her, yet she was able to break it up a bit in the opening leg. Nepryeava did as well as one probably could against Johaug on those hills and those softer conditions. They didn't have Sedova, a big part of their team the last couple seasons, especially this year. Instead they had to put in Soboleva, and she was the weakest link in Ulricehamn. They have U23 skiers like Zherebyateva, Durkina (excellent classic skiers) and Istomina (excellent skate skier) that have had good relay legs this season and a number of top 10's in individual races, plus obvious success at U23's last week. They could very well have the exact lineup as last year's Olympics, where they were fighting for gold until the anchor leg. All four have improved, so there is a fighting chance of beating the Norwegians. The Americans have two great skiers and a number of skiers that are just inside or just outside of World Cup points in the races they've taken part in, so it'll be tough for them to get a medal. The Finns have skied well with what they have and they'll need Parmakoski to motor in Seefeld. Everyone else will be fighting for minor positions.

What I am seeing is that Oestberg's form is on a downward trend again, and Weng still hasn't fully recovered from her efforts in the TDS last season. Jacobsen is improving, but everyone else on that A distance/allround team apart from Johaug is either the same level or declining. If that continues, it should make for a much harder to call relay.
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Re: Re:

01 Feb 2019 11:56

BullsFan22 wrote: plus solid legs from Settlin/Ingemarsdotter (Karlsson is a good bet as well), they can certainly stick with the Norwegians.

---

What I am seeing is that Oestberg's form is on a downward trend again, and Weng still hasn't fully recovered from her efforts in the TDS last season. Jacobsen is improving, but everyone else on that A distance/allround team apart from Johaug is either the same level or declining. If that continues, it should make for a much harder to call relay.


Karlsson in Sweden's relay team is an interesting thought. In 2017 Lahti Andersson, similarly aged 19 then, was put into relay team and actually didn't do badly at all. By the way, any insight information - will Karlsson take part of the senior World Champs? Or will she join senior cup only from next season onwards?

What concerns Norwegians, what is happening with Haga? Won impressively the freestyle gold in the olympics, but has been nowhere this season?! Can she bounce back?
zarnack
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01 Feb 2019 16:27

yeah, she aims to take one of the classic parts in the relay, according to this article

http://www.fondoitalia.it/2019/01/30/notizie/argomenti/sci-di-fondo/articolo/frida-karlsson-la-ragazza-che-a-seefeld-vuole-gia-sfidare-le-grandi.html

(no idea what's the original source)
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01 Feb 2019 17:16

Norway have to decide if they put Johaug on the 2nd C leg as normal, or put her last. Conventional wisdom says she goes last. Weng, Oestberg +1 other should be able to hand her over in the lead or at least equal with any of the other teams.
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Re:

01 Feb 2019 18:01

DenisMenchov wrote:To be honest, his 9th place has a lot to do with the fact that he was Bib 51, while Niskanen was Bib 53. That's also the reason he was almost exactly one minute behind him.


About Hakola and Otepaa. He skied last around 3km together with Niskanen. Hakola was i.e. 10th in half way on his own.

Today Hakola won 15km classic finnish championship by almost 30s on Hyvarinen (who did OK on relay last weekend) and more than minute to Heikkinen. Niskanen wasn't competing. Still quite sure Hakola-Niskanen will be formidable duo in Seefeld pair-sprint.

Parmakoski completed the Nordic strike started by Johaug and Andersson by winning close to a minute compared to next.
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Re: Re:

02 Feb 2019 15:28

bambino wrote:
DenisMenchov wrote:To be honest, his 9th place has a lot to do with the fact that he was Bib 51, while Niskanen was Bib 53. That's also the reason he was almost exactly one minute behind him.


About Hakola and Otepaa. He skied last around 3km together with Niskanen. Hakola was i.e. 10th in half way on his own.


more like ~5k I'd say, as he was 57 seconds behind on the 10k mark already

http://live.fis-ski.com/cc-4168/results-pda.htm

But indeed he was placed (just) inside the Top 10 before that already, so it was a very good race from him nonetheless.
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Re: Re:

02 Feb 2019 20:17

search wrote:
bambino wrote:
DenisMenchov wrote:To be honest, his 9th place has a lot to do with the fact that he was Bib 51, while Niskanen was Bib 53. That's also the reason he was almost exactly one minute behind him.


About Hakola and Otepaa. He skied last around 3km together with Niskanen. Hakola was i.e. 10th in half way on his own.


more like ~5k I'd say, as he was 57 seconds behind on the 10k mark already

http://live.fis-ski.com/cc-4168/results-pda.htm

But indeed he was placed (just) inside the Top 10 before that already, so it was a very good race from him nonetheless.


Hakola came to finnish 2-3 sec before Niskanen with better sprint, but still lost >1min in time. There is 5 sec window in the start for the athlete, so Hakola has left "early". In 11,1km Hakola was sharp minute from Niskanen, so Niskanen hadn't caught him yet. In TV screens for 12,5km split they were together already, but Hakola was leading the duo although the split time was 1m03s behind Niskanen.

It was indeed very good from him and his condition seems going upwards based on finnish champs this weekend.
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Re: Re:

04 Feb 2019 13:48

zarnack wrote:
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.


Well, Norway won 9 in 2015 Falun. And 8 in 2011 Oslo. They have totally dominated the 2010's, more than in any previous decade. Certainly not good in my view. :razz: And it doesn't look like this overall trend is going to change. Russia in men and Sweden in women can offer a bit of a challenge in depth, but nothing like an overall turnaround.

However, to touch a related subject - what I find interesting is that this hasn't always been the case. If you count gold medals won in cross-country skiing in the olympics and world championships until 1990 - USSR, Sweden and Finland all won more than Norway. I'm not entirely sure, what changed after 1990. Of course, USSR collapsed, but this doesn't explain the other two Nordic countries. By the way, 1990+ coincides also with Norway emerging strongly in alpine skiing, while they were just a minor player there before.

One reason I can find is that oil was discovered in Norway in 1969. And until 1980's they were slightly lagging behind Sweden in living standards. But since then Norway has been top 3 country in the world in GDP per capita. So in terms of resources they are in a more advantageous position they used to be.

But it's a fascinating topic on which I would like to hear more explanations and views.


I'd imagine getting their act together (legally or in Clinic ways) for the home Olympics in 1994 was a large part of it (see Spain, Australia, GB etc etc).

Once they'd worked out how to get the performances it snowballed from there and the funding remained in place unlike other Olympic hosts.
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

04 Feb 2019 21:11

https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/weather/alberta/canmore

Martin Fourcade must be happy not having to travel there. :D
Max Rockatansky
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Re: Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

05 Feb 2019 08:32

Max Rockatansky wrote:https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/weather/alberta/canmore

Martin Fourcade must be happy not having to travel there. :D

That's what Albertans would call a pleasant winter day.
"This comment qualifies as a shining example of the "anyone who disagrees with my perspective is a dolt" leftist, intolerant mish-mash of shallow thinking." - Scott SoCal
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