Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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How about Dahlmeier's last lap? Soukalová put in a great last lap, pulling out time and passing some strong competitors like Hildebrand and Wierer. I know Dahlmeier tends to really build her race around that final lap so when she was close to Soukalová's time I thought this could be a great battle for the podium between them, and Dahlmeier at the intermediate was one second ahead... but then, at the end she was nearly 20 seconds ahead. Crazy pace. Olsbu's speed here is eye-opening as well, she's been shooting really well and gaining places in pursuits a lot this season so she'll be an intriguing threat tomorrow.
 
BullsFan22 said:
I spoke too soon. Dahlmeier with a monster last lap. Not enough to get 1st or even 2nd, but that's quite a ski from someone who's been sick, twice this season.
I think sometimes when she pulls out of races sick she would be healthy enough to compete though. I think she does it because the team has enough strength in depth and doesn't need the World Cup points, and then she can rest up because if she's not 100% she can't compete for the win, if she is, she can both compete for the win and be fresher than the opposition. If you read interviews with her, she doesn't seem like that kind of driven "compete at all costs" character so dropping out of races isn't so surprising, and has even said she will probably retire quite young. Neuner was similar in her last couple of seasons, quite a few missed races.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
BullsFan22 said:
I spoke too soon. Dahlmeier with a monster last lap. Not enough to get 1st or even 2nd, but that's quite a ski from someone who's been sick, twice this season.
I think sometimes when she pulls out of races sick she would be healthy enough to compete though. I think she does it because the team has enough strength in depth and doesn't need the World Cup points, and then she can rest up because if she's not 100% she can't compete for the win, if she is, she can both compete for the win and be fresher than the opposition. Neuner was similar in her last couple of seasons, quite a few missed races.
I am sorry but if that's the case, that's ridiculous. Why even line up to race if you end up doing that?? I am sorry, but I don't believe it.
 
BullsFan22 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
BullsFan22 said:
I spoke too soon. Dahlmeier with a monster last lap. Not enough to get 1st or even 2nd, but that's quite a ski from someone who's been sick, twice this season.
I think sometimes when she pulls out of races sick she would be healthy enough to compete though. I think she does it because the team has enough strength in depth and doesn't need the World Cup points, and then she can rest up because if she's not 100% she can't compete for the win, if she is, she can both compete for the win and be fresher than the opposition. Neuner was similar in her last couple of seasons, quite a few missed races.
I am sorry but if that's the case, that's ridiculous. Why even line up to race if you end up doing that?? I am sorry, but I don't believe it.
Healthy enough to compete ≠ healthy enough to compete at your best.

If she could go out there and compete but only be healthy enough to finish about 30th, she's not in overall World Cup contention. And she'd potentially be taking the place of somebody who could do better. I think if she weren't German she'd probably have entered some of those races. Not all, mind, but things like the Mixed Relay and other relative low importance events, I'm seldom surprised.

Of course, she does nevertheless come and go quite strangely at times compared to the rest of the team (Hildebrand is very consistent; Preuß is not super quick and has been a step off her best since returning from injury; Hinz has been around a similar kind of level for much of the season). But the World Championships (and Olympics) always see quite a few unusual form jumps and peaks, and Dahlmeier is making a habit of doing this not just at the big events but all the time.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
BullsFan22 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
BullsFan22 said:
I spoke too soon. Dahlmeier with a monster last lap. Not enough to get 1st or even 2nd, but that's quite a ski from someone who's been sick, twice this season.
I think sometimes when she pulls out of races sick she would be healthy enough to compete though. I think she does it because the team has enough strength in depth and doesn't need the World Cup points, and then she can rest up because if she's not 100% she can't compete for the win, if she is, she can both compete for the win and be fresher than the opposition. Neuner was similar in her last couple of seasons, quite a few missed races.
I am sorry but if that's the case, that's ridiculous. Why even line up to race if you end up doing that?? I am sorry, but I don't believe it.
Healthy enough to compete ≠ healthy enough to compete at your best.

If she could go out there and compete but only be healthy enough to finish about 30th, she's not in overall World Cup contention. And she'd potentially be taking the place of somebody who could do better. I think if she weren't German she'd probably have entered some of those races. Not all, mind, but things like the Mixed Relay and other relative low importance events, I'm seldom surprised.

Of course, she does nevertheless come and go quite strangely at times compared to the rest of the team (Hildebrand is very consistent; Preuß is not super quick and has been a step off her best since returning from injury; Hinz has been around a similar kind of level for much of the season). But the World Championships (and Olympics) always see quite a few unusual form jumps and peaks, and Dahlmeier is making a habit of doing this not just at the big events but all the time.
Anyway, some very, very strange results with some head scratching time gaps.
 
Yes, definitely. Changing course conditions played some part in it, but this wasn't Östersund where the sprints became total start number races. Quite a few in both races above their season norms - sometimes by quite a way as well. And Laura I don't think was especially above her season norm, but having claimed sickness as a reason for not including her two days ago (if it isn't true, why not just say, we've got enough strong athletes to contend for the win anyway and she wants to focus on the individual races?) to then bounce back with that course time has also drawn attention. Major championships do draw some out-of-the-ordinary results generally, though these have been among the weirder championships results in recent memory, at least once you look past the top 3 or so.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Yes, definitely. Changing course conditions played some part in it, but this wasn't Östersund where the sprints became total start number races. Quite a few in both races above their season norms - sometimes by quite a way as well. And Laura I don't think was especially above her season norm, but having claimed sickness as a reason for not including her two days ago (if it isn't true, why not just say, we've got enough strong athletes to contend for the win anyway and she wants to focus on the individual races?) to then bounce back with that course time has also drawn attention. Major championships do draw some out-of-the-ordinary results generally, though these have been among the weirder championships results in recent memory, at least once you look past the top 3 or so.
Dahlmeier, Eckhoff, Olsbu (best with two misses!!!), Dunklee (in good shape, but skiing above what she's actually capable of, i think).
 
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BullsFan22 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Yes, definitely. Changing course conditions played some part in it, but this wasn't Östersund where the sprints became total start number races. Quite a few in both races above their season norms - sometimes by quite a way as well. And Laura I don't think was especially above her season norm, but having claimed sickness as a reason for not including her two days ago (if it isn't true, why not just say, we've got enough strong athletes to contend for the win anyway and she wants to focus on the individual races?) to then bounce back with that course time has also drawn attention. Major championships do draw some out-of-the-ordinary results generally, though these have been among the weirder championships results in recent memory, at least once you look past the top 3 or so.
Dahlmeier, Eckhoff, Olsbu (best with two misses!!!), Dunklee (in good shape, but skiing above what she's actually capable of, i think).
Eckhoff, Dunklee and Dahlmeier have all been among the quickest of all before, so not too unexpected (even if Dunklee's skiing is quite painful to watch sometimes). Dunklee's form is very up and down and of course we've discussed Dahlmeier's many absences. Olsbu really was an eye-opener though, faster than MDH, Mäkäräinen, Soukalová... Realbiathlon has, for the season up to Presque Isle, Eckhoff as the 3rd fastest skier of the season (though poor shooting has meant much of this has been from deep in the field), Dahlmeier 5th (one place ahead of Soukalová, who is the one she passed on that storming final lap for the medal), Dunklee 14th (which is lower than I would have pegged her to be honest, I'd have thought lower top 10) and Olsbu 21st. Eckhoff has been this quick before, but for me the big surprise was combining it with shooting accurately, because that really is rare (I think before today she was at about 70% for the season in standing or at least that's what the commentators were saying - Neuner's career average was 67% and she was renowned for being awful in the position).

Among the men, a few people above season's norms but it seems that ski speed was comparatively even here save for Fourcade having a decent margin to the 2nd fastest skier, and the top 3 skiers on the day (Fourcade, Eberhard, Johannes Bø) are in the top 4 skiers all season. Fourcade being a bit of an outlier for ski speed is not anything new anyway, we know he's that good.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Soukalova made another step to overall victory. She is so consistent this year. While others are skipping races intentionally, she's doing almost every single race including relays, where she's helping team...and yet she's able to reach for greal result at WC.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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..the quebec pursuits will start in about an hour. while the lady's race is boringly predictable, the battle among the men promises a lot of intrigue.

it is almost a certainty that the podium tonight, spared any calamities, will be occupied by ustiugov, northug and iversen. we just don't know in what order. starting about 2 minutes ahead these 3 can NOT be reasonably caught.

but how will the leading trio finish and what tactic will burgermeister and knaute have devised for ustiugov who starts 17sec and 25 sec ahead of petter and iversen ?

the norwegian tactic seems obvious. reading the norwegian media, i saw northug making no secret of it. 'i will wait for iversen and together we will organize the chase basing our starting gap at around 20 seconds'. when asked about his tactic, ustiugov cheekily deflected, 'i have to talk to my coach'. but what what tactic would be optimum for him ? of course, it would depend on how his body feels, the course profile and the rate at which the norges will be closing on him...

the course elevation map i could not find. the orgs provide only this: http://skitourcanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/plan_parcours_quebec_nouveau.pdf
additionally, the fis in a starting list says this:
HEIGHT DIFFERENCE (HD): 25 m, MAXIMUM CLIMB (MC):34 m, TOTAL CLIMB (TC):97 m, LENGTH OF LAP:4043m

to me it looks like the loop is not terribly hilly. if so, the pace will be high (say, 35-38 min/16k) and the chasers could use the cooperation/drafting more effectively compared to a broken, up/down course. seems not a very good news for ustiugov ? if so, the 20 sec deficit is closable by half the distance, the latest. then, i'd advise ustiugov to throttle his pace down so, that the norges use a lot of energy to catch him. then, to latch firmly behind them ala northug and enjoy the ride till the finish, where his chances are at least equal to theirs in a 3-way sprint. plus, iirc, there are no bonuses in pursuits, so if he lost any time, it would be the same handful of seconds - max.

than again, he may chose to fight all the way by increasing the gap to 30-40 seconds. no one, including himself knows if its possible...

soon :)
 
In fairness, this is the second day in a row there's been a controversial finish with the Germans lodging a protest after an incident in the sprint, and yesterday it went in Norway's favour, today it's gone in Germany's. Apparently Fabian Rießle was something of a *** about it, which Jørgen Graabak has called out publicly.
 
Jan 3, 2016
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But it was right over Frenzels's skis though, and the norwegians are saying 'Krog didn't do anything wrong'. If it had been the other way around...

There seems to be too much bad behaviour in the løyper and after the finish line at the moment in both the XC and combined.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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frenchfry said:
python said:
..the quebec pursuits will start in about an hour. while the lady's race is boringly predictable, the battle among the men promises a lot of intrigue....
I have a little left over humble pie...
if you did not see the litany of those red suits just crossing the finish line ahead of the world, yes, pls eat your own pie ;) have apiece for me too :)
 
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python said:
frenchfry said:
python said:
..the quebec pursuits will start in about an hour. while the lady's race is boringly predictable, the battle among the men promises a lot of intrigue....
I have a little left over humble pie...
if you did not see the litany of those red suits just crossing the finish line ahead of the world, yes, pls eat your own pie ;) have apiece for me too :)
Ah, I thought you were referring to the eventual winner, not the runner-ups :eek:
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Cance > TheRest said:
Northug dropping Iversen now. I didn't see that coming
well, iversen showed a weak spot yesterday in the semis coming dead last in his heat...while i already commented earlier it may have been the result of his own poor selection of a 1/4 heat, the unseen reason (to us, the side spectators) may have been his declining recovery. that is, he's getting fatigued by the multi day effort. if so, the exceptional sprinter he has shown to be, may be too pronounced (genetically or training wise) for a consistent all-rounder.

he's still very young - 24 - to know the answer like we knew all along that legkov was never meant to improve the sprinting..
 
I don't know if it's possible, but I was surprised and not surprised, at the same time. Ustiugov endurance, consistency and confidence has improved since he's joined the the Burgermeister/Knauthe group two years ago. He dominated juniors and u23 sprint AND distance races, but it's never easy making the transition to the seniors. He's had top distance results prior to this season, but not this consistently. Of course, the Russians didn't pick him too often because they have to fill their distance quotas with distance racers and their sprint quotas with sprint racers. Now he's able to do more races and more or less his personal coaches can dictate where he'll race rather than the federation (my belief, anyway).

As for the are itself, I was expecting, though not hoping that the Norwegians would catch him sooner rather than later, but when the gap wasn't dropping that fast, I had the feeling he might not be caught. Iversen looked more and more tired with each stride. He leaked almost a minute in total time to Ustiugov today, and that was mostly in the last half of the race. Northug may have made a mistake in not going earlier, but I am sure he felt that Iversen could at least hang on for a little longer and they could work for a couple more kilometers. That didn't turn out as well they'd hoped, I am sure. I could tell that Usitugov was opting for a steady, yet thoughtful start. He seemed fairly relaxed and was gliding beautifully. His individual races this year have gone similar to the one today, ski steady and try to pick up towards the end. I think apart from not winning yesterday, he's done everything to perfection. It's far from over. The altitude in Canmore and the warmer weather that will greet the racers over there will play a major role, I think, but he trained at high altitude in Switzerland before coming over to Canada, so I am sure the coaches were well aware of the challenges in the tour. I think the front two guys should be fairly safe for the podium. Iversen still needs to pick up valuable seconds in the sprint, because the distance races, particularly the 15km individual race won't suit him too much, I don't think. He has almost a minute on Harvey and Sundby, but all it takes is one bad day. Everyone else more than 3 minutes behind Ustiugov. The bonus seconds help, obviously, but the real damage was the Gatineau mass start. The nature of the course, the weather, and the strong pace from the start has really separated the front three from the rest.
 
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Blaaswix said:
Norway's Magnus Krog got disqualified after crossing the line first in a combined race today after he cut across the skis of Germany's Eric Frenzel on a corner into the final straight. NRK have the Norwegian coach's reaction here http://www.nrk.no/sport/norsk-landslagstrenar_-_-fis-er-kjopt-og-betalt-1.12837872 Quite staggering.

Just read that. Calling somebody that is pretty ridiculous, even if it was football or other professional sports where this happens a little more often, but at sports like Nordic Combined? Crazy, it seems to me! It also seems that the Norwegians are overreacting to the decisions. I know every team that feels they are being snubbed by the jury feels angry and 'robbed' at some stage, but the Norwegians seem to get more of the benefit than anyone else in these winter sports. They have been going toe to toe with the Germans all season long and it's understandable sometimes to be ticked off, but nobody's entitled to preferential treatment. Not sure what the public's reaction to this is, but if yesterday's episode with Hattestad and Ustiugov is anything to go by, it can't be too good.
 
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python said:
Cance > TheRest said:
Northug dropping Iversen now. I didn't see that coming
well, iversen showed a weak spot yesterday in the semis coming dead last in his heat...while i already commented earlier it may have been the result of his own poor selection of a 1/4 heat, the unseen reason (to us, the side spectators) may have been his declining recovery. that is, he's getting fatigued by the multi day effort. if so, the exceptional sprinter he has shown to be, may be too pronounced (genetically or training wise) for a consistent all-rounder.

he's still very young - 24 - to know the answer like we knew all along that legkov was never meant to improve the sprinting..
This is also Iversen's first real season where he's done this many world cup races and rubbing shoulders with the top guys in a few races in a row. It's a mix between inexperience both physically and mentally. I don't think he's at the level where he is as good as Northug, Sundby, and I suppose we have to start putting Ustiugov in this conversation, over a longer period of time. I know that Iversen and Ustiugov both came up through the junior and U23 ranks together, or more or less together, so they know each other pretty well. Ustiugov thugh has generally one upped him. I do think Iversen will recover enough to be a factor at least for the sprint. If he can make the final there, that will really help him. We'll see how he'll recover. Two rest days, but they still have to travel via plane to Calgary and then drive another 100km (not terrible!) to Canmore. The commentators mentioned they'll probably make the trip all today and have two days in Canmore to recover and acclimatize and then see what happens there.
 

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