Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Great races for Fak and Shipulin, it has to be said. From 39 to 5th and 45 to 9th, respectively. Shame Shipulin had one miss on the final trip to the range. He would have pretty close to the medals, but that's about as good as one can make it in a pursuit. Fak, I though had somewhat of a chance on the last lap, leaving about 11 seconds behind Boe and Svendsen, but perhaps he felt it was too much and it would have been smarter to not blow up and fight for 5th. He did that super well and only ended up being 10 seconds behind Svendsen in 3rd and 3 seconds behind Boe in 4th. I expect some good things from him in the individual and mass start (hopefully he qualifies for the mass start!). The Germans I think choked a little bit on the last shoot. Both Lesser and Pfeiffer threw it away. It's easy for me to say, sitting in front of the screen, but they missed a golden chance. That's sport/biathlon though!

Fourcade wins everything all the time, so there's nothing really more we could say about him. Bjoerndalen isn't as quick on the skis as he used to be (to be expected at age 95) and he too, missed a shot in the final stage, but even so, the probably would have left the range at the same time.

Svendsen and Boe don't particularly look good. Bjoerndalen seems more fresh. Those guys just were more steady than the guys around them: Semenov, Garanichev, Lesser, Pfeiffer.
 
Re: Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
python said:
thank you, winter gods, for sending us fourcade, ustiugov, stina... :cool: :eek:
Ustiugov and Nilsson I can go with, but Fourcade ??!!
You don't appreciate the sport of biathlon if you are happy for Fourcade's dominance.
Fourcade might rub some people the wrong way, but I haven't heard him say anything controversial or do anything out of the ordinary. I think the only time I remember him doing something was him getting angry at Fredrik Lindstroem at a world cup race couple years ago. He felt that Lindstroem cut him off or skied over his skis or poles, and decided it was smart to whack Lindstroems pole, which actually broke. He quickly realized what he'd done and actually gave his pole to Lindstroem and waited for one of the French coaches for a spare for himself. I haven't watched every single biathlon race that Fourcade has been involved in, but that was, to my memory, the only time he did something that was regrettable. As arrogant as he might be with the cheering after cleaning the final shoot, or telemarking or jumping or taking off both skis right after finishing a race or anything else, he seems pretty fair on and off the course. I'd rather see him win than the Norwegians, except maybe the Boe brothers. Svendsen (maybe it's a Troendersk/Trondheim thing, like Northug) seems smug. Bjoerndalen has been around for 20 years and I hope he retires after this season, for a few reasons.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Re: Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
python said:
thank you, winter gods, for sending us fourcade, ustiugov, stina... :cool: :eek:
Ustiugov and Nilsson I can go with, but Fourcade ??!!
You don't appreciate the sport of biathlon if you are happy for Fourcade's dominance.
i am actually neutral on fourcade.i thanked god for sending him, b/c it hepled me to avoid getting blind from seeing too much red :)

and you are right, though i do appreciate the sport of biathlon, during the very fourcade's golden pursuit, i preferred to watch 1500 m speed skating race. even there, the red army was on the attack. but god saved me again by gifting us kramer :) ;)
 
Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
Cance > TheRest said:
python said:
thank you, winter gods, for sending us fourcade, ustiugov, stina... :cool: :eek:
Ustiugov and Nilsson I can go with, but Fourcade ??!!
You don't appreciate the sport of biathlon if you are happy for Fourcade's dominance.
Fourcade might rub some people the wrong way, but I haven't heard him say anything controversial or do anything out of the ordinary. I think the only time I remember him doing something was him getting angry at Fredrik Lindstroem at a world cup race couple years ago. He felt that Lindstroem cut him off or skied over his skis or poles, and decided it was smart to whack Lindstroems pole, which actually broke. He quickly realized what he'd done and actually gave his pole to Lindstroem and waited for one of the French coaches for a spare for himself. I haven't watched every single biathlon race that Fourcade has been involved in, but that was, to my memory, the only time he did something that was regrettable. As arrogant as he might be with the cheering after cleaning the final shoot, or telemarking or jumping or taking off both skis right after finishing a race or anything else, he seems pretty fair on and off the course. I'd rather see him win than the Norwegians, except maybe the Boe brothers. Svendsen (maybe it's a Troendersk/Trondheim thing, like Northug) seems smug. Bjoerndalen has been around for 20 years and I hope he retires after this season, for a few reasons.
Away from the trails, nothing to dislike Fourcade for. There's plenty of arrogant gestures, winding-up, playing unnecessary tricks and mind games on the trails though. The "oh, did I go the wrong way, whoops!" stuff with Schempp is a bit unnecessary, and the business with Malyshko in the relay a few years ago that was picked up on Swedish TV when he admitted that he "plays games with the opposition" to help focus himself wasn't particularly nice I felt (he was skating up and around Malyshko who was clearly on the limit, up to him, chatting, dropping back, then leaving him for dead, toying with him). For the most part, though, success breeds resentment and dominance breeds antipathy, and when you're dominating as easily as he does, those arrogant gestures become all the more unlikable because you know he won't get his comeuppance for them.

He's kind of the reverse of his brother, who on the trails is a sympathetic figure as yet again he goes out too fast and blows up, losing his opportunities at wins and medals, and got screwed by the change of conditions in the one race he was by far the best (Hochfilzen 2011, where he skied fast and shot 10/10 in horrific conditions with heavy snow and swirling wind, then it suddenly cleared up and the wind died down and the late starters took the win away from him)... but away from the trails he's a complete tool.
 
Re: Re:

python said:
Cance > TheRest said:
python said:
thank you, winter gods, for sending us fourcade, ustiugov, stina... :cool: :eek:
Ustiugov and Nilsson I can go with, but Fourcade ??!!
You don't appreciate the sport of biathlon if you are happy for Fourcade's dominance.
i am actually neutral on fourcade.i thanked god for sending him, b/c it hepled me to avoid getting blind from seeing too much red :)

and you are right, though i do appreciate the sport of biathlon, during the very fourcade's golden pursuit, i preferred to watch 1500 m speed skating race. even there, the red army was on the attack. but god saved me again by gifting us kramer :) ;)
I appreciate your honesty. Not everyone on here wants to admit that they don't like the Norwegian biathletes, simply because they're Norwegian.
I like the whole "Svendsen/Boe vs Fourcade"-rivavlry that goes on on social media etc, but when Fourcade plays down Bjørndalens medal chances by saying that something has to go wrong for the other athletes if OEB is to have any chance of an individual WC medal, then I am reminded why I dislike the guy not just for his dominance but also for his outright arrogance off the trails.
 
Re: Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
python said:
Cance > TheRest said:
python said:
thank you, winter gods, for sending us fourcade, ustiugov, stina... :cool: :eek:
Ustiugov and Nilsson I can go with, but Fourcade ??!!
You don't appreciate the sport of biathlon if you are happy for Fourcade's dominance.
i am actually neutral on fourcade.i thanked god for sending him, b/c it hepled me to avoid getting blind from seeing too much red :)

and you are right, though i do appreciate the sport of biathlon, during the very fourcade's golden pursuit, i preferred to watch 1500 m speed skating race. even there, the red army was on the attack. but god saved me again by gifting us kramer :) ;)
I appreciate your honesty. Not everyone on here wants to admit that they don't like the Norwegian biathletes, simply because they're Norwegian.
I like the whole "Svendsen/Boe vs Fourcade"-rivavlry that goes on on social media etc, but when Fourcade plays down Bjørndalens medal chances by saying that something has to go wrong for the other athletes if OEB is to have any chance of an individual WC medal, then I am reminded why I dislike the guy not just for his dominance but also for his outright arrogance off the trails.
Perhaps he was joking? I am sure he doesn't care now, either way, three races, three gold medals.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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there is dominance and there is DOMINANCE...

a dominant mind-gamer is more than a dominant clown is more than a dominant a-hole.

if fourcade fits the 1st narrative, he certainly does not come across (to me, at my level of the sport awareness) as the last 2.

what i find very unacceptable for a professional athlete, cheating being a separate subject, things like consistent bad-mouthing fellows, rudeness, ungentlemanly manners in and off the arena 'soreloserness', none of it i had noticed in martin. i am sure, that some people will be able to dig up some dirt to prove me wrong, but i have seen plenty dirt in sports to still remain neutral on fourcade.

as i said i am not his fan at all. just neutral. his dominance would bother me a little more if the french were regularly sweeping the wc podiums...

is martin arrogant to some for his statements, perhaps, but people should remember that it is the attitude, not an occasional statement by the athletes that aren't trained lawyers, that makes arrogance a fault.
 
Dahlmeier wins Women's pursuit ahead of Wierer. Laura was really fast and shot 20/20. Eckhoff was fighting for the podium and then missed 4(!) out of 5 on the last shoot, and finished like 18th or so. Soukalova didn't do very well, Dorin Habert did well for third.
 
Well Dahlmeier just demonstrated a perfect biathlon race today. 20 shots, 20 hits and skiing that nobody could match. The Germans weren't kidding a few years ago when they said she could very well be the next Magdalena Neuner. Eckhoff self destructed there in the end, but whatever she does the rest of the way, she's still going to walk away with a gold and a silver.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Soukalova again good race...this girl can't do bad race recently, can she? She's just so consistent and that's why others are watching her back in overall standings from respectful distance.

OEB another disapointment. Lock this guy in his camper somewhere in woods, please.

Semenov got Slesinger down today :( Slesinger was angry after race.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
Another silver for the King of Biathlon. Kokoso must be crying now, I imagine :p
Also very happy for Emil - he really deserved a medal!
You are really nuts, patriotic one :D
 
I don't know that Soukalová had a "good" race, I think she did brilliantly to salvage what could have been a bad race after missing four in prone and only just missed continuing her record of top 10s - this is one of the results she can drop on the World Cup overall though as 11th is her worst result of the year (!!!). It confused me at first as it looked like she took an age over her prone shoot then left without firing all, but I think it was nothing to do with her, rather that the target computer sensor wasn't working because it didn't register Wierer's miss from the same lane at prone 2. Dahlmeier I think is more a new Glagow than a new Neuner, style-wise, but in terms of her potential results, then yes, Neuner is possible. I can't imagine Lena ever winning a race in the style that Laura did today; she had some dominant days yes, but not skiing to the front, then hitting 20/20 without looking troubled. Eckhoff reverted to type in the stand today, she's done really well shooting from deep in the field, but been making errors from the front quite a few times.
 
Re:

Kokoso said:
Soukalova again good race...this girl can't do bad race recently, can she? She's just so consistent and that's why others are watching her back in overall standings from respectful distance.

OEB another disapointment. Lock this guy in his camper somewhere in woods, please.

Semenov got Slesinger down today :( Slesinger was angry after race.
Yeah, not sure if she had a 'good' race today. These are the world championships, it's all about medals. She hasn't gotten one yet.
 
Re: Re:

kingjr said:
Libertine Seguros said:
kingjr said:
Libertine Seguros said:
but away from the trails he's a complete tool.
Please elaborate. I don't care much for what athletes do off the track, but this is news to me and I'm curious.
He's not a tool in the Petter Northug "actually a horrible person" way, though. Just a total mugging-for-the-cameras buffoon.
When did he do that?
You are aware I'm talking about Simon and not Martin here?
 
Sep 25, 2009
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in anticipation of tomorrows canmore classic sprints, i was looking around at maps, courses, the previous results and splits an came to the following quick thoughts:

1. for sure, the 4 canmore races will be harder compared to quebec. not only the elevation (appr 1500m) will play out, but the courses themselves are much harder -- more and steeper hills plus the norwegians, unlike the quebec courses, know them well. the key event will be the 30k skiathlon a day after the last sprint.
2. yesterday, sundby somewhat arrogantly claimed that a Norwegian will win the tour b/c ustiugov will fail in the skiathlon.

3. only the sports outsider or a blind fanboy will insist it cant happen. but do the facts of their relative performances support sundby ? not necessarily. if we look at northug vs ustiugov results and splits - the 2 leaders atm - they are approximately equal in all key aspects: the recovery, the sprinting ability, the skating speed and their classic. while petter nipped ustiugov in a classic mass start after sucking his toes all along, the russian in turn showed a slight superiority in skating. i mean their man-on-man pursuit. in that race, as soon as the gap shrunk to its minimum of 10 sec by the 8th km, ustiugov sped up and consistently increased it back to 18seconds. both were absolutely maxed out. their classic sprinting chances tomorrow are unpredictable. the course is essentially 2 huge climbs of appr 11%. 2 ups and 2 downs with only the finish 50-70 meters flat. if sundby is well recovered, the course suits him better than the 2 leaders tomorrow. we should not expect any ski prepping introducing surprises b/c the condition are predicted stable and on a cool side.

regarding the northug vs. ustiugov day-to-day recovery ability, again, its an unknown but if the tds could serve as an example, ustiugov literally humiliated petter on the last day. almost forgot, both leaders showed good adaptability to performing at elevation.

we'll see.
 
Re:

python said:
in anticipation of tomorrows canmore classic sprints, i was looking around at maps, courses, the previous results and splits an came to the following quick thoughts:

1. for sure, the 4 canmore races will be harder compared to quebec. not only the elevation (appr 1500m) will play out, but the courses themselves are much harder -- more and steeper hills plus the norwegians, unlike the quebec courses, know them well. the key event will be the 30k skiathlon a day after the last sprint.
2. yesterday, sundby somewhat arrogantly claimed that a Norwegian will win the tour b/c ustiugov will fail in the skiathlon.

3. only the sports outsider or a blind fanboy will insist it cant happen. but do the facts of their relative performances support sundby ? not necessarily. if we look at northug vs ustiugov results and splits - the 2 leaders atm - they are approximately equal in all key aspects: the recovery, the sprinting ability, the skating speed and their classic. while petter nipped ustiugov in a classic mass start after sucking his toes all along, the russian in turn showed a slight superiority in skating. i mean their man-on-man pursuit. in that race, as soon as the gap shrunk to its minimum of 10 sec by the 8th km, ustiugov sped up and consistently increased it back to 18seconds. both were absolutely maxed out. their classic sprinting chances tomorrow are unpredictable. the course is essentially 2 huge climbs of appr 11%. 2 ups and 2 downs with only the finish 50-70 meters flat. if sundby is well recovered, the course suits him better than the 2 leaders tomorrow. we should not expect any ski prepping introducing surprises b/c the condition are predicted stable and on a cool side.

regarding the northug vs. ustiugov day-to-day recovery ability, again, its an unknown but if the tds could serve as an example, ustiugov literally humiliated petter on the last day. almost forgot, both leaders showed good adaptability to performing at elevation.

we'll see.
I think Ustiugov is actually very similar to Northug, minus the antics. He can do pretty much anything and has the speed and confidence to go from the middle or back of the pack to the front. They are both better skaters and head to head racers, but have proven themselves in interval start races as well. Obviously Northug being 6-7 years older, has more experience in these types of races.

As far as adaptation, recovery and acclimatization to altitude, Northug has had difficulty in the past at altitude. Remember, he hasn't done super well at places like Davos, Canmore and one or two other places. He says he doesn't know how it will go exactly, but that he's spent quite a lot of time training at altitude (at glaciers like Val Senales) during the summer and fall months, so he thinks it shouldn't be a big worry, but is wary of possible problems. Ustiugov has trained with the Burgermeister group for the past two years, and that group has spent quite a lot of time in Switzerland and Italy, training at the glaciers and roads down below, which are still at altitude. I know it's been mentioned it earlier in this thread, but after Falun, that group went straight to Switzerland and trained at altitude for 10 days, then came straight to Canada to adapt and adjust to the time change. The Vylegzhanin group did similar work after the tour de ski. They skipped Planica (sprint weekend, so that was always gonna happen), skipped Nove Mesto and then had great races at Falun, Lahti and pretty solid in Canada so far. They however went to Sochi, not central Europe. It's interesting that they went that far, but obviously the conditions must have been pretty good for skiing at the Olympic trails. Another thing about Ustiugov and his group, they skipped the Oslo 50, which might have been a pity for us, the fans, but another good decision for them. Northug has done more races and might not be as fresh. They are all tired at this point in the season, but some are more fresh than others. I hope Ustiugov is more fresh than Northug. The weather is supposed to be much warmer in Canmore, and I don't believe that Ustiugov has ever raced there before, so that might be a plus for Northug. We'll see.
 
Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
kingjr said:
Libertine Seguros said:
kingjr said:
Libertine Seguros said:
but away from the trails he's a complete tool.
Please elaborate. I don't care much for what athletes do off the track, but this is news to me and I'm curious.
He's not a tool in the Petter Northug "actually a horrible person" way, though. Just a total mugging-for-the-cameras buffoon.
When did he do that?
You are aware I'm talking about Simon and not Martin here?
Yes

I'm not trying to annoy you or anything btw, I'm genuinely curious, because it's something I haven't noticed before.
 
Re: Re:

kingjr said:
Libertine Seguros said:
kingjr said:
Libertine Seguros said:
kingjr said:
Please elaborate. I don't care much for what athletes do off the track, but this is news to me and I'm curious.
He's not a tool in the Petter Northug "actually a horrible person" way, though. Just a total mugging-for-the-cameras buffoon.
When did he do that?
You are aware I'm talking about Simon and not Martin here?
Yes

I'm not trying to annoy you or anything btw, I'm genuinely curious, because it's something I haven't noticed before.
I have the feeling that Simon just isn't comfortable in interviews. This may come across as something else. Where the "mugging-for-the-cameras buffoon" comes from I am not sure, as I have never had this impression.

Yesterday, at the end of an interview, the interviewer excused herself before asking him what he thought of Martin's exploits. He was very gracious, saying that he was proud.

When Martin is interviewed, I find him very analytical of what has happened. If things go well he says so and why (this may come across to some as arrogant?), and when things don't go well he says so and why. I have never heard him slagging a competitor, nor being arrogant about his own success.
 
7 Norwegians in the Top 10 after Qualification round, but Ustiugov first, 1 second ahead of Brandsdal and 2.7 ahead of Northug who is 5th.

3:40 now in the 1st heat though, looked pretty exhausted. Northug and Sundby 7 seconds faster. Wouldn't be surprised to see the Norwegians deal out a proper hammering today and tomorrow.
 

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