Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Re:

Mr. Brooks said:
Ole Einar just finished his press conference. Two bits of news.
- Two more seasons. He wants another shot at the Olympics.
- He and Darja Domratsjeva are expecting a child.

The guy has 8 Olympic golds. 56 Olympic and World Championship medals. 94 biathlon World Cup victories and one XC. In 2018 it will be 24 years since his Olympic debut. And he still finds the motivation. Wow.
That is great news, all the more reason to follow the men's competitions next year.
A shame we won't see Domracheva compete next season though. Would have liked to see how she'd compare to Soukalova, Wierer and Dahlmeier after a year out.
 
Re: Re:

Kokoso said:
BullsFan22 said:
frenchfry said:
Some images of the Biathlon globes presentations.

http://www.ski-nordique.net/ils-sont-beaux-mes-globes.5857981-72348.html

Soukalova cleans up pretty nicely.
Except world champs, where she got absolutely nothing.
5th and two 4th places really arent absolutely nothing no matter what point of view.
4th in a world championships is nothing. No medal = nothing. Still, fantastic season for her.
 
Re: Re:

Brullnux said:
Kokoso said:
BullsFan22 said:
frenchfry said:
Some images of the Biathlon globes presentations.

http://www.ski-nordique.net/ils-sont-beaux-mes-globes.5857981-72348.html

Soukalova cleans up pretty nicely.
Except world champs, where she got absolutely nothing.
5th and two 4th places really arent absolutely nothing no matter what point of view.
4th in a world championships is nothing. No medal = nothing. Still, fantastic season for her.
It's all relative, ofcourse. But I agree with you in the case of Soukalova. For her a fourth and fifth place can't be of much value, compared with her other season achievements
 
Apr 22, 2012
3,570
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0
Re: Re:

Brullnux said:
Kokoso said:
BullsFan22 said:
frenchfry said:
Some images of the Biathlon globes presentations.

http://www.ski-nordique.net/ils-sont-beaux-mes-globes.5857981-72348.html

Soukalova cleans up pretty nicely.
Except world champs, where she got absolutely nothing.
5th and two 4th places really arent absolutely nothing no matter what point of view.
4th in a world championships is nothing. No medal = nothing. Still, fantastic season for her.
4th in world championship is great result for most of the athletes Soukalova included. One could argue that it's nothing for Martin Fourcade, who really is is used to win almost everything. But not for Soukalova. Even if she'd be disappointed which I don't think, the results still are good value. Nothing is nothing, you know.
 
Re: Re:

Kokoso said:
Brullnux said:
Kokoso said:
BullsFan22 said:
frenchfry said:
Some images of the Biathlon globes presentations.

http://www.ski-nordique.net/ils-sont-beaux-mes-globes.5857981-72348.html

Soukalova cleans up pretty nicely.
Except world champs, where she got absolutely nothing.
5th and two 4th places really arent absolutely nothing no matter what point of view.
4th in a world championships is nothing. No medal = nothing. Still, fantastic season for her.
4th in world championship is great result for most of the athletes Soukalova included. One could argue that it's nothing for Martin Fourcade, who really is is used to win almost everything. But not for Soukalova. Even if she'd be disappointed which I don't think, the results still are good value. Nothing is nothing, you know.
Just for clarification, when I said that Soukalova cleans up pretty nicely I meant that when she dresses up in a slinky red dress she isn't too shabby.
 
Re: Re:

Kokoso said:
Brullnux said:
Kokoso said:
BullsFan22 said:
frenchfry said:
Some images of the Biathlon globes presentations.

http://www.ski-nordique.net/ils-sont-beaux-mes-globes.5857981-72348.html

Soukalova cleans up pretty nicely.
Except world champs, where she got absolutely nothing.
5th and two 4th places really arent absolutely nothing no matter what point of view.
4th in a world championships is nothing. No medal = nothing. Still, fantastic season for her.
4th in world championship is great result for most of the athletes Soukalova included. One could argue that it's nothing for Martin Fourcade, who really is is used to win almost everything. But not for Soukalova. Even if she'd be disappointed which I don't think, the results still are good value. Nothing is nothing, you know.
Nothing in this case is also figurative, and I meant it as little value for her. Also 4th in a WC is probably the worst place to come :D
 
Sep 25, 2009
7,527
1
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Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
Rider said:
Legkov posted his annual training.
And apparently Nystad is one his coaches now?
his main coach is still kramer (my understanding) with trond supposedly slated to advise kramer on some tweaks to his training...

frankly, i think he is wasting his time and probably money on the norwegian. he should ask himself if his buddy and a former partner at team burgermeister/knaute ...ilya gasparin (aka chernusov :) ) made any progress under the full blooded norwegian coaching ALL season ?

none. not even one podium in the wc races i recall. nor did the norwegian 'training gold standard' helped ilya into a single top 10 this year iirc.

there is nothing wrong with the norwegian expertise. the problem, seems to me, somewhere else. not sure what's going with ilya (perhaps lack of motivation after becoming a dad) but in the legkov case i think the issue is in his head. no, i dont think alex is stupid. rather, too much all over, kind of a scatter-brain...ran away from reto/knaute after scoring his best career wins under them (tds, olympic gold), then training with sprinters, then alone...i see all the signs of his moral and emotional charge for competing after the olympic gold running low. hence, the talk of business and even an intention of going into the politics..

too bad since he's an enormous talent and a very decent human.
 
Re: Re:

python said:
BullsFan22 said:
Rider said:
Legkov posted his annual training.
And apparently Nystad is one his coaches now?
his main coach is still kramer (my understanding) with trond supposedly slated to advise kramer on some tweaks to his training...

frankly, i think he is wasting his time and probably money on the norwegian. he should ask himself if his buddy and a former partner at team burgermeister/knaute ...ilya gasparin (aka chernusov :) ) made any progress under the full blooded norwegian coaching ALL season ?

none. not even one podium in the wc races i recall. nor did the norwegian 'training gold standard' helped ilya into a single top 10 this year iirc.

there is nothing wrong with the norwegian expertise. the problem, seems to me, somewhere else. not sure what's going with ilya (perhaps lack of motivation after becoming a dad) but in the legkov case i think the issue is in his head. no, i dont think alex is stupid. rather, too much all over, kind of a scatter-brain...ran away from reto/knaute after scoring his best career wins under them (tds, olympic gold), then training with sprinters, then alone...i see all the signs of his moral and emotional charge for competing after the olympic gold running low. hence, the talk of business and even an intention of going into the politics..

too bad since he's an enormous talent and a very decent human.
I think Legkov's biggest mistake was breaking away from the Burgermeister/Knauthe group. Chernousov too, though frankly, he had little choice. Go back to the national team, which he broke away after 2010, or join a group like the one with Bitnes (not sure that it's a group, as he trains alone most of the time, that can't be good either). They had career seasons while training together and also with Cologna, the German national team, with Northug at times, and with other Russian team members that would hop on and off of groups. Not sure if there was a fallout or he simply wanted a change, but after so much success with one system, you'd think he would want to keep the momentum going. Even if he is lacking in motivation, he at least has familiarity with the system and can better adapt mentally. Perhaps he needed a change because of a lack of motivation. Who knows, really. Of course, opening up a store, starting a club, some injury issues...those all played in his lack of big results the last two seasons. This past season wasn't a disaster, as he did finish in the top 10 in the distance rankings, got a relay podium, and had some decent results, but no podiums for a guy like him must be in his mind, even with the lack of motivation. Last season (2014/2015) was pretty bad. He was injured, sick and had no results apart from Rybinsk. That seemed like a wasted season. If I was him, I would have stuck around with Burgermeister/Knauthe. He would have had more partners and strong athletes around him (Ustiugov, Belov, Volzhentsev). Chernousov probably would have stayed as well. Would have been one heck of a training group. The way Ustiugov skied this season and Belov last season, they would have driven each other to even better things.

Nystad helping him is not a great idea. Nystad was with the Americans for a few seasons and they had no significant results. I think trying to instill the Norwegian school of thought is not gonna work in every place. The Americans are doing well now (well, the women any was) because of two things: the club system is improving and talent is there. This combination is what was lacking in previous years. The national team is there because it needs to be, but it's the individual clubs that are supplying strong athletes with top training. Essentially, Legkov would actually be better off going back to the Russian National Team than training with Nystad.

Chernousov is done, in my opinion. I think it's a shame what happened to him the last two seasons. Particularly this past season. I would seriously question Bitnes's knowledge on training. Of course, Chernousov marrying and him and Gasparin having a kid (congratulations to them on that, btw!!) and worrying about that is one part of it, but Bitnes needs to go. He's had a horrible season and I wouldn't be shocked if he called it quits. He is three years younger than Legkov and really, he should be in his prime. After having break out seasons with the swiss group and potentially getting better as he's heading into his prime (late 20's early 30's) he's gotten worse. I don't think it's the Norwegian system, it's Bitnes's system that's hurting Chernousov. The Russians are wasting money and time on that guy.
 
Sep 25, 2009
7,527
1
0
Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
python said:
BullsFan22 said:
Rider said:
Legkov posted his annual training.
And apparently Nystad is one his coaches now?
his main coach is still kramer (my understanding) with trond supposedly slated to advise kramer on some tweaks to his training...

frankly, i think he is wasting his time and probably money on the norwegian. he should ask himself if his buddy and a former partner at team burgermeister/knaute ...ilya gasparin (aka chernusov :) ) made any progress under the full blooded norwegian coaching ALL season ?

none. not even one podium in the wc races i recall. nor did the norwegian 'training gold standard' helped ilya into a single top 10 this year iirc.

there is nothing wrong with the norwegian expertise. the problem, seems to me, somewhere else. not sure what's going with ilya (perhaps lack of motivation after becoming a dad) but in the legkov case i think the issue is in his head. no, i dont think alex is stupid. rather, too much all over, kind of a scatter-brain...ran away from reto/knaute after scoring his best career wins under them (tds, olympic gold), then training with sprinters, then alone...i see all the signs of his moral and emotional charge for competing after the olympic gold running low. hence, the talk of business and even an intention of going into the politics..

too bad since he's an enormous talent and a very decent human.
I think Legkov's biggest mistake was breaking away from the Burgermeister/Knauthe group. Chernousov too, though frankly, he had little choice. Go back to the national team, which he broke away after 2010, or join a group like the one with Bitnes (not sure that it's a group, as he trains alone most of the time, that can't be good either). They had career seasons while training together and also with Cologna, the German national team, with Northug at times, and with other Russian team members that would hop on and off of groups. Not sure if there was a fallout or he simply wanted a change, but after so much success with one system, you'd think he would want to keep the momentum going. Even if he is lacking in motivation, he at least has familiarity with the system and can better adapt mentally. Perhaps he needed a change because of a lack of motivation. Who knows, really. Of course, opening up a store, starting a club, some injury issues...those all played in his lack of big results the last two seasons. This past season wasn't a disaster, as he did finish in the top 10 in the distance rankings, got a relay podium, and had some decent results, but no podiums for a guy like him must be in his mind, even with the lack of motivation. Last season (2014/2015) was pretty bad. He was injured, sick and had no results apart from Rybinsk. That seemed like a wasted season. If I was him, I would have stuck around with Burgermeister/Knauthe. He would have had more partners and strong athletes around him (Ustiugov, Belov, Volzhentsev). Chernousov probably would have stayed as well. Would have been one heck of a training group. The way Ustiugov skied this season and Belov last season, they would have driven each other to even better things.

Nystad helping him is not a great idea. Nystad was with the Americans for a few seasons and they had no significant results. I think trying to instill the Norwegian school of thought is not gonna work in every place. The Americans are doing well now (well, the women any was) because of two things: the club system is improving and talent is there. This combination is what was lacking in previous years. The national team is there because it needs to be, but it's the individual clubs that are supplying strong athletes with top training. Essentially, Legkov would actually be better off going back to the Russian National Team than training with Nystad.

Chernousov is done, in my opinion. I think it's a shame what happened to him the last two seasons. Particularly this past season. I would seriously question Bitnes's knowledge on training. Of course, Chernousov marrying and him and Gasparin having a kid (congratulations to them on that, btw!!) and worrying about that is one part of it, but Bitnes needs to go. He's had a horrible season and I wouldn't be shocked if he called it quits. He is three years younger than Legkov and really, he should be in his prime. After having break out seasons with the swiss group and potentially getting better as he's heading into his prime (late 20's early 30's) he's gotten worse. I don't think it's the Norwegian system, it's Bitnes's system that's hurting Chernousov. The Russians are wasting money and time on that guy.
...want to briefly address the bolded parts with what i am reasonably sure is/was the case.

on liya and bitnes
iliya was never a part of any bitnes group as there was none. it was the usual nowadays - emailed training plans, heart rate data back, occasional meets. bitness is very definitely gone. vialbe said his contract was dropped while their fed will honour arrears and futures to 'other foreign coaches'. also, i heard she said that if chernusov wants to compete at the wc level next season, he MUST earn his spot via the national distance group of perevoschikov, or else. i don't think iliya will quit xc sking, but i have a hunch such a primitive attitude towards the chap will force him in 2017-18 to become cologna's teammate. mark my words.

on alex and his relations with reto/knaute
it was a fallout with reto. they don't talk. the real reasons are known only to their f and f, but alex was said to refer to reto's strict objections to legkov's frequent contacts/visits with/to his family. he's fine with knaute.

on the so called 'norwegian system'
generally speaking, i don't think there's one per se. it's all over-mystified b/c they dominate. if there's anything in common to the various norwegian coaches, according to nystad himself (i recall an interview with him), it is the volume of at least 1000 h/y and a minimum of 2, sometimes 3 interval/intensity sessions per week. this motherhood is common to almost all world elites. the devil is in the peaking details and the supposedly altitude training routine. i doubt the norges (or anyone) would readily share it.
 
Re: Re:

python said:
BullsFan22 said:
python said:
BullsFan22 said:
Rider said:
Legkov posted his annual training.
And apparently Nystad is one his coaches now?
his main coach is still kramer (my understanding) with trond supposedly slated to advise kramer on some tweaks to his training...

frankly, i think he is wasting his time and probably money on the norwegian. he should ask himself if his buddy and a former partner at team burgermeister/knaute ...ilya gasparin (aka chernusov :) ) made any progress under the full blooded norwegian coaching ALL season ?

none. not even one podium in the wc races i recall. nor did the norwegian 'training gold standard' helped ilya into a single top 10 this year iirc.

there is nothing wrong with the norwegian expertise. the problem, seems to me, somewhere else. not sure what's going with ilya (perhaps lack of motivation after becoming a dad) but in the legkov case i think the issue is in his head. no, i dont think alex is stupid. rather, too much all over, kind of a scatter-brain...ran away from reto/knaute after scoring his best career wins under them (tds, olympic gold), then training with sprinters, then alone...i see all the signs of his moral and emotional charge for competing after the olympic gold running low. hence, the talk of business and even an intention of going into the politics..

too bad since he's an enormous talent and a very decent human.
I think Legkov's biggest mistake was breaking away from the Burgermeister/Knauthe group. Chernousov too, though frankly, he had little choice. Go back to the national team, which he broke away after 2010, or join a group like the one with Bitnes (not sure that it's a group, as he trains alone most of the time, that can't be good either). They had career seasons while training together and also with Cologna, the German national team, with Northug at times, and with other Russian team members that would hop on and off of groups. Not sure if there was a fallout or he simply wanted a change, but after so much success with one system, you'd think he would want to keep the momentum going. Even if he is lacking in motivation, he at least has familiarity with the system and can better adapt mentally. Perhaps he needed a change because of a lack of motivation. Who knows, really. Of course, opening up a store, starting a club, some injury issues...those all played in his lack of big results the last two seasons. This past season wasn't a disaster, as he did finish in the top 10 in the distance rankings, got a relay podium, and had some decent results, but no podiums for a guy like him must be in his mind, even with the lack of motivation. Last season (2014/2015) was pretty bad. He was injured, sick and had no results apart from Rybinsk. That seemed like a wasted season. If I was him, I would have stuck around with Burgermeister/Knauthe. He would have had more partners and strong athletes around him (Ustiugov, Belov, Volzhentsev). Chernousov probably would have stayed as well. Would have been one heck of a training group. The way Ustiugov skied this season and Belov last season, they would have driven each other to even better things.

Nystad helping him is not a great idea. Nystad was with the Americans for a few seasons and they had no significant results. I think trying to instill the Norwegian school of thought is not gonna work in every place. The Americans are doing well now (well, the women any was) because of two things: the club system is improving and talent is there. This combination is what was lacking in previous years. The national team is there because it needs to be, but it's the individual clubs that are supplying strong athletes with top training. Essentially, Legkov would actually be better off going back to the Russian National Team than training with Nystad.

Chernousov is done, in my opinion. I think it's a shame what happened to him the last two seasons. Particularly this past season. I would seriously question Bitnes's knowledge on training. Of course, Chernousov marrying and him and Gasparin having a kid (congratulations to them on that, btw!!) and worrying about that is one part of it, but Bitnes needs to go. He's had a horrible season and I wouldn't be shocked if he called it quits. He is three years younger than Legkov and really, he should be in his prime. After having break out seasons with the swiss group and potentially getting better as he's heading into his prime (late 20's early 30's) he's gotten worse. I don't think it's the Norwegian system, it's Bitnes's system that's hurting Chernousov. The Russians are wasting money and time on that guy.
...want to briefly address the bolded parts with what i am reasonably sure is/was the case.

on liya and bitnes
iliya was never a part of any bitnes group as there was none. it was the usual nowadays - emailed training plans, heart rate data back, occasional meets. bitness is very definitely gone. vialbe said his contract was dropped while their fed will honour arrears and futures to 'other foreign coaches'. also, i heard she said that if chernusov wants to compete at the wc level next season, he MUST earn his spot via the national distance group of perevoschikov, or else. i don't think iliya will quit xc sking, but i have a hunch such a primitive attitude towards the chap will force him in 2017-18 to become cologna's teammate. mark my words.

on alex and his relations with reto/knaute
it was a fallout with reto. they don't talk. the real reasons are known only to their f and f, but alex was said to refer to reto's strict objections to legkov's frequent contacts/visits with/to his family. he's fine with knaute.

on the so called 'norwegian system'
generally speaking, i don't think there's one per se. it's all over-mystified b/c they dominate. if there's anything in common to the various norwegian coaches, according to nystad himself (i recall an interview with him), it is the volume of at least 1000 h/y and a minimum of 2, sometimes 3 interval/intensity sessions per week. this motherhood is common to almost all world elites. the devil is in the peaking details and the supposedly altitude training routine. i doubt the norges (or anyone) would readily share it.
Very good post.

I'll keep try to keep this going. SVT had a nice report on Chernousov last year and he and Bitnes were interviewed. He also traveled to Norway the last two years to take part in the toppidrettsveka. He actually did well there, but then again, roller skiing well in july or august doesn't translate to skiing fast in January and February. He is a talented skier, no doubt. When he and Northug were juniors, they duked it out. Chernousov was really the only guy anywhere near Northug in 2006, their final junior year. Cologna was there, challenging, but he was behind both of them. The following year, he duked it out with Cologna and Perl at the U23. Cologna improved that season and won at U23, then for the following 3 seasons, really blossomed, especially 2008-2010. Chernousov took a little bit to settle into the seniors, but he had to worry just making the Russian team, as there are always so many guys to compete against. Cologna was already on the national team and was the best guy almost immediately. Livers won a world cup in 2007, Fischer was good, Perl was solid, but Cologna is the real talent. Chernousov has really had to work for it. He was, somewhat surprisingly, not nominated for Vancouver. The Russian distance skiers didn't do too hot there. Legkov, agonizingly, was 4th in the pursuit, after he led the chase for Olsson, and Vylegzhanin was top 10 in the 15 and the 50, but not much else happened for them. Their sprinters did well, Kriukov and Panzhinskiy went 1-2 in the sprint, and both their men's team and women's team won medals in the team sprint. That's when Legkov and Chernousov decided to break away and join Reto/Knauthe. Good move, career changing moves. The Russians have been given more liberty in recent years to train outside with foreign coaches, but like the Norwegians, if you have an off year, you have to prove yourself to get back on. Ilya has been given chances, but he's had a rough two seasons, and you Mrs. Vyalbe doesn't like subpar results. I sincerely hope he comes back and races fast next season, whoever he decides to train with. I hope he doesn't become Swiss. Not that there is anything wrong with Switzerland, the ski team, or Cologna, but it would be so weird to see him switch, even if his wife is Swiss. In fact, it would be equally strange to see Selina racing for Switzerland.

The reason for the Alex/Reto fallout is news to me. Not saying it's surprising, but I haven't read too much about it. I can see why Reto was critical of Alex wanting to go to Russia. It's the traveling, the change in time zones, the stress, the high chance of getting sick, the change in weather and going from small Alpine towns and clean air to a bustling city like Moscow can't always be good, at least not to the extent of doing that sort of trip on a regular basis. You have to recover and take in the training load. I don't know when the rift began, but if that was one of the main reasons for it, they both did well together for 4 or 5 seasons, to survive that long and get that much success.

You are right, there isn't really a Norwegian training method. It's what works the best for individuals. Every skier on that team has something different going on, though they do come back for several training camps, dry land and on-snow at Val Senales, for example. There are so many clubs in Norway, so many skiers of different abilities, strengths and weaknesses, it's hard to follow a specific system.
 
Mar 4, 2013
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8,580
Re: Re:

Rider said:
BullsFan22 said:
Rider said:
Legkov posted his annual training.
And apparently Nystad is one his coaches now?
Yep.
Apparently nope.
Nystad seems to deny it, anyway:
– Jeg skjønner ikke hvor de har dette fra. Jeg har i hvert fall ikke snakket med verken Legkov eller andre i teamet rundt ham, sier en ferierende Trond Nystad til NRK på telefon fra Mallorca.
http://www.nrk.no/sport/sier-nei-til-legkov-1.12898587
 
The Russians have recently announced the national team for the 2016/2017 season. A big team with several groups filled with talented skiers. A good mix of youth and experienced. Predictably, Chernousov's coach for the past two seasons, Vegard Bitnes, was let go, as Chernousov has hardly had any significant results since Sochi 2014. This past season he didn't look too good in almost all of the races he took part in. He's back with Legkov, but instead of the Burgermeister group, they are training under Marcus Kramer, former German national development team coach under Jochen Behle. Kramer also coached Dario Cologna after that. Legkov hasn't had a great season either, but he had a number of top 10's (including finishing top 10 overall on the distance ranking) and I think he will be a factor in Lahti next year and Korea in 2018. Some of the women have moved away from the main national training group to join the foreign coaches (Kramer and Burgmeister/Knauthe) so I am interested to see what sort of an impact that will have and whether the Russian women will finally a good run of decent results.

Notable absences: Chervotkin (the phenom who dominated World Juiors and U23's in recent years, and who won a medal with the Russian relay team in Nove Mesto this season and also a 6th in the Nove Mesto 15km skate, the day before the relay) and Dementiev, the former Olympic skiathlon gold medalist and 50km silver medalist from Torino, who after focusing more on marathons this past season, weren't nominated. Chervotkin will be with the development team, but a little surprising to see him not in the regular team, even he's only 20-21.
 
Denise Herrmann is becoming a biathlete. This seems like an almost perverse risk to take at this point. Her coach points out that it's something that's worked out at the highest level before, citing Forsberg and Olofsson-Zidek; Herrmann is also not a complete newcomer to shooting, having undertaken tests at the same time Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle decided on the switch, but elected to stay in XC. But at the moment, she's guaranteed a place as probably the best German XC woman of the last couple of years (at least in the shorter races, Fessel and Böhler have been better in the longer distances) whereas in the biathlon the Germans already have an embarrassment of riches, with Dahlmeier, Hildebrand and Preuß all among the top names in the sport, Hinz has been strong too, then you have Hammerschmidt, Kummer winning European Championships races, Gössner (unless they swap places, which wouldn't be too unreasonable I guess), the Horchler sisters dominating on the IBU Cup, and it's by no means sure that she'd even get a place in the team.

I guess the thought is with Pyeongchang in mind, much like happened with Evi, although when Evi switched over it was kind of because they had a crisis in the women's team with lots of injuries and retirements, whereas now that isn't really the case, and the best German biathletes are mostly young too. And Denise is at least a few years younger than Evi was, so if it doesn't work, after a year she can go back to XC and still go to the Olympics and still have a career afterwards, whereas I'm not sure Evi had much left in the tank even if she hadn't had that positive test.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Denise Herrmann is becoming a biathlete. This seems like an almost perverse risk to take at this point. Her coach points out that it's something that's worked out at the highest level before, citing Forsberg and Olofsson-Zidek; Herrmann is also not a complete newcomer to shooting, having undertaken tests at the same time Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle decided on the switch, but elected to stay in XC. But at the moment, she's guaranteed a place as probably the best German XC woman of the last couple of years (at least in the shorter races, Fessel and Böhler have been better in the longer distances) whereas in the biathlon the Germans already have an embarrassment of riches, with Dahlmeier, Hildebrand and Preuß all among the top names in the sport, Hinz has been strong too, then you have Hammerschmidt, Kummer winning European Championships races, Gössner (unless they swap places, which wouldn't be too unreasonable I guess), the Horchler sisters dominating on the IBU Cup, and it's by no means sure that she'd even get a place in the team.

I guess the thought is with Pyeongchang in mind, much like happened with Evi, although when Evi switched over it was kind of because they had a crisis in the women's team with lots of injuries and retirements, whereas now that isn't really the case, and the best German biathletes are mostly young too. And Denise is at least a few years younger than Evi was, so if it doesn't work, after a year she can go back to XC and still go to the Olympics and still have a career afterwards, whereas I'm not sure Evi had much left in the tank even if she hadn't had that positive test.

One of my initial thoughts was that she thinks that if she adapts quick enough, she'll have a better chance of getting medals than she would in cross country. Even though the German women have been a dominating force in biathlon, it's still an unpredictable sport, and no guarantees, at least not like cross country, where the Norwegian women have won 90% of the races since Sochi.

I wish her well, but this really hurts the German xc program. She is a steady skier that could mix it up in the sprints and helped Germany to a medal in Sochi (though she could have easily won gold there, instead of losing in a sprint, where she ended up third, if she tactically skied smarter). They have one or two younger skiers coming up, but with Fessel and Boehler past their primes (33 and 35), they have to find something quick. Hanna Kolb is a threat in sprints, as is Sandra Ringwald (she impressed in some distance races as well), but after that you have to look for U23's and juniors.

To sum it all up, Herrmann will be 28 when the season starts, a rookie, with (to my knowledge) no prior biathlon racing experience. She has less than two years to adapt and adjust before Korea. Not sure it's going to work out. This could be a disaster for everyone involved. We'll see how long Drivenes stays as head coach.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Libertine Seguros said:
Denise Herrmann is becoming a biathlete. This seems like an almost perverse risk to take at this point. Her coach points out that it's something that's worked out at the highest level before, citing Forsberg and Olofsson-Zidek; Herrmann is also not a complete newcomer to shooting, having undertaken tests at the same time Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle decided on the switch, but elected to stay in XC. But at the moment, she's guaranteed a place as probably the best German XC woman of the last couple of years (at least in the shorter races, Fessel and Böhler have been better in the longer distances) whereas in the biathlon the Germans already have an embarrassment of riches, with Dahlmeier, Hildebrand and Preuß all among the top names in the sport, Hinz has been strong too, then you have Hammerschmidt, Kummer winning European Championships races, Gössner (unless they swap places, which wouldn't be too unreasonable I guess), the Horchler sisters dominating on the IBU Cup, and it's by no means sure that she'd even get a place in the team.

I guess the thought is with Pyeongchang in mind, much like happened with Evi, although when Evi switched over it was kind of because they had a crisis in the women's team with lots of injuries and retirements, whereas now that isn't really the case, and the best German biathletes are mostly young too. And Denise is at least a few years younger than Evi was, so if it doesn't work, after a year she can go back to XC and still go to the Olympics and still have a career afterwards, whereas I'm not sure Evi had much left in the tank even if she hadn't had that positive test.
It's probably just about money, Biathlon is way bigger in Germany and Neuner was a huge mainstream star.
 
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Mayomaniac said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Denise Herrmann is becoming a biathlete. This seems like an almost perverse risk to take at this point. Her coach points out that it's something that's worked out at the highest level before, citing Forsberg and Olofsson-Zidek; Herrmann is also not a complete newcomer to shooting, having undertaken tests at the same time Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle decided on the switch, but elected to stay in XC. But at the moment, she's guaranteed a place as probably the best German XC woman of the last couple of years (at least in the shorter races, Fessel and Böhler have been better in the longer distances) whereas in the biathlon the Germans already have an embarrassment of riches, with Dahlmeier, Hildebrand and Preuß all among the top names in the sport, Hinz has been strong too, then you have Hammerschmidt, Kummer winning European Championships races, Gössner (unless they swap places, which wouldn't be too unreasonable I guess), the Horchler sisters dominating on the IBU Cup, and it's by no means sure that she'd even get a place in the team.

I guess the thought is with Pyeongchang in mind, much like happened with Evi, although when Evi switched over it was kind of because they had a crisis in the women's team with lots of injuries and retirements, whereas now that isn't really the case, and the best German biathletes are mostly young too. And Denise is at least a few years younger than Evi was, so if it doesn't work, after a year she can go back to XC and still go to the Olympics and still have a career afterwards, whereas I'm not sure Evi had much left in the tank even if she hadn't had that positive test.
It's probably just about money, Biathlon is way bigger in Germany and Neuer was a huge mainstream star.
*Neuner.* Though Neuer is a huge mainstream star as well :)
 
But Forsberg never won an Olympic gold medal. A lot of Swedes will argue about her sheer number of World Cup victories, but she failed to win at the grandest stage of them all. For me, that puts Neuner ahead.
 

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