Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Yep, the Russians crushed it again. Bolshunov, Vylegzhanin, Chervotkin. Poltoranin in 4th, Cologna in 5th. The Swedes outclassed again. It's obviously way too early to make predictions for the season and the last two Olympics the Swedes peaked really well and got their waxing spot on, so I wouldn't panic just yet. Lack of depth, as a few of us have already mentioned is a problem, but if that core of 4-6 skiers can stay healthy, they should be competitive enough to fight for medals.

I am happy to see Poltoranin gaining steam from mid-last season. After 2016, he had some sickness to deal with, didn't train much in the fall of 2016, and missed the first half of the season. I think we'll see him in top shape this year. He is 30 now, so kind of in the same boat Halfvarsson, Cologna, Northug....should still be good.
 
BullsFan22 said:
Yep, the Russians crushed it again. Bolshunov, Vylegzhanin, Chervotkin. Poltoranin in 4th, Cologna in 5th. The Swedes outclassed again. It's obviously way too early to make predictions for the season and the last two Olympics the Swedes peaked really well and got their waxing spot on, so I wouldn't panic just yet. Lack of depth, as a few of us have already mentioned is a problem, but if that core of 4-6 skiers can stay healthy, they should be competitive enough to fight for medals.

I am happy to see Poltoranin gaining steam from mid-last season. After 2016, he had some sickness to deal with, didn't train much in the fall of 2016, and missed the first half of the season. I think we'll see him in top shape this year. He is 30 now, so kind of in the same boat Halfvarsson, Cologna, Northug....should still be good.
Still wouldn't get my hopes up. Any medal on the men's side would be a great achievement. I know a few of the our guys have high ceilings, even to the point where they can win races, but I don't see it as very likely.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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in gaellivare the sprint quals finished a munute ago...and in beito the 15k individual started 5 min ago...
looks like sweden may have its 'revenge' today. both among the ladies and particularly amang men. stina and hanna head the top 10. shapovalova isn't far though...

among men, uustiugov was only 15th in the quals clearly inferior to several of his compatriots...svensson the fastest. the finals start at 1hr. the svt covers it.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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looks like sweden may have its 'revenge' today. both among the ladies and particularly amang men.
turns out, i was almost 100% right :)

this was one of the most interesting classic sprints...stina winning was a cake this morning :) but i have to say i liked belorokova...she's a fighter plus a beautiful brunet with sky-blue eyes...needs to improve cornering but sure not looks as ugly as kova...

the men's sprint was noticible for several using just double polling including both swedish winners...oscar was unbeatable..interestingly, if i am not mistaken, kriuokov changed his skis from waxable to skating in the semis and the final. something ustiuogov did not get a chance to do b/c he was beaten fairly by the skates having made a wrong choice...which is surprising since he has one of the strongest backs in the sport :rolleyes:

i dont think his shape is bad since he was second in a skate race...if the russians are allowed into the olympics, he may do as well or better than at the worlds earlier this year...
 
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python said:
looks like sweden may have its 'revenge' today. both among the ladies and particularly amang men.
turns out, i was almost 100% right :)

this was one of the most interesting classic sprints...stina winning was a cake this morning :) but i have to say i liked belorokova...she's a fighter plus a beautiful brunet with sky-blue eyes...needs to improve cornering but sure not looks as ugly as kova...

the men's sprint was noticible for several using just double polling including both swedish winners...oscar was unbeatable..interestingly, if i am not mistaken, kriuokov changed his skis from waxable to skating in the semis and the final. something ustiuogov did not get a chance to do b/c he was beaten fairly by the skates having made a wrong choice...which is surprising since he has one of the strongest backs in the sport :rolleyes:

i dont think his shape is bad since he was second in a skate race...if the russians are allowed into the olympics, he may do as well or better than at the worlds earlier this year...

Ustiugov is in good shape, but it seemed obvious (to me anyway) that he wasn't going all out on purpose today or yesterday. I watched both races and yesterday he started really slow, he was in the 40's or something the first third of the race, Poltoranin caught him fairly early and they kind of skied together the rest of the way. He seem to have let Poltoranin go, and only started going all out in the last 100 meters or so, which was strange. The race today was even more strange. He didn't qualify impressively, but started the quarterfinal fast, then slowed down, was passed by Svensson and Johansson, looked really dead, but then started sprinting hard the last 200 meters and just missed out on qualifying in 2nd. To me it seemed like he was just messing around, like Northug, almost. Purposely not giving it 100% in preparation for Finland next weekend. Not exactly the attitude Russians usually bring, but we'll see. It's too bad there was no TV coverage of the 10km skate race. There is a short clip of him during that race, V2ing...his technique looks a little better, a little more tighter than last year, but fairly relaxed. If his technique really improved, then he will be even better this year. That's a scary thought. Again, it was a short clip, with only a gradual uphill section, but it was still impressive.

He will join 8 other men for the Ruka triple: Ustiugov, Belov, Bessmertnykh, Vylegzhanin, Vitsenko, Bolshunov, Chervotkin, Larkov and Retyvikh. That's 8 all rounders and a pure sprinter (Retyvikh) heading to Finland. Kriukov, who finished third today isn't going, even though there's a classic sprint in Ruka he's probably going to Lillehammer, where another classic sprint will be held. I am sure Panzhinskiy will be in Norway as well, likewise Parfenov, a dark horse for any sprint race. It's been a very impressive first couple weeks for the Russians. They are obviously all in shape to make sure they are selected for the opening world cups. It'll be interesting to see how long that shape will last, but my guess is that it will be there for another week, at least, which should make next week's mini-tour VERY exciting. I would love to see the Bolshunov-Klaebo duel. Chervotkin impressed in the classic race yesterday. He's noticeably more effective in skate races. Ustiugov may just hang back early season, like he did last year, but if one remembers, he fell the day before the opening races in Finland last year and hurt his shoulder, so he missed the opening races. Then his skis were AWFUL in the Lillehammer pursuit and he lost over 30 places in that 15km classic pursuit. Those two weekends plus his fall in the qualification in Toblach post-tour de ski pretty much decided the overall world cup. Still, would love to see him go well the whole year, if possible. It figures to be an all out war between the Russian and Norwegian men next week. Also expect a lot from Poltoranin, Cologna and Niskanen, particularly in the two distance races in Ruka. Maybe Peterson and Svensson can do something in the classic sprint, but everyone else will be fighting for minor places.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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ruka classic sprint quals - men...I just counted 10 finns in top 30. ustiugon nowhere near the top 50.

i have not seen such things in a while. klaebo the strongest barely a surprise. sundby survived to the finals in 28th.
the finns must know something about the home snow the others don't. bolshunov continued to show super form in 6th. i am rooting for the finns this morning.

almost forgot to mention the ladies... the fis removed the qual results for some reason, but i recall stina is way down though qualified. the professoressa was the fastest. the finnish gals also did quite well.
 
The Finns really nailed the wax. The Norwegian women, not so much.

I'd love to see a Klaebo vs Bolshunov final. I hope Poltoranin and Niskanen make it into the final as well. I hope Sundby goes out in the quarters, otherwise he could be on his way to another kuusamo tour win.

What a difference a week makes!

The conditions are snowy and quite a lot of new snow has fallen. It was frigid the past few days. Tomorrow should be tricky waxing close to 0 degrees Celsius. For classic racing that can be hit or miss.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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men's 15k Cl just started, only one skier crossed the 5k mark, but belov is killing it based on the 1.2 and 3.1 km intermidiates...even vyleg is falling back by a stroke. I predict him on a podium at least. and yes, most faves did not even start yet. Actually, this may need to be revised as poltoranin is cranking up too...

it is wide open still
 
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jsem94 said:
Klaebo's performance is reminiscent of Björn Lind in Otepää. One of the sickest performances I've ever seen in a sprint. Calle could be a force this winter. I am somewhat hopeful.

I feel certain Calle will have a good season, I’m a big fan of his:) Very interested to see Chervotkin, only a year afte Ustiugov broke through for real we have a new potential killer in the Russian squad!
 
Sep 25, 2009
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a very interesting race...the young generation is showing itself. the klaebo advantage today was not as embarrassing as after a sprint. looks a tad more human, but i was rooting for niskanen to get him which did nor happen. bolshunov was exceptional today and yes, granted, he's a little better at classic than skating, but he has a good chance for an overall podium tomorrow. re. chervotkin, i already wrote earlier - a huge talent with an absolute bulldog attitude. he's a relatively small guy and is more proficient at skating...would be interesting to see him on alp cermis if he's going into the tds....calle did well, yet, the only sweed in top 10. i'd also complement hellner on his 12th since for him a classic race with almost all the best in is very good. he will be a killer in a pursuit tomorrow...

was following the ustiougov's splits...thought he's intentionally not yet jetting his shape.

stina did magnificent today too. i cant watch the muscle woman. so, thank god we had enough females to offset the ugliness...
 
You have to appreciate the mental toughness of Belov and Vylegzhanin, even the other Russians who aren't under investigation. For 18 months they've been harassed by the media, accused of cheating without proof, results taken away from them after four years, and they are still out there competing, giving their all and are contending for podiums. Not only that, but Belov and Vylegzhanin haven't raced on the WC since Davos last year, thats essentially a year. I know this isn't the clinic, but the Russians are probably being tested the most these days, and they are still well up there. I don't see anyone catching Klaebo tomorrow, he can ski by himself without trouble. What happens after that is anybody's guess. From Bolshunov in 2nd (38 seconds back) to Krogh in 19th (1:42 back) anything is possible. The groups will form and it's quite possible that there could be 15 guys or more fighting for the podium on the last lap. Guys that are stronger in classic, Niskanen, Golberg, Iversen...may find it tough, but we'll see. Should be an exciting race.
 
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python said:
a very interesting race...the young generation is showing itself. the klaebo advantage today was not as embarrassing as after a sprint. looks a tad more human, but i was rooting for niskanen to get him which did nor happen. bolshunov was exceptional today and yes, granted, he's a little better at classic than skating, but he has a good chance for an overall podium tomorrow. re. chervotkin, i already wrote earlier - a huge talent with an absolute bulldog attitude. he's a relatively small guy and is more proficient at skating...would be interesting to see him on alp cermis if he's going into the tds....calle did well, yet, the only sweed in top 10. i'd also complement hellner on his 12th since for him a classic race with almost all the best in is very good. he will be a killer in a pursuit tomorrow...

was following the ustiougov's splits...thought he's intentionally not yet jetting his shape.

stina did magnificent today too. i cant watch the muscle woman. so, thank god we had enough females to offset the ugliness...

It's just a pity the weather didn't stay the same as it was earlier in the week, when it was much colder and stable. When it's like it was today, and the use of zero's (no-wax) skis is widespread, it can be a 50-50, but the top skiers still find a way.

I think Hellner should have a good race tomorrow. Halfvarsson should also do well. My worry for him is whether or not he can ski as well in February and March.

Some interviews with Cramer, the German who coaches Ustiugov, Belov, Belorukova, Matveeva, etc..said that some of the skiers like Ustiugov aren't there mentally. They are constantly thinking about the possibility of not being able to go to the Olympics for no reason. Cramer also said that Ustiugov had muscle problems in his leg this fall, and had to alter some thing, plus the tough training they did leading up to the season openers. He said that with the training settling in, Ustiugov will be much better as the weekends go by. Let's hope, because it appears the world cup is going to a Norwegian again this season. The more competition the Norwegians have, the better for the sport. If the Russians are banned from Korea, and the others don't quite peak well enough, the Norwegians could sweep every single event. Seriously.
 
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Lets not forget momma Bjørgen, she’s a beast, I wonder how many years she can continue dominating. I don’t really see any new talent amongst the women so I guess she could go on into her forties!
 

Singer01

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Oude Geuze said:
Lets not forget momma Bjørgen, she’s a beast, I wonder how many years she can continue dominating. I don’t really see any new talent amongst the women so I guess she could go on into her forties!
I assume she stops 'dominating' when Johaug comes back. Only issue could be long her desire stays, with this being an Olympic year, if she wins another 3 or 4 golds will she want to continue?

Klaebo already looks to me like he could become the male version of Bjorgen results wise (i doubt he puts up her numbers just because of the deeper mens field), is there anything he can't do?
 
Sep 25, 2009
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@bullsfan
despite the tricky conditions, i thought that most male and female contenders had good skis today...unlike what seems had been a problem during the sprints for the norge ladies...i read in the expressen ? (i think) how stina explained her relatively poor showing in the prologue (vs the eventual win) by a perfect weather change tip her techs got before the finals. anywaays, i think it is good that calle started slower this season (compared to last season when he won all opening races to be not heard from afterwards),,,hellner should improve too, but sadly, besides these 2 - i am letting the sprinters out - sweden doesn't really have other podium contenders in the distance races. olsson is gone, danny is not shining the way he did a few years back and i dont see any young swedish talent (besides ebba which isn't shining yet - she had some issue) that could be comparable to the likes of klaebo, chervvotkin, bolshunov or belorukova.

@singer
speaking of marit and a young norwegian talent...the norwegian ladies team seems the OLDEST of all the major teams currently competing. again, i cant recall where exactly i read it (the nrk or vg.no), but weng seems the youngest at 26 (?) on the national team. it is a remarkable fact that an 'old' woman like bjoergen (in a country like norway !) isn't getting dethroned by some younger blood ! whatever. the sooner bjoergen is gone,the better for the sport, imho.
 

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