Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Last year it was Ustiugov who was unbeatable in the TDS and won 5 medals at World's. This year it looks like it's Klaebo.

Notice the similarities...both have tons of medals from World Juniors, both won their first podiums at the age of 20 on the world cup and world championships, Klaebo won his first wc individual race at 20, Ustiugov at 21. Both have incredible turnover, Klaebo just a bit more...Both were thought of being great at sprinting only, but both can do the distance events....

Plus there are other good U23 skiers coming up for the Norwegians and obviously the Russians with Bolshunov (4th today) and Chervotkin (9th today, and he fell on an icy section today), etc. This doesn't bode well for guys like Northug.

Speaking of Petter, not very good racing by him in Norwegian Cup in Gaalaa the past two days. 14h in the 15km skate and 19th in the classic sprint today. Him complaining about not being taken to Finland is simply sour grapes. He is clearly not ready yet and he would have a hard time getting into the top 30, maybe 40, with the sort of form he is showing now.

Other guys with good races in Ruka-Niskanen, though he said he has things he needs to work on. Poltoranin-as I said before, he'll be good this year after dealing with sickness last season. Disappointing results for Cologna, but he always peaks well for the Olympics, and he doesn't really have to worry about selection because he is by far the best Swiss skier when he is in form.
 
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Cologna said that he had bad skis.
Regarding Klaebo, let's see how well he does in the (longer) freestyle races, he seems to be more of a classic guy.
Many people willtry to peak for the Olympics and he TdS, so things could chane a lt durning th season.
 
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let me put it this way - and i have my reasons - i do NOT believe klaebo is a bigger natural talent than ustiougov or even chervotkin.

when klaebo wins 6 of 7 tds events or medals in 6 of 6 words i am willing to change my opinion. until then, he's an exceptional potential with the norge form peaking nuance we're currently all overreacting to. a cool and level-headed chap he is. for sure.

he also has fewer junior and u23 world titles and his dominance was not as bright.

i will gladly accept the feeling is subjective.

the objective part is: they are quite different physiologically and - what's more important - are the products of very different schooling. with klaebo holding a better long term card if we're to consider how the russians LOVE to eat alive (read: to overwork in pursuit of medals) their own young.

i just learned that serhey is quite emotional if he did not train (his words) since his compatriots got accused. not good. dont know anything about the klaebo emotionalism.
 

Singer01

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BullsFan22 said:
Speaking of Petter, not very good racing by him in Norwegian Cup in Gaalaa the past two days. 14h in the 15km skate and 19th in the classic sprint today. Him complaining about not being taken to Finland is simply sour grapes. He is clearly not ready yet and he would have a hard time getting into the top 30, maybe 40, with the sort of form he is showing now.
What is up with him? We don't really get much news about XC in the UK, he isn't old enough to be over the hill completely.
 
Remember a couple of years ago Niskanen looked like the second coming at Ruka then disappeared all year, and it took him a good year and a half to get back to that kind of level. If Klæbo is favouring Classic, then he's going to want to improve his distance specialism if the mooted change of sprints to freestyle only is going to happen (if it's removing the Classic sprint races and replacing them with Classic distance, I'm all in favour, if it's keeping the races as sprint events but moving the Classic ones to Freestyle, I'm against it as irrespective of my well-trodden line on the overuse of sprint events - 11/28 this season, so not as bad as it could be, 9/28 would be better, 7/28 best - the fact they are split between Classic and Skate is important as if you had 11/28 races in a season just skate sprints, that would be a ridiculous imbalance in the calendar).

Martine Ek Hagen and Ragnhild Haga are both the same age as Heidi (though born earlier in the year) and Falla and Østberg just one year older. Kari Øyre Slind is also 1991, but younger than Weng. It's true that they haven't really got anybody younger than that bursting into the A-team, but they've got prospects. Unless you meant the Udnes Weng twins, Lotta and Tiril, who are only 21 and have won a few junior Worlds medals.
 
I love classic sprints way more than freestyle sprints. Would be a travesty really to see them go but freestyle sprints stay. The tactics of waxing or not, the aesthetics of running up sharp hills, it's great.
 
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python said:
let me put it this way - and i have my reasons - i do NOT believe klaebo is a bigger natural talent than ustiougov or even chervotkin.

when klaebo wins 6 of 7 tds events or medals in 6 of 6 words i am willing to change my opinion. until then, he's an exceptional potential with the norge form peaking nuance we're currently all overreacting to. a cool and level-headed chap he is. for sure.

he also has fewer junior and u23 world titles and his dominance was not as bright.

i will gladly accept the feeling is subjective.

the objective part is: they are quite different physiologically and - what's more important - are the products of very different schooling. with klaebo holding a better long term card if we're to consider how the russians LOVE to eat alive (read: to overwork in pursuit of medals) their own young.

i just learned that serhey is quite emotional if he did not train (his words) since his compatriots got accused. not good. dont know anything about the klaebo emotionalism.

I think they both have very high ceilings. What they have that Northug, for example, doesn't, is they can win races in many different ways, 90% of Northug's wins or podiums are based on drafting until the last couple hundred meters and then winning or getting in the top 3. Klaebo and Ustiugov have the capacity to lead and still win races.

As far as Sergey's emotions, yes, you are right. He hasn't been able to train effectively since he learned that the IOC banned the 6 skiers. Cramer, his coach said that the mood in the team is hardly positive. I am not surprised. Who would be positive at this time? These guys still turned in good races today. Belov and Vylegzhanin haven't raced the WC since early December last year, as I said in an earlier post. Waiting and not knowing if and when you'll race and training thinking you are going to race while knowing that any day they can say 'no' must be mentally exhausting, to say the least. I don't blame him for being mentally and emotionally drained.
 
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Petter Northug is by far the most interesting skier the last 10 years, he is the reason for the massive press covering in Norway and Sweden. What makes him special is the fact that he isn’t the strongest, the best climber or the fastest, and he’s rarely on form outside championships. But when he hits those peaks for a big race, is motivated and with good skis, watching him maneuver in a duathlon or 50k is spectacular. He wins with his head and a great finish/turn of pace after looking about to pop for hours. The only race to rival that feeling was Ustiugov vs Sundby last year. I hope Petter comes into great shape and make the olympics hype!
 
Petter Northug has the personality of Peter Sagan and the tactical acumen of Simon Gerrans. Sure, the commentators can call him a tactical master all they like, that's only because none of the others who can last as long can match his final burst, so it's not like they have access to using the same tactic that he wins with. He only works hard when it suits him, which probably explains his garbage form at Gålå, and expects the Norwegian federation to owe him a living because he's won big in the past, as if they don't have other ways to win. He's willing to say stupid stuff to rile up opposition and that's good for the press.

Right, back to Ruka, where we just saw Kalla drop Bjørgen like a bad habit on the last lap to take the Ruka Triple! From the gaggle fighting it out behind, Ragnhild Haga was the strongest, using the final rise to get rid of Heidi and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, with Teresa Stadlober staying with them to the last - she's seemingly getting better season on season and at 24 still has a couple of years' improvement in her.
 
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WoW, i did not think klaebo will allow being caught. moreover, by a dozen competitors! he still won in a sprint meaning he knew he was the fastest anyways...that bolshunov beat this 'big mouth' harvey in a sprint, one of the fastest finishers, was a sweat treat.

when chervotkin joined the klaebo/bolshunov group, I thought HE will be the 1st attack on the last lap since he owns a punchy kick uphills. It was sundby to attack first. and he earned his silver.

great pursuit !
 
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Oude Geuze said:
Petter Northug is by far the most interesting skier the last 10 years, he is the reason for the massive press covering in Norway and Sweden. What makes him special is the fact that he isn’t the strongest, the best climber or the fastest, and he’s rarely on form outside championships. But when he hits those peaks for a big race, is motivated and with good skis, watching him maneuver in a duathlon or 50k is spectacular. He wins with his head and a great finish/turn of pace after looking about to pop for hours. The only race to rival that feeling was Ustiugov vs Sundby last year. I hope Petter comes into great shape and make the olympics hype!

I hope he doesn't make it to the Olympics. Sits and waits until the last part of the race. Cowardly tactics and his attitude is worth a petulant teenager that if he doesn't get things his way, he whines and moans. Oh, and he crashed a car while drunk, drove over the speed limit, left the scene of the car, and blamed his passenger for the accident. The guy is hardly a role model. It is the 21st century though, and people will drop to their knees for anything it seems like these days.
 
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python said:
WoW, i did not think klaebo will allow being caught. moreover, by a dozen competitors! he still won in a sprint meaning he knew he was the fastest anyways...that bolshunov beat this 'big mouth' harvey in a sprint, one of the fastest finishers, was a sweat treat.

when chervotkin joined the klaebo/bolshunov group, I thought HE will be the 1st attack on the last lap since he owns a punchy kick uphills. It was sundby to attack first. and he earned his silver.

great pursuit !
Yes, so glad Harvey the loud mouth got beat in the end! I'll say that Bolshunov's error was that he got in behind Harvey. But he had nowhere to go, as when he was going on the left hand side to make a move, Sundby effectively slammed the door and didn't let the Russian past. Had he gotten in front of Sundby at that point, I am not sure Klaebo would have won.
 

Singer01

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Bavarianrider said:
Well early season results have always to betaken with a grain of salt in olympic seasons. So let's see how things develop. I guess Tour de ki will be skipped by lots of top guys anayway.
Heidi Weng should go all in for TDS. She is still almost guaranteed a gold from the relay anyway, and will probably pick up a minor medal or 2 regardless even if not in top form. But i don't see her winning gold in any individual events even in top form.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Petter Northug has the personality of Peter Sagan and the tactical acumen of Simon Gerrans. Sure, the commentators can call him a tactical master all they like, that's only because none of the others who can last as long can match his final burst, so it's not like they have access to using the same tactic that he wins with. He only works hard when it suits him, which probably explains his garbage form at Gålå, and expects the Norwegian federation to owe him a living because he's won big in the past, as if they don't have other ways to win. He's willing to say stupid stuff to rile up opposition and that's good for the press.
Lol you can really tell who’s a clinic dweller from the vitriol and unwarranted hate against certain athletes here. Personality anything outside the box and hate comes pouring down. The nail that sticks out shall be hammered down I guess.
The comparison to Sagan is apt though, both are immensely talented, tactical, entertaining, outspoken and fun. They both create a lot of publicity and hype to their respective sports. Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be other examples.
 
Don't really understand what disliking Northug has to do with the Clinic. The guy's immensely talented, but he's also a complete tool, tactically uninspiring (very good at using the weapon he has, but it's a weapon that leads to dull races. Yes, I know he's been awesome in other ways in the past, winning 15k individual starts and the like, but you know precisely what I'm talking about), with a colossal sense of entitlement. The comparison to Sagan is apt, I know. That's why I made it. And as anybody who posts on this board knows, I despise Peter Sagan and everything that in my eyes he stands for. That's before we get to the drunk driving conviction and trying to worm his way out of taking responsibility for his own dismal, morally reprehensible actions that BullsFan22 mentioned.

This point from the "lack of personalities in cycling" thread is quite salient:
hrotha said:
Usually, those former riders who decry the "lack of personalities" in the current peloton are Cipollini and his ilk, and what they want is more a-holes. Same with the fans in my experience.
Northug is a compelling personality, I agree. But just being a compelling character doesn't mean that's automatically a good thing. Like in combat sports - some people you want to see win, some people you want to see get their faces pummelled. But as long as you want to see something happen to them, you'll tune in, and that's all the promoter wants. But skiing isn't combat sports and there are teams, and the thing is, from a sporting perspective, Northug isn't really needed by the Norwegian XC team anymore. They've got scores of people who can win most disciplines. But because of his wilfully abrasive a-hole personality courting controversy, he might well still be needed by the media, certainly more so than he is by the team. And he knows that, and he plays to that. Because he's a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Don't really understand what disliking Northug has to do with the Clinic. The guy's immensely talented, but he's also a complete tool, tactically uninspiring (very good at using the weapon he has, but it's a weapon that leads to dull races. Yes, I know he's been awesome in other ways in the past, winning 15k individual starts and the like, but you know precisely what I'm talking about), with a colossal sense of entitlement. The comparison to Sagan is apt, I know. That's why I made it. And as anybody who posts on this board knows, I despise Peter Sagan and everything that in my eyes he stands for. That's before we get to the drunk driving conviction and trying to worm his way out of taking responsibility for his own dismal, morally reprehensible actions that BullsFan22 mentioned.

This point from the "lack of personalities in cycling" thread is quite salient:
hrotha said:
Usually, those former riders who decry the "lack of personalities" in the current peloton are Cipollini and his ilk, and what they want is more a-holes. Same with the fans in my experience.
Northug is a compelling personality, I agree. But just being a compelling character doesn't mean that's automatically a good thing. Like in combat sports - some people you want to see win, some people you want to see get their faces pummelled. But as long as you want to see something happen to them, you'll tune in, and that's all the promoter wants. But skiing isn't combat sports and there are teams, and the thing is, from a sporting perspective, Northug isn't really needed by the Norwegian XC team anymore. They've got scores of people who can win most disciplines. But because of his wilfully abrasive a-hole personality courting controversy, he might well still be needed by the media, certainly more so than he is by the team. And he knows that, and he plays to that. Because he's a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them.

Spot on. The Norwegians are taking Northug to Lillehammer next weekend, and I am sure he'll be on every media this week. Not sure on what basis he made the team, but pressure probably got to Loefshus and Hetland. And Hetland's last few seasons coincided with Northug's early WC seasons, so you can tell that Hetland is being honest. He could easily take Northug (no matter the results) because he's trained and raced with him in the past and give him the benefit, but he knows there are quite a few men that are in better shape/race shape than Northug right now. The people complaining about Northug not going to Ruka are the fanboys and girls and the media, that, as you said, just want a good story and some hysteria that comes with Northug, win or lose.

I too don't understand the Clinic comparisons. Also interesting that you brought up Phelps, Bolt and Ibrahimovic. Bolt has stayed out of trouble and seemingly has a good history. Phelps is a junkie that was caught with his hand in the cookie jar but as many stars of his caliber have done, he got away without much of a penalty. Ibrahimovic is just arrogant and in my opinion, a little overrated. He changes clubs every 6 months it seems like, and his teams have never won anything, apart the odd league titles. He is another one of those that feel they should be entitled to anything and everything.
 
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Lol you can really tell who’s a clinic dweller from the vitriol and unwarranted hate against certain athletes here. Personality anything outside the box and hate comes pouring down. The nail that sticks out shall be hammered down I guess.
The comparison to Sagan is apt though, both are immensely talented, tactical, entertaining, outspoken and fun. They both create a lot of publicity and hype to their respective sports. Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be other examples.
Northug has two tactics:
1. drafting
2. sulking
All the 'outspoken, entertaining' stuff becomes moot without the results to back it up. Seen it a hundred times before.

Apropos Klæbo: he seems to pick his feet up very high when he's going for it up the hills. I assume this gives him a better grip when he kicks down. Is this new?
 
Apart from the odd league title? The man is one of the most decorated football players of all time. 11 (13 with the Juve ones) league titles. The only thing he doesn't have is the Champions League. Granted, it's quite the miss, but he is a fantastic player, especially given the longevity of his career.

Speaking of Northug: The guy is an unbelievable a-hole and on top of that races (albeit to his strengths) in a way that stifles races.
 
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...on northug. i spoke countless times here and elsewhere about him. little to add.

to characterize anyone as espousing hatred and vitriol, to put it mildly, is very misguided. most of the regular contributors here, including some from norway, know the sport well enough to say what has been said about his dull tactics, ego-centrist personality, questionable behavior when drunk etc...and as was pointed out already, NOONE was diminishing his outstanding record. the point simply is that unless one is his fanboy/girl, his minuses in light of lacking the results - like in the last couple seasons - stick out and may even irritate.

i actually think the norwegian fanboyism for the man, as well as the coaching staff obsession with him has drastically reduced. and that is a healthy thing. just recall how lacking the merits to go to sochi, he nevertheless was given a team spot under the peer/fan/media pressure. compare it to the long ago announced decision that petter WONT anchor the national relay team in korea...

everything and everyone have their flash moments, even if lasting a decade. petter needs to recognize his natural downslope, and curb his ego. not to retire, not stopping competing. just getting humble about life.

unless of course, being a clown and an actor with hurt ego feels more important. then, he and his fans should blam him and themselves for the rest of us being displeased.
 
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jsem94 said:
Apart from the odd league title? The man is one of the most decorated football players of all time. 11 (13 with the Juve ones) league titles. The only thing he doesn't have is the Champions League. Granted, it's quite the miss, but he is a fantastic player, especially given the longevity of his career.

Speaking of Northug: The guy is an unbelievable a-hole and on top of that races (albeit to his strengths) in a way that stifles races.

Longevity of his career because he is an opportunist. And I think that he too, is an a-hole like Northug, but that's just my opinion.
 
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Anger, contempt, envy and conspiratorial thought is what in large part drives the clinic. Everyone knows doping is abundant, but very few choose to focus on those aspects of a sport rather than find something else to do. It says a lot about what kind of person you are, and it’s also very clear that these traits surface in other topics and aspects of life in general.
 
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Oude Geuze said:
Anger, contempt, envy and conspiratorial thought is what in large part drives the clinic. Everyone knows doping is abundant, but very few choose to focus on those aspects of a sport rather than find something else to do. It says a lot about what kind of person you are, and it’s also very clear that these traits surface in other topics and aspects of life in general.
Come off it. Do you have any rebuttals to anybody's points about why they dislike Northug, or are you just going to post ad hominems? Liking or disliking Northug has nothing to do with doping or the Clinic. Nothing. It has everything to do with Petter Northug, and what a polarizing figure he is, both on and off the trails.

And really, you may like him and you may disagree with the reasons given, and that's fine and can be discussed, but if you can't see why anybody might dislike the guy without making blanket accusations about them as people, then we should abandon this conversation before it reaches the point of no return.
 
My dislike for many Norwegian skiers like Björgen, Johaug and Sundby has a lot to do with clinic stuff, but I probably dislike Petter more than all of them and that dislike has nothing to do with clinic stuff.
 

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