Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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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.
Racing in mass start events was worse before Northug entered the scene.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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the quals are to end in a matter of minutes, but i am rushing to deliver the news...1st the good ones - petter hasn't made the top 30 (32nd atm) !!! also good is that ustiougov seems on the mend - confidently in 12th. excellent is that 3 swedes are in top 15.

the bad news is that klaebo is again on a different planet - over 4 seconds ona runner up bolshunov, who is, yes, another excellent showing..something is going on with krogh, getting old ? the norges will represented thickly with 11 in the top 30 ( an expanded home quota)

in the ladies comp, stina again wasn't the fastest, but better than a week ago. in general the swedish gals are showing up very well, though falla seems on the mend (she was 4th or 5th)

looking for stina-falla faceoff. klaebo is out of comp, so i am hoping for the ustiougov podium.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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the 1st qtr final of death among men, it was a death race, b/c all elite was in it. i was VERRRy surprised that ustiuogov chose it despite the 12th in the prologue as if to send a message, 'i am back'...and he was. excellent tactical race for him where he and klaebo basically were equal and both went to the semis!
stina outdone, who do you think :) kova in her quorte final.
 
Jan 3, 2016
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Exciting times - Utsiugov showing Klæbo he's got something to worry about, Kowalczyk back and looking very good, and the American women, who had noticeably superior skis. Bjørgen out. All to play for.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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yep, it was exciting.

though, i will say klaebo was a little lucky (that is ustiuogov's mistake on a last downhill) he was stronger if look at it objectively. But, but, ustiougov is back big time and he was clearly a stronger finisher than klaebo in the semis. bolshunov on a podium is just great for the 20 yo russian who is btw, younger than klaebo.

and lastly, if it was a skating sprint, klaebo would almost certainly lose to serhey..
 
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python said:
yep, it was exciting.

though, i will say klaebo was a little lucky (that is ustiuogov's mistake on a last downhill) he was stronger if look at it objectively. But, but, ustiougov is back big time and he was clearly a stronger finisher than klaebo in the semis. bolshunov on a podium is just great for the 20 yo russian who is btw, younger than klaebo.

and lastly, if it was a skating sprint, klaebo would almost certainly lose to serhey..

Yep. Ustiugov skied a terrible last downhill, lost speed and momentum he gained. It was almost a perfect run for him until that point. He held back initially, then really went for the long grind and kept Klaebo at bay on the final uphill where I thought Klaebo would explode. Ustiugov is definitely back, but he pretty much gifted that win to Klaebo. Bolshunov=very stable. As seen last year, and already this year, he can do pretty much any distance, he won the Russian nationals 50km classic, won a 30km classic just before New Year's, won the 15km skate at U23's in the US, qualified 8th in the Lahti World's sprint, and obviously these first world cup races (and the tune up events in Fin and Swe) he's showing his class. Like Klaebo, he's a better classic skier, but he needs to work on his technique.

Halfvarsson was strong again, but couldn't live with the pace on the final climb and had to settle for 4th. Unless the other swedes really hit their peak perfectly in Korea, he'll probably be their only hope for an individual medal, though it was a surprise to see Joensson so high in the qualification round.

Speaking of the Swedes, this is likely to be Hellner's last season:

https://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/a/211l14/hellner-os-kan-bli-sista-masterskapet


The Finnish men once again able to qualify a healthy number of skiers in the heats, but just can't get to that next level. When was the last time a Finnish man stood on the podium of a sprint? It's been a while!

Everyone else was well beaten. Pellegrino was in a tough heat, but I think he's conscious of needing to be in top shape later on.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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1st off, congrats to charlotte ! her dispatching of heidi and (earlier) the muscle woman was something else.

...now to the men's skiathlon. they just finished the classic part. niskanen looks so good striding, that i'd even place him above bauer and polto in esthetics. to that extent, i think ustiougov had added considerably in the classic efficiency - more upright etc. which allows to assume when he makes the 15 classic half comfortably, he is better off than most others to use his skating proficiency.

klaebo i thought showed a weakness 1-2 times. sundby was mostly quiete. chervotkin imo will be the only other russian in the top 10.
 
Jan 3, 2016
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Klæbo....how big was that gap he made up?! Disappointing to see Manificat and Harvey and the rest not able to make it up to the top 4 in the end. Great win for Kalla earlier, really hope she stays in form for the Olympics. Bjørgen is down but not out, Weng is mercurial, it will likely be a more interesting season for women's XC than the men's.
 
Denise Herrmann has taken to shooting way better than most XC skiers, that convert so late to the sport. 90% and already shooting faster than Braisaz, who's been a coming star for three years now. Admittedly with the full on Laura Dahlmeier "ski like a ski-tourist for four laps, annihilate everybody on the fifth" format to save energy and max out her chances for good shooting, but still.
 
Kalla has been good at sustained efforts for a long time but this season this was the second time in a row she just dropped her main rival on a long climb by attacking. She is clearly very good at the moment, even classicing very well. Nice! At least someone is there to put up a real fght against the norwegians.

Björgen seemed to have bad classic skis. Weng on the rise.

Could not believe klaebo. Sundby did exactly what I expected as the bunch staeyd close together - but contrary to my expectation could not hold the gap. NOR top 4 just what I feared really. Manificat showboated a lot but was not there when it mattered. From those dropped early: Heikkinen really bad, something wrong or just fatigue & cobwebs from training, we’ll see.

Niskanen the best classic specialist now and by a long shot, especially on long diagonal drags. Too bad he did not go for it, was clearly itching to.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Denise Herrmann has taken to shooting way better than most XC skiers, that convert so late to the sport. 90% and already shooting faster than Braisaz, who's been a coming star for three years now. Admittedly with the full on Laura Dahlmeier "ski like a ski-tourist for four laps, annihilate everybody on the fifth" format to save energy and max out her chances for good shooting, but still.

It just shows how extremely weak the women's biathlon field is. Herrmann had 6 total individual world cup podiums in xc and no wins. Now she already has two in biathlon, and she was primarily known as a sprinter. Granted her strength was always in skate races, so the transition in terms of ski speed was not going to be a major issue, but even with her quick learning curve, she's won these last two races quite comfortably, even with two misses today. But point is, she'd be nowhere near a win in xc right now. I can see why she moved over, even so late. Plus there is much more media and sponsorship for biathlon than xc in Germany.
 
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meat puppet said:
Kalla has been good at sustained efforts for a long time but this season this was the second time in a row she just dropped her main rival on a long climb by attacking. She is clearly very good at the moment, even classicing very well. Nice! At least someone is there to put up a real fght against the norwegians.

Björgen seemed to have bad classic skis. Weng on the rise.

Could not believe klaebo. Sundby did exactly what I expected as the bunch staeyd close together - but contrary to my expectation could not hold the gap. NOR top 4 just what I feared really. Manificat showboated a lot but was not there when it mattered. From those dropped early: Heikkinen really bad, something wrong or just fatigue & cobwebs from training, we’ll see.

Niskanen the best classic specialist now and by a long shot, especially on long diagonal drags. Too bad he did not go for it, was clearly itching to.

Manificat just doesn't have the turnover necessary to hold on until the finish. He can keep the grinding pace going, but he doesn't have a lot of gears like the others, not just Klaebo. Sundby never came to the front until the last bit. He should have gone for it earlier, he looked quite fresh. Klaebo used Holund to steady the ship, limit the damage, and then went for it, again, skiing an excellent last downhill to carry the speed.

Niskanen is in good form, and it is too bad he didn't fully commit, but even someone as good as Niskanen can't risk too much going from so far out. I suppose he could have, but who knows if the group would have let him get too far and he would risk blowing up in the skate portion. I thought he had a great skate leg.

Niskanen, along with the other non-Norwegian contenders are probably looking at this as 'ok, the Norwegians are strong in the early season, again, but they are fighting for spots for the next world cups and Olympics, so we need to just stay the course and their form will drop later on...' I do think Klaebo's form will drop. I also think the Norwegian men won't be this good later on in the season.
 
Aug 22, 2017
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That third shot from Fourcade... The Norwegians tried but they just killed themselves. J. Boe is a absolute monster on the track right now though.

Jakob Fak in second place, glad to see that !
 
Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Denise Herrmann has taken to shooting way better than most XC skiers, that convert so late to the sport. 90% and already shooting faster than Braisaz, who's been a coming star for three years now. Admittedly with the full on Laura Dahlmeier "ski like a ski-tourist for four laps, annihilate everybody on the fifth" format to save energy and max out her chances for good shooting, but still.

It just shows how extremely weak the women's biathlon field is. Herrmann had 6 total individual world cup podiums in xc and no wins. Now she already has two in biathlon, and she was primarily known as a sprinter. Granted her strength was always in skate races, so the transition in terms of ski speed was not going to be a major issue, but even with her quick learning curve, she's won these last two races quite comfortably, even with two misses today. But point is, she'd be nowhere near a win in xc right now. I can see why she moved over, even so late. Plus there is much more media and sponsorship for biathlon than xc in Germany.
I don't disagree that her chances of winning are better in biathlon than in XC at present, but you must also remember both Koukalová and Dahlmeier are absent and out of other fast athletes Domracheva pulled out of the sprint, Eckhoff was starting 52nd, and Mäkäräinen shot terribly today. She has looked pretty confident with the rifle so far this season for sure, but Östersund has been uncharacteristically calm this year, it's usually quite a windy venue. It's also got the most favourable configuration of range and start/finish for a convert - the descent then the long flat run up the back straight and then round the hairpin into the range in which to ease up and control yourself, as opposed to somewhere like Pokljuka where you arrive straight from the trails to the range, or somewhere like Khanty or Kontiolahti where the run-in is relatively flat but off of a climb so it's harder to get the pulse back down. She has been the strongest skier, but then her ability in the sprint and team sprint are probably good transferable skills with the pauses for shooting. Today she clearly skied within herself to make sure she got the targets, it might be different if there's a Kaisa shooting stronger, or somebody like Koukalová or Dahlmeier hunting her down, as their much stronger shooting records will put more pressure on Denise to get it right.
 
So today we saw the last ever skiathlon in thw World Cup. While i won't miss it, I have to admit that today was pretty good. Mass start work best on tracks like Lillehammer were you have a very Long climb. That's the key really.
Anyway, the Thing is, they are likely to replace the skiathlon with a simple 15km pursuit. That#s just sadly uninspired. So in the future we will basically only see 15km races and Sprints. The 30km distance is dead, which really sucks. Oh yeah of course they already killed the 30km of Davos. The one and only endurance test that was left. :eek:
 
Jun 30, 2014
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You mean the Cortina-Toblach pursuit?
One of the reasons was lack of snow, a few years in a row you would have needed tons of artificial snow and it's much easier to do cover a shorter track with snow and have them do a few laps.
TV coverage was also a lot more expensive and you needed to have a ton of cameras between Cortina and Toblach and in the trend towards shorter distances was probably also a factor.
I'd love to see a TdS stage on the Plätzwiese/Prato Piazza track, it's around 5km long, features a bit over 300m of altitude gain and they'd always be around or just a bit under 2,000m above sea level, imagine a 30km race there, it would be pretty awesome.
 

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