Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Lillehammer skiathlons were surprisingly good. Somehow it has been lost upon the authorities that long climbs that allow gaps in mass starts and TTs alike are the bread and butter of exciting racing. The current focus is on 20-60sec reps on sharp short hills which are of course taxing in their own way, but ultimately give attackers no chances to stay away (or steady grinders to take time in TTs).

I'd rather have the skiathlon format. At least it adds distance into the mix.
 
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JTB is skiing slightly faster than martin and he is shooting very well. this season will be very entertaining, I still think that boe needs to be very consistent all season to beat the GOAT of biathlon
 

Singer01

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portugal11 said:
JTB is skiing slightly faster than martin and he is shooting very well. this season will be very entertaining, I still think that boe needs to be very consistent all season to beat the GOAT of biathlon
I can totally see JTB winning more races this year, but still not winning the overall, when Fourcade has a bad day at the office he is still normally top 5, JTB doesn't have this consistency yet.

GOAT, not quite yet. Probable/possible by the end of his career though. He almost certainly wins more overall titles, and maybe around the same number of races, but he needs to really pick up his win rate at worlds/olympics to get anywhere near OEB.
 
Aug 6, 2015
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Singer01 said:
portugal11 said:
JTB is skiing slightly faster than martin and he is shooting very well. this season will be very entertaining, I still think that boe needs to be very consistent all season to beat the GOAT of biathlon
I can totally see JTB winning more races this year, but still not winning the overall, when Fourcade has a bad day at the office he is still normally top 5, JTB doesn't have this consistency yet.

GOAT, not quite yet. Probable/possible by the end of his career though. He almost certainly wins more overall titles, and maybe around the same number of races, but he needs to really pick up his win rate at worlds/olympics to get anywhere near OEB.
he has almost the same individual wins as OEB at worlds.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re: Re:

Singer01 said:
portugal11 said:
JTB is skiing slightly faster than martin and he is shooting very well. this season will be very entertaining, I still think that boe needs to be very consistent all season to beat the GOAT of biathlon
I can totally see JTB winning more races this year, but still not winning the overall, when Fourcade has a bad day at the office he is still normally top 5, JTB doesn't have this consistency yet.

GOAT, not quite yet. Probable/possible by the end of his career though. He almost certainly wins more overall titles, and maybe around the same number of races, but he needs to really pick up his win rate at worlds/olympics to get anywhere near OEB.
Fourcade is better, unless you are Norwegian. End of the story.
 

Singer01

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Kokoso said:
Singer01 said:
portugal11 said:
JTB is skiing slightly faster than martin and he is shooting very well. this season will be very entertaining, I still think that boe needs to be very consistent all season to beat the GOAT of biathlon
I can totally see JTB winning more races this year, but still not winning the overall, when Fourcade has a bad day at the office he is still normally top 5, JTB doesn't have this consistency yet.

GOAT, not quite yet. Probable/possible by the end of his career though. He almost certainly wins more overall titles, and maybe around the same number of races, but he needs to really pick up his win rate at worlds/olympics to get anywhere near OEB.
Fourcade is better, unless you are Norwegian. End of the story.
I'm not norwegian, and looking at the figures it isn't the end of story at all.
OEB has more total victories, more major championships, was top 3 in the world for 13 consecutive seasons The only reason you could say Fourcade is better is because he has won 6 in a row, however he hasn't competed against anyone of the standard of Poiree while he has been winning those titles. Fourcade may go on to surpass OEB, however to say he has surpassed him already is demonstrably not true.
 
There are far too many intangibles to make a call on because they don't apply to both equally. OEB has been there since time immemorial and the sport has changed immeasurably during the time he's been on the World Cup circuit. There are new formats and comparatively speaking more races as a result. There is more travel and more different competition. I think Martin has faced competition that's as strong as Poirée, personally, but the difference is that it isn't the same people all the time to really provide the same head to head competition as it was in the OEB-Poirée days - one week the man in super form is Schempp, one week it's Bø, one week it's Shipulin, one week it's Fak, one week it's Svendsen, whoever. For several years, he's faced strong opposition but never anybody who was consistent enough to threaten him season-long in the total score like Poirée could Ole. The level has also changed as new competition formats have developed - you look at how a men's mass start was raced 10-15 years ago vs. how it's raced now, and there's a world of change as now the mass start resembles somewhat the way the skiathlon worked, with everybody working attrition-wise through the prone bouts to thin the field, very few try to go hard during the prone rounds in case they pay for it later, whereas in time gone by people were winning mass starts even on fairly good days with 3 or 4 misses, which is rare now - also the old adage of getting your misses in early is very appropriate as you can more likely catch back on while the others are skiing within themselves before ratcheting up the pace in the last couple of laps. It's taken a bit longer for the women's mass start to get there but it seems to be going the same way, with people like Dahlmeier using Tora Berger's old energy conservation method leaving a monster final lap in the legs once you've got the field spread out so it's easier to find the space to go all out.

Then you have that OEB also has that whole other string to his bow in the form of his XC successes, which Martin has never replicated, or even really sought to replicate. He's had a few goes at it, sure, but usually in early season races when form isn't really there or even meant to be. Also I got the impression from those that the short bursts and intervals created by the shooting are more key to Martin's races than they were for Ole at his peak, because he would frequently be strong at the 7,5k mark only to fall away significantly in the second half of the race. Kaisa Mäkäräinen always said that the 10k was roughly her threshold in the XC before she'd start to fall away because of the lack of the recovery periods created by the shooting in biathlon, so Martin likely suffers in the same way, but more obviously as Kaisa has posted better XC results than him. Maybe he'd be a better team sprint competitor than 15k free for that reason, I don't know.

The other thing is Ole's longevity. He's one of those people who lives and breathes his sport. His life has revolved around it for two decades now, and with first Santer and now Domracheva both his partners have been on the circuit too. Those statistical records look pretty daunting, because of his longevity, and certainly they looked completely unachievable a few years ago. Fourcade has a balance of life away from the skis, his family are at home and he doesn't come across as being as driven as OEB, however while a few years ago he said he wouldn't chase records, I think the backlash against him for making the sport less interesting in the last couple of seasons has made him a bit more ruthless, as if to assert his domination. After all, what's he supposed to do, start deliberately losing? He's not a quieter Magdalena Neuner type (judging the best female biathlete is much harder for the reason that Forsberg holds all the statistical records, but didn't even become a biathlete until quite late; Neuner was the best in terms of stats like wins-per-starts and retired because she'd won all there was to win without taking statistical records, before even reaching the age Forsberg was when she first picked up the rifle) because he's already won all there is to win - multiple Olympic titles, World Championships and six straight World Cups, some of which at a canter - several times over and is still motivated to go out there and push for more, whereas she was contented with her lot and shied away from the pressure to go for statistical records that are far less daunting than Ole's.

But then at the same time, Ole has been a long way from being the best or fastest biathlete on the circuit for several years now and still found ways to win and podium races, competing in a completely different way to how he did at his peak, adapting and changing tactics to go with the times and reflect his own changing skillset as he grows older. Fourcade hasn't had to do that yet, so it remains to be seen whether he has that adaptability.

Idunno, it's like comparing Prost's 4 F1 titles to Hamilton's or Vettel's. Statistically speaking, Prost had fewer rivals at the title-winning level (Senna, Piquet, Mansell for the most part, early on Rosberg and Lauda but at that point Mansell had yet to emerge) than the current crop (the grid at one point in the early 2010s had Schumacher, Button, Räikkönen, Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg jr), but the other title winners of Prost's time will likely be far more revered in posterity. Variables were different, and in fact Prost was one of the innovators of more tactical racing that led to the style that developed over the 90s and 00s of pit-stop racing. Or saying, who was France's better Tour champion, Anquetil or Hinault? The sport is the same in design but not quite the same in character now. Ole is definitely the biggest legend of the sport, but that isn't the same as necessarily being the best.
 
Aug 6, 2015
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Singer01 said:
Kokoso said:
Singer01 said:
portugal11 said:
JTB is skiing slightly faster than martin and he is shooting very well. this season will be very entertaining, I still think that boe needs to be very consistent all season to beat the GOAT of biathlon
I can totally see JTB winning more races this year, but still not winning the overall, when Fourcade has a bad day at the office he is still normally top 5, JTB doesn't have this consistency yet.

GOAT, not quite yet. Probable/possible by the end of his career though. He almost certainly wins more overall titles, and maybe around the same number of races, but he needs to really pick up his win rate at worlds/olympics to get anywhere near OEB.
Fourcade is better, unless you are Norwegian. End of the story.
I'm not norwegian, and looking at the figures it isn't the end of story at all.
OEB has more total victories, more major championships, was top 3 in the world for 13 consecutive seasons The only reason you could say Fourcade is better is because he has won 6 in a row, however he hasn't competed against anyone of the standard of Poiree while he has been winning those titles. Fourcade may go on to surpass OEB, however to say he has surpassed him already is demonstrably not true.
he faced svendsen who is one of the best of all time.
why the best is always who has the best palmares? fourcade is better than OLE. his consistency is incredible
 
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the davos sprints quals just ended. perhaps b/c it was a skate, stina is exactly were she's supposed to - the very top. falla was alright, but it is oestberg that may be the main rival to stina this time.
among the man, klaebo again unreachable, but only just over 1 second. pelle is going to fight hard today since he was 3d. the best swede (peterson) hopefully will take stina's example..a very modest performance from ustiugov - only in 25th. it is surprising as he normally does much better at the moderate elevation of davos...the french as they are supposed to in sprint skating are out there to give a fight with young chanavat just behind klaebo and gros another 2 backs off.

i very much hope that klaebo is gonna get a real competition this time...sprint finals very sooon.
 

Singer01

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Re: Re:

portugal11 said:
Singer01 said:
Kokoso said:
Singer01 said:
portugal11 said:
JTB is skiing slightly faster than martin and he is shooting very well. this season will be very entertaining, I still think that boe needs to be very consistent all season to beat the GOAT of biathlon
I can totally see JTB winning more races this year, but still not winning the overall, when Fourcade has a bad day at the office he is still normally top 5, JTB doesn't have this consistency yet.

GOAT, not quite yet. Probable/possible by the end of his career though. He almost certainly wins more overall titles, and maybe around the same number of races, but he needs to really pick up his win rate at worlds/olympics to get anywhere near OEB.
Fourcade is better, unless you are Norwegian. End of the story.
I'm not norwegian, and looking at the figures it isn't the end of story at all.
OEB has more total victories, more major championships, was top 3 in the world for 13 consecutive seasons The only reason you could say Fourcade is better is because he has won 6 in a row, however he hasn't competed against anyone of the standard of Poiree while he has been winning those titles. Fourcade may go on to surpass OEB, however to say he has surpassed him already is demonstrably not true.
he faced svendsen who is one of the best of all time.
why the best is always who has the best palmares? fourcade is better than OLE. his consistency is incredible
It was pretty selfish of him to choke when you were in the middle of this discussion :lol: .
Do you think we will be having the same conversation in 5 years time about Fourcade v Boe? When Boe is on it he is really on it.
Falla v Nilsson was a great race, they are clearly a class above the rest of the field.
Klaebo is absolutely absurd. Only Pellegrino anywhere near him.
 
True, MFourcade has more consistently dominated the sport than Ole Einar, but is he as exciting to watch as Ole was during his prime? I don't think so. But that is ofcourse a mostly subjective evaluation.

Another thing is the impact that Ole alone has had on the sport. Ole is, arguably, the athlete who's had the biggest impact on the sport. He effectively took the level of the sport to new heights because of his innovations, attention to detail and superiority during his best years. He was one of the first athletes of his era to shoot faster and decrease his range time. And his skiing, particuarly his 'Doppeldans'/V2 skate technique, was so far ahead of the rest of the biathlon field at the time that a lot of later athletes tried to copy his abilities on the track.

I don't think MFourcade will ever have that kind of impact (granted, it is more difficult to be an innovator in the sport now than it was 15 years ago). I also don't think Fourcade will be able to compete at a top level when he's 35 years old, like Ole did at the 2009 Pyeongchang World Championships, when he destroyed the competition and won 3 individual gold medals. Not because MFourcade doesn't have the physical attributes to do so, but because I don't think he's mentally able to be that dedicated to the sport (to be fair, no one is as dedicated to their sport as Ole Einar).

Anyway, great result today with Johannes Bø taking the win. For the first time in many years, there are signs of men's biathlon becoming great again!
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Cance > TheRest said:
True, MFourcade has more consistently dominated the sport than Ole Einar, but is he as exciting to watch as Ole was during his prime? I don't think so. But that is ofcourse a mostly subjective evaluation.

Another thing is the impact that Ole alone has had on the sport. Ole is, arguably, the athlete who's had the biggest impact on the sport. He effectively took the level of the sport to new heights because of his innovations, attention to detail and superiority during his best years. He was one of the first athletes of his era to shoot faster and decrease his range time. And his skiing, particuarly his 'Doppeldans'/V2 skate technique, was so far ahead of the rest of the biathlon field at the time that a lot of later athletes tried to copy his abilities on the track.

I don't think MFourcade will ever have that kind of impact (granted, it is more difficult to be an innovator in the sport now than it was 15 years ago). I also don't think Fourcade will be able to compete at a top level when he's 35 years old, like Ole did at the 2009 Pyeongchang World Championships, when he destroyed the competition and won 3 individual gold medals. Not because MFourcade doesn't have the physical attributes to do so, but because I don't think he's mentally able to be that dedicated to the sport (to be fair, no one is as dedicated to their sport as Ole Einar).

Anyway, great result today with Johannes Bø taking the win. For the first time in many years, there are signs of men's biathlon becoming great again!
Since discussion was about who's the best, things like excitement and impact on the sport aren't relevant. Results count. As you've said, impact on the sport depends strongly on external factors; excitement is subjective.
I'd say Bjoerndalen's biggest impact was his doping control avoiding and 3(4) olympic golds. Bjoerndalen wasn't one of the fastest shooters, he was catching up in that regard. Of my head I can tell at least Lars Berger who had arguabyle better V2, so no, he wasn't far ahead rest of the field.

Regarding superiority during his best years - that's exactly where Martin is better. Ole never was so superior.
 
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it was clearly NOT a xc ski day for the major sports broadcasters since the biathlon relays displaced xc skiing EVEN off the nrk1 and nrk2. nor the eurosport 1 and 2 aired neither the 10k nor 15k.

lucky for me, the svt obliged. and it was well worth watching the men's 15k skate. verrrry interesting results with no norwegians on the podium and only 2 in the top 10. manificat won in grand style over the 2 russians that seem to enjoy standing on the podiums NEXT to EACH OTHER :) . bolshunov again displayed a super form beating just about all norwegians, swedes, finns etc. and that's in addition to his podium sprint yesterday. besides manificat he couldn't manage only his teammate ustiougov who, frankly, surprised me both yesterday and today...i mean his sprint yesterday was below par and it was obvious he was missing the gear he normally employed devastatingly - a recovery AFTER a long(1 to1.5minutes), absolute max effort. he just did not have it in his semi...yet today, he demonstrated an excellent threshold -level pacing losing only 4 seconds to the sports classiest skater...i can only draw one conclusion - he has plenty of base long steady hours, whereas he has not started yet to hone his top speed. that is, a peaking strategy coupled with the altitude involving 2 even 3 HARD interval workouts per week.

if i am right, he may win another coming tour de ski in another grand style...would love to see that !
 
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Was it cold in Davos? I'm asking because the results remember me a bit of the TdS race in Toblach.
Speaking of Toblach, today I was skiing a bit on Toblach and it was pretty cold, -8°C at noon and clouded.
Next weekend I won't be able to watch the race on Saturday because of work, but I'll be there watching the race live on Sunday, should be pretty interesting.
 
Re:

Mayomaniac said:
Was it cold in Davos? I'm asking because the results remember me a bit of the TdS race in Toblach.
Speaking of Toblach, today I was skiing a bit on Toblach and it was pretty cold, -8°C at noon and clouded.
Next weekend I won't be able to watch the race on Saturday because of work, but I'll be there watching the race live on Sunday, should be pretty interesting.
A good amount of skiers were wearing buffs/balaclavas. It didn't seem that cold and the FIS official results show it was -1.9C, but it was probably the humidity, because it was sprinkling with snow and then really started coming down later on, during the awards ceremony. I've skied at Davos before and that course is interesting. It's only a 5km loop, but it feels like you are in a completely different valley once you get into the course, especially the outer parts, before heading to the stadium. I think there you can also feel the temperature differences, maybe that's what some of the skiers had in mind.

I am actually looking forward to the races next weekend. A 15km skate on Saturday followed by a 15km classic handicap pursuit on Sunday. Should be fun. Klaebo will race for the Norwegians. After that I have no idea. Out of the top skiers it's not certain who will go, but it appears Klaebo won't. Probably a good move. Ustiugov still unsure. Still unsure about the Olympics. Northug probably missing Toblach as well. If he for sure misses next weekend, and does enter the TDS, that will not be a nice transition from only training to brutal racing every day or 7 races in 9 days plus travel. If he doesn't do well there, I am not certain they'll pick him for Korea. That said, only Klaebo and Sundby have qualified so far. The other guys like Krueger, Holund, Toenseth are close in the distance events, and Fossli, Iversen, etc are contending for sprints (Iversen could contend for something like the 50km classic as well...). Krogh seems to have overtrained and/or miscalculated his training, Roethe was just today diagnosed with some sort of illness, Dyrhaug is out with an injury, Toenseth came back from an injury he suffered this fall and raced well in Ruka and Lillehammer but not today, granted he's a better classic skier, but still...Not taking Gloersen was a mistake by Hetland and Loefshus. Krueger and Holund raced well, but everyone else was either average or below par. Sundby was battling a cold after Lillehammer. Was it necessary to go and race at altitude in Davos after battling a cold?

Hellner looked more like the Hellner from 2009-2014. Smooth and confident with a great final lap. Halfvarsson sick again. Rickardsson ok but individual skate races aren't his thing. All the other Swedes are nowhere near the top at the moment, which is a great shame. Reminds me of the 90's when the Swedes were happy to have someone in the top 10, but that was a transition period between Svan, Mogren, Majbaeck, Forsberg to Elofsson, Fredriksson, Soedergren, Brink...

Was Heikkinen sick or just training and resting? He didn't race in Lillehammer or today. He's won a race in Davos before, in 2009, 15km skate and has had other very good results here, but maybe just conserving...I don't follow Finnish media so maybe one of you here know more.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Rider said:
Yesterday he denied to answer whether he would go to TDS at all.
imo, there is almost no chance that he will give up the tds title w/o a fight. this guy is an inborn fighter. of course, all other NECESSARY elements like good health, lack of injury being right. an additional motivation for the eventual success could be that klaebo - the only distance guy with comparable sprinting pedigree - was said NOT going to the tour. the only other norwegian of the same spint and distance mold is krogh and he's (i just read in the vg.no) complaining of over-training. sundby said he was sick, but i don't trust him nor do i take seriously anything coming out of hetland's mouth..either way, it is not the same dominating sundby we saw last season before the tds...

whatever. my sense is he will go to the tour to win with the aim of peaking a 2nd time for korea, like he peaked a 2nd time for lahti. a young healthy body can do it, particularly when coached by an expert like kramer...

the tds intrigue could come from another young talent like bolshunov or a finn who won last year(bonuses dropped) or - i hope in vain - a swede like hellner.

iversen, holund, kruger are all in the money too. i have nothing against these guys. particularly i like iversen. who else ? harvey, cologna... as usual.

but as armstrong rightly once said about vino, 'this guy will never win the tour'...the same way i feel about harvey.
 
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The IBU needs to do something about its shitty points system. It's ridiculous that MF still has the yellow bib. In fact, JTB could win the next 3 races with Fourcade in 2nd place and Martin would still be top of the overall WC! No one in their right mind thinks Martin is the world's best biathlete so far this season. Your system sucks. Get rid of it and copy FIS.
 

Singer01

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Re: Re:

Kokoso said:
Singer01 said:
portugal11 said:
JTB is skiing slightly faster than martin and he is shooting very well. this season will be very entertaining, I still think that boe needs to be very consistent all season to beat the GOAT of biathlon
I can totally see JTB winning more races this year, but still not winning the overall, when Fourcade has a bad day at the office he is still normally top 5, JTB doesn't have this consistency yet.

GOAT, not quite yet. Probable/possible by the end of his career though. He almost certainly wins more overall titles, and maybe around the same number of races, but he needs to really pick up his win rate at worlds/olympics to get anywhere near OEB.
Fourcade is better, unless you are Norwegian. End of the story.
Sticking to that? JTB is at least as good as Fourcade was at the same age.
 

Singer01

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John de Savage said:
The IBU needs to do something about its ****** points system. It's ridiculous that MF still has the yellow bib. In fact, JTB could win the next 3 races with Fourcade in 2nd place and Martin would still be top of the overall WC! No one in their right mind thinks Martin is the world's best biathlete so far this season. Your system sucks. Get rid of it and copy FIS.
I get where you are coming from, but consistency is important as well, Fourcade has better bad days than JTB currently.

edit, who the F'ck are Guigonnat and Gjesbakk by the way? Never heard of either of them before this weekend, thats why i love Biathlon.
 

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