Libertine Seguros said:
I don't like Randall (the commentators absolutely adore her and even had a tantrum about her losing time in the classic pursuit in Oberhof because they felt she was the only potential challenger to Kowalczyk at the TdS even as Johaug punched through the whole field), and I don't like these events where being built like Scott Steiner on skis is just as important as being a skier.
This is much, much better than the normal sprint though. There might actually be enough competitors rather than luck of the draw being a major factor.
You don't like Randall because the commentators know nothing about xc skiing?
Thats not her fault.
Don't quite remember Steiner(german cyclist who looks like a body builder?), but I imagine your talking about muscles.
If your thinking about Randall, remember that the US pants are much tighter than the others. Wouldn't surprise me if Randall had even tighter pants by design than the other americans. After 10 years of being a sprinter, she is about as muscular as expected. So nothing strange there IMHO.
Also the sprints have only lately put more focus on stamina. For the men this is perhaps easier too see. For example Øystein Pettersen has lost a lot of Bulk the last years. According to the NRK dudes, Petukhov is also going through this process. Though he is a huge bear, so that might take time.
As for the sprints/sprint relay. I think we might have reached a limit. The NRK dudes mentioned that the Russians might change the Sochi course, especially now with Kiriukov being so strong this year.
I saw on SVT a story on the development on the sprints, and they were not happy. The Swedes have a lot of power in FIS, even though some Swedes like to think Norway is the one calling the shoots.
The story was followed with a studio talk where Per Elofsson agreed that the courses had become too tough.
IIRC he is on the FIS panel that decides the courses, so expect the courses to become easier in the future. Sorry.
You don't need top speed in a sprint relay if you're not doing the last leg.
You need top speed if the tactics change, and/or before the changover in order to stay out of trouble and/or give your partner a good start.
Also positioning and manouvering in the field is essential, and sprinters are usually much better at this. Brandsdal is extreme in this area.
Røthe seems to have the potential in all of these areas, but I have not seen him in these situations often enough to judge if he has the capability yet. My guess is he will improve a lot in all these areas in the future. But as of now I would not put him on a first leg ahead of all the other alternatives. Remember he is still young.
The coach said Golberg was very nervous. Had he been more experienced he might have handled it better. And he might also have been able to notice that this was not his day and let someone else take over.
Probably the coaches will put more weight on experience in the future.