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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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The Russians have been insanely strong at the end of the season, probably fueled with extra motivation to make every race count this year.

It’s not nice watching them ski however, technique-wise it’s a mess. Chervotkin and Spitsov in particular, but also Bolshunov.
It seems they lack some core strength and stability, anyone have insight into their methods/philosophy? Compared to Cologna (my personal benchmark), but also the Swedish and Norwegians in general it’s night and day. I can’t help but think they’re leaving a lot on the table?

portugal11 said:
the legend strikes again. no words to describe martin, never saw a guy so mentally strong like him.
JTB needs to look to him and see what he can do to emulate that mentality, as he clearly has the ski speed to surpass him. And everyone else needs to step it up and put some pressure on the pair of them.
Womens overall couldn't be any better set up, only 5 points seperate Makarainen and Kuzmina. Womens world cup is so much more fun than the mens.
Max Rockatansky said:
OEB retires, Emil Hegle Svendsen retires, Bjorgen retired. Wow.

Not surprised by the first 2, (though wish Svendsen could have had a better last season) but i thought Bjorgen would go on for a few more years, she is clearly still one of the 2 or 3 best in the world.

Justyna also retires, that is about 300 World Cup victories between them.
We've lost quite a few big names to retirement this off-season, but we've also had some much sadder news among the veteran racers. Firstly, that Kikkan Randall is the next star to have to wage a battle against cancer, having been diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago; long-time readers will be aware I'm not a fan of hers but this kind of thing is something we can all put our fan biases for or against people aside for, as I'm sure everybody can unite in hoping that Kikkan can make a full recovery as quickly as possible.

Less fortunate, however, is veteran Norwegian Vibeke Skofterud, who was tragically killed in a jetskiing accident yesterday at the age of just 38; the former Olympic and two time World relay champion had retired from the World Cup scene back in 2014 and was briefly forging a career in the Visma Ski Classics, trying to capitalise on the kind of performance level she had shown when setting the record women's time in the Vasaloppet in 2012 (a record which still stands), however she retired from competitive skiing outright a year later. Like many Norwegians she remained active however and was commonly seen at races even in a non-competitive capacity, so her absence will still be felt.
Sep 25, 2009
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sad stuff about vibeke...

to more normal news - blink-2018 starts tomorrow with the kingpin event, for me, lysebotn Opp starting 2 aug. i have not seen the start lists yet. interesting how johaug will do, though i kind doubt she got too fat to lose 'her' uphill.

among men it is wide open..i expect a surprise from spitsov...

the nrk will air it live i hear....
Sep 25, 2009
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...the blink 2018 opening race has just finished. great stuff. my +1000 to the NRK for airing it live with the professional skill rivaling the tdf...

am i the only idiot on this board who watched it live in the mid of summer ?

the winner was bolshunov. the runnerup was ...arduchev, another russian....no idea who he is. sundby was 10th if my gaze was fast enough.

little surprise at bolshunov, arguably the world's most talented UNIVERSAL skier. still, i do not recall him shining in marathons consistently. very interesting race tactics...it was niskanen who attacked with 26km to go. belov was the only one to hang on. then, the peloton caught up. with 4k to go bolshu attacked out of the leading group that was fast getting caught by the chase 2nd group. clearly his attack was planned.

tomorrow is the exciting hill climb.

btw, the race was a true indication of where everyone stands atm as the 'wax' was the same for everyone, meaning the ski fed rules for the roller wheel properties.
Ustiugov won the mass start at Blink for the second straight year, looked even better this year. Looked in control and put in a burst just a bit earlier than he did last year and won by two seconds. He's got a VERY powerful long finish. He can open up a sprint from a long way out and maintain that top speed. He may not have the fastest acceleration like Klaebo, but he can maintain top speed arguably better than anyone on tour. A Bolshunov-Ustiugov partnership in Seefeld could be a devastating combo. Had Ustiugov not been unfairly treated by the politically motivated IOC (and some of its backers) the Russians could have had one more more golds.
Sep 25, 2009
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i too miss the season start, even youtubed the last year ruka, but sad i am not at all...lots of things are happening and keeping up with the news adds some electricity to the wait :)
- bjoergen is pregnant again...well, who cares, except the more babies she begets, the less of a chance to see her returning
- klaebo said he feared no swedes next season but a certain other youngster - bolshunov. i'd say he should but i dont see bolshu going for the overall cup as klaebo seems to think...the world championship is likely his focus. since unlike in the biathlon those medals dont count towards the world cup, it would seem unwise to spread his young talent too thin too soon.
- northug wrote a book and everyone is smacking the juiciest passages. That's likely his only way to still dominate the headlines as his career seems over...

etc etc

I am looking forward to another exiting season. too bad w/o hellner but stina will be shining and ustiugov is probably going mad planning a revenge for his forced stay out from the olympics.at least that''s what kramer is hinting at... cologna is still full of umf and will likely priorities the tds...of the norwegians i will be rooting for kruger, iversen, roethe not for johaug and sundby...niskanen and polto will always spice things up in the classic as his majesty big mouth harvey certainly will. there is a string of new young talent, besides klaebo and bolshu, that may turn some conventions upside down. spitsov ? ebba andersson ?

too bad it is likely another season where the swedes wont measure up, except perhaps a few sprints and a random distance placing by burman or halfvarsson or kalla, well, stina of cource being in her own league...