Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Singer01

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kosmonaut said:
The Northug haters must really hate that 15k in Val di Fiemme. Sort of ruins the narrative.
if they bothered to look close enough, he did well enough in a number of non sprint/mass start races. That being said drink drivers can *** right off.
 
I hate Northug, but I still recognize that he was a great skier in individual too. Don't see what the problem is in holding both of those views simultaneously. His mere presence in mass starts made those races sometimes unwatchable. During his peak, no one could touch him.
 

Singer01

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jsem94 said:
I hate Northug, but I still recognize that he was a great skier in individual too. Don't see what the problem is in holding both of those views simultaneously. His mere presence in mass starts made those races sometimes unwatchable. During his peak, no one could touch him.
Exactly, I hate valverde bit I'm not going to doubt his talents. Also a lot of the blame for his success should be on the shoulders of others. There has always been enough opportunity to work together and blow him away before the last 1km in a 50km race.

Hopefully Fourcade can get back on track. I don't want to trade one dominant athlete for another.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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if one is a true fan of a sport, which i think is the case for the majority posting here, the word 'hate' is way too strong imo.

re. northug, as i said above, i wont miss him. but while he competed i did not mind his wins even if i rooted for another skier or when he 'sucked' skis for 99% of time.... it was impossible to disrespect his talent for a hurricane explosion in the last 100 m.

yet, when he used some finish theatrics (i think most know what i mean) or was playing with his competition, like storming up to the front and squeezing the brake once ahead and constantly looking back, then i thought of a poor sportsmanship though none of it was against the rules. to me, a traditional nordic, this does not jive with a respectful attitude. nor did i care for his off the track escapades. curiously, the drunk driving incident, while indicative of his personality, did not irritate me as much as many 'haters'. somehow, automatically, i do not care much about the athletes personal life, finances, girlfriends etc. but when they are jerks in public on the track i dont appreciate it.

petter, imo, was enough times there to dwindle my respect. which tbh was considerable when he was just a young starlet.
 

Singer01

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For me the finish to men's distance races was often so like the end of a flat tour stage. If the race is going to be won in a sprint, let it be done in style by someone clearly the best at what they do. Such as Northug or Cav. Screw one sprinter being a bit better than the rest
 
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jsem94 said:
I hate Northug, but I still recognize that he was a great skier in individual too. Don't see what the problem is in holding both of those views simultaneously. His mere presence in mass starts made those races sometimes unwatchable. During his peak, no one could touch him.

Blame the race format, not the skiiers. Mass starts were implemented at a time dominated by classicaly trained skiiers and they were diesels, going at one fast pace for the duration of a race and winning on time. Then they suddenly added group dynamics of racing in a pack with drafting, mind games and explosive sprints. It took a generation to adapt, selecting for different abilities from early age. There was one exception in petter Northug. What would have been a good career in the old days was suddenly the perfect fit for the new times and he absolutely wrecked everyone. It also proved to be way too hard to break solo in the rolling terrain that is the wc circuit. It didn’t really discern climbers from sprinters and still doesn’t. Not to mention that Northug was also very strong at his best and won individual starts on at least two occasions? and could not easily be shook off.
 
Nov 15, 2015
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Oude Geuze said:
Well someone took a sip of the hatorade today lol Northug is the greatest skier of our generation, the sport will sorely miss him and the drama he created. No one comes even close to the spectacle of Northug. Even Swedes watched xc skiing during his time. Now interest will fall hard in Norway at least, such a shame but he gave us the best years of skiing the sport ever had and transformed how it was raced for modern times. Now if only Klæbo can up his showmanship and personality a few notches we might be ok:)
I beg to differ. Cologna has won 13 individual major titles (4 olympic golds, 1 WCH gold, 4 overall WC, 4 TdS), Northug won 11 (1 olympic gold, 7 WCH golds, 2 overall WC, 1 TdS). Most importantly, Dario's 4 individual olympic gold medals across 3 olympic games blows Petter out of the water.
 

Singer01

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It's a bit disingenuous to take his relay victories from him, often he was taking over with a few others and he was bringing it home.
Also I don't disagree with the sentiment, but overall wins and TdS wins are due to consistency rather than out and out excellence.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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...and parmakoski. both were gaining on johaug in the last 2km. at least that's what i recall reading live splits on svt and the fis app (highly recommended).
 
Sedova skied the last 2kns even with Parmakoski. Those two had the fastest finish, though Sedova was already 40 seconds back after the first time split at 2.2. She skied the last 1.8 km 8 seconds faster than Johaug. She is a chronically slow starter. Reminds me a lot of Teichmann. She’s gonna have to change her tactics and start a bit more urgently. She is capable of fighting for the top 5 on a consistent basis.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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the men's race to start in 10 min and should be exciting...

iversen and klaebo are NOT in the start list, BUT ustiougov is. his 1st race after the injury and he loves the davos course. the fact he passed the skate sprint yesterday - his fave - speaks of his special goals today. right after him start harvey and manificat, both likely podiomers. sundby will start another 5 min back. all of them to be followed the the cup leader, bolshu. i somehow dont expect from him a podium today. parisse is in great skating condition and may surprise. as could spitsov....
 
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python said:
the men's race to start in 10 min and should be exciting...

iversen and klaebo are NOT in the start list, BUT ustiougov is. his 1st race after the injury and he loves the davos course. the fact he passed the skate sprint yesterday - his fave - speaks of his special goals today. right after him start harvey and manificat, both likely podiomers. sundby will start another 5 min back. all of them to be followed the the cup leader, bolshu. i somehow dont expect from him a podium today. parisse is in great skating condition and may surprise. as could spitsov....
Hard to see Ustiugov having a high result. He’s missed important training and the first month of the racing season. It’s going to take time for him to get into a rhythm. I think if he’s healthy and patient, he should be ready for Seefeld.

Melnichenko is a darkhorse. A 3rd and 5th in the two distance skate races so far. I think he will challenge for a top 3, if not for the win...
 
Sep 25, 2009
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yeah, usiugov needs competition miles...

in the mean time, the ultimate injustice just happened. sundby who sucked spittsov skis for 2 laps, just beat him for the 3d by several seconds.

also, i did not count on the belov win - a podium at best - but he did. starting a superb classic specialist, he now is a true universal.
 
Apr 3, 2016
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Gutted for Manificat and Jespersen, really rooted for the former and Jespersen lost due to falling in a downhill, so sad seeing as he hasn't even started a race in years and had real possibility of a win or at least podium. Oh well, fun to see some french and italians up there at least, good for skiing.

Another win for Johaug, 4/4 now, is this her best season start ever? Its surprising seeing as there have been mostly short races of 10k and you would think bigger more powerful skiiers could beat her or at least make it more competitive. Her high frequency technique is not very aestethically pleasing but she is an aerobe monster.
 
I am especially happy for Belov. A talented skier that hasn't really showed his true potential. A plethora of World Junior and U23 titles, and finally wins his first world cup race today! And what's even more sweet is after all he has gone through the past two seasons. Two of his peak years were taken away from him simply for having a Russian passport. He raced the first couple weekends in 2016/2017, then unfairly suspended. Came back to race the first two weekends last year, only to be put aside for no reason again. Came back for the last races of the season. Almost two full seasons of being suspended for 'alleged this' and 'alleged that.' You have to show character to come back strong like that. Hats off to him.

Also nice to see Ustiugov back. A bit of a roller coaster of a race for him. Started decent, right around the top 10. Then faded by the midway point and out of the top 30, then catches a ride with Manificat and finishes in 25th, showing his fantastic sprint ability towards the end. I think he'll get consistently better as the weeks go by. Assuming that the thumb healed or is healing properly, he should be good for Seefeld.

As Ustiugov caught a ride with Manificat, Sundby caught a ride with Spitsov and that's basically what got him a podium.

Spitsov was 23rd at the first time split, then got progressively faster. He and Belov were the fastest in the latter stages of the race.

That'll be a scary Russian relay team. It will probably be them and the Norwegians, a minute ahead of anyone else in Seefeld, though the courses are quite mild so maybe the gaps won't be so big.
 
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BullsFan22 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Spitsov's sprint for the line was so graceless that I would rather watch Susan Dunklee skiing.
Definitely not pretty skiing, but I think his technique is easier on the eyes than Dunklee's. Dunklee's is...not sure what to say...
Just the sprint. The rest of the time he's clearly a more elegant skier than Dunklee, who always looks like she's in great pain, but that sprint to the line made my eyeballs hurt.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
BullsFan22 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Spitsov's sprint for the line was so graceless that I would rather watch Susan Dunklee skiing.
Definitely not pretty skiing, but I think his technique is easier on the eyes than Dunklee's. Dunklee's is...not sure what to say...
Just the sprint. The rest of the time he's clearly a more elegant skier than Dunklee, who always looks like she's in great pain, but that sprint to the line made my eyeballs hurt.
just to chip in...i was watching most of the korean olympic races on nrk. though i typically mute the norge commentators - cant stand their yelling - sometimes i listened. and guess what, they spoke very highly of the spitsov skating style, calling it very efficient. as to how he looked in the sprint, dont over interpret it. everyone has their own last gasp...few looked as ugly as northug and look what he achieved.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Manificat surprised me, first race of the season and already on track, the whole French team was great, but still.
I get the feeling that they'll have to distance Spitsov before the final stage of the Tour de Ski, otherwise he'll probably wreck everyone on the Alpe Cermis,
Another strong skating performance by De Fabiani, that was a bit unexpected.
Speaking of the Tour de Ski, I fear that Sundby will be the big favourite, Ustiugov is coming back from his injury and Dario is slowly building his form towards the WC. Maybe Røthe and Holund will give him a good fight, I still have my doubts about mini-Peter Klaebo performing on the Alpe Cermis (if he even starting?), but who knows? The final climb also doesn't suit Bolshunov, maybe Spitsov and Manificat will be able to challenge Sundby?
No idea about Belov and I probably also forgot a few other guys who have a chance to finish on or near the podium.
 

Singer01

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24 people within 1 minute, without a few others who would have been, bodes well for the competitiveness this year. Especially when people have to choose TdS or WC as primary goal.
 

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