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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Re:

Singer01 said:
If those line ups are to believed kalla will have to bury Jacobsen. I'm not sure she currently has the form. Jacobsen just has to sit in, Johaug is destroying Nilsson as soon as the first hill arrives.

that seems to be the plan, yeah, and it could work out, especially as the conditions are likely to get worse over the time of the event (given the warm temperatures).

It's risky though. That way, maybe even the Russians will stay in touch till the final leg.
 
I'm thinking about Simen Hegstad Kruger in this Championships, he hasn't participated in any race so far. So what do Norwegians do? Leave him out of the relay to and go all out for the 50km with him? I mean we already know 3 of their 4 relay members. It will be Toenseth and Sundby respectively in the classics and Klaebo as the anchor leg. If Kruger is out then Rothe is the final member I suppose.

Speaking of relay, what do the Russians do? Oh, I don't want to be their coach. I think Bessmertnykh in the first leg is the only safe spot. Second leg should probably be Larkov after his great performance today, but how do you leave Bolshunov out of the classics part of the relay? In the third leg the battle is between Belov, who failed in the skate in the skiathlon, Spitsov, who had a poor skiathlon altogether and Melnichenko, probably the most consistent skier of them all this season. And third leg was also the crucial one in their defeats in both Lahti and PyoengChang. And then we come to the anchor leg, in normal circumstances it would be a no brainer to choose Ustiugov, but he's having miserable Championships after failing to get a medal in both sprint and skiathlon, and on top of that he was destroyed in Ulricehamn by none other than his compatriot Maltsev.

Having said all that, my prediction is they go like this:
Norway: Toenseth, Sundby, Roethe, Klaebo
Russia: Bessmertnykh, Bolshunov, Melnichenko, Ustiugov
 
I think the women's relay will feature changes and maybe surprises on the early stages but ultimately be between Swe and Nor. Both of them have weak links or question marks (Weng, Kalla, Anderson at least, maybe also Jacobsen) and many teams may well be together at the final exchange. Norway should be behind for others to stand a chance, which is a tough ask.

But suppose Johaug cannot catch and drop Nilsson before the top of the "sprint hill" and Sweden stands a chance. From there, Nilsson can try to overpower TJ on the flats / the last short stadium climb, rely on her sprint or a combination of these. I would guess she needs to have about 60sec advantage at the exchange to pull this off, maybe more. And it is an open question how she sprints after trying to hold TJ at bay.
 
Re:

DenisMenchov said:
I'm thinking about Simen Hegstad Kruger in this Championships, he hasn't participated in any race so far. So what do Norwegians do? Leave him out of the relay to and go all out for the 50km with him? I mean we already know 3 of their 4 relay members. It will be Toenseth and Sundby respectively in the classics and Klaebo as the anchor leg. If Kruger is out then Rothe is the final member I suppose.

Speaking of relay, what do the Russians do? Oh, I don't want to be their coach. I think Bessmertnykh in the first leg is the only safe spot. Second leg should probably be Larkov after his great performance today, but how do you leave Bolshunov out of the classics part of the relay? In the third leg the battle is between Belov, who failed in the skate in the skiathlon, Spitsov, who had a poor skiathlon altogether and Melnichenko, probably the most consistent skier of them all this season. And third leg was also the crucial one in their defeats in both Lahti and PyoengChang. And then we come to the anchor leg, in normal circumstances it would be a no brainer to choose Ustiugov, but he's having miserable Championships after failing to get a medal in both sprint and skiathlon, and on top of that he was destroyed in Ulricehamn by none other than his compatriot Maltsev.

Having said all that, my prediction is they go like this:
Norway: Toenseth, Sundby, Roethe, Klaebo
Russia: Bessmertnykh, Bolshunov, Melnichenko, Ustiugov

There is no way Röthe will be left out after winning skiathlon, so you are right - Krüger's only chance is 50 km.

As for Russia, I wouldn't be surprised if it goes like that:
Larkov, Bessmertnykh (always have trouble typing that name), Ustiugov, Bolshunov.

Yeah, ironically Bolshunov was more convincing in skiathlon than in the pure classic distance and he isn't a bad sprinter too. So I wouldn't be shocked if he was put into the last leg! Russia has a lot of choice for classic, but realistically they have only two top skate skiers now. So I assume they would be put to the end.
 
Re:

meat puppet said:
But suppose Johaug cannot catch and drop Nilsson before the top of the "sprint hill" and Sweden stands a chance. From there, Nilsson can try to overpower TJ on the flats / the last short stadium climb, rely on her sprint or a combination of these. I would guess she needs to have about 60sec advantage at the exchange to pull this off, maybe more. And it is an open question how she sprints after trying to hold TJ at bay.

I don't think Johaug is that superior in skating technique. But there is a question mark above Nilsson's shape as well of course, just coming back from injury. The sprints looked alright, but 5k are a different story
 
Re: Re:

zarnack said:
DenisMenchov said:
I'm thinking about Simen Hegstad Kruger in this Championships, he hasn't participated in any race so far. So what do Norwegians do? Leave him out of the relay to and go all out for the 50km with him? I mean we already know 3 of their 4 relay members. It will be Toenseth and Sundby respectively in the classics and Klaebo as the anchor leg. If Kruger is out then Rothe is the final member I suppose.

Speaking of relay, what do the Russians do? Oh, I don't want to be their coach. I think Bessmertnykh in the first leg is the only safe spot. Second leg should probably be Larkov after his great performance today, but how do you leave Bolshunov out of the classics part of the relay? In the third leg the battle is between Belov, who failed in the skate in the skiathlon, Spitsov, who had a poor skiathlon altogether and Melnichenko, probably the most consistent skier of them all this season. And third leg was also the crucial one in their defeats in both Lahti and PyoengChang. And then we come to the anchor leg, in normal circumstances it would be a no brainer to choose Ustiugov, but he's having miserable Championships after failing to get a medal in both sprint and skiathlon, and on top of that he was destroyed in Ulricehamn by none other than his compatriot Maltsev.

Having said all that, my prediction is they go like this:
Norway: Toenseth, Sundby, Roethe, Klaebo
Russia: Bessmertnykh, Bolshunov, Melnichenko, Ustiugov

There is no way Röthe will be left out after winning skiathlon, so you are right - Krüger's only chance is 50 km.

As for Russia, I wouldn't be surprised if it goes like that:
Larkov, Bessmertnykh (always have trouble typing that name), Ustiugov, Bolshunov.

Yeah, ironically Bolshunov was more convincing in skiathlon than in the pure classic distance and he isn't a bad sprinter too. So I wouldn't be shocked if he was put into the last leg! Russia has a lot of choice for classic, but realistically they have only two top skate skiers now. So I assume they would be put to the end.


I agree that Norway will put Roethe in the third leg since he is in great shape and just won the skiathlon. I thought Iversen might do the first leg but after yesterday's race if should be Tonseth that is fresher as well.
Regarding Russia, that team you proposed is actuallypretty good but I would introduce a small change, Ustiugov goes last and Bolshunov in the third leg. Despite being good, Ustiugov is still the better finisher of the two and he doesn't seem to be that bad in skating, he recovered many positions during the skating part of the skiathlon and did a great sprint qualification. He is also fresher than Bolshunov
For bronze I think the French are favourites despite Manificat's problems.

For today, Sweden needs to gain some time before the last leg but 60 seconds would normally be enough since Johaug needs to actually drop Nilsson not just catching her. I still think Norway will win because Andersson and Kalla don't seem to be much better than Weng and Jacobsen at the moment.
Russia will almost surely get the bronze but they could even get silver if one of the Swedish athletes has an off day
 
Re: Re:

search said:
meat puppet said:
But suppose Johaug cannot catch and drop Nilsson before the top of the "sprint hill" and Sweden stands a chance. From there, Nilsson can try to overpower TJ on the flats / the last short stadium climb, rely on her sprint or a combination of these. I would guess she needs to have about 60sec advantage at the exchange to pull this off, maybe more. And it is an open question how she sprints after trying to hold TJ at bay.

I don't think Johaug is that superior in skating technique. But there is a question mark above Nilsson's shape as well of course, just coming back from injury. The sprints looked alright, but 5k are a different story
Hope you are right. That was based on Nilsson losing 1:36 in Lillehammer and 2:26 in Davos over 10ks.
 
Weng at least appears to have decent ski's. Top 3 are well away, hope Russia can stick with it as well.
edit - now they have let the Germans and Italians back in.
Karlsson showing it wasn't just the snow conditions the other day, she is a beast for 19.

Kalla is amazing at relays, i wish her and TJ were going together for the last leg, predictions re Jacobsen being the potential weak leg were correct. Still don't think its enough though.

Why do they insist on watching the handovers all the way down the field, nobody cares about 7th v 8th. Get to the action you big dummies.
 
Re:

Singer01 said:
Weng at least appears to have decent ski's. Top 3 are well away, hope Russia can stick with it as well.
edit - now they have let the Germans and Italians back in.
Karlsson showing it wasn't just the snow conditions the other day, she is a beast for 19.

Kalla is amazing at relays, i wish her and TJ were going together for the last leg, predictions re Jacobsen being the potential weak leg were correct. Still don't think its enough though.

Why do they insist on watching the handovers all the way down the field, nobody cares about 7th v 8th. Get to the action you big dummies.
Sweden could not get a gap on the classic legs but Kalla to the rescue. Here's hoping Nilsson proves me wrong.
 
Wow, congrats to Sweden. Incredible. Most importantly Nilsson survived against Johaug and that 18-second gap was enough for her over 5 km's.

Huge gaps though, 3rd place over 2 mins behind though. I guess hot weather, tough snow conditions and waxing take their toll. I expect Norway and Russia to beat 3rd best team tomorrow by more than 2 minutes as well, unless Kläbo and his Russian rival start playing "after you" on the last leg.

By the way, solid performance by Germany. Ahead of USA and Finland, who have usually been solid top 5 teams in recent times.
 
Re:

KZD said:
Incredible third leg by Kalla, Nilsson also very strong.

Norway will likely win every individual race in the female side but lose the two collective races. Curious.

Personally I think Norway got a bit lucky in individual sprint. Dahlqvist beat Falla to the line in team sprint, I think it's fairly likely she could have done the same in individual sprint...

As for distance races. Norway clearly has their unbeatable trump card in Johaug, but the rest of the team isn't really superior to Sweden any more. So it's neck and neck and depends on, who has a bit of a better or worse day.
 
Re: Re:

zarnack said:
KZD said:
Incredible third leg by Kalla, Nilsson also very strong.

Norway will likely win every individual race in the female side but lose the two collective races. Curious.

Personally I think Norway got a bit lucky in individual sprint. Dahlqvist beat Falla to the line in team sprint, I think it's fairly likely she could have done the same in individual sprint...

As for distance races. Norway clearly has their unbeatable trump card in Johaug, but the rest of the team isn't really superior to Sweden any more. So it's neck and neck and depends on, who has a bit of a better or worse day.
She is still youngish, and that break probably helps. She is going to be the person to beat for at least 3 or 4 years (i'm guessing she has plans to go to the next olympics, her olympic record is poor compared to her overall record). So Norway probably still win all the races, but the minor placings will be more evenly distributed.
 
the teams for the men's relay are confirmed as well now:

Norway: Iversen - Sundby - Roethe - Klaebo
Russia: Larkow - Bessmertnykh - Bolshunov - Ustiugov

and those probably fighting for Bronze:

France: Backscheider - Manificat - Parisse - Jouve
Finland: Hakola - Niskanen - Heikkinen - Hyvarinen
Sweden: Svensson - Halfvarsson - Burman - Thorn
Italy: Rastelli - Pellegrino - Salvadori - de Fabiani

https://www.fis-ski.com/DB/general/results.html?sectorcode=CC&raceid=32136

No Toenseth is a bit of a surprise, but it probably won't make much of a difference
 
Re: Re:

zarnack said:
KZD said:
Incredible third leg by Kalla, Nilsson also very strong.

Norway will likely win every individual race in the female side but lose the two collective races. Curious.

Personally I think Norway got a bit lucky in individual sprint. Dahlqvist beat Falla to the line in team sprint, I think it's fairly likely she could have done the same in individual sprint...

As for distance races. Norway clearly has their unbeatable trump card in Johaug, but the rest of the team isn't really superior to Sweden any more. So it's neck and neck and depends on, who has a bit of a better or worse day.

Yes, I think she could she is a stronger finisher than Falla but these incidents happen like the one that happened to Skistad in the semi-final. But these results show that despite the best skier being Norwegian, Sweden has already a better female team.
 
Re:

kingjr said:
Likely gonna be a win for Norway, unless Roethe is slightly off and Bolshunov has a really good day... he seemed tired though during the 15k. Or maybe Ustiugov is strong enough to crack Klaebo, but I'm not holding my breath.

Ironically I suspect Norway's weakest link may be Iversen. He has participated everywhere so far, and has been the weakest Norwegian in both distance races so far. Good in sprints yeah, but Tönseth would have been a safer bet for distance IMHO. Larkov has to try to get a gap over him on the first leg.
 
Re: Re:

zarnack said:
kingjr said:
Likely gonna be a win for Norway, unless Roethe is slightly off and Bolshunov has a really good day... he seemed tired though during the 15k. Or maybe Ustiugov is strong enough to crack Klaebo, but I'm not holding my breath.

Ironically I suspect Norway's weakest link may be Iversen. He has participated everywhere so far, and has been the weakest Norwegian in both distance races so far. Good in sprints yeah, but Tönseth would have been a safer bet for distance IMHO. Larkov has to try to get a gap over him on the first leg.

I agree, first leg is going to be the crucial one. If Larkov (and Hakola) can escape, then Bessmertnykh and Niskanen can be a really good tandem against Sundby.
 
Re: Re:

DenisMenchov said:
zarnack said:
kingjr said:
Likely gonna be a win for Norway, unless Roethe is slightly off and Bolshunov has a really good day... he seemed tired though during the 15k. Or maybe Ustiugov is strong enough to crack Klaebo, but I'm not holding my breath.

Ironically I suspect Norway's weakest link may be Iversen. He has participated everywhere so far, and has been the weakest Norwegian in both distance races so far. Good in sprints yeah, but Tönseth would have been a safer bet for distance IMHO. Larkov has to try to get a gap over him on the first leg.

I agree, first leg is going to be the crucial one. If Larkov (and Hakola) can escape, then Bessmertnykh and Niskanen can be a really good tandem against Sundby.

It really depends on the conditions and the ski preparation (sorry to state the obvious!). It looks as if it's going to rain and snow for much of the day and it could be at its heaviest during the race. That will make everything that much more difficult, including which tactics to employ. It could mean that there are more than two or three teams fighting for the medals. It's going to be harder to break away in snowy, slushy, wet snow. On current form you'd expect Larkov to attack at some point of his leg. Iversen has skied all the races so far and must be more fatigued than Larkov, even if he and Klaebo turned off the last few km's of the skiathlon. The Bessmertnykh, Niskanen and Sundby battle will be fascinating. The podium of the individual race going at it again. I expect them to try something. It will likely be the Finn and the Russian, because Sundby knows he's got two in-form men doing the skate legs, and all they need to do is have Klaebo with the leaders. Bolshunov will likely be fatigued as well, so it could, potentially mean that he could be Russia's weakest link. He's obviously a better classic skier and he's done all the races. Ustiugov has had the most rest. Hopefully he is feeling mentally fresh (that's the most important thing) and ready to go. If the conditions are soft and mushy, as I think they will be, then it will be Norway that has the advantage. I can see Bolshunov and Ustiugov leaking time. Ustiugov struggled in the relay in Lahti when he couldn't catch Krogh. The conditions simply didn't suit him. Klaebo is taller than Krogh, but he isn't as heavy as Ustiugov, plus Klaebo, as we saw in the TDS, will not really work when he is in a pack, so Ustiugov will likely have to do the work, assuming that they are neck and neck on the final laps.

The race for third will be fascinating. Nobody has a full team that are capable of winning races, but a number of them have one or two men that have won and are medal contenders. Manificat and potentially Parisse (as seen in the skiathlon) for France, Cologna for Switzerland, Niskanen for Finland, Pellegrino (sprint, strange to see him on the 2nd leg and not De Fabiani-though De Fabiani has impressed in skate races before and he can sprint at the end of these distance races...), Halfvarsson for Sweden (the Swedish men had a solid day in the individual, so who knows, they could hang with the leaders for a while, but I am very surprised Svensson is going in place of Rickardsson, is he sick???). The Germans, like the Swedes skied well in the 15km, and they had good skis in that race as well as the classic portion of the skiathlon, so they could grab a surprising bronze medal.
 
I find it paradoxical that the women's relay legs in cross country skiing are only 5km long, when in biathlon they are 6km. Isn't cross country supposed to be the sport that favours pure skiing? And what is the point of these short relay legs, when there is already a sprint relay for the purpose of allowing the sprinters to have a chance?
 
Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
I find it paradoxical that the women's relay legs in cross country skiing are only 5km long, when in biathlon they are 6km. Isn't cross country supposed to be the sport that favours pure skiing? And what is the point of these short relay legs, when there is already a sprint relay for the purpose of allowing the sprinters to have a chance?
I think it has always been like this, since the women's relay was introduced back in the 50's or so. And with ongoing discussions (or have they come to a decision yet?) of shortening the men's relay to 4x7.5k, I guess it's unlikely that the women's distance will be extended anytime soon.
 
Re: Re:

search said:
Cance > TheRest said:
I find it paradoxical that the women's relay legs in cross country skiing are only 5km long, when in biathlon they are 6km. Isn't cross country supposed to be the sport that favours pure skiing? And what is the point of these short relay legs, when there is already a sprint relay for the purpose of allowing the sprinters to have a chance?
I think it has always been like this, since the women's relay was introduced back in the 50's or so. And with ongoing discussions (or have they come to a decision yet?) of shortening the men's relay to 4x7.5k, I guess it's unlikely that the women's distance will be extended anytime soon.

Yes, but since the introduction of the team sprint race in the last decade it would havd made sense to extend each women's relay leg to 7.5km each to favour true endurance athletes. That would also make it closer in duration to the men's relay.