Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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What happened in that race was just a matter of having a better weather forecast/trust in that forecast, so what you are proposing is a classic knee-jerk reaction.
Actually my comment wasn't about that race specifically, but generally how to cut costs and equalize the field. Usually Norwegian skis glide better than others, even though there are exceptions of course. Why should it be such a hi-tech sport in which you have to spend a fortune to have competitive material, instead of giving it more to athletes to make the difference?
 
Actually my comment wasn't about that race specifically, but generally how to cut costs and equalize the field. Usually Norwegian skis glide better than others, even though there are exceptions of course. Why should it be such a hi-tech sport in which you have to spend a fortune to have competitive material, instead of giving it more to athletes to make the difference?
Leaving aside the timing of the post, where do you draw the line? I have seen Norwegian juniors training in Livigno in July, are you going to put a cap on the training budgets as well on all levels as training camps at altitude are not available to all teams?
 
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Leaving aside the timing of the post, where do you draw the line? I have seen Norwegian juniors training in Livigno in July, are you going to put a cap on the training budgets as well on all levels as training camps at altitude are not available to all teams?
I'm not saying anything about budget limits. Just one proposal - waxless skis. FIS is trying to ban fluoride and is trying to work out a methodology how to check it. Well, instead of such complexity - whether they even find the right test - checking whether a ski is waxless should be fairly easy. I see no harm in at least trying it out, other than ski wax companies losing some of their market.
 
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Not sure, how many teams would show up in tomorrow's relays in Lahti? Would we get even 10? Not many starters in individual races. Germans are present this time, but not the French.
 
Speaking of the Germans, it's great to see Bing being able to compete and finishing 23rd again. The guy had a horrible crash last year while he was training in Toblach before the WC. Multiple open fractures on one of his legs, the local doctors were convinced that it was a career ending injury.
 
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Another World Cup weekend finishes this time in Lahti.

Norway dominated the relays, as expected but nice to see most Russians in good shape after a disappointing Ski Tour. Only the last leg was worse because Melnichenko isn't fast and Maltsev isn't in good shape but people like Bessmertnykh, Semikov, Sobakarev, Chervotkin or Spitsov are looking good ahead of the Holmenkollen 50km although these last two are still not at a career best shape. In the individual race with a good pair of skis beneath them, Niskanen and Bolshunov showed again that they are the two best classic distance skiers in the World.

In the women's side Andersson almost beat Johaug again while Parmakoski and Karlsson showed that they are close to their best level butin Holmenkollen Johaug should be the uncontested winner.
 
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Another World Cup weekend finishes this time in Lahti.

Norway dominated the relays, as expected but nice to see most Russians in good shape after a disappointing Ski Tour. Only the last leg was worse because Melnichenko isn't fast and Maltsev isn't in good shape but people like Bessmertnykh, Semikov, Sobakarev, Chervotkin or Spitsov are looking good ahead of the Holmenkollen 50km although these last two are still not at a career best shape. In the individual race with a good pair of skis beneath them, Niskanen and Bolshunov showed again that they are the two best classic distance skiers in the World.

In the women's side Andersson almost beat Johaug again while Parmakoski and Karlsson showed that they are close to their best level butin Holmenkollen Johaug should be the uncontested winner.
Men's relay was ruined by snowfall. I couldn't be bothered to watch it. Everyone sitting in a group until the end. In a normal relay Switzerland would lose to Norway by minutes.

But of course generally the relays were poorly attended (only 9 teams in women). Which leads to an earlier point made that the world cup calendar is too congested. It doesn't help that Lahti clashes with U23 championships either.

As for individual performances. Wonder when will Andersson finally win her first race, it's now the closest she has ever got. But the season is soon coming to an end, so maybe she'll have to wait to next season for that to happen.
 
Italy did pretty well for not having Pellegrino, everyone looks good and had great skis, Zelger just lacked the sprint to do anything. With a decent skating skier besides Salvadori and De Fa they coukd become a bit more relevant.
 
Yes, snowfall always makes things tricky and harder to break away, but that's not an excuse for a top team like Russia to not try something. Norway winning isn't shocking, it's how easy they won, without much resistance from the Russians. The Russians didn't win bronze, they lose gold and silver. Fair play to the Swiss for taking advantage, it's nice to see new faces (apart from Cologna, of course) on a WC podium.

Everything played into Klaebo's hands, all he had to do was sit in (as he usually does), but this time the pace was pedestrian until the last 1.5 km or so when Melnichenko put in what I guess was an attack.

Pity Niskanen had less than stellar skis, he was slipping and sliding a lot, so it was very difficult for him to actually attack, which I believe he could have.

Cologna and the Swiss were saved by the games being played out front.

Just disappointed that the Russians skied tactically very poorly, especially in the skate legs. Neither Spitsov, Maltsev nor Melnichenko raced yesterday so they were more fresh. I hope Ustiugov gets back to his best, or at least close to it, so we can see more lively racing. I understand Bolshunov and the coaches decision to rest up and prepare for the more important races coming up as he is going for the overall WC, but it would have been nice to see him racing and trying to rip the field apart.
 
Men's relay was ruined by snowfall. I couldn't be bothered to watch it. Everyone sitting in a group until the end. In a normal relay Switzerland would lose to Norway by minutes.

But of course generally the relays were poorly attended (only 9 teams in women). Which leads to an earlier point made that the world cup calendar is too congested. It doesn't help that Lahti clashes with U23 championships either.

As for individual performances. Wonder when will Andersson finally win her first race, it's now the closest she has ever got. But the season is soon coming to an end, so maybe she'll have to wait to next season for that to happen.

Well, honestly the majority of the top U23 athletes who are in Oberwiesenthal are top sprinters so we likely wouldn't have seen them in Lahti, even if both events weren't on the same weekend.

Andersson will eventually get a win. I don't think it will happen in Oslo and after that it's two individual races (the second of which is a handicap pursuit) in Canmore to close out the season. Those courses in Canmore are tough, so Johaug will no doubt be the favorite, of course. Though back in the Ski Tour in 2016, Weng beat Johaug in a 15km skiathlon and Johaug amazingly finished only 6th in the 10km individual skate race, so there is always hope for Andersson and others. If she doesn't win one this season, I think she'll get one next season, for sure. She is like Oestberg/Weng during the Kowalczyk/Bjoergen/Johaug domination. Then when Kowalczyk stopped racing regularly, and Bjoergen was pregnant and absent, Johaug dominated, then when Johaug was suspended and Bjoergen didn't race as much, Weng and Oestberg started winning more races. Now it's Andersson's time to live 'in the shadow' of the others, but she'll start winning and then it'll be someone else that gets podiums but can't win...

What I hope is, for the sake of the future of this sport, that somehow more athletes from other nations start contending on a more regular basis. It's been stale for so long now. In the women's field there were two massive gaps left after the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and then again after 2015 (especially with Kowalczyk). The depth in women's field has almost always been less than that of the men's field, and I am not saying it wasn't expected, but it's still too bad that more skiers aren't figuring into the medals.
 
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Yes, snowfall always makes things tricky and harder to break away, but that's not an excuse for a top team like Russia to not try something.
I have a feeling that the the status of relays in world cup is quite low. Nobody really cares about them. Few countries show up. Countries often don't field their best athletes. And those who race, couldn't be bothered to try their hardest, so they end up with a sprint finish.

Relays in world championships and olympics are still intriguing, because this is where all countries show up and really field their best teams. Prestige is also high, so they all go for it. But the world cup relays feel a bit pointless.
 
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Next biathlon world cup in Nove Mesto is without spectators. Let's see if we can even complete the season, although there is not much left any more. Just about 3 more weekends in March.
 
Sprints (mostly skate) and 15km's. That's like 98% of the world cup calendar. What a travesty. Also a travesty to see little to no competition for the Norwegian men. Three Russians, a Swede, and a Frenchmen against 7 Norwegians. 5 of those Norwegians made the final and finished 1-4. Considering the circumstances, the conditions and the discipline, that's a good result for Bolshunov. Klaebo took 55 points from today's result in terms of the overall, but he's still over 400 points behind. If Bolshunov can repeat his performance from last year at Holmenkollen, he'll be in a very good position to win the overall.

There was talk of canceling the Holmenkollen races. I hope that doesn't happen, the calendar is already helping Klaebo.
 
Sprints (mostly skate) and 15km's. That's like 98% of the world cup calendar. What a travesty. Also a travesty to see little to no competition for the Norwegian men. Three Russians, a Swede, and a Frenchmen against 7 Norwegians. 5 of those Norwegians made the final and finished 1-4. Considering the circumstances, the conditions and the discipline, that's a good result for Bolshunov. Klaebo took 55 points from today's result in terms of the overall, but he's still over 400 points behind. If Bolshunov can repeat his performance from last year at Holmenkollen, he'll be in a very good position to win the overall.

There was talk of canceling the Holmenkollen races. I hope that doesn't happen, the calendar is already helping Klaebo.
Well today's competition was in Norway so its normal that they had more athletes there than other nations and Pellegrino and the French being in poor shape narrows the field even further.

I don't think this World Cup calendar was that bad, there were four 30km races (compared with just one last season) and the Holmenkollen 50km is almost certain to take place despite 56 cases of COVID 19 in Norway. Considering the advantage Bolshunov already has, there is no way Klaebo can win the World Cup unless some catastrophe happens (I would say that at this point the North American races aren't sure to take place either).

Anyway, good display of the Swedish women in the women race.
 
Well today's competition was in Norway so its normal that they had more athletes there than other nations and Pellegrino and the French being in poor shape narrows the field even further.

I don't think this World Cup calendar was that bad, there were four 30km races (compared with just one last season) and the Holmenkollen 50km is almost certain to take place despite 56 cases of COVID 19 in Norway. Considering the advantage Bolshunov already has, there is no way Klaebo can win the World Cup unless some catastrophe happens (I would say that at this point the North American races aren't sure to take place either).

Anyway, good display of the Swedish women in the women race.
How many points are still on the line in North America? Cause if Bolshunov has the whole thing wrapped up after the Holmenkollen 50km I can see him not even flying to those races.
 
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I think in the sprint tour you can earn 350 points (50 pts for the victory in each race + 200 for tour victory). And then 200 more points on offer for the final two distance races a week later.

Not sure, why would they make such a "tour" out of sprints though. It would make more sense if they just had 3 sprints with each giving normal 100 points and no "tour overall". I mean whoever goes to North America would participate in all 3 sprints anyway, otherwise it would be a waste of time and money. So you don't need to 'force' skiers to participate in all races with tour system.
 
I think in the sprint tour you can earn 350 points (50 pts for the victory in each race + 200 for tour victory). And then 200 more points on offer for the final two distance races a week later.

Not sure, why would they make such a "tour" out of sprints though. It would make more sense if they just had 3 sprints with each giving normal 100 points and no "tour overall". I mean whoever goes to North America would participate in all 3 sprints anyway, otherwise it would be a waste of time and money. So you don't need to 'force' skiers to participate in all races with tour system.
Ok, so Bolshunov would't have enough points even if he wins on the Holemkollen and Klaebo DNF.
If it wasn't for the final stage of the Ski Tour he could stay at home, but he still has the WC wrapped up.
With him racing so many WC races since a really young age I'm concerned that he'll burn out in his mid 20ies, not the biggest fan of the way the Russians (or should I say the various Russian training groups and coaches) are using their young talents.
 
Bolshunov should be 'ok' for the next couple seasons. I think with three straight championship years they may lighten the load as far as racing is concerned, especially if he wins the overall this year. Having already won the Tour de Ski he and the coaches may opt out of racing it, or at least skip it one year and not force him to race it just to win it. In the 2022/2023 season, he'll be 26. If he doesn't get burned out and physically he hasn't had problems, I expect him to have at least one individual gold form the world's or olympics. Like everyone else, he'll have a hard time beating Klaebo in sprints, so maybe focus much more on distance events and race sprints only in tours or when they are actually useful? But that's not really in Borodavko's book. I am sure he'll keep grinding Bolshunov. Bolshunov did get sick right after the 2018 tour, his first one, and he recovered just in time for the Olympics.

Nepryaeva got sick between Drammen (where she finished on the podium) and Falun last year, didn't qualify in the top 30 in Falun in the sprint and didn't start the 10km due to sickness. Then they went to Canada and while she skied ok, it wasn't the same level she was earlier in the season. Fast forward to this season and she gets sick while going to Moscow to get her visa for the North American world cups and only skis the first two races of the Ski tour, then abandons, losing a lot of ground to people closest to her in the rankings, like Weng and Jacobsen and essentially is out of the running for the sprint world cup title. Of course this is not due to overtraining or over racing but they would do well to recognize the need to ease off on the racing and make sure they stay healthy in February/March next season. She lost the World Cup last year because of that and this year she again loses ground in the rankings.

They need to follow the Swedish model from 6-8 years ago.
 
I don't think Bolshunov will race much less in the next seasons even with Worlds and Olympics coming. I think that they will still aim for the overall World Cup win and to beat Klaebo he will need to race a lot including the Tour de Ski, because Klaebo won't likely skip so many sprints as he did this season due to injury and illness (unless he wants to put a great focus in the Championships and become better in the distance).

Still, Bolshunov can win several gold medals in the next World Championships maybe even in the relay if Ustiugov gets his shape right.
 
Late to the party, but I think waxless skis as proposed by zarnack would be a good reform so as to inject at least some equality into the sport. One caveat though: if waxing is off the table, might this not result in there just being a lot more pairs of skis to choose from for athletes who (or whose federations, or sponsors) have cash to burn? Seeking marginal gains would then migrate even more pronouncedly to the skis themselves. So the amount of pairs per event or even WC yaear per athlete shoud be seriously capped too, imho, to actually put an effective cap to costs.

As for Holmekollen, my understanding is that no spectators will be allowed into the venue or near the tracks because of the coronavirus. Will be weird for sure, as typically even 100k spectators may be expected to show up.
 
Yea, and I think because of the size of the venue as well as its stadium configuration, it really stands out for having no fans, as well as being a much bigger potential loss for the organizers than at a smaller venue which has a much smaller spectator capacity like, say, Pokljuka.
 
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Huge gaps in both women's and men's biathlon sprints. I guess anyone on the losing side will be relieved there aren't pursuits coming up, but mass-starts instead.

Relays coming up tomorrow. And... as Röiseland has fallen ill, surely this is the race which Norway isn't going to win? So let's find out, who is it going to be.
 
1km, and things are already over. At least there'll be a battle for 2nd, especially with Østberg not here. A few years ago, when she was the lightweight, energetic alternative to the power diesels of Bjørgen and Kowalczyk, I used to root for Therese, now I can't think of anything more boring.
 
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