Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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To be fair, Norway didn't so much fail as Knotten had a fall which impacted both her skiing and her rifle, and then Eckhoff was Eckhoff, went all guns blazing to get back into the race and paid for it by shooting abysmally in standing, after that it was just a training exercise for Tandrevold and Røiseland. I can't imagine Italy will be quiet for long, and the Czechs shot 5 penalty loops, they ought to be alright. Ukraine are tending downwards and Slovakia will be a lot less anonymous when the Fialková sisters return to competition.

The wind conditions made the ski jumping a bit of a farce. Johansson climbed from 25th to 3rd on his second round jump while Eisenbichler fell from 1st to 28th.
 
Knotten panicked completely on that first leg. The fall was unfortunate but she completely lost her nerve. Eckhoff just went full idiot then. I'd hope Norway get better but the Swedish women do seem a cut above the rest atm.

On the men's side, JTB seems out of form completely. Ski speed is well off and he looks wrecked when he crossed the line. They might be better off leaving him out of the relay team so that he can recover a bit, especially as the other 5 are all skiing and shooting well.
 
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In men's relay it was France's turn to flop. 3 penalty loops for Jacquelin. Otherwise no big surprises.

Röiseland seems one of the few, who could challenge Öberg this season in the overall, while Wierer seems fairly average right now. And Eckhoff is completely hit-or-miss. Alimbekava is a surprise of the season so far. Let's see, how long it lasts.

As for Öbergs, while Hanna has been leading the way this season, I am actually wondering, which one of the sisters is ultimately more talented.
 
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It's mind-boggling, how inflexible is FIS. They refused to change Tour de Ski course even with the looming threat of a wide-spread boycott. Oh well. It's now confirmed that this world cup season has blown up. Next time we get a proper overview of the competitive order will probably be at the world championships.
 
Hats off to Ulvang, Capol, Mignerey and FIS for not backing down to the whining and the hypocrisy of Norway, Sweden and Finland. They could have caved in and cancelled races or caved in to whatever changes those three countries wanted, but they didn't. The organizing chiefs at Val Di Fiemme and Toblach stated that there were likely some political motives behind the decisions.
 
What is really frusteating though us that the Scandinavians were blocking shedule changes when they were discussed. And now they behave like this. Pathetic
This, I can understand why they feel that Dresden is a pointless race atm (well, it always has been), but with the lack ofcooperation when FIS wanted to change things up really feels like it's just politics.
I don't want to defend the ordanizing chief in Toblach because he's a bit of a mobster and a hypocrite himself, but that's another topic.
 
So Sprint races were too long for FIS as well, is a two minute effort the standard now. What is also sad or funny is that this weekend is barely covered in TV at all. There's Zero live coverage in Germany. Remember their argument für short races has always been TV coverage. Yeah works Out great. Also Davos used to have a 30kn Race. Of course nowadays is 15km Like every other Race. IT IS so boring. IT is always 15km and a sprint. So they really think this formula is successful? FIS is auch a bunch of morons. They are marketing XC skiing so horribly wrong.
 
This season might as well be cancelled.

Missing 2/3 of the top men's skiers and nearly all of the top women's ones.

In the sprints on men, you're not too badly off as a bunch of the French and American lads are fast, and you still have Pellegrino and the Russians, but for distance, you've just got the Russians.

On the women's side, I guess Diggins or Nepraeyva are the best left, but there's not much there
 
Yes, the cross-country World Cup become kind of joke now, let's hope for some good racing in the World Championships and second half of the season.

As for biathlon, things are looking very different from last seasons, six winners in six different races with the French very strong in Hochfilzen after being midly disappointing Kontiolahti. Fillon Maillet is looking like the biggest threat to Johannes Boe overall title defence, especially if his shape doesn't improve. Still, collectively Norway is very strong will Laegreid being the revelation and Dale taking a step forward when compared to last season.

In the women, Alimbekava is showing that she is not only the revelation of the season but an overall contender too although Olsbu seems to be the favourite because Öberg seems to be losing some of her shape, Wierer has been subpar and Echkoff already lost a lot of points.
 
Even with QFM doing well this week, his ski speed is well off. He gained 34 seconds today on JTB despite him missing 3. He'll need to up that imo to win more often this season.

I'd like if JTB took a relay off. Norway can still run a Christensen, Dale, Tarjei Boe, Laigreid lineup without JTB or Bjoentegaard which will be a strong lineup and probably a close 2nd to only the French main 4.
 
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This looks like a season JTB could win on consistency alone. Hasn't he finished all individual races in top 4 so far? If he keeps this up, he would be hard to catch. I doubt a regular winner would emerge from the chasing group. More likely they would take turns in winning races.
 
On the Men's side the race in Davos didn't look much different than usual, the French and the Russians are always super strong here. Most Norwegians besides Krüger aren't that great at moderate altitude, besides him maybe one other Norwegian would have finished inside the top 10. Besides them I only see Niskanen who probably also would have been in the top 10 (not counting Ustiguv because he's coming back from an injury). it also looks like De Fabiani is skiing himself into shape nicely.
Nobody who's racing the Tour de Ski is probably going to show u in Dresden, I'd expect many teams to stay around Davos so that they are already in Switzerland and can train at altitude.
 
Yeah I think the Swedes and Finns missing from Davos didn't really have too much of an effect on the men's race. The only one from the Finland that could have challenged for the top 10 would have been Niskanen. For the Swedes, maybe Halfvarsson, but he's not that great at altitude. Burman is injured now. but inconsistent when he races. The up and coming Poromaa maybe, but doubt he could have challenged for the top 15. So that leaves only the Norwegians and that's not a surprise. Krüger, Roethe, Holund are all capable of reaching the podium and even winning a race like this, of course, but Bolshunov is improving his form with every race and 32 seconds over Melnichenko, who is an excellent skate skier that has had podium finishes before, including having the second fastest time behind Holund in the Ruka pursuit (only 2.4 seconds behind the Norwegian) would have been hard to beat by anyone. Maltsev earned his first ever individual world cup podium and he's also in form, having won both races at the OPA cup in Goms, in western Switzerland the week before Davos.

The women's races are more impacted by the withdrawals. Johaug, Weng, Fossesholm, Stenseth and the others for Norway. Niskanen and Parmakoski for the Finns. A whole host of Swedes. It'll be interesting to see what happens at the TDS and beyond. Who will be in shape, who'll stay healthy, who will benefit from less racing, who will suffer because of it....
 
Norway really is dominating the second week of races in Hochfilzen, Eckhoff is back into her best, although she is still a bit too far from the World Cup lead and Laegreid is the surprise of the season, possibly a World cup winner in the making. Speaking about surprises, Alimbekava had her first bad race of friday's sprint but keeps doing a great season.
 
I don’t understand the purpose of the Dresden World Cup, apart from appeasing big German sponsors which the FIS needs. It’s the most boring course (even for a city sprint), it’s tucked right behind the hotel, what’s the point? They even made more boring the last couple of years. They used to have the little bump coming back to the finish instead of heading out. And how pathetic have the German men been so far this season? Yikes!! No Scandinavians, more Germans because of it being their home track and they still (barely) qualified one guy. Decent results for the women, but the absence of the Scandinavians tells the whole story.
 
Yeah, the Dresden sprint is the worst in the whole world cup and I really don't understand why Bolshunov bothered to show up.
Stay in Switzerland and train for the Tour de Ski at altitude, why bother with that bs race?
Possibly thinking Tour De Ski could be cancelled and might as well get the races in now.

In biathlon, thought both pursuits today were good. Win was dominant by both Laegried and Eckhoff but was good races for 2nd and 3rd
 
I don’t understand the purpose of the Dresden World Cup, apart from appeasing big German sponsors which the FIS needs. It’s the most boring course (even for a city sprint), it’s tucked right behind the hotel, what’s the point? They even made more boring the last couple of years. They used to have the little bump coming back to the finish instead of heading out. And how pathetic have the German men been so far this season? Yikes!! No Scandinavians, more Germans because of it being their home track and they still (barely) qualified one guy. Decent results for the women, but the absence of the Scandinavians tells the whole story.
I can't see the befinit this race has for German sponsors. Even today they barely showed any footage on TV. It is a very strange Event to say the least. The Performances of the Germany are hideous indeed. I am Not suprises, though. I think Schlickenrieder is an awful national coach. All talk all show, but no grinding and hard work.
 
I can't see the befinit this race has for German sponsors. Even today they barely showed any footage on TV. It is a very strange Event to say the least. The Performances of the Germany are hideous indeed. I am Not suprises, though. I think Schlickenrieder is an awful national coach. All talk all show, but no grinding and hard work.
You'd wonder are the sports dying in Germany. Even in biathlon where they've had plenty of success down the years but there's very little young talent coming through to replace/challenge the Doll, Pfeiffer, Lesser trio that seem to have been around forever. Women's side is even worse as it's just Herrmann and there's been a lot of sustained success in the last 20 years with Dahlmeier, Neuner, Henkel, Wilhelm, Glasgow etc that you'd think that would have fed through.

Cross country wise theyre even worse off, not sure there's any talent there and feels like they haven't since Herrmann switched, and on the men's probably since Angerer and Teichmann
 
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As Hochfilzen II has been completed, it looks like Norway is getting stronger with each season in terms of depth. They have 5 men and 4 women in overall top 10 standings, which almost resembles their cross-country success. However, naturally biathlon races are still more interesting and open due to the variable of shooting.

I would still expect JTB to win the overall cup on consistency, but what is interesting is that he is followed by three U25 guys (Lägreid, Samuelsson, Dale). So looks like JTB is going to have his hands full with competition in the future.

In women proven quantities are moving ahead, while Alimbekava was always going to be suspect in terms of consistency. Interestingly enough Eckhoff still isn't out of it, especially as due to troubled start of the season she won't be dropping scores any more. But she would need to keep up the consistency.

Also I get the impression that Elvira Ö. may well be the most talented female biathlete we have seen for years. 4th in the overall just in the age of 21.

In general it has to be said 4 countries (Nor, Swe, Fra, Ger) have clearly been above everyone else this season. The rest of the countries have only got 4 podiums combined from world cup races.

You'd wonder are the sports dying in Germany. Even in biathlon where they've had plenty of success down the years but there's very little young talent coming through to replace/challenge the Doll, Pfeiffer, Lesser trio that seem to have been around forever. Women's side is even worse as it's just Herrmann and there's been a lot of sustained success in the last 20 years with Dahlmeier, Neuner, Henkel, Wilhelm, Glasgow etc that you'd think that would have fed through.

Cross country wise theyre even worse off, not sure there's any talent there and feels like they haven't since Herrmann switched, and on the men's probably since Angerer and Teichmann
What concerns German XC, I assume they are timing their form for their home world championships? Last year they even skipped world cup races for that. But generally speaking XC has been dying as a sport in many countries for years. Germany has at least got a decent prospect in Hennig.

What concerns biathlon, then you are right that Germany has a bit of a drought coming up, as well. Meanwhile Norway and Sweden are on an upward curve, and France has a capable team as well.
 
The last time Germany had a competitive men’s team was around 2014. Then aging stars Angerer, Filbrich and Teichmann all retired at the same time. Dotzler and Tscharnke were supposed to be the next generation but they disappeared after 2015. Tscharnke even won two races but after 2015 he had no top 30 results. Dotzler missed the 2015/2016 season and retired after the 2017 season, like Tscharnke.
I don’t remember the last time a German male skier got on the podium. And Hennig’s podium at the 10 km in Val Di Fiemme last year was the first women’s podium for how many years?

It’s not like Germany doesn’t have decent talent. They’ve done reasonably well at the junior and u23 level, but continuity is where they struggle. I agree with Bavarian that Schlickenrieder is not a great coach. They were doing reasonably well with Frank Ullrich.

The observation that German sport in general is on the decline is interesting, and maybe true. Football is still doing well, though the men’s team has been up and down since winning the wc in 2014.

Maybe they have something in store for the world championships in Oberstdorf, but I would be absolutely shocked if they win a medal. Right now Hennig is likely their top hope for the women’s races and if anyone else finishes in the top 20 it would be a success. They couldn’t muster anything even with the Scandinavians missing and the Americans and Russians not in top form. While disappointing, it’s understandable that German media doesn’t cover xc all that much. They didn’t cover it super well even when Germany was winning world cups and major championship medals.

It was nice to see the Swiss and Czech teams doing well. I know not having the strong Swedish women’s team was nice for everyone, it’s still good to see other names be in contention. If the worlds doesn’t get cancelled and all the teams are in Germany in full strength, the women’s team sprint could be very exciting, there could be up to 8 countries with at least a decent shot of the top three, IMO.
 
You'd wonder are the sports dying in Germany. Even in biathlon where they've had plenty of success down the years but there's very little young talent coming through to replace/challenge the Doll, Pfeiffer, Lesser trio that seem to have been around forever. Women's side is even worse as it's just Herrmann and there's been a lot of sustained success in the last 20 years with Dahlmeier, Neuner, Henkel, Wilhelm, Glasgow etc that you'd think that would have fed through.

Cross country wise theyre even worse off, not sure there's any talent there and feels like they haven't since Herrmann switched, and on the men's probably since Angerer and Teichmann
There is definetely a lack of talent. While Germany has 82 million you must Not forget that there are very few regions where XC skiing is actually possible. The talent pool has really been slim but it has really dried over the last years. Still i think wrong training is a factor, too. Far too little high intensity workouts.
 
The last time Germany had a competitive men’s team was around 2014. Then aging stars Angerer, Filbrich and Teichmann all retired at the same time. Dotzler and Tscharnke were supposed to be the next generation but they disappeared after 2015. Tscharnke even won two races but after 2015 he had no top 30 results. Dotzler missed the 2015/2016 season and retired after the 2017 season, like Tscharnke.
I don’t remember the last time a German male skier got on the podium. And Hennig’s podium at the 10 km in Val Di Fiemme last year was the first women’s podium for how many years?

It’s not like Germany doesn’t have decent talent. They’ve done reasonably well at the junior and u23 level, but continuity is where they struggle. I agree with Bavarian that Schlickenrieder is not a great coach. They were doing reasonably well with Frank Ullrich.

The observation that German sport in general is on the decline is interesting, and maybe true. Football is still doing well, though the men’s team has been up and down since winning the wc in 2014.

Maybe they have something in store for the world championships in Oberstdorf, but I would be absolutely shocked if they win a medal. Right now Hennig is likely their top hope for the women’s races and if anyone else finishes in the top 20 it would be a success. They couldn’t muster anything even with the Scandinavians missing and the Americans and Russians not in top form. While disappointing, it’s understandable that German media doesn’t cover xc all that much. They didn’t cover it super well even when Germany was winning world cups and major championship medals.

It was nice to see the Swiss and Czech teams doing well. I know not having the strong Swedish women’s team was nice for everyone, it’s still good to see other names be in contention. If the worlds doesn’t get cancelled and all the teams are in Germany in full strength, the women’s team sprint could be very exciting, there could be up to 8 countries with at least a decent shot of the top three, IMO.
Well, one thing that can't be overlooked is the medical aspect. It has become very very hard and dangerous for German athletes to be at the highest level there. The golden decade If 2000 to 2010 surely would mit have been possible without it. Today Things have become difficult in that area. I don,' t say it is the main or only reason, but IT IS a factor. There are and have been a few promising Juniors over the years, but once they arrive at the Senior Level they are completely toast.
 

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