Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Not really shocking to see the Norwegians up there, and Bolshunov really the only Russian or even non Norwegian with a realistic shot at the podium. What is a bit surprising is that all of the other Russians looking so lethargic, I mean Cologna raced the TDS as well and he looked decent. The other Russians simply didn’t change skis and poles all that fast, that’s where they lost the Norwegians and Bolshunov. Way too relaxed in the change zone/pit stop. Once you lose contact it’s very difficult to regain contact. Yakimushkin, Melnichenko and Maltsev were way off form today. Perhaps it was better to not race this weekend and just train and continue the recovery and build up process. The French and De Fabiani not being there was a minus. The French could have perhaps animated the race a bit in the skate portion, but who knows. Let’s hope the second half of the season isn’t going to be like this, it could become very boring very fast.
 
Not really shocking to see the Norwegians up there, and Bolshunov really the only Russian or even non Norwegian with a realistic shot at the podium. What is a bit surprising is that all of the other Russians looking so lethargic, I mean Cologna raced the TDS as well and he looked decent. The other Russians simply didn’t change skis and poles all that fast, that’s where they lost the Norwegians and Bolshunov. Way too relaxed in the change zone/pit stop. Once you lose contact it’s very difficult to regain contact. Yakimushkin, Melnichenko and Maltsev were way off form today. Perhaps it was better to not race this weekend and just train and continue the recovery and build up process. The French and De Fabiani not being there was a minus. The French could have perhaps animated the race a bit in the skate portion, but who knows. Let’s hope the second half of the season isn’t going to be like this, it could become very boring very fast.
Moch already being good enough to get a top 10 at he age of 20 was a surprise for me, let's hope that the Germans will once again be competitive, Schumacher could also be an American to watch for the coming years.
 
Moch already being good enough to get a top 10 at he age of 20 was a surprise for me, let's hope that the Germans will once again be competitive, Schumacher could also be an American to watch for the coming years.
Some of the results were really funky, strange. Moch’s best result this season was 22nd in Davos. Apart from that he wasn’t near the top 30 in any of the other WC races he took part in. He raced the Alpen/Europa Cups before this and didn’t even get on the podium, against weaker opposition, now he is in 10th against all the top Norwegians, Russians, Cologna, Niskanen....I don’t know, perhaps fresh legs and adapting better to lower altitude.
 
yeah, I guess it's still unlikely we get to see her in the World Cup this season!?

And completely off-topic, but could you maybe check if there's a way to add English as second language to your Autocorrect, by the way? At least on Android it is possible, and it works quite well
 
You never know, if she goes well at the European Championships next week, they might test her out with a couple of the post-World Championships races. The Swedes started the season super-hot and have been slowly cooling down ever since, so it might be that they had less strict lockdowns and were in better shape and others have caught up (regression to the mean) or it could be that they followed their usual plan which is based around coming out of the gate hot because their home races usually start the season. Skottheim hasn't raced in a while and was way off the pace last few times she did, Brorsson has looked lethargic in Antholz and last week in Oberhof, and in the Individual on Thursday none of their women managed a top 30 ski time. They may soldier on until the World Championships and then let some athletes low on pace or confidence take a break and rotate people like Magnusson and Högberg back in, which will give Stina a chance of being one of those rotated in if she goes well in Duszniki-Zdrój and Osrblie, plus there's always the chance of illness/injury coming into play, especially this season if Covid gets into the camp. Next season is more reasonable to expect, but she does have an outside shot at a World Cup debut in the final trimester.
 
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Some of the results were really funky, strange. Moch’s best result this season was 22nd in Davos. Apart from that he wasn’t near the top 30 in any of the other WC races he took part in. He raced the Alpen/Europa Cups before this and didn’t even get on the podium, against weaker opposition, now he is in 10th against all the top Norwegians, Russians, Cologna, Niskanen....I don’t know, perhaps fresh legs and adapting better to lower altitude.
You're probably right. He was one of the top talents in the Junior ranks, but the top 10 is a bit out of the blue.
I hope that guys like him, Schumacher and Graz will be competitive in the next few years, more nations instead of the Russia vs Norway duel would be great for the sport.
I guess the Norwegians will send Amundsen to the next skating races after his podium at the NC and his good results in the domestic races, he could earn himself a spot for the 15km at the WC.
 
9 countries in the relays in Lahti. Nine. Finland and Russia providing 2 teams each, Ukraine provide a women's team but not a men's, and Switzerland provide a men's team but not a women's, so 10 countries in all. In Antholz, 24 countries in yesterday's men's relay and 20 in today's women's. These races are where the loss of other competitive nations really hurts and is most visiible, I think.
 
Joni Mäki with an incredible final leg, then he blatantly obstructs Bolshunov in the sprint, but Bolshunov has probably earnt himself quite the fine for trying to swipe Mäki with his pole and then indulging his Aleksandr Ovechkin fantasies by getting a two minute minor for boarding at the finishing line.
 
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Joni Mäki with an incredible final leg, then he blatantly obstructs Bolshunov in the sprint, but Bolshunov has probably earnt himself quite the fine for trying to swipe Mäki with his pole and then indulging his Aleksandr Ovechkin fantasies by getting a two minute minor for boarding at the finishing line.
The pole swipe was too much and dangerous, but I think the slide tackle was accidental, he was carrying speed and just lost his balance. I don’t think any skier would be that crazy to do that on purpose.
 
The pole swipe was too much and dangerous, but I think the slide tackle was accidental, he was carrying speed and just lost his balance. I don’t think any skier would be that crazy to do that on purpose.
When you see the overhead though, Mäki goes across him and Bolshunov had every opportunity to slow down and avoid him, given there's no threat to his position from behind, and he clearly made no attempt to.

The thing is, now we don't even know if any action would or wouldn't be taken against Mäki, because even if Finland I got relegated, the subsequent disqualification of Russia I for Bolshunov's antics mean Finland I's 2nd place would be reinstated.
 
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The pole swipe was too much and dangerous, but I think the slide tackle was accidental, he was carrying speed and just lost his balance. I don’t think any skier would be that crazy to do that on purpose.
Long time lurker on this place...
Some really insightful discussions going on here by the way..

Just want to chime in no way that boarding tackle as libertine beautifully describes it as was accidental..
He had already stopped poling long before the finish and that was a angry adrenaline tackle if I have ever seen one..

No doubt the fin obstructed him, but he reached the corridor first...
I blame it on the course design.
As hopeless as Anterselva in biathlon.
For all practical purposes the finish is before the last bend..
 
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I'm sorry for bursting like this by the way..
As mentioned, long time lurker, but usually more of a reader than talker...

It was quite an exciting finish, and no one in the house to discuss it with and then ended up here.. :)

In general very impressed by the knowledge level in this thread.
Well, on this site in general to be fair.
Learned quite a lot by reading the clinic threads here over the years for instance.
 
I would have dq him for the swipe, that’s extremely dangerous. Those poles are light but they are still strong and with the pole tips and basket you can easily hurt someone. He already had a yellow card so he would have been DQ’d regardless, I think. The question now becomes, do they suspend him from the next races? Hopefully it’s not for the rest of the season, that would maybe be a bit much.

Mäki definitely obstructed him on purpose but Bolshunov made so many errors on that last lap, and of course for the second straight day the skate skis in particular were not running well for any of the Russians. He needed to actually attack or drive a solid pace, not to sit behind a no name Finn. Another pity is that his teammates skied ok, all things considered and now they are DQ’d, will lose money and World Cup and nations cup points.
 
Well, Russia II jump up into the spot anyway and if anything had been the better team through the race, but yea, the swipe is actually probably more dangerous than the bodycheck and as you say he was already on a yellow (though he deserved a straight red here, it's a bit like Mark Renshaw's controversial Tour DQ - he committed two yellow card offences within about 200m). It's a shame really as Mäki had had a great leg, yes Bolshunov had made some tactical errors but let's face it, tactical naïveté is hardly a new thing for Bolshunov, just usually his brute strength and stamina compensates that, and even if Mäki lost the sprnit he'd have acquitted himself very well indeed.
 
Bolshunov have issues he needs to get sorted. He even accused the Norwegians in having sacrificed one man to create his fall yesterday. Thats absurd. The Norwegians are having a hard fight internally to get into the team for the World Champs. No one would even consider to sacrifice their own chance by something stupid like taking out Bolshunov when they had the numbers against him anyway. Bolshunov is perfectly capable of messing things up on his own. And now again he gets hot headed. The Russian federation should stop making excuses for his behavior and start teaching him a lesson in sportsmanship.
 
Well has improved on that front over the last season, he won’t just go to the front and drive. He’s learned to pace better and when to pull or attack. Today he was too relaxed or confident. After the first k or two, they gave up skiing fast, and just messed around. Had the gap been 15-20 seconds then I think you would have seen him ski harder and he would have dropped Mäki, even with less than stellar skis. But Spitsov’s form is not what it was three weeks ago and that’s understandable. The Norwegians are more fresh and in better form plus better skis.
 
Bolshunov have issues he needs to get sorted. He even accused the Norwegians in having sacrificed one man to create his fall yesterday. Thats absurd. The Norwegians are having a hard fight internally to get into the team for the World Champs. No one would even consider to sacrifice their own chance by something stupid like taking out Bolshunov when they had the numbers against him anyway. Bolshunov is perfectly capable of messing things up on his own. And now again he gets hot headed. The Russian federation should stop making excuses for his behavior and start teaching him a lesson in sportsmanship.
Krüger blatantly cut off and moved into Bolshunov on the top of the fist hill in the Åre sprint last season when there was no need. While it’s hard to see that they purposely took him out yesterday, gamesmanship is certainly not out the question when it comes to Norwegians.
 
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According to Finnish media, the Russians have been sparing their best high-fluor glide waxes for Oberstdorf. In the skiathlon yesterday, they used the 4th best glide wax. That's why they have had issues with the skis in Lahti.

Moreover, Mäki did nothing wrong according to the rule book but the athletics stadium in Lahti doesn't really work for modern skiing.
 
Krüger blatantly cut off and moved into Bolshunov on the top of the fist hill in the Åre sprint last season when there was no need. While it’s hard to see that they purposely took him out yesterday, gamesmanship is certainly not out the question when it comes to Norwegians.
I woun´t deny that every nation might push the limits to gain an advantage. The Norwegians are competitive and combative and they are not better or worse than any of the other nations in this regard. The few Norwegians that witnessed the incident yesterday says it was Bolshunov himself who made a mistake in the downhill and if anything he was the one who cut of Hollund. Now that is word against word. But I find that much more probable than any of the Norwegians sacrificing their own chances in a race of minor importance for the Norwegians for anything else than the internal struggle of getting a place on the World Champs team. It would actually have been more believable if any of them internally took out a stronger team-mate. The only outspoken tactics against Bolshunov from the Norwegian team is to use the numbers to have one break away and let Bolshunov chase him down. They didn't even do much of that yesterday since they all seemed most focused on their internal fight.
 

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