Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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In theory, yes, the World Championships could start earlier, but FIS loves its Tour de Ski. If the worlds began before the Alpine Worlds, few athletes from the Scandinavian countries would participate in the Tour. That can already be seen during the olympics years to some extent, and it could be even more extreme.

I, personally, highly dislike the Tour. I would prefer it being dropped from the calendar altogether. FIS doesn't need to imitate cycling.
I always felt the TDS was them trying to give cross country a version of the 4 hills tournament at that time of the year. It takes too much out of the athletes though so if you moved the World's earlier, I'd imagine loads will skip it (particularly the Norwegians).

It'd be better to just make it every non world's or Olympics year really and put something different instead there in those years, if you were moving the world's to end of January.
 
As the stage is set for skiathlon, before sleep, I went to the Eurosport's website to check the broadcasting times, and what a "pleasant" surprise was waiting for me there!
Masterminds that work in FIS scheduled both alpine skiing events (men and women races) to collide with women's skiathlon. Naturally Eurosport 1 in my country will broadcast alpine skiing and completely ignore the event apparently. On the other hand, men's race is more important to them as they'll tune into it after the Giant Slalom is over... Surreal
 
Just a small correction, men's GS doesn't clash with the ladies skiathlon

actual start times (CET)

GS run 1 starts at 10
Downhill starts at 11
Ladies skiathlon starts at 11.45
GS run 2 starts at 13
Mens skiathlon starts at 13.30

I mean ok, there is an overlap, and the scheduling could definitely have been better, but showing the also-rans in the DH (somehow there is a much steeper drop off after the top 20 for the ladies) and starting the GS run 2 coverage 30 minutes before the actual start of the run seems a bit weird, so this one is partly on Eurosport as well
 
Reactions: DenisMenchov
So Ustiugov wasn't picked for the Skiathlon, can't say that I'm really surprised. It's Bolshunov, Yakimushkin, Belov and Chervotkin. I am a bit surprised that they didn't pick Spitsov and Italy not bringing De Fabiani is a big surprise, I guess they want to go all in for the team sprint. Gus Schumacher isn't racing either, I guess they want to keep him fresh for the 15km Skating.
Source: http://live.fis-ski.com/cc-2064/results-pda.htm
 
Jan 7, 2019
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Certainly some are concentrating on team sprint. For Italy team sprint is basically their only remaining shot at a medal, so understandably they go all in there.

Brennan is missing in women's line-up. Not sure how related this is to team sprint, as USA have several sprinters (Caldwell, Bjornsen) to complement Diggins in team sprint anyway.
 
Golberg probably deserves the spot over Klaebo based on his results. How short/easy is the lap? If the race isn't selective I can kinda see why they'd pick Klaebo, but the guy has never delivered in a Skiathlon in the world cup, so it's still a bit questionable. I guess that could mean that Goldberg could take Klaebo's spot in the 50km classic race, I doubt that Klaebo will be doing anything but the team sprint and the relay after the Skiathlon.
I think Klæbo is very interested in showing what he can do in distance races. Especially 50km. His focus is not on the sprint, but to develop his endurance. But I think he still has some work ahead of him to get the results. The conditions with the warm weather doesn't favor heavy guys like Bolsjunov or Iversen. It might open up for some surprises on the 50km as it will be hard to keep up the pace for a long time.
 
Even if it's obviously impossible to extrapolate the race one to one, the main climb on the free lap seems long and and difficult enough to be a difference maker in the men's race.
That’s where I think I the likes of Holund and Krüger will try to break away or at least push the pace. If the Russians have good skis as their women did during the classic portion, they would be smart to try and keep the pace high during the first half, and try to hurt the Norwegians, particularly Iversen and Klæbo, who are by far the best finishers of the 5 that are racing today.
 
Andersson finished 3rd in the TDS, and remember she lost a lot of time at Val Müstair due to altitude adaptation and maybe even less than stellar skis. I also think her shape wasn’t as good as it is today. Karlsson lost time in Toblach due to the injury after trying to do stupid pull-ups on the hotel room door. Those that really skied a great Tour, the likes of Diggins, Hennig, and Stupak are not in optimal shape. Stupak mentioned before the sprint that she’s not in sort of shape she was during the Tour. I was sort of expecting that. It’s very difficult to be in great form at the tour and a major championship.
 
Fossesholm and Claudel could get a medal in the 15m Skating race, they were really strong in the skating part of the skiathlon.
A great showing by Stadlober.
Hennig only 29th, 3 Italians ahead of her, I did not expect that.
Those with less travel this season seem to have done very well so far, much fresher legs. Claudel skied well in the tour and then only raced the Falun distance races (apart from a national race in La Clusaz two weeks after the Tour).

My guess is that for next season people will have a careful look at the calendar and race less. Time between isn’t too bad, it’s a month and half in between. The problem is the training.

Libertine, I can imagine Dixon and Winterton complaining about Jessie’s skis today...
 
To be fair to Diggins, she has been handed a probably once in a lifetime opportunity to win the World Cup and Tour de Ski, but that does have to come with some level of sacrificing the World Championships. She was very pedestrian and while I could see them blaming the skis for the Classic leg, Come On Jess is better at skate and she went backwards there too. The other Americans were also nowhere (albeit no Brennan) and they were very unconvincing in the sprints too. The Americans usually perform above their seasons' norms at the championships in the last decade or so, but here they have been well below. I figured they just decided to make hay while the sun was shining while the Norwegians and for a while other Scandinavians too were absent, padded the win count while they were essentially in a straight head to head with the Russians and Stupak had only just got back from her baby break, and now they're paying for being in constant form across November-December and early January. Remember, Brennan capitulated completely in the Tour after her ludicrous overperformance of her career norms in the early season. Plus they've probably rested some people to choose for the Team Sprint.
 
That's the selection you'd say, even if the duo get back on, Bolshunov will just lift the tempo on that climb next lap and remove them terminally. Musgrave did a lot of work in the Classic legs (probably too much, in retrospect) to earn himself the shot at skiing with those guys, but the 750m climb was just too much for him, he was threatening to get detached last lap but he had Klæbo for company and they worked back on, this time the hammerman has got him, he's in no-man's land and now just has to hope that he hasn't Cadel Evansed it to get caught by the Chervotkin/Yakimushkin/Niskanen/Burman/Patterson group (seriously how good a race is Scott Patterson having, too. Having said my bit about the US women not overachieving at the Worlds as they so often do, here's Scott reversing that trend in the men's races).
 

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