Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

Page 258 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Jan 24, 2021
4
5
15
Sweden have a long tradition of spectacular relay failures, Brink, Jonson and Majbäck comes to mind..
Usually the men though...
 
Riitta-Liisa Roponen is on fire. Brennan is horrible to watch when she tires and the technique starts to go. She looks like she's in so much pain. But vs. Fink and with Roponen only catching them late in the lap, the US have the best anchor of the three comfortably so should feel confident in the bronze at least.
 
No medal for Seweden. Schlickenrieder is an even bigger *** than I had thought. He blames Behle for the current Situation. He says that they are paying the price for the mistakes of the Behle era. Unbelievable.
The guy seems to be a tool who blames everyone but himself. Reminds me a bit of the Italian Skiing Federation (not only XC skiing) where the higher ups are always quick to throw the athletes under the bus to deflect the blame.
Therese Belmondo with her usual duracell style, they seem to have Gold in the bag unless Fossesholm cracks.
 
Having Pärmäkoski and Digginis chasing down Carl looks so comical with both of them in short sleeves and shorts, I know the temperature is high but it feels like they're climbing sand dunes. USA are odds on for the medal you'd say, they had the strongest of the three teams on paper and the most in-form anchor. Best possible Jess and best possible Krista aren't that dissimilar, but Diggins has been far better this season as a whole and here in Oberstdorf in particular. Carl is a wildcard but I don't see her taking the bronze here.
 
Krista Pärmäkoski completely did a number on Diggins there. For all the talk of Jess' Alpine background, clearly Krista was gliding better downhill, taking unusual lines to find harder faster running snow, and then took up the pace at the last. Diggins is a better sprinter at the end of the day, but she didn't have anything left. The Finnish quartet did a reasonable job of replicating the atmosphere of a full stadium of screaming fans there.

...Eurosport comms discussing who the MVP of the race was and, considering the shock podium for Finland with Roponen and Pärmäkoski, the hard work to give Germany a podium chance from Pia Fink, the race-deciding leg from Johaug, the work from Stupak and Weng to break the Swedes and set the top 2 for the rest of the race, and who do they pick?

Jess Diggins.
 
Mass starts with actually hard tracks and long race formats would be the way to go, but of course this will never pass. The trouble with TT races is that pure speed and anaerobic capacity should be rewarded just as much as stamina. After all, it is easy to build specialists in one of the skills, but the combination of the is something else.
Mass starts are very difficult to combine with long hard tracks since you need a lot of cameras to follow the race. In individual starts there will always be some skiers passing by the cameras somewhere, if you lack coverage in a mass start you end up watching the woods and not the skiers.

Changing the 50K/30K in Holmenkollen to mass start was the ultimate shortsighted betrayal of cross country history. Winning these races used to have about the same prestige as winning a gold in the world championships, why would we need yet another mass start in a long season of mass starts.
It's like changing Paris–Roubaix to something completely different because it doesn't appeal to the tv audience in China.
 
I just feel, why not do the cycling thing and have long loops and short loops. Have the 50k, instead of 6,25km x 8 laps or 5km x 10 laps, be 10km x 4 laps wihth some real sizable obstacles, and then a shorter, punchier 2,5km x 4 finishing loop, so that the bigger obstacles are further out and offer more options for breaking the race up than the short loop, disincentivising keeping the race together.
 
Jan 24, 2021
4
5
15
...Eurosport comms discussing who the MVP of the race was and, considering the shock podium for Finland with Roponen and Pärmäkoski, the hard work to give Germany a podium chance from Pia Fink, the race-deciding leg from Johaug, the work from Stupak and Weng to break the Swedes and set the top 2 for the rest of the race, and who do they pick?

Jess Diggins.
Haha...I feel sorry for everyone having to listen to the BS..
 
Sundling’s skis were rather slick on the second lap and she didn’t look good at all on that lap, as soon as they went uphill and the pace picked up a bit her facial expressions changed, she was struggling. I think the Swedes thought that because she was in such good form, that on a 5km, on a classic course that was easier than the skate, she could at least hang with the leaders or even force the issue, I think in the end she was fortunate the course wasn’t as difficult as the skate. But ok, Kalla totally flopped, she didn’t have much energy even at the first few hundred meters. I was shocked she lost that much time, not just to Russia and Norway but to everyone else as well. Of course it’s easier to analyze now, but probably Andersson on the 2nd leg would have been better.

Fantastic race by the Russians and Finns. The key for the Russians was to ski away from the Finns and Americans during the classic legs. They did that. Sorina’s job was to keep that deficit the same, she did that and then some. She didn’t lose that much to Johaug. She started with a 2 second gap and only lost 17 seconds to Johaug. Nepryaeva, with a fractured hand skied a smart race, even if she did lose time on the second lap. Great revenge for the disappointing team sprint in which they should have finished 2nd.

The Finns and 42 year old Roponen. Wow. Pärmäkoski beat Diggins for the bronze, but Roponen won them that medal. She skied a fantastic third leg to bring them up into that position.

Germany also skied a very good relay, in with a good chance until the second part of the fourth leg, but I wouldn’t say Carl skied a bad leg, she skied a good leg and really only lost the two she was with on the hardest part of the course. No shame in that.
 
Jan 24, 2021
4
5
15
ut ok, Kalla totally flopped, she didn’t have much energy even at the first few hundred meters. I was shocked she lost that much time, not just to Russia and Norway but to everyone else as well. Of course it’s easier to analyze now, but probably Andersson on the 2nd leg would have been better.
Andersson might have been better, but apparently Kalla had awful skis. Lack of glide, lack of grip.
I don't think it would have mattered much if Andersson had been forced to race on similar material.
 
Reactions: sworks
It was apparent in the first uphill that Sundling didn't have enough grip. The skiers don't all have the same ability to compensate for bad skis, Kalla in particular really needs good grip to perform well. The wax team consequently made changes to Kalla's skis to improve the grip but they probably made a mess of it in their hurry to get it done.
 
I just feel, why not do the cycling thing and have long loops and short loops. Have the 50k, instead of 6,25km x 8 laps or 5km x 10 laps, be 10km x 4 laps wihth some real sizable obstacles, and then a shorter, punchier 2,5km x 4 finishing loop, so that the bigger obstacles are further out and offer more options for breaking the race up than the short loop, disincentivising keeping the race together.
I would agree at least on paper. Even so the trouble is that even the largish hill in Oberstdorf is just 4-5min long. Quite often the obstacle itself just is not hard enough to create either gaps or considerable fatigue when done at a normal, consetvative race pace. Downhills simply allow too much recovery. To facilitate longer attacks one would need either something longer which is very tricky terrain wise, a long plateau on the top to force a longer effort (my favorite), or a quick succession of such 4min efforts to let fatigue build.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY