Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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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.
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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.
Burgstall climb is long enough. Take a Look at the gaps In the Skiathlon. Take a Look at Lillehammer. You do not necessarily need long loops. You have to have long climbs and a limited amount of flat sections.
 
Jan 24, 2021
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So Ukraine hand off to the weapon and didn't make contact with body until after hand-off zone..
Let's see if the refs have some integrity or if the hand off zone is just a theoretical zone.
 
Jan 7, 2019
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What a spectacular failure by the Swedish waxing team in 4x5 relay. Speechless. At least as bad as Norway in 2014. Sundling was slipping heavily from the beginning. Well, so much about the grand battle of Norway v Sweden. Last time Sweden's women relay team failed to get a medal at the championships was in 2010...

At least Russia gave Norway a bit of a run for their money, but Johaug made it sure Russia never was close enough to be a genuine threat.

Sweden's failure gave an unexpected opportunity for an outsider to get a medal. USA and Germany sniffed at their first XC medal in these championships, and you could say this was the first race in which Germany was actually competitive. But Finland still made it, and special congrats to 42-y-o Roponen.

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Meanwhile in biathlon relay about 10 teams finished within 1 minute. That was quite a close competition. Looks like Nove Mesto course isn't very demanding, so the gaps are small and a lot is decided in the range.
 
What a spectacular failure by the Swedish waxing team in 4x5 relay. Speechless. At least as bad as Norway in 2014. Sundling was slipping heavily from the beginning. Well, so much about the grand battle of Norway v Sweden. Last time Sweden's women relay team failed to get a medal at the championships was in 2010...

At least Russia gave Norway a bit of a run for their money, but Johaug made it sure Russia never was close enough to be a genuine threat.

Sweden's failure gave an unexpected opportunity for an outsider to get a medal. USA and Germany sniffed at their first XC medal in these championships, and you could say this was the first race in which Germany was actually competitive. But Finland still made it, and special congrats to 42-y-o Roponen.

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Meanwhile in biathlon relay about 10 teams finished within 1 minute. That was quite a close competition. Looks like Nove Mesto course isn't very demanding, so the gaps are small and a lot is decided in the range.
The 2k course in Nové Mesto is just about the worst on the calendar. They've reprofiled some of the longer loops here to make them more selective, but the 2k loop here is hard to get much that's particularly decisive into.
 
Jan 7, 2019
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So start list for tomorrow's relay is out.

Norway: Golberg, Iversen, Holund, Kläbo.

I feel for Krüger for having been left out after 2 silver medals. Seems rather unfortunate. He would do a good enough job on a classic leg too, if necessary.

Russia: Chervotkin, Yakimushkin, Maltsev, Bolshunov.

In the absence of Ustiugov and Spitsov, there wasn't a lot of choice left. Chervotkin beat Belov in skiathlon, so he starts out as the weakest link. Russia's goal can only be to try to hang onto Norway for 3 legs and for Bolshunov to try to exhaust and drop Kläbo with high tempo before the last km or so.

Bronze has several contenders with France perhaps the most well-balanced team with each of their athlete having been inside top 21 in distance races in these WCH.

But of course, who knows, maybe someone will completely fail on the waxing front again and completely drops out of contention, changing the entire complexion of the race.
 
So start list for tomorrow's relay is out.

Norway: Golberg, Iversen, Holund, Kläbo.

I feel for Krüger for having been left out after 2 silver medals. Seems rather unfortunate. He would do a good enough job on a classic leg too, if necessary.

Russia: Chervotkin, Yakimushkin, Maltsev, Bolshunov.

In the absence of Ustiugov and Spitsov, there wasn't a lot of choice left. Chervotkin beat Belov in skiathlon, so he starts out as the weakest link. Russia's goal can only be to try to hang onto Norway for 3 legs and for Bolshunov to try to exhaust and drop Kläbo with high tempo before the last km or so.

Bronze has several contenders with France perhaps the most well-balanced team with each of their athlete having been inside top 21 in distance races in these WCH.

But of course, who knows, maybe someone will completely fail on the waxing front again and completely drops out of contention, changing the entire complexion of the race.
That is a bitter team choice for Krüger. Also Valnes with both a silver and a gold could have done a good job, as well as Amundsen who also is a medalist in this WCH. All in all the competition on the Norwegian team is among the hardest it has ever been. This just adds to the pressure. If the Norwegian mens relay team doesn't pick up this gold they will have to be smuggled back home through a backdoor at the airport. You'll see riots in the streets of Oslo.
 
Guess Riiber was not on a good day today. But just like Diggins, Watabe could have perhaps played it better even being by far the worse sprinter,
Lamparter is one hell of an athlete, up until 2018 he was also one of the best Olympic weightlifters in his age group. 2018 he managed to win the u17 age group and got 3 2nd places in the overall category (so no age restrictions), while being one of the top NC talents in his age group at the same time.
 
according to Finnish media, quoting FIS race director Pierre Mignerey, there's likely to be 50k individual start race in Cogne (article says "Kölnissä", which is Cologne, as far as I can see - and therefor unlikely ;) ) next season

50km individual at altitude? Sign me up for that, at least the Italians seem to like the format and have found memories from the Di Centa days.
 
Jan 24, 2021
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Snowfall with around 0 degrees is the kind of conditions where Norway usually has great skis.
Mhm. Usually.
Some famous Swedenesque waxing failures for the norwegians over the years too.

So much secrecy going on that they won't even reveal it to former national coach, now expert commentator on NRK.
Apparently they won't decide on leg two until seeing leg one.

Russians look to have proper skis or are Chervotkin just doing a Crazy Ivan?
 

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