Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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So thought to share some statistics now about cross-country skiing that the championships are over.

Medals distributed in XC: Norway 18 (18 in Seefeld as well), Sweden 7 (5), Russia 5 (8), the rest 6 (5). So the state of affairs is pretty much the same as 2 years ago.

Out of those 6 medals for "the rest" 5 came in team events, so only Lampic achieved an individual medal. Also for Russia Bolshunov was the only skier to achieve individual medals, the rest came in relays.

7 countries achieved XC medal(s), the same as in Seefeld and Lahti (8 in Pyeongchang). So again this is the range these days.

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11 countries managed to finish in top 6 in races. In addition to medalists also USA, Austria, Germany and Italy. However, looking at individual races only 7 countries had an athlete in top6. SUI, FRA, GER, ITA needed relays to get in there. Outside "top3" nations the skiers to finish inside top 6 were Lampic, Diggins, Stadlober (2x), Niskanen. So only 5 occasions out of possible 48.

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Looking further down, 16 countries finished in top10 in some event (add GBR, CZE, CAN, JPN, POL). However, excluding relays you are left with 11 countries.

The distribution of top10 slots in 8 individual races: Norway - 33, Sweden - 16, Russia - 12, the rest combined - 19.

For Norway 33 comes out of possible 40, as they could field 5 athletes in every individual race. So the success rate is quite close to maximum.
 
After this season’s WSC results Välbe can’t expect them to ski at the TDS and ski well at the Olympics, especially as the Olympics will be in early February. Not a lot of time to recover and build the form again.
We're talking about a team that rushed an athlete back to the WC 1 month after she broke he thumb and pretty much forced Ustigov to still race the sprint after his training incident, you never know...
 
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Let's also look at the impact of the Tour de Ski on the WCH performance:

Men: (only indididual results)
  1. Bolshunov ( 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze and 4th)
  2. Manificat (15th and DNF)
  3. Spitsov (/)
  4. Yakimushkin ( 8th and 11th)
  5. Maltsev ( 5th)
  6. Belov (19th and 23rd)
  7. Melnichenko (12th)
  8. Cologna (9th, 10th, 13th)
  9. Parisse (12th, 13th, 14th)
  10. Lapalus (21st and DNF)
Apart from Bolshunov, only 4 TOP 10 finishes out of 16 starts and 0 medals.

Women:
  1. Diggins (4th, 15th, 24th)
  2. Stupak (11th, 13th, 29th)
  3. Andersson (3rd, 3rd, 4th)
  4. Sorina (5th, 8th, 9th, 21st)
  5. Parmakoski (13th, 13th)
  6. Brennan (34th)
7 TOP 10 finishes out of 16 starts, only 2 medals.

Also bad Championships for sprinters: Pellegrino and Svahn.
 
It's hard to say how the TDS effected it as the Norwegians as a nation completely skipped it. In a normal years, guys like Klaebo can skip it as he knows he's in the team no matter what but guys like Rothe, Golberg etc might not be able to as they're battling for a position. They might pick and choose races rather than going for the overall of course.
 
It's hard to say how the TDS effected it as the Norwegians as a nation completely skipped it. In a normal years, guys like Klaebo can skip it as he knows he's in the team no matter what but guys like Rothe, Golberg etc might not be able to as they're battling for a position. They might pick and choose races rather than going for the overall of course.
I wonder if Sanja will skip next years TdS. He was a bit of a victim of his schedule in Oberstdorf, the other Russians even more. The first Olympic race will be 5th or 6th of February. That's a lot closer to Alpe Cermis than this year. Between TdS and the Winter Games there will be two World Cups. One in Prémanon and one in Planica. The latter smells like Sprint/Teamsprint.

According to the FIS website the Tour de Ski will be shorter next year? They listed only six stages. So maybe they also reacted here to attract bigger names.

So what can we expect from the Engadin races the next weekend? We really need more races at higher altitude. Bring back Pragelato and San Sicario. ;)
 
It's hard to say how the TDS effected it as the Norwegians as a nation completely skipped it. In a normal years, guys like Klaebo can skip it as he knows he's in the team no matter what but guys like Rothe, Golberg etc might not be able to as they're battling for a position. They might pick and choose races rather than going for the overall of course.
Doing the TdS did not have an effect in 2019 - top 5 overall won 5 individual medals at the Worlds then, but now that Bolshunov couldn't crush everyone, it's the schedule that is at fault instead of superpeaking for TdS against no real competition to win by 3 minutes.
 
I don't know really. I think both plays a part. If you're the only of the top contenders to do it and others sit out (like this year), I do think it helps. Next year if he races it, and then the likes of Golberg, Iversen, Valnes, Amundsen, Rothe etc all race it too, it makes things a lot more equal. I'd say only Klaebo from Norway can pick and choose his races, and Holund is probably guaranteed a shot at the 50k free and Kruger at the skiathlon as defending champion.

The others might have to race a bit more, as I'm imagine all the non Bolshunov Russians have to, although smaller countries might be able to skip it when they have clear top options (Niskanen, De Fabiani, Cologna, Musgrave should all skip it)
 
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I realized that a top nation can bring a maximum of 16 XC skiers (8 men + 8 women) to Olympics. So there are some limitations in the selection process, which makes it tricky. If we imagine Norway could only bring 8 male skiers to Oberstdorf, it means they would have probably won one medal less. Either Taugböl or Amundsen would have been left out of the team.
 
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Yep, to break away from the field and finish alone is quite a feat in a short mass-start race, in men's class (Johaug in women does this on most occasions anyway).

Wonder, what is Bolshunov's strategy for the pursuit. 50km is a long distance. Will he wait for others in the beginning or is he aiming to go the entire distance alone at the front?
 
Yep, to break away from the field and finish alone is quite a feat in a short mass-start race, in men's class (Johaug in women does this on most occasions anyway).

Wonder, what is Bolshunov's strategy for the pursuit. 50km is a long distance. Will he wait for others in the beginning or is he aiming to go the entire distance alone at the front?
Well they are doing the track of the Engadin Skimarathon, which means it is mostly flat. If he wants to stay in front he has to put the hammer down from the very dirst second. Otherwise there is no Chance for an individual against the pack in that track.
 
Well they are doing the track of the Engadin Skimarathon, which means it is mostly flat. If he wants to stay in front he has to put the hammer down from the very dirst second. Otherwise there is no Chance for an individual against the pack in that track.
Yeah, the idea of having a 15km mass start before a 50km pursuit is just stupid...

If you wanna make the indivudual starts more compact as a product for TV then have all the top 30 athletes of the overall WC ranking start right after eachother from nr. 20-50. The nr. 1. ranked is allowed to pick his starting number first, then the nr. 2 and so on.
 
There would still be situations where someone gets lucky with the draw by starting 30 seconds ahead of the eventual winner and then holding on to him until the finish and beating better athletes.

The current 1 minute gaps are perfectly fine in my opinion.
 
Yeah, the idea of having a 15km mass start before a 50km pursuit is just stupid...

If you wanna make the indivudual starts more compact as a product for TV then have all the top 30 athletes of the overall WC ranking start right after eachother from nr. 20-50. The nr. 1. ranked is allowed to pick his starting number first, then the nr. 2 and so on.
The problem is that both today and tomorrow are the easiest tracks of the entire season. These makes this double really stupid.
 
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Meanwhile in biathlon Eckhoff is what I guess JTB aspires to be. Absolutely peerless. Meanwhile the overall cup between JTB and Lägreid is still too close to call, even though on skis JTB is peerless.
 
The problem is that both today and tomorrow are the easiest tracks of the entire season. These makes this double really stupid.
Yeah, but in the end the mass start produced bigger gaps than the one in Falun.
I was surprised by the results in the women's race, I didn't expect Stupak to be this strong and 3 Germans in the top 10 . Yeah, no Johaug and no Karlsson, but it still would have been 2 skiers inside the top 10. Gimmler has really surprised me in the last few races.

On the Men's side De Fabiani really went from De Fast (his nickname) to De fail. He hasn't been the same since he tried to match the kind of trainin volume that the Norwegian armada deems necessary a few years ago. He always seem to do well on the Val di Fiemme lap, but otherwise he's often really unimpressive.

Overall the Russians are always a lot better at altitude with proper Winter temperatures, so them bing so good here isn't unexpected, but still impressive.
 
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Meanwhile in biathlon Eckhoff is what I guess JTB aspires to be. Absolutely peerless. Meanwhile the overall cup between JTB and Lägreid is still too close to call, even though on skis JTB is peerless.
Eckhoff is doing in the women's what JTB did in the men's during the 2018/2019 season winning more than half the races she entered and with the plus of having had better World Championships. I don't remember someone as dominant since Neuner.

In the men's JTB shot better in this second Nove Mesto week so he has a slight advantage over Laegreid now but everything can still change in Ostersund.
 
Find the relay teams tomorrow interesting. Laegreid and Tandrevold going on the single mixed in particular. No Jacquelin in either team for the French either and Hanna Oeberg, Preuss or Alimbekava not racing either. Guessing they're tired but Jacquelin and Alimbekava looked good today
 
Eckhoff is doing in the women's what JTB did in the men's during the 2018/2019 season winning more than half the races she entered and with the plus of having had better World Championships. I don't remember someone as dominant since Neuner.

In the men's JTB shot better in this second Nove Mesto week so he has a slight advantage over Laegreid now but everything can still change in Ostersund.
Tora Berger 2012-13 was as dominant as anything I can remember.
 
Find the relay teams tomorrow interesting. Laegreid and Tandrevold going on the single mixed in particular. No Jacquelin in either team for the French either and Hanna Oeberg, Preuss or Alimbekava not racing either. Guessing they're tired but Jacquelin and Alimbekava looked good today
According to what Jacquelin said on social media his fitness isn't as good as he would like it to be, so I suspect that may be why he's not on the mixed relays.
 
Well, Jacquelin blew up completely on lap 5 after looking good early in the race yesterday, so that makes sense.

Lol at this "pursuit" in Engadin. Oskar Svensson must be gutted this isn't in classic, he could legit have double poled the whole thing like they do on the Loppet calendar.
 
Well, Jacquelin blew up completely on lap 5 after looking good early in the race yesterday, so that makes sense.

Lol at this "pursuit" in Engadin. Oskar Svensson must be gutted this isn't in classic, he could legit have double poled the whole thing like they do on the Loppet calendar.
The Women's race was pretty entertaining to watch.
I really prefer this format going from a to b instead of a certain amount of laps on a circuit for long distance races. It looks so much better and has a more pure xc skiing feeling.
 
The Women's race was pretty entertaining to watch.
I really prefer this format going from a to b instead of a certain amount of laps on a circuit for long distance races. It looks so much better and has a more pure xc skiing feeling.
I agree, it's just it being a 'pursuit' that by the time we got 5k in was a pack race among the men was comical. I actually really enjoy the Loppet calendar and also ridiculously miss the Toblach-Cortina pursuit from the Tour de Ski, that to me was every bit as special and as important to the identity of the race as the Alpe (and I always was annoyed the women didn't get to do it).

The big thing is that we don't get enough "cross-country" in cross-country anymre, with all the short loops as you say. That's why I favour longer races being made up like bike races of huge long loops with some short loops at the finish, rather than the same short to medium length course over and over.

Chervotkin rules. Credit to him for his bravado, but he's pretty doomed it seems.
 
People may not like Bolshunov for his stone cold demeanor and perfectionism, but without him and the Russians it’s a Norwegian national championship virtually every race the last two seasons. I just hope his schedule the next season or two isn’t full as it has been these last two or three seasons and he can peak for the Olympics and not burn himself out.
 

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