Yeah, Chervotkin was awesome. The whole concept of having a long pursuit after a 15km mass start on this kind of course was just a bit bad, maybe with a 30km mass start or just by making the 15km an individual start it would have worked out a lot better.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.
Svensson finished 10th, you can bet on the fact that he would have tried to double pole te whole thing if it was a classic race.