Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Should have skipped the skate race last weekend and not even bothered to travel to Dresden. Not only is he not in form, but he had a cold before last weekend. Taking a few days off to get fully healthy is responsibility 101. Not fully recovering can haunt you the whole season, whether it’s illness or injury. No sense of awareness in that group at the moment. And what’s funny is that he is slated to race tomorrow as well. Facepalm.
 
Should have skipped the skate race last weekend and not even bothered to travel to Dresden. Not only is he not in form, but he had a cold before last weekend. Taking a few days off to get fully healthy is responsibility 101. Not fully recovering can haunt you the whole season, whether it’s illness or injury. No sense of awareness in that group at the moment. And what’s funny is that he is slated to race tomorrow as well. Facepalm.
according to some statements I've seen in Russian media, they seem to believe that it was not a cold (or at least not a viral infection) but some kind of allergy instead.
 
Should have skipped the skate race last weekend and not even bothered to travel to Dresden. Not only is he not in form, but he had a cold before last weekend. Taking a few days off to get fully healthy is responsibility 101. Not fully recovering can haunt you the whole season, whether it’s illness or injury. No sense of awareness in that group at the moment. And what’s funny is that he is slated to race tomorrow as well. Facepalm.
He actually did a good race today but Rethvykh was not at the same level which enabled Norway to get first and second even without their WC winning line-up, Klæbo/Valnes. My main doubt about him right now is actually if he will be crazy enough to race all World Cups until the Olympics.
 
He actually did a good race today but Rethvykh was not at the same level which enabled Norway to get first and second even without their WC winning line-up, Klæbo/Valnes. My main doubt about him right now is actually if he will be crazy enough to race all World Cups until the Olympics.
Yeah, this was better from him. Not the explosiveness from last year at this time, but certainly better than yesterday or so far this season in general. Retyvikh is just too nice on the tracks. He gives away positions too easily. I don’t think he’s in the form to give the Russians the best option in these team sprints at the moment, but they don’t have anyone else. Terentjev came down with a cold and couldn’t race, otherwise he would have paired up with Bolshunov (that said, Terentjev has also been too nice in these sprints, not going for it, letting guys pass him, then running out of snow to make up ground. And of course Ustiugov is the other logical option, but (smartly) is preparing for the rest of the season.

These sort of races really tell you who is ready to take risks and go for gaps, make passes, corner sharply, accelerate and decelerate….The Norwegians we’re prepared to do that and they were rewarded for their aggression. Retivykh just seemed lackadaisical in the final two laps of his leg. It could be that isn’t in form, but whatever it is, he has Bolshunov to thank for getting him another medal in team sprint. And I am not the biggest Bolshunov fan, he seems too cold.
 
Maybe they should stop hosting city sprints when all of their talents are best at distance then.

Tell that to Schlickenrieder. The guy continually pushes for short loops, 'fast racing,' and complains that the Olympic tracks are too tough. He think this will 'popularize' cross country skiing. Not sure that it will.

I know that the current situation with the Coronavirus is the reason for no spectators in Dresden, but what a contrast to Le Grand Bornard, where there was 20,000 fans, snow, perfect looking snow conditions, sunny, hardly any wind, to a gray, gloomy, icy Dresden track. On one hand I feel sorry for the Dresden organizers that this will be the last year the WC is in Dresden (for now), but I have less sympathy for FIS and the individuals (or even teams) that push for this sort of racing. And guess what's on the menu on the first day of the TDS? Yep, another skate sprint. So much for 'save classic skiing' that they half heartedly supported 5-6 years ago.
 
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Tell that to Schlickenrieder. The guy continually pushes for short loops, 'fast racing,' and complains that the Olympic tracks are too tough. He think this will 'popularize' cross country skiing. Not sure that it will.

I know that the current situation with the Coronavirus is the reason for no spectators in Dresden, but what a contrast to Le Grand Bornard, where there was 20,000 fans, snow, perfect looking snow conditions, sunny, hardly any wind, to a gray, gloomy, icy Dresden track. On one hand I feel sorry for the Dresden organizers that this will be the last year the WC is in Dresden (for now), but I have less sympathy for FIS and the individuals (or even teams) that push for this sort of racing. And guess what's on the menu on the first day of the TDS? Yep, another skate sprint. So much for 'save classic skiing' that they half heartedly supported 5-6 years ago.
Great comparison. The Dresden sprint is the Symbol for everything that is wrong with cross country skiing. Saddly FIS will never admit that they are on the wrong path and it will only get worse and worse.
 
Great comparison. The Dresden sprint is the Symbol for everything that is wrong with cross country skiing. Saddly FIS will never admit that they are on the wrong path and it will only get worse and worse.
Majority of weekends are one sprint and one 15km. 2014/2015 was really the last year when there was some variety. Since then there’s been less skiathlon’s, less individual classic races, more skate sprints…I think the last time there was an individual 30km was in Beitostølen in December 2018. When was the last time a 50km was an individual start? Holmenkollen 2008. And what’s even more ridiculous is the bonus points that they are giving out to the top 15 qualifiers in every sprint qualification. So one can win more points in a 3 minute race than a 33 minute race, if we look at 15km races. That is BS.
 
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Tour de Ski starts tomorrow in Lenzerheide. Judging by some coverage of today’s training it seems that the conditions are good, but the forecast calls for snow tonight and into tomorrow, and more on Wednesday. That’ll be tricky waxing, particularly for the individual classic race.

This year’s format suits Klæbo to a T. What will Bolshunov do? His form won’t be as good as it was last season at this time, but he should be better than he was the first month of the season. Niskanen hasn’t raced since the Lillehammer relay. I wonder what he’ll do at the tour, the 15km classic on Wednesday is his best shot at a stage win. The other Norwegians will be looking for later in the tour, guys like Krüger, Røthe and Holund, but two sprints, and only one distance individual start will likely put them at a big disadvantage.

The women’s field is open with Johaug staying at home. My money is on Karlsson, even if she’s never raced the Alpe Cermis. Hopefully the Russian women show some improvement and at least one of them can fight for the overall. Nepryaeva has been on the overall TDS podium twice, and Stupak once, which was last year.
No Østberg, she’s having health problems again. No TDS also means no Olympics for her. I am thinking she will retire soon. I can’t see her going for the Olympics in 2026, she’ll be 35 then.
 
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No Østberg, she’s having health problems again. No TDS also means no Olympics for her. I am thinking she will retire soon. I can’t see her going for the Olympics in 2026, she’ll be 35 then.
Agree. Think she is finished. It is sad, but I think a comeback will be very hard now.

Sundby about Krüger: "He will be unbeatable in the olympics. Altitude doesn't affect him at all. Everyone else are reduced 10-15%"
 
Agree. Think she is finished. It is sad, but I think a comeback will be very hard now.

Sundby about Krüger: "He will be unbeatable in the olympics. Altitude doesn't affect him at all. Everyone else are reduced 10-15%"
That's such a Norge centric take by Sundby when the Russians have a history of performing well at altitude, their main training camps during the season are also in Toblach and Livigno.
Why is Karlsson racing this one, she's the favourite to win the overall WC anyway (imo) and with Johaug skipping this one I'd have done the same to try to get an individual gold medal.
 
What a terrible sprint course, combining not really having any obstacles with a sprint line that essentially meant unless you completely screwed up, leading into the final corner resulted in automatic victory, and really meant that we got some very lacking spectacle especially once a couple of the major contenders were eliminated early (Bolshunov being boxed in, and Fähndrich crashing out in an incident with Diggins). Then combine that with the worst possible victors for me on a personal basis, Diggins and Klæbo, and give them an automatic headstart ahead of the proper races to come (I know, being eliminated at qualifying today means the distance specialists will be fresher tomorrow), and yea, not a good day in the office.
 
I wasn’t able to watch the race. Having followed the line timing and some live updates, I saw that Diggins got very fortunate in the quarterfinal. Stupak just ran out of real estate to catch Diggins. Then she missed out on a LL, while Diggins went to the final and won. Looks like the ski gods were there again for Diggins in a sprint race. That’s a better ski from Stupak, maybe she’s on the way up, but Iet’s see what happens in the distance races. What a pity for the Swiss, particularly their women. Fähndrich the number one qualifier, and Van Der Graaff at number 7, neither of them progressing.

The men’s skate sprints are so predictable. I am waiting to see what Terentjev does in Oberstdorf.
 
What a terrible sprint course, combining not really having any obstacles with a sprint line that essentially meant unless you completely screwed up, leading into the final corner resulted in automatic victory, and really meant that we got some very lacking spectacle especially once a couple of the major contenders were eliminated early (Bolshunov being boxed in, and Fähndrich crashing out in an incident with Diggins). Then combine that with the worst possible victors for me on a personal basis, Diggins and Klæbo, and give them an automatic headstart ahead of the proper races to come (I know, being eliminated at qualifying today means the distance specialists will be fresher tomorrow), and yea, not a good day in the office.
The whole Tour route is horrible and looks like a gift to Klaebo (nothing new, but still).
Meanwhile the Tracks in Toblach are fine (I did 3 laps today) and there would be enough snow for Cortina-Toblach...
 
Is the Oberstdorf mass-start course the same one as when Iversen won? If so that's basically gifting Klæbo the win that day.

Unless Bolshunov manages to win more than 30 seconds tomorrow (no bonus seconds apparently) and Klæbo is willing to finish the Tour, he should win this, he already gained a 52 bonus today on Bolshunov, there is another sprint coming even if its in classic and the mass-starts should also help him. Even tomorrow, I am not sure if he will lose barely any time on Bolshunov given how strong he was in Davos individual race. Actually, with two sprints and three classic races we might see people like Valnes or Golberg in the final podium which would reflect how much this Tour is skewed towards sprinters.

In the women's, Karlsson also needs to gain a lot on Diggins tomorrow but here I actually think that the three classic races and the final climb might be enough for her to win. Can see anyone challenging these two but maybe one of the Russians gets into the final podium
 
The Finnish technicians nailed the wax for their women’s team, there’s no about about that. Special conditions, right wax, good skis and good form. Still, surprising to see Kerttu winning at this stage of her career, with her last podium (which was also a win in 10km classic) was in Conge in 2019, just before the world championships in Seefeld.

The other Niskanen also had a good pair of skis on today, but him winning wasn’t a big surprise.

Some or most of the Norwegian women had bad skis.
 
Good races with solid gaps due to the tricky conditions. Even though those sorry ass short loops really affect Individual starts in a bad way. So lets see what will be left of the Oberstdorf tracks after many days of heavy rain and warm Temperaturen. I fear we will get short and flat loops. Potentially we might even see a return of the Mario Kart loop. So be prepared for the worst.
 
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