Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Good races with solid gaps due to the tricky conditions. Even though those sorry ass sport 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 Sport and flat loops. Potentially we might even see a return of the Mario Kart loop. So be prepared for the worst.
The loop itself isn’t terrible, but the conditions will make it crazy. So many crashes in 2018, especially in the men’s race. That’s where Ustiugov hurt his back, and he eventually had to pull out before the final climb due to that injury. They need to reconsider the format, and change it to an individual start. I doubt they’ll change anything though.
 
The loop itself isn’t terrible, but the conditions will make it crazy. So many crashes in 2018, especially in the men’s race. That’s where Ustiugov hurt his back, and he eventually had to pull out before the final climb due to that injury. They need to reconsider the format, and change it to an individual start. I doubt they’ll change anything though.
It is too easy, no possibility for seperation and guaranteed Crashes. Really hope they wont have to use it.
 
The Italian's surprised me yesterday.
De Fabiani was really strong, apparently he had Thyroid problems during the last few years that caused his inconsistency. Besides Alpe Cermis all the other upcoming stages suit him well.
Pellegrino also performed well, even if he was a bit lucky to get caught by Golberg so that he had a strong train. For him this was the worst race, he could fight for an overall top 10 and seems to have become a better distance racer while loosing a nit of his sprinting ability.
Spitsov surprised me a bit, but if it's hard enough he can do well in a classic race. At this point I'd think about starting him in the 15km at the Olympics alongside Bolshunov, Yaki and Chervotkin, unless Bessmertnykh suddenly peaks out of nowhere.
For Norway Golberg probably just earned his spot for the 15km race, maybe even Valnes.
 
For the two Italians yesterday’s race went very well. It appears that Cramer’s group is gaining form, at the same time, more or less. Stadlober had her best race of the season yesterday , Stupak was 7th yesterday (she pulled out of tour though, perhaps a bit too early, though I get the fear of racing too much). Maltsev has been good so far and Ustiugov has had three individual podiums so far this season. Belov hasn’t had a good start, he last raced a WC in Lillehammer, he’s not making it to the Olympics. Bessmertnykh as well, though his chances were always going to be small, as he’s 35 and hasn’t had a great result since Seefeld. Retivykh is on the border, but he really needed a podium or two, and he doesn’t have one.

I don’t think Spitsov will be put in the 15km, he’s a better skate skier, and they’ll want to put him in the skiathlon, then perhaps the relay and 50km skate. It’ll likely be between him and Maltsev for a spot in the relay.
 
Spitsov surprised me a bit, but if it's hard enough he can do well in a classic race. At this point I'd think about starting him in the 15km at the Olympics alongside Bolshunov, Yaki and Chervotkin, unless Bessmertnykh suddenly peaks out of nowhere.
Spitsov benefitted a lot by starting 30 seconds before Niskanen and stayed with him good 5-7km. But staying that long with Iivo was in itself impressive.
 
Everywhere I have seen it's a 3.3 km loop for the ladies and 3.75 for the men. Where does a 2.5 km loop come from?
That’s a little bit better, but still easier than normal, and I don’t mean the 2005 course which was harder than the 2021 course. Even when they had decent amount of snow FIS never went beyond 3.75, except 2005 and perhaps last season for the 30 and 50.
 
Mass starts are pointless for the men over this distance. A pursuit would at least mean people doing their own work.
At least in the women's Johaug blasts off the front early normally, and breaks up the field.
 
Ha. Shows what I know. Bolshunov has split everyone up. I doubt he drops Klaebo though on this course so he's losing the sprint.
Kudos to him for trying something, but a 15km mass start with this conditions is pointless. I totally understand why he called the whole thing a Tour de Sprint, the FIS is so bad that they make the UCI look great when you compare the 2...
Moch did what he could, but the course was too fast for him. Signs of life from Calle and Cologna, de Fabiani was pretty solid and Musgrave is just an Obersdorf specialist.
At least no big crashes until now....
 
The good thing is there weren’t any falls, at least none that the cameras caught. Very icy and treacherous. Bolshunov not in form, and that’s no surprise. You can’t all of a sudden gain form after missing so much summer and fall training. Seeing Musgrave and Halfvarsson was a surprise, considering their results, but an almost icy course and it’s possible to see a lot of surprises.

Tomorrow will be dangerous as well. The winner we already know.
 
Well at least Bolshunov s attack lead to proper racing on the last loops. He doesnt have the condition to Match Klaebo this season, though. Klaebo had fantastic skies, too. I am happy for Halverson, that surely has to be the Beijing ticket. Disapointing Performances by the Russian team.
 
Well at least Bolshunov s attack lead to proper racing on the last loops. He doesnt have the condition to Match Klaebo this season, though. Klaebo had fantastic skies, too. I am happy for Halverson, that surely has to be the Beijing ticket. Disapointing Performances by the Russian team.
It's not like Sweden has many other cards on the men's side, so he should have earned a spot.
Hard to say how much of people loosing time came down to poor positioning and being extra careful on the descent.
 
Bolshunov is clearly back into a really good shape but he didn't have the skis or the skills to beat Klæbo today. Unless Klæbo has a bad day in one of the Val di Fiemme mass starts, Bolshunov will likely finish the Tour second as he managed to gain 30 seconds on Golberg today.
 
Unless Klæbo pulls out, I don’t see anyone beating him. He’s in better form now than he was four years ago, and that was his best start to a WC season. Bolshunov is not in the form he was last year or two years ago, and it’s understandable, considering the training season. Klæbo again had rockets on him, not skis, and his downhill positioning and efficiency was again top notch, plus the fast conditions and a course that suits him. As Bavarian noted, very disappointing from the rest of the Russians, particularly Maltsev. He was fighting for position and was never able to make it to the front 15 or so, then faded. I was expecting more from Chervotkin and Melnichenko as well. They kind of tried to move up but it seems like that was the extent of their energy levels today. Very strange. Halfvarsson and Musgrave looked like completely different skiers today than at any other race this season, even Cologna showed some life in the first half of the race.
 
Sorina being a wrecking ball today. Most of the bunch staying together in the women's race, not sure if Karlsson has enough space to break the slipstream, Diggins is good downhill. The Eurosport hagiography has been particularly unbearable today (omg Diggins WARMED UP for the race, such amazing tactics and intensity!), as well as absolutely dunking on the Finns and implying they were cheating with fluorocarbons because they couldn't possibly have got the waxing better than anybody else.

Edit: nope, not enough time at all. "What a race, what a race!!!" well, it wasn't really though was it. It was a bunch sprint. The Tour is Come On Jess's to lose now though. Can only reasonably see Andersson as a challenger and she will lose a bunch of time to the American in the ensuing sprint even if Diggins has an off day. The sprint bonuses are significant which will negate any losses in the classic distance and she should be able to hold a bit of advantage into the Alpe.
 
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I don't know if we can blame Sorina for today, to me it looked like Karlsson just skied too close to the barriers and caught them with her skis.
I watch the races on Swiss TV, so I don't mind Diggins that much, besides the antics before the start of a sprint, those age like milk...
I guess Karlsson will pull out of the Tour, she seems pretty nervous right now and should focus on the Olympics.
 
I don't know if we can blame Sorina for today, to me it looked like Karlsson just skied too close to the barriers and caught them with her skis.
I watch the races on Swiss TV, so I don't mind Diggins that much, besides the antics before the start of a sprint, those age like milk...
I guess Karlsson will pull out of the Tour, she seems pretty nervous right now and should focus on the Olympics.
The first one was 50-50, but Sorina roadblocked Diggins very inelegantly on the climb where Karlsson made the gap, really blatantly cut her off, and then she trod on Karlsson again. Not one of her best days.
 

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