Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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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.
Did Eurosport commentators seriously criticize (attack) the Finns by implying they used Flouros two days ago?? I bet they also blamed ‘poor skis’ for the reason why Diggins lost time in that race.

At any rate, Diggins was always going to feature in today’s race, a very fast 10km skate, almost icy conditions and she is in good form. Sorina wasn’t the world’s greatest downhill skier and her leg injury after the TDS and before Lahti last season has not been doing her any favors. Plus her shoulder injury late Summer/Early Fall has not helped. It’s easy places on the course where she loses valuable time. They need to find her a alpine area and train there in the off-season to sort that out. I was very surprised Nepryaeva didn’t challenge in the end, she’s one of the best downhill skiers on the circuit, she’s generally very relaxed and stable on any downhill, perhaps just not having the final snap to latch on the final uphill sections of the last lap. She’ll need to make the final tomorrow to be in contention for the overall, and hope that she, Sorina, the Swedes (if they stick around that long) the Finns, Hennig and Stadlober drop Diggins in the Val di Fiemme 10km classic mass start.
 
Did Eurosport commentators seriously criticize (attack) the Finns by implying they used Flouros two days ago?? I bet they also blamed ‘poor skis’ for the reason why Diggins lost time in that race.

At any rate, Diggins was always going to feature in today’s race, a very fast 10km skate, almost icy conditions and she is in good form. Sorina wasn’t the world’s greatest downhill skier and her leg injury after the TDS and before Lahti last season has not been doing her any favors. Plus her shoulder injury late Summer/Early Fall has not helped. It’s easy places on the course where she loses valuable time. They need to find her a alpine area and train there in the off-season to sort that out. I was very surprised Nepryaeva didn’t challenge in the end, she’s one of the best downhill skiers on the circuit, she’s generally very relaxed and stable on any downhill, perhaps just not having the final snap to latch on the final uphill sections of the last lap. She’ll need to make the final tomorrow to be in contention for the overall, and hope that she, Sorina, the Swedes (if they stick around that long) the Finns, Hennig and Stadlober drop Diggins in the Val di Fiemme 10km classic mass start.
They did blame poor skis for Diggins losing time, as well as praising her for her selflessness in not throwing the wax team under the bus in her interview. The first 2km of the race was basically hagiography. With regards to the Finns, they didn't state anything explicitly, but Winterton certainly made it clear what the implication viewers should take from it was. They started talking about how Andersson couldn't possibly have believed that her time would be beaten, and that the Finns had had extremely good skis, and their ski preparation in the race was significantly better than any other team, and then immediately changed the subject to "they have banned fluorocarbons from ski preparation, but surely that's impossible to police, is it just on trust or are teams likely to still be using them to gain an illegal advantage?"
 
They did blame poor skis for Diggins losing time, as well as praising her for her selflessness in not throwing the wax team under the bus in her interview. The first 2km of the race was basically hagiography. With regards to the Finns, they didn't state anything explicitly, but Winterton certainly made it clear what the implication viewers should take from it was. They started talking about how Andersson couldn't possibly have believed that her time would be beaten, and that the Finns had had extremely good skis, and their ski preparation in the race was significantly better than any other team, and then immediately changed the subject to "they have banned fluorocarbons from ski preparation, but surely that's impossible to police, is it just on trust or are teams likely to still be using them to gain an illegal advantage?"
Well, I will say that they had the best skis, as almost all their women had either good or very good races. Did they imply anything with Iivo’s performance? To blame the skis for Diggins’s result is laughable, but they always seem to do that for every classic race she does in. They just don’t understand that in tougher conditions, particularly when it’s classic, she has a harder time, not because of skis, but because of technique. Her stubbornness and inability to make adjustments. She improved a bit over the years but she still goes on strength and trying to bludgeon her way instead of gliding and trying to be more upright in steeper sections. If today’s race was in classic style, she would have done better because of the hard packed conditions as she can get away with her technique. I am glad I don’t have British Eurosport. Dixon is bearable, he likes good racing and generally doesn’t show too much bias, but Winterton is awful. He shows less sympathy to British skiers than American skiers. I am not saying he should criticize Diggins, but the pity party he throws anytime she doesn’t get on the podium was nauseating. That’s how I always remembered it.
 
Well, I will say that they had the best skis, as almost all their women had either good or very good races. Did they imply anything with Iivo’s performance? To blame the skis for Diggins’s result is laughable, but they always seem to do that for every classic race she does in. They just don’t understand that in tougher conditions, particularly when it’s classic, she has a harder time, not because of skis, but because of technique. Her stubbornness and inability to make adjustments. She improved a bit over the years but she still goes on strength and trying to bludgeon her way instead of gliding and trying to be more upright in steeper sections. If today’s race was in classic style, she would have done better because of the hard packed conditions as she can get away with her technique. I am glad I don’t have British Eurosport. Dixon is bearable, he likes good racing and generally doesn’t show too much bias, but Winterton is awful. He shows less sympathy to British skiers than American skiers. I am not saying he should criticize Diggins, but the pity party he throws anytime she doesn’t get on the podium was nauseating. That’s how I always remembered it.
They were always very pro-the Americans, but it has got worse since the Discovery buyout, sometimes I think Winterton forgets that he's working for Eurosport and not directly for a US station, a bit like Phil and Paul on the Tour where they also did their bits to camera for the US feed and would forget at times when they were commentating the supposedly neutral feed. And yes, they do seem to be incapable of accepting that Diggins isn't as strong in classic as she is in skate, so they always need to have an excuse ready for any time she isn't on the podium, because in skate she'll be a podium contender over pretty much any distance. And the time when they were awarding her the 'athlete of the day' accolade for shepherding the USA to 4th in Oberstdorf, losing the final sprint to Pärmäkoski, over all of the Swedes and Norwegians who made the race, Fink or Hennig who put the Germans in a position they had no right to be or Pärmäkoski herself who secured the bronze for Finland, just went to show the blinkers that they have.

There was one biathlon race last year, I think it was in Oberhof, where Patrick missed a race because he was commentating the XC, and on his return immediately asked Mike what happened to Clare Egan, before then talking all over the first shoot to explain how anybody above the age of 24 and any American should take inspiration from Rosie Brennan. Dixon is by far the less biased of the two, and far more capable of reading the time sheets as well as paying attention to the Continental Cup and the IBU Cup to have something to say about athletes beyond the top 5-6 or so, but he's also the one that interjects "come on, Jess!" from time to time when they forget to even pretend to be objective.
 
I am glad I didn’t have to listen to that last season. That must have been annoying as heck. I didn’t know about the Discovery purchase. Why would the Brits and other Europeans allow that? It’s called Eurosport for a reason.

I am aware of Mike’s ‘c’mon Jess.’ I always thought it was because of the English speaking world, but if just confirms it with the Discovery buyout.
 
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Speaking of these guys I remember a relay back in Gellivare 10 years ago , they mixed up US Team and Switzerland from the third leg (when US lost contention and fell down the field and out of broadcast) and onwards. They passed like 20 checkpoints showing Switzerland in 4th but didn't noticed until like a few minutes after finish because they where so busy talking about their big favorite Kris Freeman ( “The man with diabetes”).

It was quite embarrassing watching the race in Swedish TV yesterday though. We got a new announcer who previously worked as a stadium speaker and he started to celebrate too loud and to early, in the last uphill it sounded like Karlsson had secured Olympic gold already.

I still how some hopes of Swedish victory on the female side. Karlsson was very unhappy in Lenzerheide about the feeling and some suggested that she should abandon and she played with the idea. Yesterday she was very upbeat though and not even complaining about Sorina. If she doesn’t lose time to Diggins today, she should have a good chance to take back the 45s deficit in Val di Fiemme. Same for Andersson, she can afford to lose her advantage to Frida but not more.

Some comments about Halfvarason as well, He has been like a joke in Sweden lately (obviously targeted because the rest of the mens team always been crap), he did a good leg in Lillehammer relay and yesterday was by far the best individual result in two years, so he should have earned the last Olympic spot (Sweden already nominated 7 skiers on the men side). It has ti be said that the course and conditions suited Halfvarsson perfectly just like Lillehammer and in the races with “normal” conditions Halfvarsson has been awful so my hopes for the Olympics are small. Maybe he could be in use for either the first or last relay leg. Rest of the team have problems as well. Burman at home with back problems, Svensson skiing the tour as tourist, with back problem. Poromaa is training at home but has had problems with illness and Johansson has never performed close to what he did at the start of the season so it’s a question mark whether he can repeat that during the Olympics:
 
What a ridiculous error from Terentjev. What was he thinking trying to ski so close behind Klæbo? Just stay second and tuck in and stay safe and make the final, which he certainly would have. Why get so close?
He's young and super strong. He wanted to show Klaebo that he can do everything Klaebo does. It cost him today, but overall this was a good thing for him I believe, Russia might even be the favorite to win the Team Sprint at the Olympics.
 
Klæbo winning a sprint is almost a foregone conclusion, all credit to Valnes for making it close. He would have had a better chance if he took the uphill corner better, but nobody does that better than Klæbo.

Terentjev not only lost his chance with that error he also didn’t help Bolshunov any. Not that Bolshunov has a shot. His form just isn’t good enough to challenge at this point of the season.

Happy to see De Fabiani skiing into form. Hopefully that continues, and Pellegrino keeps improving as well. I think Cramer’s group is moving in the right direction, except perhaps Retivykh who lost any chance at qualifying for the Olympics with his semifinal exit today. Who would the Russians put in the sprint? My money is on Maltsev, as he can quality in sprints and skating at altitude works in his favor. At this point it makes little sense for Bolshunov to race the skate sprint in China. Even in very good form he won’t be able to beat Klæbo and he would have tough time making the podium. It would make much more sense to rest and focus on the other races.
 
she had a yellow card before already, so I guess that played into it. Didn't check the rules, but the commentators on German Eurosport (a couple of days ago) said another one would lead to either an exclusion from the Tour or a three-minute penalty.
Yes it's according to the rules, but it still seems excessive.
 
He's young and super strong. He wanted to show Klaebo that he can do everything Klaebo does. It cost him today, but overall this was a good thing for him I believe, Russia might even be the favorite to win the Team Sprint at the Olympics.
I am sure that Russia will put up a strong fight in the Olympics but also think you might be underestimating Valnes a bit. I know that he was cracked by Bolshunov last year in Oberstdorf but in the Olympics it will be in classic, his strongest technique. As for Terentev, he seems to able to match Klæbo in classic sprints right now, but his ability on team sprints still remains to be seen.

Great win by Neprayeva in the women's if she wins the Tour this year it will be totally deserved and it could actually help her winning the World Cup for the first time.
 
she had a yellow card before already, so I guess that played into it. Didn't check the rules, but the commentators on German Eurosport (a couple of days ago) said another one would lead to either an exclusion from the Tour or a three-minute penalty.
That was really a dangerous move, she tried to sneak in the middle and then once there she went to her right to get in front of Diggins. Completely reckless and unnecessary. 3 minutes is harsh, but the other option of automatic DQ from the tour would have even more harsh, but considering she had a yellow and the nature of the infraction it wouldn’t have been unheard of. Automatic relegation was a no brainer, even if she didn’t have a yellow card.
 
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she had a yellow card before already, so I guess that played into it. Didn't check the rules, but the commentators on German Eurosport (a couple of days ago) said another one would lead to either an exclusion from the Tour or a three-minute penalty.
Yeah she got a RAL and a second yellow so it’s according to the rules. Pretty stupid maneuver from Karlsson considering she knew she already had a yellow. Of course Diggins is not to blame for Karlsson’s behavior but she put herself into trouble by pushing Karlsson wide.
 

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