Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Even if not Iversen, main point really was do Norway gain more by having Klaebo do the classic legs as they're weaker there than having him on the final leg.

As it is, I could easily see Bolshunov and Chervotkin pull a minute easily on Valnes and Golberg, and that's asking a lot of Krueger and Klaebo to pull back on Spitsov and Ustyugov. Klaebo beats anyone if he's level or even close going into that last leg but unless Golberg comes back into form, race could be done by leg 2 tbh.
They need a Bolshunov in form on leg two and an Ustiugov in form on leg four. Chervotkin is the likely first leg skier, but he hasn’t always done well at altitude and I am not sure he’ll be in form next month, he hasn’t completed a whole season where he’s been good throughout. Maltsev, Spitsov and Yakimushkin are all capable skate skiers, though Maltsev and Spitsov are generally better, sometimes much better at skate than classic. My guess those three will get at least one start each prior to the relay. Yakimushkin in skiathlon and/or 15km classic, Spitsov in skiathlon and Maltsev in skiathlon and/or sprint. Of course Ustiugov’s result in the sprint will also dictate what happens in the later results, plus I think he should get a place in the skiathlon as well, which means one or two skiers vying for the 3rd leg may miss out on the skiathlon. Hopefully the extra weekend off due to Les Rousses being cancelled will give everyone the needed rest and a some more training kilometers. I want to see other countries being at least a little bit more competitive than Oberstdorf last season.
 
So Ustiugov won both the classic and the skating Pustertaler Ski Marathon races that he entered yesterday and today (he raced the amateur races because he's sadly not competing in the Visma Ski Classics series).
Yesterday he won the 30km classic race (he did not the 62km race), today the 42km skating race up the Plätzwiese over 1min climb ahead of Petr Sedov, a name that I haven't heard a lot in the last 2 years.

I didn’t know this until a few months ago, but Sedov is an assistant in the Cramer group. Looks like he and Ustiugov skied together, likely helped each other out (or perhaps Sedov just played the role of pacemaker). Good training for Ustiugov, though I wonder if two long distance races in consecutive days is really a good decision. Judging that he only started racing hard at the latter stages of both events, he probably didn’t expend too much energy. I read that he’ll race in Planica in two weeks, as is the whole Russian team. Probably no races before then.
 
I didn’t know this until a few months ago, but Sedov is an assistant in the Cramer group. Looks like he and Ustiugov skied together, likely helped each other out (or perhaps Sedov just played the role of pacemaker). Good training for Ustiugov, though I wonder if two long distance races in consecutive days is really a good decision. Judging that he only started racing hard at the latter stages of both events, he probably didn’t expend too much energy. I read that he’ll race in Planica in two weeks, as is the whole Russian team. Probably no races before then.
I didn't know that about Sedov. Good to see that he got a decent job, for me he's the posterboy for the Russians burning their talents too early, the guy looked like a worldbeater at the age of 21-22. A great skatiing specialist who also wasn't that bad at classic skiing.
 
Nov 28, 2021
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Norway have finalized their Olympic selection.

Hans Christer Holund
Emil Iversen
Simen Hegstad Krüger
Sjur Röthe
Johannes Hösflot Klæbo
Håvard Solås Taugbøl
Erik Valnes
Pål Golberg

Therese Johaug
Helene Marie Fossesholm
Heidi Weng
Anne Kjersti Kalvå
Tiril Udnes Weng
Lotta Udnes Weng
Mathilde Myhrvold
Maiken Caspersen Falla

I also read a quote from Välbe stating Retivykh will not make the Olympics since he failed to produce a podium. For sure he would have been there if not for the limited quota. Guess Semikov will be the lucky one. The other 7 spots seems obvious. I think they will present their team shortly anyway.
 
Amundsen would have easily made it had it not been for smaller quotas. Iversen is a mystery, Tønseth would have been the more logical pick, if they are thinking more for the 15km classic and one of the classic legs of the relay, but likely it’ll be Golberg and Valnes for the classic legs and maybe both will do the 15km as well.

The Russians will announce their team tomorrow. Semikov likely in.
 
They try to find an alternative venue, but I guess that could be a tall order at the moment.
Considering that they did nothing to replace the French WC, I doubt they do anything for Slovenia. A lot of teams are in Italy. That would be a logical choice, especially as there’s quite a bit of snow. The funny thing is that Pokljuka will hold the IBU Junior Cup from the 13-23, and there’s no cancellation. As I wrote above, Kranjska Gora held the Alpine WC last week, with no trouble. I really don’t understand FIS cross county leadership. I believe it’s to do with money and lack of interest generated for cross country skiing at the moment. Football stadiums are still packed with fans, apart from the German leagues, but even the Germans aren’t cancelling sporting events, fans or no fans.
 
Nov 28, 2021
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Amundsen would have easily made it had it not been for smaller quotas. Iversen is a mystery, Tønseth would have been the more logical pick, if they are thinking more for the 15km classic and one of the classic legs of the relay, but likely it’ll be Golberg and Valnes for the classic legs and maybe both will do the 15km as well.

The Russians will announce their team tomorrow. Semikov likely in.
Amundsen is nominated as alternate , so for sure he would have travelled to China with the old quota rules. But the main problem is that he is not top 4 in any discipline.
 
Amundsen would have easily made it had it not been for smaller quotas. Iversen is a mystery, Tønseth would have been the more logical pick, if they are thinking more for the 15km classic and one of the classic legs of the relay, but likely it’ll be Golberg and Valnes for the classic legs and maybe both will do the 15km as well.

The Russians will announce their team tomorrow. Semikov likely in.
Picking Taugboel instead of Amundsen or Toenseth is IMO a mistake.
 
Picking Taugboel instead of Amundsen or Toenseth is IMO a mistake.
I think so too, but I guess they are banking on him to get a medal in the sprint, and there’s a smaller chance of a medal for Amundsen and Tønseth. But those two not making it had to also do with the fact that Klæbo is planning on doing all races. But at the same time they still took Iversen, and he’s the least deserving member of that squad right now. Tønseth over Iversen in the 15km classic would make more sense.
 
I think so too, but I guess they are banking on him to get a medal in the sprint, and there’s a smaller chance of a medal for Amundsen and Tønseth. But those two not making it had to also do with the fact that Klæbo is planning on doing all races. But at the same time they still took Iversen, and he’s the least deserving member of that squad right now. Tønseth over Iversen in the 15km classic would make more sense.
The Swiss TV commentators said that Iversen had already gotten a guaranteed spot at the start of the Tour de Ski, I guess they were right.
They already have the potential to get a 1-2 in the sprint, so taking another sprinter who doesn't add a lot in the other races is IMO not a smart move.
Will be funny if Bolshunov actually ends up racing a more sensible schedule than Klaebo, that would be rather unexpected.
 
The Swiss TV commentators said that Iversen had already gotten a guaranteed spot at the start of the Tour de Ski, I guess they were right.
They already have the potential to get a 1-2 in the sprint, so taking another sprinter who doesn't add a lot in the other races is IMO not a smart move.
Will be funny if Bolshunov actually ends up racing a more sensible schedule than Klaebo, that would be rather unexpected.
Well, if one of the top distance guys like Krüger or Holund get sick, then not having Amundsen and/or Tønseth would be a big blow to the Norwegians, and Taugbøl would only be doing the sprint, but still, Taugbøl deserves a spot in the sprint as he’s had good results this season. Iversen was mentioned as having spot already in the pre WC races, but he’s had only one top result, and that was in the Ruka 15km classic.
 
Flurous used at the Scandinavian Cup in Falun this past weekend:


I wonder if Klæbo’s skis have been prepared by flurous we well this season. His skis cannot always be faster, sometimes significantly so, than the other top skiers on the WC circuit.
 
Not sure if it's Aderlass as things had been steadily declining before that. The repeated premature retirements of major stars obviously leaves a huge vacuum and, much as several years ago Andrea Henkel's consistent results insulated them from too many disasters, for the last couple of seasons Franziska Preuß has been doing that job, being 3rd overall in the World Cup last year. Her getting injured before Annecy and not returning to competition yet leaves a huge hole in the team and with Herrmann only having the one race where she's looked remotely like peak form all season, and Hettich and Hinz both regressing, it's a fairly miserable state of affairs.

To be honest though, so was Sochi, but then the youngsters coming through and succeeding were 19-20 rather than 24 or so as the likes of Voigt are. There's still big startlists and talents in the domestic scene's youth and junior startlists, but they seem to be being lost along the way a lot now, the hit rate of successful youths to juniors is low and the hit rate of successful juniors to senior competition is even lower. It's just magnified enormously the last couple of years since the Alpencup and the Deutschlandpokal have both been suspended or heavily restricted in competition, but the problems were already well established before the pandemic accelerated the decline.
 
Stina Nilsson’s ski speed these days leaves a lot to be desired. She looks ungainly on her skis. I wasn’t necessarily expecting her to crush everyone on her arrival to biathlon but she’s far, far away from where she was as a cross country skier.
 
I thought you were the cheerleader of the philosophy that 'any cross-country skier worth their salt would win every race with 7/10 in biathlon because the standard is so poor', or are you suggesting you didn't think Stina was worth her salt as a cross-country skier anymore? I wonder now, however, if the switch to biathlon was the same kind of stunt casting as Sachenbacher-Stehle's switch to biathlon in 2012; Evi switched when she was reaching the end of the line in her XC career, and with her being a media darling and the team needing somebody to step into that role with Neuner's premature retirement, it seemed a marriage of convenience. I just wonder if Stina knew that her body was not responding as she hoped it might in her recovery from injury and didn't want the high pressure environment of the expectation that would inevitably follow her at the XC World Cup - with the emergence of Andersson, Karlsson, Dahlqvist, Ribom and the rest of the new generation of Swedish skiers, she was no longer so central to the Swedish XC team's plans, so competing with the wider range of variables in biathlon that attracts so many good-but-not-great skiers seemed a less stressful environment because with the excuse of focusing all her effort on learning the shooting if the skiing is bad, or of being new to the managing breathing/shooting element of the sport if the shooting is bad, meant she'd be allowed to fail and slowly bring herself up to speed in a way that she'd never be able to on the XC World Cup due to her name and reputation.

Although it is curious that her form runs the complete opposite to the rest of the team. She was at her best in Oberhof, and disastrous yesterday, whereas the rest of the team were undercooked in Oberhof and appear back to something approaching their best this week.
 
I thought you were the cheerleader of the philosophy that 'any cross-country skier worth their salt would win every race with 7/10 in biathlon because the standard is so poor', or are you suggesting you didn't think Stina was worth her salt as a cross-country skier anymore? I wonder now, however, if the switch to biathlon was the same kind of stunt casting as Sachenbacher-Stehle's switch to biathlon in 2012; Evi switched when she was reaching the end of the line in her XC career, and with her being a media darling and the team needing somebody to step into that role with Neuner's premature retirement, it seemed a marriage of convenience. I just wonder if Stina knew that her body was not responding as she hoped it might in her recovery from injury and didn't want the high pressure environment of the expectation that would inevitably follow her at the XC World Cup - with the emergence of Andersson, Karlsson, Dahlqvist, Ribom and the rest of the new generation of Swedish skiers, she was no longer so central to the Swedish XC team's plans, so competing with the wider range of variables in biathlon that attracts so many good-but-not-great skiers seemed a less stressful environment because with the excuse of focusing all her effort on learning the shooting if the skiing is bad, or of being new to the managing breathing/shooting element of the sport if the shooting is bad, meant she'd be allowed to fail and slowly bring herself up to speed in a way that she'd never be able to on the XC World Cup due to her name and reputation.

Although it is curious that her form runs the complete opposite to the rest of the team. She was at her best in Oberhof, and disastrous yesterday, whereas the rest of the team were undercooked in Oberhof and appear back to something approaching their best this week.
I was, and I still am, because it’s true. This is specifically Nilsson in question. It’s clear this isn’t the same athlete from years before. Perhaps she’s focused much more on shooting (logically, since she is the athlete that needs to work on it the most in the Swedish team). Perhaps she’s over trained, perhaps it’s pressure (though she did make the Olympic team). Perhaps it’s the injury she sustained in Otepää three years ago that’s still giving her some problems (kind of how the ankle injury has given Cologna problems), maybe it’s a combination of a few things, but you can’t pin that and say that this is an example that shows that top cross country skiers aren’t better at skiing than top biathletes.
 
I was, and I still am, because it’s true. This is specifically Nilsson in question. It’s clear this isn’t the same athlete from years before. Perhaps she’s focused much more on shooting (logically, since she is the athlete that needs to work on it the most in the Swedish team). Perhaps she’s over trained, perhaps it’s pressure (though she did make the Olympic team). Perhaps it’s the injury she sustained in Otepää three years ago that’s still giving her some problems (kind of how the ankle injury has given Cologna problems), maybe it’s a combination of a few things, but you can’t pin that and say that this is an example that shows that top cross country skiers aren’t better at skiing than top biathletes.
Yet you were unable or unwilling to accept that Herrmann or Egan might not just freeze development at the moment they left XC skiing, but Nilsson gets a pass to get worse as a skier, because it doesn't help your point. I think you also massively overrate the depth of competition in XC, especially in terms of countries outside of the 2-3 that have actual competition for places and have the resources to actually compete for results in XC.

The very best cross-country skiers have no need to cross over to biathlon, but even then, Lars Berger and Miriam Gössner give a reasonable indication of where a good cross-country skier (not among the very best, but very competitive) would be on 70% career shooting stats, because they were good cross-country skiers and their career shooting stats were 70,47% and 69,23% respectively.

I mean, Denise Herrmann is where she is on 79,49% and she was the stick you used to beat biathlon with because you refused to believe she could possibly ski at, say, the level she showed in 2013-14, she had to be trapped in her 2015-16 form forever.
 
Yet you were unable or unwilling to accept that Herrmann or Egan might not just freeze development at the moment they left XC skiing, but Nilsson gets a pass to get worse as a skier, because it doesn't help your point. I think you also massively overrate the depth of competition in XC, especially in terms of countries outside of the 2-3 that have actual competition for places and have the resources to actually compete for results in XC.

The very best cross-country skiers have no need to cross over to biathlon, but even then, Lars Berger and Miriam Gössner give a reasonable indication of where a good cross-country skier (not among the very best, but very competitive) would be on 70% career shooting stats, because they were good cross-country skiers and their career shooting stats were 70,47% and 69,23% respectively.

I mean, Denise Herrmann is where she is on 79,49% and she was the stick you used to beat biathlon with because you refused to believe she could possibly ski at, say, the level she showed in 2013-14, she had to be trapped in her 2015-16 form forever.
Denise Herrmann never had podium in a distance race on the WC tour, and she regressed a bit the last couple of seasons she was on tour. She’s consistently been one of the top biathletes in terms of ski speed. You can visibly see the difference between her and Franziska Preuß.

You are nitpicking Berger and Gössner as two of the top skiers on the biathlon circuit. Those two are outliers. I keep pointing out Claire Egan because her results as a cross country skier, even when she had her best results, were mediocre at best. Go check out her Junior, SuperTour and US nationals results where she took part in before changing over to biathlon. Top 10 biathletes in terms of ski speed could be competitive.
 
Denise Herrmann never had podium in a distance race on the WC tour, and she regressed a bit the last couple of seasons she was on tour. She’s consistently been one of the top biathletes in terms of ski speed. You can visibly see the difference between her and Franziska Preuß.

You are nitpicking Berger and Gössner as two of the top skiers on the biathlon circuit. Those two are outliers. I keep pointing out Claire Egan because her results as a cross country skier, even when she had her best results, were mediocre at best. Go check out her Junior, SuperTour and US nationals results where she took part in before changing over to biathlon. Top 10 biathletes in terms of ski speed could be competitive.
And I pointed out that Egan's ski results as a biathlete for several years were mediocre at best too, before she suddenly got a massive amount better at age 31, so her XC results were not relevant to her biathlon results at that point, in the same way as Stina's biathlon ski times are not relevant to her level as a XC skier at the point where she was winning races with regularity. Pointing at Egan's XC results to slate the talent level in biathlon in 2018-19 when she improved from around 50th to 15th in ski speed is like comparing riders in the 2006-7 South African national calendar to riders contesting GTs in 2015-16 based on their performances relative to Chris Froome, ignoring the huge change in his level in the interim.

The point with Berger and Gössner is not to say "hey look how good they are", it's to say, the argument previously made was that any decent XC skier would win every race on 70%, and those two are outlyingly good skiers in biathlon... who both averaged as near as damnit to 70% shooting. So their results are a good indication of where a good XC skier would be if they shot 7/10 on average.
 
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