Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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maltiv said:
Johannes Tingnes Bø (Tarjei Bø's more talented little brother). 20 years old and had the 3rd fastest skiing time in the sprint. Maybe he won't step up this year, but certainly within 2 years. His shooting is still quite unstable, perhaps mostly due to him shooting absurdly fast. However, that could also be his way of beating Fourcade as that's his weak point.
My reponse to who could challenge Fourcade 2 weeks ago...I've got to say, my predictions are surprisingly accurate this year :D
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Fourcade just held on, but it's notable that the other French are struggling to hold on to the top 20 (only Bœuf has made it, the others outside), and no French woman made the top 20 (Brunet only just qualified for the pursuit!!!). Home pressure seems to be hitting them, perhaps as they're not used to it.
Yes, even Brunet was shooting badly. No wonder they're feeling the pressure as there hasn't been a biathlon race in France for more than 20 years.
 
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Bavarianrider said:
Northug would be smart if he focused on sprint and team sprint in Sotchi.
No way he'll win a medal in the 15km, 30km and 50km. Not with that ultra long climb before the finish.
Remember Northug won this race two years ago if I remember correctly. Remember his form is way below whats usual due to illness.

Also the 15km in val di Fiemme was very tough, and he still won it.;)
 
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Nastyy said:
Does anyone else think it's really stupid that women's equivalent to men's 30k is only 15k? Men's distance is double what the normal is, but the women's is only 5k longer. Should be 20k in my opinion.
I kind of agree, but if the differences between the skiers is too big, It might get boring. Right now I think Fis is more focused on getting a tight and exciting race.

Perhaps in the future it might be increased to 20k when the level of the women is a bit higher.
 
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It's really strange that France hasn't had a WC in biathlon considering they're a big biathlon country. The events in biathlon have been pretty much the same for a lot of years so maybe they've just been hesitant to pick up new places. Glad to see Pokljuka gone and Le Grand Bornard come in its place.

Yes the French have been really poor in their own ground and while others have been shooting poorly, Fourcade has been slow on the skis. Either he is far way from his peak from and it makes his results vary a lot or something else has gone terrible wrong. I don't see how he can go from beating Bö by 30 secs in Östersund to losing by 15 secs. In the relay it was obvious he had poor skis but today I don't think the blame can be placed on poor waxing.
 
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Johannes was very good today. I thought it would take another year before he won a race. Impressive for a 20 year old:eek:!

I think the French finally got their skis in order, now it's only the nerves they have to get control over.:D

My impression is that the Germans came out with superior skis on Thursday. Most countries except ironically the home nation had caught up by Friday. Now it looks ok for most.


One note on the 15k womens XC. Heidi Weng came 9th in this race for the 3rd time in a row.:p
 
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roundabout said:
Unfortunately (or not) LGB won't host the WC in the next 2 seasons.

Anyone watching the NC? 12 teams within 3 seconds right now.

And just as I write Norway makes a break for it. Boo.
LGB?

I'm gonna watch the NC a little later. I always like that race.
 
Nastyy said:
It's really strange that France hasn't had a WC in biathlon considering they're a big biathlon country. The events in biathlon have been pretty much the same for a lot of years so maybe they've just been hesitant to pick up new places. Glad to see Pokljuka gone and Le Grand Bornard come in its place.

Yes the French have been really poor in their own ground and while others have been shooting poorly, Fourcade has been slow on the skis. Either he is far way from his peak from and it makes his results vary a lot or something else has gone terrible wrong. I don't see how he can go from beating Bö by 30 secs in Östersund to losing by 15 secs. In the relay it was obvious he had poor skis but today I don't think the blame can be placed on poor waxing.
Pokljuka isn't gone, it's moved towards the end of the season. As Sochi holds the Olympics, there's no Khanty this season, so the go-home stretch of the season after the Olympics is Pokljuka, Kontiolahti and Holmenkollen.
roundabout said:
Unfortunately (or not) LGB won't host the WC in the next 2 seasons.

Anyone watching the NC? 12 teams within 3 seconds right now.

And just as I write Norway makes a break for it. Boo.
I love Nordic Combined, but the Team Sprint is an absolutely horrible race format.

I agree on the (or not). I'm not all that keen on LGB as a venue if you're not there live. The range is easy and sheltered, but the trails aren't hard enough to break things apart either. The atmosphere means that if they can make a few tweaks here and there they'll have a really good venue, but as of yet it's not there. Surprised at no Nove Město this season, but I think it's back next year, then the year after that there's a North American double with Canmore and Presque Isle. Personally I prefer Fort Kent to Presque Isle, but it's definitely good to see North America back on the circuit. Unfortunately for season layout purposes I assume they'll probably be WCs 7 and 8 just before the Worlds so, like in 2010-11, a lot of major names will skip them to avoid the jet lag in preparation for the Worlds.

I'm also surprised Ak-Batak hasn't come into conversation for hosting a championship or a World Cup. That was state of the art when opened, and the Kazakhs paid out big to get other wintersport World Cups - including some that they have far less presence in than biathlon, such as NC - yet there aren't even rumours. Maybe if Vishnevskaya makes it big or Yan Savitskiy can break through to the next level it will come back up again.
 
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@roundabout
Thanks I had a hard time making the connection.


I find the sprint relay very intense and interesting. You can't quite be sure who started leg one too hard and will break on their last leg.

I didn't catch the jumping part, but I think they used a small hill so that the time differences are a lot smaller than the other races I can remember.
The Norwegian jump team had only a 30 second lead on the ski team witch feels unusually small.

I liked the Norway I tactics. I think Jørgen Graabak is the best NC sprinter, so he could have played it differently, but when you are strong, dropping the others is a sure method of winning.:D

I'm impressed with Klemetsens skiing, it seems to be improving. When he gets back to his usual jumping dominance, he might even win a race.

Also I'm happy to see Allesandro Pittin finally back on the right path after he broke his leg 1 or 2 seasons ago. He will be interesting to follow this season.
 
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Used to love watching nordic combined but nowadays it's pretty lame. Dying sport if there ever was one and the competition is pretty weak, especially this season as it seems like Lamy-Chappuis is only going for the Olympics and Frenzel is left to roam free.

FIS messed things up when they started to experiment with the race formats.
 
Fourcade not even on the podium. Fantastisk. JT Bø has arrived well and truly - let's face it people have been saying he's better than his brother even three years ago when Tarjei was demolishing the field. And I kind of worry for Nordic Combined as yes, it seems a struggling sport. I dislike the move to putting the XC races around the bottom of the ski jump, it leads to several dull out-and-back courses, and the venues they use for the standalone events are pretty small, maybe it should follow the ski jumping WC or the XC World Cup around for most of the season to try to piggyback some audience. With the women's ski jumping taking off (no pun intended) recently perhaps we'll see women's Nordic Combined before too long, but at the moment the worst thing is the relay races, because there are so few strong teams. I think that with the retirements of Manninen and Gottwald and the organisers starting to fear the domination of Lamy Chappuis they've tried to experiment a bit too much with the race formats; the Gundersen was getting too repetitive, they felt, and made the sport too little of a TV format.

I kind of understand where they are coming from, but too many small hills, too few countries to really justify relays and too many far-out venues that are either hard to get to or have limited local interest (Almaty, Sochi) resulting in lacking crowds have caused the recent decline of the sport. I think there's still plenty of potential there, but one big issue is that the earning potential of specialising in one of the two disciplines is much more, so there is little appeal to the young aspiring skier or ski jumper in targeting the Nordic Combined. The exception is Japan, which has declared the sport just insane enough to meet their standards, and they seem to have developed a pretty strong team in it, presumably off the back of the popularity of ski jumping, whereas their XC and biathlon teams are very weak in comparison.
 
Heh. As someone who started watching NC back when jumping and XC was held on different days and the XC courses had about 5 TV cameras per 5km loop I don't really mind the current formats.

Interesting point about the earning potential. Made me check the prize money for last year

NC

http://data.fis-ski.com/pdf/2013/NK/4151/2013NK4151PR.pdf

92k for Frenzel for a pretty dominant year

XC

http://data.fis-ski.com/pdf/2013/CC/3303/2013CC3303PR.pdf

212k for Northug, but 120 of those are for the Kuusamo "stage race", Tour de Ski, World Cup Final and Overall.

What's more concerning as it's 15k-10k-5k for 1-2-3 in a XC individual race and 8k-6k-4k for a NC event.
 
Apr 7, 2011
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They killed NK when they came up with all those silly race formats Should have just stayed with 15km Gundersen and 7,5km srint.
 
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jens_attacks said:
cybjorgen rules again,fantastic surge

can someone tell me what happened to kriukov?
He got penalized for obstruction.

When i watched it on replay it appears he pushed Bransdal who lost balance and collided with Persson forcing Krogh to go the long way around them.

In short he pushed someone, and it looks to have been the source of the problems on the final turn in the semi final.

A good call in my opinion.
 
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As for Nordic Combined, I think it's much more interesting than it used to be. The races are much closer than they used to be, and an element of tactics seems to have become clearer.

I like it. I hope they haven't given up on the penalty race. That was really interesting. The commentators usually complain that it is difficult to understand for the viewers. I don't think so. The viewers are smarter than the commentators think.

The problem for NC is scheduling. If it clashes with Jumping and xc it creates problems for it's core audience. Also biathlon is a competitor, but that is another federation.

I don't see athletes choosing sport based on possible economic benefits, it's more a question of what they think is fun and feel they can compete in. The economic differences aren't that big.

NC for women could come later, but I think the athletes pool is much to small for that at this time. Perhaps in 5 or 10 years.

On the viability of NC I'm not that concerned. There are big populous nations at the top of the sport. Japan, Germany, France with more getting good athletes.

I hope they keep trying new fun stuff. Since it's a combination of two sports requiring different, perhaps even conflicting skill sets/ physical capabilities, it has the potential for a lot of variation.
 
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Nooooooooooooooo, no more gimmicks. Had enough of Hurricane start , Handicap- start, penalty race, mass start:rolleyes::rolleyes: All that messed it up for me.
Bring back the real 15km Gundersen! IT's a blasphemy that they don't have it anymore.
Some 10 years ago before they came up with that **** it war really big and had many spectzators in Germany.
Ronny Ackermann even became sportsman of the year in germany.
Right now Frenzel is just as sucessfull as Ackermann was but hardly anyone knows him.
 
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Don't know what happened at FIS but at some point they got this idea that XC and NC are boring and the race formats aren't appealing for the spectators. XC got much more sprints, mass starts replaced intervals and the combination race killed the awesome pursuit event. Mass starts are boring and combination race is a joke, they only got the sprints right. With NC they screwed it up totally and for some reason they also thought it would be nice to try some new venues and what they got was empty crowds. Now they've gone past the point of no return and the sport will continue to get smaller and smaller. What makes me cry/laugh the most is that at the World Championships NC has two identical races. All this for a few spectators more in central Europe but I don't think they achieved even that.
 
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Bavarianrider said:
Nooooooooooooooo, no more gimmicks. Had enough of Hurricane start , Handicap- start, penalty race, mass start:rolleyes::rolleyes: All that messed it up for me.
Bring back the real 15km Gundersen! IT's a blasphemy that they don't have it anymore.
Some 10 years ago before they came up with that **** it war really big and had many spectzators in Germany.
Ronny Ackermann even became sportsman of the year in germany.
Right now Frenzel is just as sucessfull as Ackermann was but hardly anyone knows him.
Yep, all this 10k is getting pretty monotonous, even though they mix in different hill sizes. There is one 15k in Seefeld in january though. But still just one in a hole season is a bit dissapointing.

As for lack of popularity in Germany, could there be other reasons than the format as an explanation of less popularity?

Perhaps competition from other sports, or no one having the correct aura or something?

I love the gimmicks. I'd rather have them than an endless string of 10ks.


Nastyy said:
Don't know what happened at FIS but at some point they got this idea that XC and NC are boring and the race formats aren't appealing for the spectators. XC got much more sprints, mass starts replaced intervals and the combination race killed the awesome pursuit event. Mass starts are boring and combination race is a joke, they only got the sprints right. With NC they screwed it up totally and for some reason they also thought it would be nice to try some new venues and what they got was empty crowds. Now they've gone past the point of no return and the sport will continue to get smaller and smaller. What makes me cry/laugh the most is that at the World Championships NC has two identical races. All this for a few spectators more in central Europe but I don't think they achieved even that.
I think TV ratings is the big thing. Also lack of Germans at the top in XC is probably something that is concerning, since they represent a big market.
 
ToreBear said:
I think TV ratings is the big thing. Also lack of Germans at the top in XC is probably something that is concerning, since they represent a big market.
Right now, most talents in Germany are gravitating to biathlon, although they don't have too many super male talents in that either (women can't exactly go to NC of course). Preuss first picked up a rifle about four years ago, Vanessa Hinz only two years ago, and the best German female skiers in recent years have been biathletes (Neuner, Gössner). Can't really throw the stunt casting that was Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle's conversion in there as she'd already achieved as far as she was going to in XC before the switch, it was more thought of by the DSV for attention given her media popularity after the retirement of Neuner. Dahlmeier and Preuss are the future of German women's biathlon, and Gössner if she can get back to health.

But while NC may have gone the way of the point of no return, I don't see a problem with experimenting to get an audience back. They've already shot themselves in the foot, now they're desperately trying things to see if something will stick. The team sprint is awful, an ugly format in both XC and NC that needs to die immediately. The penalty race is strange in some respects but good in others (the FIS justified their move in XC towards mass starts by saying - stupidly - Germans didn't understand individual starts, hopefully they don't use this if they discard the penalty race, suggesting the country with the biggest per-head-of-population audience for biathlon can't understand the concept of a penalty loop!). Longer ski distances could well be needed. Would the athletes stand up to a ski flying hill, once a year, somewhere like Vikersund or Planica? Ski fly+20k marathon NC would be an innovation I'd watch.

On the innovations in XC, it seems for the moment that the men are finally getting the hang of how to do a mass start 50k - the ones at Val di Fiemme and Holmenkollen last season were actually good, not the sprint finish tedium we have complained about so often in recent years. The combination, meh. Could be worse. I wish they'd do fewer laps of longer, tougher courses rather than several laps of a small course though. The sprints? Maybe two or three a season and we're good, but they have proliferated to the point where they dominate things. The distance globe is now worth more than the overall World Cup to me, because there are too many sprint events paying too many points, and the stage racing with huge bonuses for sprints is just way too artificial. I'm not that opposed to the idea of the Tour de Ski, I just think the execution is way off at present which dulls the value of it. Just accept sprint specialists shouldn't be competing for the GC and make the points bib worth more or bias the points bib more towards the sprints to give the athletes something else for it, if you MUST include one.

The other thing is presentation. The FIS' presentation level lags behind the IBU's, I know FIS also has Alpine to look after and that is presented very well, however the televisual appearance of it does have an impact on perception, and NC in particular feels like it's being treated as an afterthought.
 

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