There was a relay in Antholz a few years ago where one of the Russians, I think it was either Glazyrina or Shumilova, shot them into a huge lead by hitting 5 then the wind went insane and nobody could get close, and she had over a minute. Then when she got back to the range it was like it was for Johannes here, and she shot penalty loops, then the wind died down and they lost all of that time gained and more.That was probably the worst luck regarding wind conditions I have ever seen. Wow.
If Hofer was still skiing like he used to Italy shoulxmd have brought him to the xc skiing relay (he was one of the best, if not the best Italian CmXC skier in the youth ranks)JTB cearly lost the edge he might have had left (both physicially and mentally) after the three penalty loops. He should probably have taken his time on the last shooting, too, so he might have been able to catch Latypov.
It's a shame that Hofer isn't one of the fastests skiers anymore, cause he could easily have medaled with that shooting performance in the past.
If it was a 50km classic race I might give him more of a chance, but not in a skating race.That first long climb with a false flat in the middle is just draining all of his energy, he was lucky that it was done only twice in the 15km classical, it looks like he will get 'slaughtered' on it by the likes of Hollund, Spitsov, Krueger and co on it in multiple passings over it in V1 technique.
What is the point of doing the race to be minutes down?
If Klaebo wants to race, he will get the spot. As the 15km showed, the long loop with its shorter climbs suits him a lot better. 40seconds to 1 Minute uphill efforts he can handle well and quickly recover. Its the "long" clims of over 1.30 that cook him. A few off them in a row, like with the short loops simply, are too much for him. I put long in " because these climbs are still anything but "long". If CC skiing still had at least real 3-4 Minuten climbs, soneone like Klaebo would be chanceless in Distannce racing.
That being said, I think the main problem will be tiredness. Normally the 50km should be won by someone that didn' compete in too many races.