Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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It wasn't that terrible. He clearly gave up the chase for the gold early on and then he waited, didn't waste his energy in the steeper parts, and did a tactically good race head to head against Magnificat.

Klæbo knows what he is doing and has a hard program doing all distances. He needs to conserve his energy whenever he can. He is far from a favorite on the 50km, but he must be on the Norwegian team. If the pace isn't to fast he is in with an opportunity. But I think there are to many in the field who wants to make it a hard race.

Well he essentially gave up in two of the four races. Not exactly a sign of a great champion. The coaches won’t ever tell him, but they should say something like ‘look, it’s not the first time you start a race and completely give up just cruise to the line, if you do that again, you won’t be selected to the next distance races. And I don’t know what he wasn’t happy about after the finish, if you don’t try you won’t catch too many people. What was he thinking, that Ustiugov would die and he would just waltz his way to gold?
 
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But with Bolshunov, Spitsov and Yakimushkin in, they would still have a place for Ustiugov. And Maltsev too has already done two races here, I think it is Sergey's decision and not Vyalbe's.

Picking Yakimushkin for the 50 is a mistake. As I wrote, he stated that he got sick after the TDS and thought he did enough to get back in form, but hasn’t. If it’s Ustiugov’s decision then he’s being way too generous by first giving his skiathlon spot to Maltsev and a 50km spot to Yakimushkin. This points to him deciding that this is really his last season. That would of course be a shame because he’s only 29, he could certainly go another cycle. Of course with his history of injuries and illnesses, perhaps he’s just tired from starting from scratch so often. I think it’s all mental rather than physical right now.
 
If they had Krüger there, they could have easily picked Golberg in first, Klæbo second, Holund third and Krüger as anchor. It means that the skaters would need to push the pace from the start, but those two are capable of that.
Golberg-Holund-Roethe-Klaebo could have worked. Of course they'd have had more options if they selected someone else instead of Iversen, or another distance skier instead of Taugboel. Amundsen, Toenseth or Nyenget being there for the relay would have made a big difference...
 
Golberg-Holund-Roethe-Klaebo could have worked. Of course they'd have had more options if they selected someone else instead of Iversen, or another distance skier instead of Taugboel. Amundsen, Toenseth or Nyenget being there for the relay would have made a big difference...

Iversen was picked for today because they left him out of the 15km. There was some backlash from Iversen and the media, and he called it a ‘stab in the back’ for not picking him after telling him he would get a chance in that race prior to the Olympics and if he was fit enough. Then they decided to race him today even though he wasn’t their number one pick for that leg. I think they almost forced themselves to pick him today, otherwise they would have been in more heat. At least more heat than they already are, for one with the selections and two with the results, plus with a number of the skiers that got Covid and for not having more reserves ready.
 
Picking Yakimushkin for the 50 is a mistake. As I wrote, he stated that he got sick after the TDS and thought he did enough to get back in form, but hasn’t. If it’s Ustiugov’s decision then he’s being way too generous by first giving his skiathlon spot to Maltsev and a 50km spot to Yakimushkin. This points to him deciding that this is really his last season. That would of course be a shame because he’s only 29, he could certainly go another cycle. Of course with his history of injuries and illnesses, perhaps he’s just tired from starting from scratch so often. I think it’s all mental rather than physical right now.

It's not a mistake, it's their only option. They have no one else to put there. And Sergey knows that on such a hard course, he can't beat Spitsov, Bolshunov, Hollund and probably Krueger. The Swedes look good too, so why bother with 50km just for a mediocre result? This way, he leaves the Olympics for good just like a Champ he is.
 
Some people argue that Klæbo isn't a clear favorite against Ustiugov if they had the same starting point while some people say Klæbo is bad for not going all out trying to win with a 45 second deficit.

I don't agree with either point of view. 20-30 seconds after and it would have been worth a try. More than that is too much, less than that is not enough (for Ustiugov).
Have ever truly seen peak Klaebo vs peak Ustiugov in a distance race head to head?
In a freestyle race in those conditions I`d favor Ustiugov in 17 shape over Klaebo all day , any day to be honest.
 
So I started thinking about a Team Sprint already, that might actually be a very open race.

Norway - 1Hollund (Golberg or Valnes but I doubt it)/ 2. Klaebo
Russia: 1. Bolshunov / 2. Terentyev - this lineup is a no brainer
Finland: 1 Niskanen / Maki (?)
Sweden: two out of Burman/Poromaa/Svensson
Italy: 1. De Fabiani / 2. Pelle - another no brainer
France: 1. Jouve / 2. Chanavat (?)

What are your ideal pairs?

No way is Holund doing the team sprint. Was that a typo on your part?? Hahaha.
Golberg has done every race so far, so he I think he will be tired. I’d say Valnes and Klæbo for Norway.
Bolshunov and Terentjev for Russia, though as a fan I’d love to see Ustiugov with either.
Italy with Defa and Chicopelle (Graz as a possible replacement for Defa, but he has very little experience at the senior championship level, he’s only 21).
Svensson for sure, then who knows, Poromaa is in great form and has decent pace at the end of a distance race, but likely they’ll go with Hägström who’s much more of a sprinter and has had strong team sprints in the past. An outsize option is Halfvarsson, but he’s not in shape, and he could completely lose touch.
Finland: Hakola and Mäki, perhaps Niskanen in the place of Hakola. Hakola lost touch fairly early in the opening leg, and Niskanen is skiing the best he’s had all season.
Germany: they don’t have any pure sprinters, so perhaps Brugger and Moch, youngest skiers on their male team and they skied quite well today. I imagine their skis will be fast again.
France: Chanavat and Jouve. Jouve raced today and the 15km, so I don’t know how he’ll do, but I am actually more worried for Chanavat who often makes it far in sprint heats but often loses out because he doesn’t have the endurance. They are both better skate skiers (as are the other French), but Jouve is much more consistent in classic than Chanavat.
The Swiss are in the same boat as the French, but they are even more of a question mark in classic and have even less endurance. If this was 2014 Cologna would be a no brainer but his motivation has gone in this season, probably has had his mind on many other things with this being his last season.
I also think that that the Czechs could do a good race. Like many of the other Central European they are a bit better in skate but they can fight for a top 6 if they are on.
 
Any news on Riiber making it for the large hill/relay?
nothing definite, I think, He delivered a negative test on Saturday, and if it stays like that, he'll take part in practice tomorrow. This doesn't mean he'll race, though, or even be competitive.

Frenzel is in a smilar situation, if I understood correctly. But last weeks the Germans stated that they wouldn't race anyone so close after infection. Or only for the ski jumping part at least.
 
No way is Holund doing the team sprint. Was that a typo on your part?? Hahaha.

Yeah that was my initial reaction too, and Golberg is the most logical choice, but like you said, he is so overused in the Olympics so far, he skied everything and he skied hard in all races. And Valnes is such a liability, if Bolshunov/Niskanen/Poromaa and maybe even Jouve run away from him, Norway might even lose the medal let alone gold. So maybe the safest option would actually be Hollund. He gives you a medal for sure, and might even be the best option for gold.
 
Holund unfortunately can't respond to any acceleration. He is like a single speed bicycle and his optimal speed is best suited for 50km or more.

I think Norway will struggle to get a medal with Valnes and Iversen not in form and Golberg tired.
 
Holund unfortunately can't respond to any acceleration. He is like a single speed bicycle and his optimal speed is best suited for 50km or more.

I think Norway will struggle to get a medal with Valnes and Iversen not in form and Golberg tired.

Its tough again for the Norwegians really. Golberg would be the best option on the course but he's been fading heavily in the races so far so can he do a semi final and final without that. Same with Valnes, not sure he has the endurance. Holund can't sprint but you at least know he'll last the distance. That's no guarantee with the other two atm.
 
Its tough again for the Norwegians really. Golberg would be the best option on the course but he's been fading heavily in the races so far so can he do a semi final and final without that. Same with Valnes, not sure he has the endurance. Holund can't sprint but you at least know he'll last the distance. That's no guarantee with the other two atm.

are we sure Klaebo is running 2nd, though? Maybe setting him up against Bolshunov instead and hope for Valnes to somehow outsprint Terentiev, Mäki and Pellegrino is an option as well.