Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Nov 28, 2021
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To me it looked like Karlsson did one of those races where she just starts to fast. The German men looked less impressive, I expected more from Moch, but he probably prefers a harder course than this one.

Recently Jan Thomas Jenssen went on a bit of a rant against the Federation because they insist on selecting guys like Iversen who underperform instead of skiers like him and others who finish clearly ahead of him in the domestic races.
I dont think it was a crazy hard opening, she is usually faster than Andersson. But maybe she started strong in the first uphil and faded already when she passed the intermediate check. She wont do the sprint which she planned from the beginning.

Yeah I read Jensens comments. It’s impossible to select a Norwegian team and people will always complain. There’s also the geographic components with Oslo, Trondheim and the North and then it’s national team, regional team, private team and ski classics team. Found it strange Iversens was selected today since he was so bad in the puirsuit last week.
 
Karlsson did start fast, but I’ve read she isn’t feeling 100%. She isn’t racing tomorrow.

From what I’ve seen of the women’s race, it seems the course is a little bit different from last season, even more easy. This sort of undulating course suits someone like Diggins perfectly. Last year she was 18th in this race but made the podium in the sprint. Wonder what will happen tomorrow.

Hennig in 2nd in an individual skate race is a little bit surprising.

Heidi Weng is a weirdo.

There’s really not much to talk about in the men’s race. Strong performance from Musgrave but a middle distance skate race is what suits him the best and he’s no stranger to top 10
 
In the Russian cup races, Stepanova won the sprint after dominating the qualification, winning the qualifier by almost 4 seconds, beating Nepryaeva in both. In the classic 10km, Nepryaeva won, by 0.4 over Smirnova, a solid top 30 World Cup skier.

In the men’s race, junior Korostelev won the sprint, beating Bolshunov who was 3rd. Bolshunov won the 15km, rather comfortably, 28 seconds over Poroshkin. Korostelev finished 5th, 50 seconds behind Bolshunov. Ustiugov hasn’t raced a Russian Cup race, still gaining form. Will be back for the next round of the Cup next week.
 
Karlsson did start fast, but I’ve read she isn’t feeling 100%. She isn’t racing tomorrow.

From what I’ve seen of the women’s race, it seems the course is a little bit different from last season, even more easy. This sort of undulating course suits someone like Diggins perfectly. Last year she was 18th in this race but made the podium in the sprint. Wonder what will happen tomorrow.

Hennig in 2nd in an individual skate race is a little bit surprising.

Heidi Weng is a weirdo.

There’s really not much to talk about in the men’s race. Strong performance from Musgrave but a middle distance skate race is what suits him the best and he’s no stranger to top 10
Yeah, Heidi is just a bit of a weirdo, there's no malice involved.
Even the Germans didn't think that Hennig would be their best card for today, they expected Carl to be their strongest skier today.
I know that Stadlober hates this track, but oh dear did her technique look bad today, even at the first time check.
 
In the Russian cup races, Stepanova won the sprint after dominating the qualification, winning the qualifier by almost 4 seconds, beating Nepryaeva in both. In the classic 10km, Nepryaeva won, by 0.4 over Smirnova, a solid top 30 World Cup skier.

In the men’s race, junior Korostelev won the sprint, beating Bolshunov who was 3rd. Bolshunov won the 15km, rather comfortably, 28 seconds over Poroshkin. Korostelev finished 5th, 50 seconds behind Bolshunov. Ustiugov hasn’t raced a Russian Cup race, still gaining form. Will be back for the next round of the Cup next week.
I hope Ustigov managed to get his high blood pressure under control (the upper value was 155 and he wasn't medically cleared to race or train with the national team). From what I've heard it's probably a result of Covid/long-Covid, but if he's now cleared to race he's probably ok.
 
Lampič still the quickest on the IBU Cup as she should be, but by a noticeably smaller margin over 15k than she was over 7,5.

She also fell apart toward the end after shooting well to begin with (albeit slowly) - 0+1+1+5 and she lost a lot of time across the final few kilometres, with her ski speed advantage getting smaller as the race went on.
 
The german teams have really improved their skiing in biathlon and in cross-country.
The biathletes have also improved their shooting. Hermann's ski speed is not impressive at this stage though.

Hauser didn't look great in the invidual, so it's quite surprise that she was able to win today, but I also didn't expect the Öberg sisters to have three misses either. Vittozzi continues to perform, and Persson got her first non-relay podium, while Lunder came very close to the same feat.
 
For the women at least I'd say it's to do with a change of coaching staff. A couple of years ago the only one skiing at their best level was Franzi Preuß, who was the only one still training with Tobias Reiter who was her local coach in Ruhpolding. He ran the women's team a few years ago when Dahlmeier was at her peak but then withdrew from the scene and was an assistant or was training the B-group I think. He's now back on the main coaching staff but on the men's side, while Sverre Røiseland, Marte Olsbu-Røiseland's husband, is training the women.

In all honesty, I think a few of these are just people getting back to the kind of level they showed as juniors and had lost their way a bit, probably lost in the shuffle a bit in the men's team especially as the core had been so stable for so long. David Zobel was a very good junior who was held back by his shooting percentages and did pretty well (but wasn't so great on the skis anymore) when he broke into the team last season, while Sophia Schneider was injured when she last made it to the World Cup a couple of years ago so the results aren't really representative, and in her junior ages was seen as the next Gössner due to her rapid skiing but poor shooting. While she clearly isn't going to be that anymore, she was seen as a marked prospect back in the youth days.

On the men's side I'd say Kühn and Doll are definitely not going faster than I usually associate them with, they've always been top skiers (if anything they're a bit off their best), Nawrath is performing about the level I'd expect from him, but Zobel and Rees have clearly improved their levels. Zobel's improved at both aspects and Rees is skiing faster. On the women's side, Herrmann and Voigt are at the expected kind of level (Voigt's big step up happened two years ago when she went from the fringes of the team to the IBU Cup overall win, and if anything Denise's ski speed is a little behind where you might expect, though the Öbergs have been big outliers as they often are this time of the season - while I expect Elvira to stay at the top of the charts, I don't think this kind of level of superiority will last, the Swedes always start all guns blazing - and with no Eckhoff, Røiseland or Sola you'd think Herrmann would be one of the most likely to be next best on the skis), Preuß is sick so hasn't yet raced, Frühwirt is pretty uncompetitive, but Schneider and Weidel have made big steps forward. However, Weidel has twice before started the season with a top 10 at the first World Cup meet before regressing to the mean, and is still the slowest skier in the team. Schneider has leapt forward a huge amount and it remains to be seen how sustainable it is, but it's mostly the skiing that has improved on her side as she's still been missing targets.

Also, the biathletes have a home World Championships this year and a not-totally-steady front line team, so probably a bit more competition to get into form early season in order to win places in the team for that, similar to the Norwegians at Lillehammer and the Finns at Ruka in the XC. The XC team has definitely improved considerably though.
 
For the women at least I'd say it's to do with a change of coaching staff. A couple of years ago the only one skiing at their best level was Franzi Preuß, who was the only one still training with Tobias Reiter who was her local coach in Ruhpolding. He ran the women's team a few years ago when Dahlmeier was at her peak but then withdrew from the scene and was an assistant or was training the B-group I think. He's now back on the main coaching staff but on the men's side, while Sverre Røiseland, Marte Olsbu-Røiseland's husband, is training the women.

In all honesty, I think a few of these are just people getting back to the kind of level they showed as juniors and had lost their way a bit, probably lost in the shuffle a bit in the men's team especially as the core had been so stable for so long. David Zobel was a very good junior who was held back by his shooting percentages and did pretty well (but wasn't so great on the skis anymore) when he broke into the team last season, while Sophia Schneider was injured when she last made it to the World Cup a couple of years ago so the results aren't really representative, and in her junior ages was seen as the next Gössner due to her rapid skiing but poor shooting. While she clearly isn't going to be that anymore, she was seen as a marked prospect back in the youth days.

On the men's side I'd say Kühn and Doll are definitely not going faster than I usually associate them with, they've always been top skiers (if anything they're a bit off their best), Nawrath is performing about the level I'd expect from him, but Zobel and Rees have clearly improved their levels. Zobel's improved at both aspects and Rees is skiing faster. On the women's side, Herrmann and Voigt are at the expected kind of level (Voigt's big step up happened two years ago when she went from the fringes of the team to the IBU Cup overall win, and if anything Denise's ski speed is a little behind where you might expect, though the Öbergs have been big outliers as they often are this time of the season - while I expect Elvira to stay at the top of the charts, I don't think this kind of level of superiority will last, the Swedes always start all guns blazing - and with no Eckhoff, Røiseland or Sola you'd think Herrmann would be one of the most likely to be next best on the skis), Preuß is sick so hasn't yet raced, Frühwirt is pretty uncompetitive, but Schneider and Weidel have made big steps forward. However, Weidel has twice before started the season with a top 10 at the first World Cup meet before regressing to the mean, and is still the slowest skier in the team. Schneider has leapt forward a huge amount and it remains to be seen how sustainable it is, but it's mostly the skiing that has improved on her side as she's still been missing targets.

Also, the biathletes have a home World Championships this year and a not-totally-steady front line team, so probably a bit more competition to get into form early season in order to win places in the team for that, similar to the Norwegians at Lillehammer and the Finns at Ruka in the XC. The XC team has definitely improved considerably though.
Doll is retiring
 
I expect nothing but a Norwegian dominance in the men’s 20 in Lillehammer. Unless guys like Halfvarsson, Poromaa, De Fabiani have really good races, there could literally be a top 10 sweep. Musgrave is in good form and the course is easy enough for him to hang in a classic race, but I would be very surprised if he has another top 5.

Women’s race will be competitive again. I could see Andersson and Karlsson pushing the pace already from the beginning and creating significant gaps. I expect Hennig to contend again, the two Finns, Weng, Kalvå, Theodorsen…
 
So few women's distance races, why do I have to be seeing father Christmas this morning?

I expect nothing but a Norwegian dominance in the men’s 20 in Lillehammer. Unless guys like Halfvarsson, Poromaa, De Fabiani have really good races, there could literally be a top 10 sweep. Musgrave is in good form and the course is easy enough for him to hang in a classic race, but I would be very surprised if he has another top 5.
FIS website has both races as 30km, is that incorrect?
 
This is going to turn into a straight 10k freestyle race isn't it. Probably won by Diggins.
Tbf, I haven't see her lead that much in a classic mass start early on a lot of times. Stadlober has horrible skis, out of the tracks on the ascents from the start.
Still, if you think this is bad I don't even want to think about how bad a men's mass start is gonna be on this loop...
Why aren't they using the actual XC skiing loop? Looks like there would be enough snow to do that.
 
Tbf, I haven't see her lead that much in a classic mass start early on a lot of times. Stadlober has horrible skis, out of the tracks on the ascents from the start.
Still, if you think this is bad I don't even want to think about how bad a men's mass start is gonna be on this loop...
Why aren't they using the actual XC skiing loop? Looks like there would be enough snow to do that.
Diggins isn't all that great in Classic (or, on the off-chance you're Patrick Winterton, the US service team invariably produce bad skis for her in Classic races, even as she glides better than anybody else downhill to make contact again), but she has a great engine so the longer they let her sit on in there without driving the pace, the more she comes into it. The Swedes seem to be making their move now and there are small gaps emerging, but it's still something of a pack race, certainly more of one than we're accustomed to from the women even omitting Johaug.
 
Disaster for Hennig.

Strong finish for Karlsson, I thought Tiril would pass her on the finishing line.

Enjoying Pace Eiduka's battle to keep the U23 bib off Fossesholm. I'm sure HMF will take it in the long run but the two of them sprinting it out for 25th when neither of them are particularly adept at that was quite entertaining.
 
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Hennig was unlucky and clearly the strongest uphill on the final lap, imagine if they actually raced the harder XC skiing lap...
Maybe Schlickenrieder will start to recognise that challenging obstacles are better than featureless flat races now that the Germans would benefit from them.

Or maybe he'll continue to focus entirely on trying to make races easier so that he can relive his glory days and imagine what he would have achieved on these neutered courses and with this sprint and mass start-heavy calendar.
 

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