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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Fair point, but overall I always find it more out of the blue when someone suddenly skis a lot faster than before. Someone who has always been a fast skiers finally getting the right shooting coach/finding the right shooting set-up seems to be a lot more common.

Meanwhile young Hannah Auchentaller got her first season win in the IBU cup this year. with her and Linda Zingerle we have some great second generation prospects coming up.
Marte wasn't a fast skier before 2016 though. It wasn't a quick skier becomes quickest situation, it was a mediocre skier becomes really good situation.

As I say, the fact it was mid-season - and before a home world championship - is what made it so weird. Transformations of that kind between seasons are fairly common, but mid-season ones to that extent are much rarer - but the fact it wasn't just some spirit of the championships form-of-your-life but that Marte has been the athlete she became over a couple of weeks pre-2016 Worlds pretty much unbroken for seven years since is what makes that transformation so strange to me.
 
How much crockery have you broken?

Is there any research into what lead most affects the final shoot in a relay? I feel it would really *** with my head if I was enough ahead that as long as I didn't go on the penalty loop I'd be OK.
I'd hoped we might be free of the most direct implications of the Digginscovery Channel buyout when watching an entirely different sport, but I guess they had to find a way to crowbar their pet athlete in on a weekend where there aren't even any XC races (edit: forgot the Universiade is going on, but these guys aren't commentating it).

I've also wondered if people are a bit more reckless in the relays because they have those spares. But then, we've seen plenty of big leads in other pursuits and mass starts blown with range capitulations. Neuner in Antholz and Bø in Östersund hitting 0/5 when they had a huge lead, and Martin Fourcade at Khanty-Mansiysk in 2013 when he won the sprint by almost a minute in what might have been his most dominant season ever and somehow still managed to contrive to lose the pursuit to, of all people, Christoph Sumann.

I'd think it's less likely in Ruhpolding, at least for experienced athletes, after all this is the range with the best shooting scores on the entire calendar I believe. With my examples above, Antholz is the highest altitude regular venue and Östersund is notorious for windy conditions. I think for this it was simply that Chauveau has never done a relay at this level before and she really isn't that good a shot either, if you dig into her pre-World Cup results and even at this level, she's essentially a similar kind of athlete to Enora Latuillière, a good but not great junior who has really good ski speed and can go on a tear of great form, but does have the capability for this kind of disaster. Third leg has often been a good part of the relay to ease people in (see Germany doing the same with Schneider and Italy with Paßler for example), but with Røiseland (and on another day it might have been Davidová or Öberg) breathing down your neck, it's a bit of a baptism of fire for your relay skillset.
 
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I'd hoped we might be free of the most direct implications of the Digginscovery Channel buyout when watching an entirely different sport, but I guess they had to find a way to crowbar their pet athlete in on a weekend where there aren't even any XC races (edit: forgot the Universiade is going on, but these guys aren't commentating it).

I've also wondered if people are a bit more reckless in the relays because they have those spares. But then, we've seen plenty of big leads in other pursuits and mass starts blown with range capitulations. Neuner in Antholz and Bø in Östersund hitting 0/5 when they had a huge lead, and Martin Fourcade at Khanty-Mansiysk in 2013 when he won the sprint by almost a minute in what might have been his most dominant season ever and somehow still managed to contrive to lose the pursuit to, of all people, Christoph Sumann.

I'd think it's less likely in Ruhpolding, at least for experienced athletes, after all this is the range with the best shooting scores on the entire calendar I believe. With my examples above, Antholz is the highest altitude regular venue and Östersund is notorious for windy conditions. I think for this it was simply that Chauveau has never done a relay at this level before and she really isn't that good a shot either, if you dig into her pre-World Cup results and even at this level, she's essentially a similar kind of athlete to Enora Latuillière, a good but not great junior who has really good ski speed and can go on a tear of great form, but does have the capability for this kind of disaster. Third leg has often been a good part of the relay to ease people in (see Germany doing the same with Schneider and Italy with Paßler for example), but with Røiseland (and on another day it might have been Davidová or Öberg) breathing down your neck, it's a bit of a baptism of fire for your relay skillset.
Still, Passler did well.. Skied within her possibilities, didn't blow up and her shooting was on point.
 
Still, Passler did well.. Skied within her possibilities, didn't blow up and her shooting was on point.
Yea, she was smart, impressive what the Italians are doing with their quartet given they only have the two established big guns. Schneider was also good I thought, not so much in the range but her speed was excellent, but then I guess these are her home trails so she will have the inside knowledge on how to pace the race here in various conditions.
 
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I live in the states as well, but try the YouTube channel ‘nalyzhi’ (on skis) they also have a page on VK, essentially the Russian version of Facebook: https://m.vk.com/nalyzhi.

You can also try typing in ‘Лыжные гонки’ to YouTube and try most recent. Unfortunately there’s no coverage of the most recent Russian cup races on tv, so the Russian fans seem to be relying on amateur footage.
Thanks for the tip, I'm finally getting around to watching some Russian skiing being I'm tired of the tedious, snow-starved Klaebo show. Found this vid on youtube... being my Russian is extremely rusty and reading of Cyrillic just about nonexistent I have to use my imagination a lot, but at least the scenery and snow look lovely. (And whoever wins isn't named Klaebo, which is a huuuge bonus! :D)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kepqX_ip9q8
 
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Thanks for the tip, I'm finally getting around to watching some Russian skiing being I'm tired of the tedious, snow-starved Klaebo show. Found this vid on youtube... being my Russian is extremely rusty and reading of Cyrillic just about nonexistent I have to use my imagination a lot, but at least the scenery and snow look lovely. (And whoever wins isn't named Klaebo, which is a huuuge bonus! :D)

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kepqX_ip9q8
I finally got around working on my Cyrilic reading ability because of it, something that now even comes handy in real life.
 
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The Russian domestic/pseudo-domestic biathlon is kind of the reverse of the World Cup - the men's is really competitive with a number of competitive athletes and a real variety of skills from shooting specialists like Khalili to blazing fast but erratic types like Serokhvostov, while the women's is a bit of a nothingburger competition with largely the same few people at the front because almost all the high end, World Cup-established competitors are taking the season out - Reztsova, Vasnetcova, Sola, Akimova, Leshchanka (Kryuko) all for family reasons, and Mironova and Burtasova for health. Alimbekava is basically the only big name still there, and she phones it in a lot outside of the Friendship Trophy events because the Belarusians can't score points in the Russian Cup.
 
The Russian domestic/pseudo-domestic biathlon is kind of the reverse of the World Cup - the men's is really competitive with a number of competitive athletes and a real variety of skills from shooting specialists like Khalili to blazing fast but erratic types like Serokhvostov, while the women's is a bit of a nothingburger competition with largely the same few people at the front because almost all the high end, World Cup-established competitors are taking the season out - Reztsova, Vasnetcova, Sola, Akimova, Leshchanka (Kryuko) all for family reasons, and Mironova and Burtasova for health. Alimbekava is basically the only big name still there, and she phones it in a lot outside of the Friendship Trophy events because the Belarusians can't score points in the Russian Cup.
Frankly, with the top athletes in both Biathlon and Skiing only being able to compete there this is probably the most regulated and least wild west that the Russian domestic sceen has been in decades...

No surprise in the Pustertaler Skimarathon ski classics races, Emil Persson won the sprint from a reduced group while everyone's favourite DUI offender Petter Nurthug finished 28th, over 4min down. Last year Sunby finished 12th from the lead group and 6th in the shorter race with the MTF on the Plätzwiese one day later, 1min behind the winner. While constant double poling for hours with no classic zones is a very specific skill the level seems to be really high.

One the women's side Ida Dahl won almost 2min ahhead of everyone else after an almost 40km long solo move, the Slind DNS today probably made things a bit easier for her.
 
JTB is just an absolute freak. Christiansen might be the second best skiier and the way he took him apart on the last lap was insane.

Norway 1234 not great, I hoped the Lithuanian was going to go clean on last shoot, some other unusual names in the top 10 as well.
The world champs could be terrible/Norwegian procession if Roiseland gets back to Olympics form (is there any news on Eckhoffs return?).
 
JTB is just an absolute freak. Christiansen might be the second best skiier and the way he took him apart on the last lap was insane.

Norway 1234 not great, I hoped the Lithuanian was going to go clean on last shoot, some other unusual names in the top 10 as well.
The world champs could be terrible/Norwegian procession if Roiseland gets back to Olympics form (is there any news on Eckhoffs return?).
Mmm, just a few outside Norway still enjoying the freakshow. Whatever I would feel obligated to comment would ban me from the forum. The strength of Biathlon compared to XC has always been the competitivness beteen a pletora of nations, not so anymore. Now the state funded and industrialized (medical, technical, physiological, material) NO-team competes in a league of its own.
 
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Mmm, just a few outside Norway still enjoying the freakshow. Whatever I would feel obligated to comment would ban me from the forum. The strength of Biathlon compared to XC has always been the competitivness beteen a pletora of nations, not so anymore. Now the state funded and industrialized (medical, technical, physiological, material) NO-team competes in a league of its own.

I get that it's boring for non-norwegians to watch the best biathlete and biathlon team of all time at it's peak, but no reason to invent conspiracy theories like the team being state funded?
I mean, if anything government employed athletes/police officers etc in Italy/Germany etc are more "state funded" than this norwegian team.
Whatever rocks your boat I guess.
 
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I get that it's boring for non-norwegians to watch the best biathlete and biathlon team of all time at it's peak, but no reason to invent conspiracy theories like the team being state funded?
See, the wording here is part of the problem though, I'm afraid. "I get that it's boring to watch the best of all time". Like the problem is with the audience when the spectacle is too predictable. That the problem with those who want a better or more competitive spectacle is that they just hate excellence (remember you're on a cycling board, a lot of us remember being hit with that argument by He Who Shall Not Be Named, the final boss of cycling villains) and can't appreciate that they're watching somebody who is absolutely at the peak of their powers.

But we do appreciate that. We appreciate that if he keeps it up at this rate, Bø will overtake Fourcade and Bjørndalen's records. But you know people were just as bored by Fourcade, right? But at least in those days, it wasn't that all of the alternatives were also French, and there were enough holes in the various teams' depth that relays at least held some interest. Again, like in combat sports, you have to have challengers that people believe can beat the champion. Not like, they have to be a perfect match or anything, but that with luck falling the right way, at their best, they could do it. Svendsen or Shipulin were good examples of this during Fourcade's peak. But there just isn't the belief that there's anybody out there that can genuinely threaten Bø at the moment, and the only people even remotely close are his teammates, so it's just SSDD on the rare occasions he doesn't win.

XC skiing was really hurt during the peak of Norwegian domination on both sides of the gender divide not because of who was winning but because nobody believed that the opposition had a chance, and biathlon profited significantly from this. Women's XC has benefited greatly from the retirements of dominant champions because the field is more open again - and seems to be getting good reviews for the spectacle this season even with a Norwegian holding the yellow bib and being the strongest athlete of the season. I've joked that as Norway has traditionally favoured XC (as opposed to traditionally biathlon-favouring nations like Germany) Norway's answer to this was to try to make biathlon as boring as XC. For the first time, albeit only on the men's side which has suffered more from dull spectacles thanks to just swapping one dominant champion (Fourcade) for another (Bø), it feels like they're succeeding.
 
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In the Ski Classics race with a MTF, the Prato Piazza classic Emil Persson made the double, ahead of Odegaarden, who could follow him until the final 500m, and Gjerdalen.

On the women's side Slind won a few sec ahead of Emilie Fleten and just over 1min ahead of yesterday's winner Ida Dahl, who was dropped on the 2nd part of the climb and cracked a bit near the end. It has to be said that Dahl dominated yesterday's race and probably felt the 40km solo effort she did yesterday, (she put 2min into Fleten) while Slind choose not to race yesterday. Last year Ida Dahl also got her first ski classics win on this climb, 8sec ahead of Slind and 17sec ahead of Fleten, so it's not like the climb doesn't suit her.

Here's some footage of today's race:
 
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See, the wording here is part of the problem though, I'm afraid. "I get that it's boring to watch the best of all time". Like the problem is with the audience when the spectacle is too predictable. That the problem with those who want a better or more competitive spectacle is that they just hate excellence (remember you're on a cycling board, a lot of us remember being hit with that argument by He Who Shall Not Be Named, the final boss of cycling villains) and can't appreciate that they're watching somebody who is absolutely at the peak of their powers.

But we do appreciate that. We appreciate that if he keeps it up at this rate, Bø will overtake Fourcade and Bjørndalen's records. But you know people were just as bored by Fourcade, right? But at least in those days, it wasn't that all of the alternatives were also French, and there were enough holes in the various teams' depth that relays at least held some interest. Again, like in combat sports, you have to have challengers that people believe can beat the champion. Not like, they have to be a perfect match or anything, but that with luck falling the right way, at their best, they could do it. Svendsen or Shipulin were good examples of this during Fourcade's peak. But there just isn't the belief that there's anybody out there that can genuinely threaten Bø at the moment, and the only people even remotely close are his teammates, so it's just SSDD on the rare occasions he doesn't win.

XC skiing was really hurt during the peak of Norwegian domination on both sides of the gender divide, and biathlon profited significantly from this. Women's XC has benefited greatly from the retirements of dominant champions because the field is more open again - and seems to be getting good reviews for the spectacle this season even with a Norwegian holding the yellow bib and being the strongest athlete of the season. I've joked that as Norway has traditionally favoured XC (as opposed to traditionally biathlon-favouring nations like Germany) Norway's answer to this was to try to make biathlon as boring as XC. For the first time, albeit only on the men's side which has suffered more from dull spectacles thanks to just swapping one dominant champion (Fourcade) for another (Bø), it feels like they're succeeding.

I am not arguing against any of what you write as I by and large agree with all of it.
However, not a single sentence in your post adress the very simple point I made, which was:

Let's not introduce conspiracy theories like the norwegian biathlon federation being state funded, as it really isn't?

Sure, there is a total of 15 biathletes including juniors that has a stipend through state funded Olympiatoppen.
These stipends are a joke. The max stipend is less than €12k and the athletes lose that stipend if they make anything close to a normal norwegian salary.
I am guessing what's paid to athletes competing in the world cup is comfortably less than €30k a year, in total.
Of the non-juniors it's only Sivert Bakken (not competing because of long covid) and possibly Ida Lien and Karoline Knotten that will receive anything as the rest that qualified earns more through prize money.

I am sure the norwegian biathlon federation is filthy rich (compared to other biathlon federations), but that's because they are attractive in the sponsor market, and that is a different story..
 
In the Ski Classics race with a MTF, the Prato Piazza classic Emil Persson made the double, ahead of Odegaarden, who could follow him until the final 500m, and Gjerdalen.

On the women's side Slind won a few sec ahead of Emilie Fleten and just over 1min ahead of yesterday's winner Ida Dahl, who was dropped on the 2nd part of the climb and cracked a bit near the end. It has to be said that Dahl dominated yesterday's race and probably felt the 40km solo effort she did yesterday, (she put 2min into Fleten) while Slind choose not to race yesterday. Last year Ida Dahl also got her first ski classics win on this climb, 8sec ahead of Slind and 17sec ahead of Fleten, so it's not like the climb doesn't suit her.

Here's some footage of today's race:
Thanks for the link, I wasn't even aware there was such a thing as Ski Classics. Are these races part of the Worldloppet or are they just sort of doing their own separate thing?
 
Thanks for the link, I wasn't even aware there was such a thing as Ski Classics. Are these races part of the Worldloppet or are they just sort of doing their own separate thing?
Exactly, it's the series of Worldloppet races. On Saturday I watched the 62km race, the Pustertaler Skimarathon (won by big names like Legkov, Bodvinov, de Zolt and well, Mühlegg) on the steepest and hardest climb of the course in my hometown, seeing them all double pole up on a really steep climb is humbling, to say the least.

They have an overall leaders jersey and like cycling also a sprint/points jersey and a sort of KoM jersey.
There are point sprints at some point of the race and KoM points on top of the biggest climb of each race. Sometimes the moves made to gain those points lead to more important moves. Yesterday Ida Dahl kept going hard after the points sprint and went for a 40km solo to win the whole race almost 2min ahead of the 2nd.
 
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Exactly, it's the series of Worldloppet races. On Saturday I watched the 62km race, the Pustertaler Skimarathon (won by big names like Legkov, Bodvinov, de Zolt and well, Mühlegg) on the steepest and hardest climb of the course in my hometown, seeing them all double pole up on a really steep climb is humbling, to say the least.

They have an overall leaders jersey and like cycling also a sprint/points jersey and a sort of KoM jersey.
There are point sprints at some point of the race and KoM points on top of the biggest climb of each race. Sometimes the moves made to gain those points lead to more important moves. Yesterday Ida Dahl kept going hard after the points sprint and went for a 40km solo to win the whole race almost 2min ahead of the 2nd.
Thanks again for the info, I just subscribed to the skiclassics channel so I can watch all the truly long distance races in classic style! (I'm so giddy I could crap myself, the snow and scenery at the Pustertal marathon are just marvelous! :hearteyes:)
 
Mmm, just a few outside Norway still enjoying the freakshow. Whatever I would feel obligated to comment would ban me from the forum. The strength of Biathlon compared to XC has always been the competitivness beteen a pletora of nations, not so anymore. Now the state funded and industrialized (medical, technical, physiological, material) NO-team competes in a league of its own.
IMO the biggest change was Norway throwing money at the best coaches from other nations and "poaching" them. Oberegger leaving the Italian team he had built around Wierer and Hofer and taking over their women's team in 2018/2019 was what started the rise of their women's team. The same can be said about Mazet leaving Foucade and thee French team, with him taking over the rise of J. T. Bö started.
 
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Back to the Ski Classics, yesterday Nurthug finished over 14min down on the climb and last year Sundby finished 6th, over 1min down. Shows that the level at the top is really high (mainly on the men's side, when it comes to the women 3 are frankly head and shoulders above the rest), but also that the sport specific training is very different than the one for World Cup skiers.
They spend way more time training their double poling and there's a bigger emphasis on really long training sessions and less on short, intense efforts.

There are even some papers making physiological comparisons between ski classics and world cup skiers: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2018.01523/full
 
Federica Sanfilippo has been forced out of the biathlon team (in Wierer's words), so that explains why she's been active on the XC circuit recently.

Since Wierer has been considering retirement for a while, this could possibly mean that the decision to stop before the Antholz Olympics gets a little easier for her to make.