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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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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.
She was told that she wouldn't be selected for the relay or the Antholz races and retired from Biathlon one day later.

It sounds harsh annd I feel for her, but at the same time Passler did really well in the relay and they probably want to give Auchentaller a chance at her home WC after her good results and first season win in the IBU cup.
 
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She'd already been relegated to the Coppa Italia and forced her way back up. The team is obviously building for a future that involves that generation of young talent they have (plus the ones even younger like the Scattolo sisters) and continuing to pick Sanfilippo at this stage will only delay that process, so those older athletes have to force the selectors' hands with their performances at the lower levels. It's how people like Elisabeth Högberg, the Horchler sisters, Alexander Os or Maxim Tsvetkov have managed to keep on going several years after the team has intended to move on from them, simply by being too good in the fields they're in for the team to not keep them around.

The problem for Fede is that while she worked hard and forced her way back through the Coppa Italia and the IBU Cup, the team has clearly decided that Comola and Paßler are at the very least not noticeably worse, and are 8 and 11 years younger than her respectively. 1st and 2nd in 2 races was enough for Fede to get promoted to the World Cup; that was precisely what Auchentaller managed to get across Brezno-Osrblie and Pokljuka (IBU Cup). Unfortunately Auchentaller then was dreadful in two sprints in a row at the weekend just gone, which might leave a bit of a bad taste in the mouth for Sanfilippo at being turfed aside for somebody who got 76th and 51st in the last two races they entered.
 
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

No problem. Yeah it’s nice that they are trying to provide some race coverage, but the videos from this past weekend were poor. In the skiathlon races they didn’t show a lot of the race, as they seem to have like 3 cameras. There was dispute between Välbe and Guberniev (from Match TV) and she didn’t want that channel to have broadcasting rights as she felt they were following and annoying the skiers during the races. The channel the federation did sell the rights to, hasn’t broadcasted any races so far. Very strange.

Bolshunov was in form last weekend, winning both distance races in dominant fashion. Nepryaeva won all three races, but was challenged to the end by Stepanova, who’s really improved her classic this season. She could very well become Russia’s top skier in the near future.
 
So confirmed that Sweden bringing their a-game to Livigno. Sundling, Ribom, Dahlqvist, Hagström & Svahn. Svahn explained bad skis was the reason for her lackluster performance last weekend. Meanwhile Norway and Finland have their national championship, Finland are not going and I have not seen any Norwegian squad even if I expect some of their specialist like Stenseth.

Tiril Weng, Frida Karlsson, Katharina Hennig and Johannes Klaebo are all ill after the Tour. Kalvaa is still suffering aswell but I read Pärmäkoski is back in business since long, it was indeed food poisoning as first reported.

Also Junior Worlds at Whistler Olympic park is coming up. Big debate in Sweden about 16 year old Alvar Myhlback who choosed Ski Classics over the trials (even if he knew that would lead to omission from the squad). I saw the minimum age for the Italian ski classics races was 18, but it seems it did not apply to Alvar since he is on a trade team. I think Vasaloppet has the same limit so it will be interesting to see if he will be able to do that one. Last year there was a story of Myhlback not being allowed to race a Ski marathon of I think 60k so he registered in the 30k race that started simultaneously and kept going after the first 30k, won the 60k but was removed from the result list since he wasn’t registered for that race.
 
So confirmed that Sweden bringing their a-game to Livigno. Sundling, Ribom, Dahlqvist, Hagström & Svahn. Svahn explained bad skis was the reason for her lackluster performance last weekend. Meanwhile Norway and Finland have their national championship, Finland are not going and I have not seen any Norwegian squad even if I expect some of their specialist like Stenseth.

Tiril Weng, Frida Karlsson, Katharina Hennig and Johannes Klaebo are all ill after the Tour. Kalvaa is still suffering aswell but I read Pärmäkoski is back in business since long, it was indeed food poisoning as first reported.

Also Junior Worlds at Whistler Olympic park is coming up. Big debate in Sweden about 16 year old Alvar Myhlback who choosed Ski Classics over the trials (even if he knew that would lead to omission from the squad). I saw the minimum age for the Italian ski classics races was 18, but it seems it did not apply to Alvar since he is on a trade team. I think Vasaloppet has the same limit so it will be interesting to see if he will be able to do that one. Last year there was a story of Myhlback not being allowed to race a Ski marathon of I think 60k so he registered in the 30k race that started simultaneously and kept going after the first 30k, won the 60k but was removed from the result list since he wasn’t registered for that race.
Krüger is also out of the NC because of Covid. Klaebo bein ill is a bit of a thing, when he's "ill" or unsure if he'll compete because of health problems he usually shows up and performs like nothing happened, he doesn't seem to have off days when he returns to competition.
 
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No problem. Yeah it’s nice that they are trying to provide some race coverage, but the videos from this past weekend were poor. In the skiathlon races they didn’t show a lot of the race, as they seem to have like 3 cameras. There was dispute between Välbe and Guberniev (from Match TV) and she didn’t want that channel to have broadcasting rights as she felt they were following and annoying the skiers during the races. The channel the federation did sell the rights to, hasn’t broadcasted any races so far. Very strange.

Bolshunov was in form last weekend, winning both distance races in dominant fashion. Nepryaeva won all three races, but was challenged to the end by Stepanova, who’s really improved her classic this season. She could very well become Russia’s top skier in the near future.
At this point it wouldn't even surprise me if it was a sort of punishment for the skiing federation for not being patriotic enough...
 
Krüger is also out of the NC because of Covid. Klaebo bein ill is a bit of a thing, when he's "ill" or unsure if he'll compete because of health problems he usually shows up and performs like nothing happened, he doesn't seem to have off days when he returns to competition.
Yeah, it was a bit ridiculous when he said he wasn’t sure if he could compete and then smashed everyone the next day in the season opening. Also this being NC-season, at least in Norway and Sweden some athletes always seems to struggle with “illnes”, just to be able to preform in the World Cup next week. . I think Klaebo has like 4 NC titles, Stina Nilsson and Frida Karlsson have one each. Then you have the opposite like Charlotte Kalla and Ebba Andersson who always show up and even left their childhood ski club to have the best possible waxing at national events. I think Astrid Jacobsen was a skier that always prioritized the nationals as well.
 
So Sanfilippo is jumping straight back into XC skiing, she'll already be competing at the Sprint in Livigno.

So Klaebo is just not competing at the NC, but apparently will be there at the races in Livigno. Sounds a bit strange to me, but whatever.

Its even stranger given that he said that he was dropping the World Cup overall after getting sick back in early December. But since after that he raced in Davos and won the Tour de Ski maybe he changed his mind.
 
The offer must have been really good
I thought the story was that it was more to do with the rift with the Slovenian XC federation than anything else? Certainly the timing seemed very weird and I genuinely thought she would still do Planica for at least the Sprint/Team Sprint (and still it's not like the team have any better options), but the Slovene biathlon fed is hardly swimming in incentives from a finance perspective comparable to switching from XC to biathlon in, say, Germany. They're roughly in the same place in biathlon as they are in XC - peripheral, but not total also-rans. They have some good youth talent at least.
 
I thought the story was that it was more to do with the rift with the Slovenian XC federation than anything else? Certainly the timing seemed very weird and I genuinely thought she would still do Planica for at least the Sprint/Team Sprint (and still it's not like the team have any better options), but the Slovene biathlon fed is hardly swimming in incentives from a finance perspective comparable to switching from XC to biathlon in, say, Germany. They're roughly in the same place in biathlon as they are in XC - peripheral, but not total also-rans.

Of course it doesn’t have the financial backing that German biathlon has, but it’s still better, and there’s more support from the IBU than FIS. If she starts to shoot well, she’ll be winning races in no time.
 
Skistad won the norwegian NC in dominant fashion. She was also the fastest in Falun last weekend but was RAL because of interference. I think she look stronger than ever. Always interesting to see her preform the art of roadblocking. Very good at it in the skate technique.
 
Jan 24, 2021
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18 year old (!) Jørgen Nordhagen 8th in the 15k interval norwegian championships today.
Being 18 and performing like that is pretty much unheard of at that age amongst the men.

Good thing is that this one has already signed for Jumbo Visma dev team, thus will hopefully utilize his talent as a cyclist instead of being just another norwegian XC-skier.
 
Ffs Johannes, give it a rest, In his last 15 races (including relays) he has won 13 and been 3rd twice. Its nice to see greatness, but it has to be 'earned'. Great rivalries are what makes sports, this is almost bullying.
He probably has to miss at least 4 for anyone else to have a chance in the pursuit.