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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

Page 356 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
There are less women competing tomorrow than scoring places. That should make FIS stop to think but in all likelihood won't.
That already happened once this season, in Davos.

Kinda depressing to see plenty of snow in Livigno and all we get is an easy sprint course with an almost 350 long finishing straight.
A proper World Cup weekend in Livigno could be one of the first races in central Europe at the start of December. They are at over 1,800m of altitude and have a snowfarming project, so getting the tracks ready at that time of the year would be possible.
 
That already happened once this season, in Davos.

Kinda depressing to see plenty of snow in Livigno and all we get is an easy sprint course with an almost 350 long finishing straight.
A proper World Cup weekend in Livigno could be one of the first races in central Europe at the start of December. They are at over 1,800m of altitude and have a snowfarming project, so getting the tracks ready at that time of the year would be possible.
I went skiing in livigno 5 years a row (cheap as *** for booze) in January and there is always loads of snow. Its bloody freezing though, a few times it was -30 in the village.
The main issue might be how far it is from the nearest airport.
 
I went skiing in livigno 5 years a row (cheap as *** for booze) in January and there is always loads of snow. Its bloody freezing though, a few times it was -30 in the village.
The main issue might be how far it is from the nearest airport.
Oh yeah, Livigno has a rep for being the coldest inhabitated place in Italy. Many skiers are there for altitude training anyway, so I doubt it being a bit far away from the next airport is a problem.
It's also not far away from Davos, so having a race in Livigno one week earlier would make sense.

Speaking of low temperatures, today the started the ski classics race La Diagonela with -21 degrees.
 
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No pursuit for Lampič again, this time she's sick apparently.

So still no way to ascertain how she deals with a four shoot race or a head to head racing scenario in the range at this level. Of course having been 5th in two sprints (albeit missing the pursuit in the third) she's still obviously Slovenia's best medal chance on the women's side of things at Oberhof, but how they race her there will be interesting given she's still completely unproven in any discipline other than the sprint, which is the most suited to her skillset (shortest distance, individual start so no pressure on her performance in the range, only 10 shots to fire, whereas the pursuit has the shortest skiing loops outside the Single Mixed, and four visits to the range), but if she does a good sprint she could easily qualify for the Mass Start just by not capitulating totally in the pursuit.

Edit: Livigno... this sprint course might actually be worse than Dresden.
 
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I didn't really watch during OEB era, was he ever this dominant?

This season could very well end up in uncharted territory with JTB already collecting 11 wins and he is on a current win streak of 6. However, there has been quite a few impressive seasons and streaks before:

Most wins in a season: JTB already holds the record from the 18/19 season with 16.
Fourcade did 14 in the 16/17 season, OEBs 3 best seasons are 12, 11 and 11.

Streakwise OEB is still "the king" as he took 8 conceutive wins twice (05/06 & 06/07)
JTBs current win streak stands at 6, we'll see where it ends.

Most podiums in a season: Fourcade has done 22 podiums in a season twice.
That record also seem to be in jeopardy if JTB chooses to do all races.

Source:
Wikipedia
 
I didn't really watch during OEB era, was he ever this dominant?

I've only followed the second part of Ole's career but I remember him having some interesting duels with Poiree, Greis, Tcherezov, Tchoudov and a young Svendsen. Still what he did in Salt Lake City remains unmatched, 4 gold medals in 4 races though I wouldn't be surprised if JTB does something similar in Oberhof this year (he got 4 gold medals last year but out of 6 races).

Great day overall for the Swiss with Riebli with a surprising podium in Livigno and Stalder and Hartweg both on the top10 in Antholz. In the women's sprint, Swedish dominance as expected.
 
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I didn't really watch during OEB era, was he ever this dominant?

To me, no. Bjoerndalen always had strong competition from Poiree and the Germans. Even his teammates like Hanevold and then Anderson and Berger who were as fast as him could always put it up to him on their day. Same with Fourcade where he had good competition from Svendsen and then JTB.

What JTB is doing is unprecedented to me. He's not just winning, he's demolishing everyone. Like even over Laegreid, his closest competitor, he likes could have missed 5 today and still won (he was skiing with in himself)
 
Thing is, look at the World Cup total scores, there's nearly 350 between Lægreid in 2nd and Christiansen in 3rd. If Johannes Thingnes Bø wasn't there, Sturla would still be having one of the most dominant seasons in the history of the sport. His results this season in individual races: 6th, 2nd (to JTB), 2nd (to JTB), 3rd (behind JTB & Jacquelin), 2nd (to JTB), 2nd (to JTB), 1st (JTB on Fischer debacle in Annecy), 2nd (to Dale), 3rd (to both Bø brothers), 4th (to both Bø brothers and Fillon Maillet), 4th (to Bø, Christiansen and Fak), 3rd (to JTB and Christiansen), 3rd (to JTB and Ponsiluoma) and now 2nd (to JTB). But nobody's gonna talk about the crazy season he's having because even with all of that, he's not even in the same area code as JTB.
 
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I've only followed the second part of Ole's career but I remember him having some interesting duels with Poiree, Greis, Tcherezov, Tchoudov and a young Svendsen. Still what he did in Salt Lake City remains unmatched, 4 gold medals in 4 races though I wouldn't be surprised if JTB does something similar in Oberhof this year (he got 4 gold medals last year but out of 6 races).

Great day overall for the Swiss with Riebli with a surprising podium in Livigno and Stalder and Hartweg both on the top10 in Antholz. In the women's sprint, Swedish dominance as expected.
The Swiss biathlon team has been really good this season, they improved a lot.
 
Oh yeah, Livigno has a rep for being the coldest inhabitated place in Italy. Many skiers are there for altitude training anyway, so I doubt it being a bit far away from the next airport is a problem.
It's also not far away from Davos, so having a race in Livigno one week earlier would make sense.

Speaking of low temperatures, today the started the ski classics race La Diagonela with -21 degrees.
-21? Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

Not sure how they even do it, but for a mere (and lazy) viewer it's definitely nice to just curl up under a warm blanket with some hot cocoa and watch the pros do their stuff on TV! :)
 
Thing is, look at the World Cup total scores, there's nearly 350 between Lægreid in 2nd and Christiansen in 3rd. If Johannes Thingnes Bø wasn't there, Sturla would still be having one of the most dominant seasons in the history of the sport. His results this season in individual races: 6th, 2nd (to JTB), 2nd (to JTB), 3rd (behind JTB & Jacquelin), 2nd (to JTB), 2nd (to JTB), 1st (JTB on Fischer debacle in Annecy), 2nd (to Dale), 3rd (to both Bø brothers), 4th (to both Bø brothers and Fillon Maillet), 4th (to Bø, Christiansen and Fak), 3rd (to JTB and Christiansen), 3rd (to JTB and Ponsiluoma) and now 2nd (to JTB). But nobody's gonna talk about the crazy season he's having because even with all of that, he's not even in the same area code as JTB.
Apparently Laegreid has hit 50/50 in prone this year in pursuit.

In all likelihood, without that weird ski issue, JTB would have won every race since the first one.

Surprised he is racing tomorrow, I'd have rested up,. I's not like they wouldn't still be huge favourites if Dale came in.
 
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Prestigious win for Svahn and Dahlqvist today. As I mentioned before there is like two team inside the Swedish team with Svahn and Dahlqvist doing a lot of training together before the season. I think in the worlds they will pick the best team which probably will be Sundling in the odd legs and Dahlqvist as the finisher.
 
At this point Norway should probably just bring 3 sprinters (klaebo, golberg & northug) to the wc.
Valnes is nowhere to be seen this season and at this point you might as well bring Iversen for the sprint + his free 50km slot.
Valnes won the NC though and he is normaly much better in classic. Taugböl has been injured (since Beitostölen) and made comeback this week. I am pretty sure they will bring these 5 plus an alternate which is likely to be Skar.

The descision to combine Livigno and NC wasn’t that successful, preparations was awful. According to Swedish TV, Monsen the Norwegian coach didn’t even know about the new qualification format…
 
Gabriele Matli (05) seems like a great Italian talent. He just won the EYOF 10k classic in dominant fashion. No norwegians on start though. But third place finisher Hugo Nilsson from Sweden is a decent junior so putting 50 seconds into him is impressive.
 
Gabriele Matli (05) seems like a great Italian talent. He just won the EYOF 10k classic in dominant fashion. No norwegians on start though. But third place finisher Hugo Nilsson from Sweden is a decent junior so putting 50 seconds into him is impressive.
He isn't even that dominant on the domestic scene, Federico Pozzi (06) is able to go toe to toe with him in skating races and even beat him. Still, a really impressive performance.

Still, the lack of talented skiers in the men's junior races hasn't been Italy's problem in recent years, look at Graz and Barp or at them placing 3 guys in the top 10 at the 10k classic races at the last junior wc (also the youngest guy in the top 10, Ghio). In the last few years the got at least 1 medal at every junior WC, so they are actually doing good, despite the shrinking talent pool.

The problems start after the junior ranks when people stop progressing and the federation insists on having every allrounder with a good sprint focus more on sprinting than on distance racing (see Graz, not racing the Alpe Cermis and dropping out of the Tour de Ski on the last day only to race the sprints in Livigno on a course that didn't suit him).

Edit: to prove my point, in the EYOF 10k classic 2 more Italians finished in the top 10. 5th place for the already mentioned Federico Pozzi (06) and 9th for Niccolò Giovanni Bianchi (also 06).
 
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Now Matli also won the 7.5km skating race, ahead of the one year younger Federico Pozzi (who finished just behind him at the NC, but has beaten him in both freestyle individual starts and classic sprints this season) and Hugo Nilsson. Jakob Elias Moch, Friedrich's younger Brother (born in 200, like Pozzi) finished 4th.

Once again, clearly Italy has enough talents in the junior ranks, but everything goes wrong afterwards.
Too much internal politics and rivalries between the various sports group of the military, the police, the carabinieri, the guardia di finanza and the corpo forestale. Trainers often get picked because of their rank within those, not their ability and have a bias towards their athletes.

It seems like someone like Ventura for example always gets to race the world cup races because he's a member of the military's sports group (like De Fabiani), while others who end up beating him head to head in the Alpencup and win races there like Barp and Dapra (for example) get a lot less chances. According to Cramer their whole training with lower training volume and more intensity is also geared too much towards sprints, without taking into consideration the individual athlete and his skillset. That was the first thing he changed with those who joined his training group, more volume at lower intensity was added.
 
It’s good to see young talent from Central Europe. Let’s hope they are able to develop properly and stay in the sport in their 20’s. This sport needs it.

One thing that’s still strange to me is Alvar Myhlback (2006), opting not to race junior races, only the marathon circuit. He beat Nilsson in the early season races in Bruksvallarna in November. To me, a 16, 17 year old racing marathons almost the entire season is not the best for development.
 
It’s good to see young talent from Central Europe. Let’s hope they are able to develop properly and stay in the sport in their 20’s. This sport needs it.

One thing that’s still strange to me is Alvar Myhlback (2006), opting not to race junior races, only the marathon circuit. He beat Nilsson in the early season races in Bruksvallarna in November. To me, a 16, 17 year old racing marathons almost the entire season is not the best for development.
Yeah, that's the thing with the Italians, similar to the Swiss they are up there with the best in the junior ranks (the junior races in the Alpencup are actually really competitive and at a high level), but seem to struggle afterwards.

Iivo returns this weekend in France, curious to see how he does. He might be the only one who can make the distance races in Planica interesting (the Skiathlon and the 50km race), unless the Swedes somehow manage to show up in monster shape. Otherwise the cometition for the spots on the Norwegian team might be stiffer than the one at the actual WC...

Speaking of that, I'm curious to see what they do with the Skiathlon (1 day after the sprint) and the 15km Freestyle. Now under normal circumstances Klaebo should race the Skiathlon and alongside him Holund, Krüger and probably Roethe (the last one is a big of a question mark). Other candidates are Toenseth and Golberg.
For the 15km they have 5 spots, with Holund being the defending champion. Holund and Krüger seems to be a lock, Amundsen just won the NC and got a medal last time so he's probably also in. I'd pick Roethe for the 4th spot and probably Toenseth. According to their coach Klaebo would have to earn a spot for that race, but that's the one distance race he should skip because they have better options than him.

Golberg probably gets sprint, teamsprint, relay and maybe the 50km race alongside Klaebo, Holund and another guy (Toenseth, Roethe an Nyenget all have a claim, but I feel like the later is probably not gonna be there because he isn't the most useful in the other races).
 
After a 5th place in the 10km classic and a 2nd place in the 7.5km race af the EYOF Pozzi now also finished 2nd in the classic sprint, after being the fastest in the qualifier. Everyone else who made it to the semifinals was one year older than him, the guy looks like a legit talent. The race was won by Nordlander anhead of Lindberg.

The Italian selection for the WC races in France:
DONNE


Caterina Ganz (1995 - Fiamme Gialle)
Anna Comarella (1997 - Fiamme Oro)
Francesca Franchi (1997 - Fiamme Gialle)
Crstina Pittin (1998 - Esercito)


UOMINI


Federico Pellegrino (1990 - Fiamme Oro)
Francesco De Fabiani (1993 - Esercito)
Paolo Ventura (1996 - Esercito)
Giacomo Gabrielli (1996 - Esercito)
Mikael Abram (1996 - Esercito)
Simone Daprà (1997 - Fiamme Oro)
Simone Mocellini (1998 - Fiamme Gialle)
Davide Graz (2000 - Fiamme Gialle)

With nearly all the youngsters travelling to the junior/u23 WC that's actually a decent selection. Gabrielli probably earned his spot by winning the NC (none of the guys raced, so the level was pretty low). Nöckler is racing the Marcialonga, one of his big season goals, that's why he isn't there.