Libertine Seguros said:The snow in Oberhof issue has been brought up a few times. With regards to the keeping of snow for biathlon and the Tour de Ski not getting it, there are two factors to remember here.
1) A lot of the surplus snow used for the biathlon came from Gelsenkirchen, used at the Veltins-Arena events. Those were coterminous with the TdS in Oberhof so they couldn't use it. Now, there was some snow that was kept in reserve in Thüringen, but not all of what you see in Oberhof this weekend will be snow kept away from the Tour de Ski deliberately.
2) The organisers at the DKB Arena prioritise ensuring the Biathlon World Cup goes off without a hitch over ensuring the Tour de Ski goes off without a hitch, and no matter what the Norwegians may think, rightly so. The arena is looking at renovation in the next few years, and funding this is a very important part of their considerations at present. The biathlon World Cup provides a much, much bigger source of revenue for them. The crowds are bigger, the audience share at home is bigger, and sponsors are willing to pay more as a result. Prioritising the biathlon is, in Oberhof, the only sensible thing to do. Now, the fact that this is not the first time snow in Oberhof has been an issue in recent years means that not only should its position in the Tour de Ski perhaps be challenged (and indeed it seems like it has been), but perhaps the ordering of the traditional block of post-Christmas biathlon events ought to be reconsidered. Logistically Oberhof-Ruhpolding-Antholz makes sense, but bearing in mind the altitude of Antholz (highest altitude regular venue for the World Cup, just above Pokljuka) maybe Antholz-Ruhpolding-Oberhof would be more sensible in future - however it would move Oberhof out of its ideal almost-holiday-season position for the crowds. For the sake of increasing transport distances and also the clash with the Four Hills taking place nearby, I don't see opening the triple-header at Ruhpolding as an option.
Also, because of the nature of biathlon, awful skiing weather, fog and strong winds actually add to the mystique of competition at Oberhof in that sport, whereas in XC, horrible snow conditions and poor visibility are a real detriment to the spectacle. The relays in 2011 and 2012, for example, were spectacular. The men's relay in 2011 had Christoph Stephan drop to last place in shooting 1, then hit 5/5 in perfect conditions in lane 20-something while the big guns shot like Lars Berger firing a paintball gun blindfolded at the top of the range. Evgeniy Ustyugov missed all 8 targets, and one of his colleagues (Tcherezov?) spent over 2 minutes just over his 3 spare rounds. Then a year later, Italy won seemingly out of nowhere by being just about the only team to avoid the penalty loop.
Oberhof shouldn't host a Tour de Ski Stage in the first place. Glad they move to Oberstdorf next year.