Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Congrats to the Norwegians and Germans, those were some great races. The Germans are really good at raising their game for these relays and have a strong quartet of 5k athletes. 4x7,5 or 10k would be a problem but they've really isolated this as a race they can maximise. The Norway teams of yesteryear were way more overpowered than this and AKK on the last leg was always a risk as she would need to finish alone, so tactically breaking away with Østberg was the best call for them and it worked to perfection with Karlsson having blown chasing earlier leaving them with one-on-one battles rather than Kalvaa having to ski with Dahlqvist or Pärmäkoski. Commiserations to the Finns, they just needed Piippo to be that little bit stronger, but she's a useful young talent. For the US to step up at any point from now until Diggins' eventual retirement they are going to need somebody who can ski a competitive classic leg, as unless FIS completely neuter the classics courses to destroy the chances of gaps being produced, they will always be either handing over to their best skiers with a sizable deficit, or expending their best skiers on their weaker technique. This isn't to dunk on Swirbul or Brennan - it's just that they kind of get the classic legs simply by virtue of others being even more skating-biased than they are.
 
Congrats to the Norwegians and Germans, those were some great races. The Germans are really good at raising their game for these relays and have a strong quartet of 5k athletes. 4x7,5 or 10k would be a problem but they've really isolated this as a race they can maximise. The Norway teams of yesteryear were way more overpowered than this and AKK on the last leg was always a risk as she would need to finish alone, so tactically breaking away with Østberg was the best call for them and it worked to perfection with Karlsson having blown chasing earlier leaving them with one-on-one battles rather than Kalvaa having to ski with Dahlqvist or Pärmäkoski. Commiserations to the Finns, they just needed Piippo to be that little bit stronger, but she's a useful young talent. For the US to step up at any point from now until Diggins' eventual retirement they are going to need somebody who can ski a competitive classic leg, as unless FIS completely neuter the classics courses to destroy the chances of gaps being produced, they will always be either handing over to their best skiers with a sizable deficit, or expending their best skiers on their weaker technique. This isn't to dunk on Swirbul or Brennan - it's just that they kind of get the classic legs simply by virtue of others being even more skating-biased than they are.

I mean, France also had to use Claudel in a classic leg, but they are even further behind (atm).

Hennig and Niskanen are looking really good for the 30km race.

Imo Karlsson is really easy to read, when she's suffering her form really starts breaking down/her technique gets more sloppy. It's not like Diggins who is all herky-jerky from start to finish, once it happens with Karlsson she's suffering and she's probably gonna get dropped.
 
I mean, France also had to use Claudel in a classic leg, but they are even further behind (atm).

Hennig and Niskanen are looking really good for the 30km race.

Imo Karlsson is really easy to read, when she's suffering her form really starts breaking down/her technique gets more sloppy. It's not like Diggins who is all herky-jerky from start to finish, once it happens with Karlsson she's suffering and she's probably gonna get dropped.
I don't think France can come into the event with plausible medal hopes though; Claudel is their trump card and she has one win (in a pure climb) and a couple of podiums. That doesn't compare to the firepower that the US can bring to the table. If you didn't know about having to distribute the talent across the techniques, Swirbul/Brennan/Diggins/Kern is not that demonstrably weaker in terms of depth from Matintalo/Niskanen/Piippo/Pärmäkoski, and certainly not from Gimmler/Hennig/Fink/Carl. That's with Laukli not selected too, although I guess Germany could say the same with Krehl after the race they got DQed from a few weeks back.

But the classic skiers just aren't there. I feel that in the skiathlon, the freestyle is the more important part because with it being the same athletes doing the whole race, often the classic portion is raced conservatively because nobody except maybe the Niskanen family and the occasional Russian want to go all guns blazing in the first half of the race and then blow up, but in the relay the classic is the most important part because it's where the selection is made. The Finns have a similar deficit in freestyle to that which the US have in classic; all the best Finns at freestyle are sprinter types on the men's side and on the women's side they've often called in Mari Laukkanen/Eder to make up numbers in freestyle sprints in the past and even Pärmäkoski is better in Classic but is used as anchor because she's the best finisher they have at their disposal. But starting the second half of the race in the front group and able to hang on to the coattails of the leaders is much better than losing that time and having to ski alone to catch up. Piippo was able to stay with Østberg, Fink and Carlsson for much of her leg before dropping away which limited her losses, whereas as soon as Brennan dropped the Slovenes about 200m into the second leg the US was in splendid isolation, detached from the medal hunt but under no threat from behind. Diggins is the on paper best skier on that third leg (at least over this kind of distance as she has a much better palmarès in short races than Karlsson) but she had to ski her entire leg on her own with nobody to share the workload, which limited the gains that she could make.

A Hennig-Niskanen podium would definitely go down well with me. A family affair on the top step would be best.
 
I don't think France can come into the event with plausible medal hopes though; Claudel is their trump card and she has one win (in a pure climb) and a couple of podiums. That doesn't compare to the firepower that the US can bring to the table. If you didn't know about having to distribute the talent across the techniques, Swirbul/Brennan/Diggins/Kern is not that demonstrably weaker in terms of depth from Matintalo/Niskanen/Piippo/Pärmäkoski, and certainly not from Gimmler/Hennig/Fink/Carl. That's with Laukli not selected too, although I guess Germany could say the same with Krehl after the race they got DQed from a few weeks back.

But the classic skiers just aren't there. I feel that in the skiathlon, the freestyle is the more important part because with it being the same athletes doing the whole race, often the classic portion is raced conservatively because nobody except maybe the Niskanen family and the occasional Russian want to go all guns blazing in the first half of the race and then blow up, but in the relay the classic is the most important part because it's where the selection is made. The Finns have a similar deficit in freestyle to that which the US have in classic; all the best Finns at freestyle are sprinter types on the men's side and on the women's side they've often called in Mari Laukkanen/Eder to make up numbers in freestyle sprints in the past and even Pärmäkoski is better in Classic but is used as anchor because she's the best finisher they have at their disposal. But starting the second half of the race in the front group and able to hang on to the coattails of the leaders is much better than losing that time and having to ski alone to catch up. Piippo was able to stay with Østberg, Fink and Carlsson for much of her leg before dropping away which limited her losses, whereas as soon as Brennan dropped the Slovenes about 200m into the second leg the US was in splendid isolation, detached from the medal hunt but under no threat from behind. Diggins is the on paper best skier on that third leg (at least over this kind of distance as she has a much better palmarès in short races than Karlsson) but she had to ski her entire leg on her own with nobody to share the workload, which limited the gains that she could make.

A Hennig-Niskanen podium would definitely go down well with me. A family affair on the top step would be best.
Good points, I think the situation of the French women can be compared to the German Men, even if the later are maybe a bit better. They also have to use their best skier, Moch, in a classic length because they lack classic skiers.

With Italy it's the opposite, they are lacking a guy for the 3rd leg since Clara. Tomorrow it should be Ventura, but frankly I don't really rate him that much. He got the best result in the skating individual start, but the younger guys on the team have a higher ceiling.

Also, how bad will the Swedish men mess up tomorrow, if the women already almost lost Bronze? 4th place behind France and Italy?
 
Somewhat surprising outcome of today's relay. But I have to say, I really love that the Super-Swedes FK and EA are fully human and having better or worse days. Do I have to mention Super-Norwegians like JTB in biathlon or Björgen, Johaug, JHK, in XC?
Once again, most nations including Sweden and Finland can't handle the difficult conditions with fat snow.
Germany and Norway, don't mention the war. #C8
 
Shame for Finland, they almost medaled


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Diggins lucked out in the team sprint and 10km, the conditions were faster, more firm those two days. Anytime there’s softer, slower snow, she struggles more, as do most of the Americans. No medal at a major championship relay again, and this is without the defending Olympic champions and defending WSC silver medalists.
 
Diggins lucked out in the team sprint and 10km, the conditions were faster, more firm those two days. Anytime there’s softer, slower snow, she struggles more, as do most of the Americans. No medal at a major championship relay again, and this is without the defending Olympic champions and defending WSC silver medalists.
TBF, with slower conditions her and Brennen would have been a pretty good duo in the team sprint and trying to turn it into a war of attrition to wear down the pure sprinters would have worked better.

I think what helps Diggins a lot on firm conditions is that they actually allow her to gain time on descents and with her cornering, when it's really soft she can't do that like usually.
 
Biathlon about to start as well. The Czechs say it should significantly speed up later in the day. So maybe there's a chance for someone to challenge JTB, heading out with #2

edit: lol, no, game over already
 
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Somewhat surprising outcome of today's relay. But I have to say, I really love that the Super-Swedes FK and EA are fully human and having better or worse days. Do I have to mention Super-Norwegians like JTB in biathlon or Björgen, Johaug, JHK, in XC?
Once again, most nations including Sweden and Finland can't handle the difficult conditions with fat snow.
Germany and Norway, don't mention the war. #C8
Nah, Finnland actually had good skis. Both Norway and Sweden has similar skis in classic, not a lot of grip for Sind and Andersson to be faster on the downhills and flats. Niskanen had similar skis, but probably more kickwax because she prefers the diagonal stride to uphill double poling.
Germany on the other hand had by far the best skis in classic, they were fast downhill and had lots of grip uphill.

Comarella had some of the worst skis that I've seen in a long time, almost no grip from the start and not even fast on the descents.
 
Biathlon about to start as well. The Czechs say it should significantly speed up later in the day. So maybe there's a chance for someone to challenge JTB, heading out with #2

edit: lol, no, game over already
Yep, how many misses can he have in the pursuit and still win? Probably 3 or 4 if the next best people shoot clean.
Getting silly now.
 
Nobody other than his brother within a minute.
Amazing commentary, Tarjei leaves the range 26 seconds down on Johannes, shortly after Christiansen finishes 75 seconds down 'I wonder if Tarjei can overhaul Christiansen?'
 
Diggins can go play in traffic for all I care. I find her so false and like the worst stereotypes Europeans have of America. All pretences and plastic smiles and not an iota of genuine feeling or emotion.
We can see what other says about Diggins. From a Norwegian newspaper. Not a perfect translation (via google), but you'll probably get the gist of it.

Article on Diggins.

I think the most interesting comment is from the Swedish team manager:

"I don't think anyone can have anything bad to say about Diggins. She is incredibly happy all the time and very nice. She is American in the way that she constantly praises her team, her greasers and teammates. She is a role model in every way in how she looks after the team, expresses herself and the way she has been open about the problems she has had. I have great respect for Jessie Diggins, "
 
Jan 4, 2023
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Norway - Great performance. Ostberg came from nowhere with that today, I think that performance will remain the highlight of her career. Slind and TUW were fine and did their job. Also thought Kalvaa skied a great anchor, Carl was only 6 seconds behind but she shut the door from the start and powered to a convincing leg.

Germany - Exactly as expected. Woman to woman they always raise their game. Very deserved a silver medal.

Sweden - Left the gold in the hotel with the team selection yesterday - imagine having the most successful female skier in your country of all time and then not picking her. NOBODY else makes that decision. In addition, it's noticeable how mouthy Dahlqvist is to the media, like Anna Haag who used to talk her way into the team. It's about time the coaches showed some leadership and remind the athletes who is the boss.

As for Karlsson, this is who she is. Collapse when you least expect it and drama queen afterwards, woeful relay record...

Finland - Good race considering the shape some of their skiers are in, think that's it for a few years in terms of challenging for medals as Parmakoski and Niskanen will call it a day at the end of the season.

USA - Like Sweden gave up with team selection. Swirlbul missed the prologue, a woeful skiathlon yet started 1st leg despite getting dropped in every previous relay. Swap her with Kern,(classic semi is normally good enough for 1st leg) who continued her mediocre 10km form today, and they would have been more competitive.

The rest - Tourists.
 
We can see what other says about Diggins. From a Norwegian newspaper. Not a perfect translation (via google), but you'll probably get the gist of it.

Article on Diggins.

I think the most interesting comment is from the Swedish team manager:

"I don't think anyone can have anything bad to say about Diggins. She is incredibly happy all the time and very nice. She is American in the way that she constantly praises her team, her greasers and teammates. She is a role model in every way in how she looks after the team, expresses herself and the way she has been open about the problems she has had. I have great respect for Jessie Diggins, "
No wonder, praising your (waxing) team seems to be a foreign concept to many on the Swedish team, mainly the males.
 
We can see what other says about Diggins. From a Norwegian newspaper. Not a perfect translation (via google), but you'll probably get the gist of it.

Article on Diggins.

I think the most interesting comment is from the Swedish team manager:

"I don't think anyone can have anything bad to say about Diggins. She is incredibly happy all the time and very nice. She is American in the way that she constantly praises her team, her greasers and teammates. She is a role model in every way in how she looks after the team, expresses herself and the way she has been open about the problems she has had. I have great respect for Jessie Diggins, "
Fine, some people interpret things differently from me. As you can see from this thread, there are others who have been very much "I don't like Diggins", and others that do. Lots of people said Peter Sagan was a hell of a guy, even fricking Northug has his defenders. I think my opinions on that pair are pretty well known here by now. And those that are not reliant on the Eurosport International/British Eurosport coverage are at a distinct advantage when it comes to judging her on her own merits because they aren't subject to a race broadcast which is essentially Teleshopping with Jess Diggins as the product.

I don't think Diggins is as false as, say, Gabriela Soukalová. I think Diggins is genuinely a happy kind of person, but the need to permanently forcibly portray this to ensure you outwardly display it is a trait I personally find off-putting and obnoxious which makes it hard for me to warm to her, whereas Soukalová was completely affected and false from the word go, like everything was an act to make herself as marketable as possible, and my dislike of her was very much about that. Without the commentary team, I'd just dislike her in the way that means I want others to win. With Patrick and Mike on the shill, however, I dislike her in the way that I want her to lose, or even better, go away.

Whether what the media think of somebody is a viable metric for popularity is kind of a double-edged sword. What the media really like is having stuff to talk about, so they will always push the people that are most open with them or give them the easiest copy. And that can be for the worse too. A good villain is just as easy copy as a good hero.
 
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Does any athlete wax their own skis?
Probably talking out of my arse but in the pro ranks I'd say no. Ski waxing is such a high-tech, scientific thing these days, often times you'll see the wax techs get blamed for when a skier doesn't do well. That's not to say pros don't have an interest in or don't look in on when wax techs do their thing, but come race time I think they probably have other things to think about.

I'll be happy to be corrected by those who are more in the know. :D
 
We can see what other says about Diggins. From a Norwegian newspaper. Not a perfect translation (via google), but you'll probably get the gist of it.

Article on Diggins.

I think the most interesting comment is from the Swedish team manager:

"I don't think anyone can have anything bad to say about Diggins. She is incredibly happy all the time and very nice. She is American in the way that she constantly praises her team, her greasers and teammates. She is a role model in every way in how she looks after the team, expresses herself and the way she has been open about the problems she has had. I have great respect for Jessie Diggins, "
Thank you for this post; it is very much appreciated. Ms. Diggins personality may not be for everyone and that's fine, but the hysterical level of anti-Diggins hatred (let's call it what it is) of a few posters on this board is just so far over the top as to be ludicrous. We get it, you can't stand her, but weekend after weekend we have to read the same selfish people taking over the board as their personal anti-Diggins therapy/rant page. You've made your point, over and over and over again, may we just give it a rest please?

The worst is BullsFan22 suggesting that a very real road rage incident involving a macho idiot in a pickup truck forcing Jessie off the road while roller skiing (for which he was arrested and charged, btw) was merely Jessie crying about not having the roads all to herself, to contemptuously referring to her as 'glitter face' last year in a race where about 98% of the skiers wore either glitter or national flag paint, but of course only Jessie was 'glitter face', as well as comments of a more personal nature which, if the board was moderated as it should be would have resulted in a long ban. I could go on and on and on with examples of this, but we all know what we've seen. And then of course LS suggesting Jessie can go 'play in traffic' (a wish for harm to come to her?), among all the other anti-Diggins crap. (To LS: Sepp Kuss says "Hello") ;-)

Full disclosure, I'm from Minnesota and believe it or not, she's not my favorite skier (I'm all about the Finns and Germans!) but I really wish the over the top crap could be laid to rest so the people on here who would like to enjoy a thread about actual ski racing could do so. I am first cousins with the father of a World Cup skier who has roomed with Jessie for years and I have heard first-hand she is as genuine and nice a person as anyone you could ever meet. News flash: This is a public message forum, not your personal 'Hate Diggins Therapy Board' and it would be really nice if you'd grow up and stop treating it as such. You all know who you are.
 
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Fine, some people interpret things differently from me. As you can see from this thread, there are others who have been very much "I don't like Diggins", and others that do. Lots of people said Peter Sagan was a hell of a guy, even fricking Northug has his defenders. I think my opinions on that pair are pretty well known here by now. And those that are not reliant on the Eurosport International/British Eurosport coverage are at a distinct advantage when it comes to judging her on her own merits because they aren't subject to a race broadcast which is essentially Teleshopping with Jess Diggins as the product.

I don't think Diggins is as false as, say, Gabriela Soukalová. I think Diggins is genuinely a happy kind of person, but the need to permanently forcibly portray this to ensure you outwardly display it is a trait I personally find off-putting and obnoxious which makes it hard for me to warm to her, whereas Soukalová was completely affected and false from the word go, like everything was an act to make herself as marketable as possible, and my dislike of her was very much about that. Without the commentary team, I'd just dislike her in the way that means I want others to win. With Patrick and Mike on the shill, however, I dislike her in the way that I want her to lose, or even better, go away.

Whether what the media think of somebody is a viable metric for popularity is kind of a double-edged sword. What the media really like is having stuff to talk about, so they will always push the people that are most open with them or give them the easiest copy. And that can be for the worse too. A good villain is just as easy copy as a good hero.
Fair enough, but the problem here is you just can't seem to leave it alone. We get it, we've heard it, over and over again, week in and week out. At some point it ceases to be simply your opinion and becomes spew which just pollutes the board. And I say this as someone who very much appreciates the huge contributions you make otherwise; you are obviously knowledgable and motivated to share that knowledge with other posters here. But the other crap is just relentless (same with your Sepp Kuss obsession) to the point I'm envisioning someone rolling around in the fetal position in a darkened room. We get it, we understand, we've been clubbed over the head with it and then some. Honestly, if you just can't stand it maybe the admins can have a separate "I Hate Diggins" thread over in the clinich or something.
 
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