Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Although weng is not what she once was, Diggins' general level is clearly very good atm and can partly make up for the technique deficit.

Interesting to see how the top 3 dynamics develop
Yup, i'm wondering how much is technique vs her very high level of fitness; that said she wasn't breaking down that noticeably at the end, she's clearly worked on it this summer. Really with an eye to the overall TdS win I'm sure.
 
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It's the obvious call and has been for a while even before her work on the technique, as I've said before the issue for them is that unlike the skiathlon which tended to be all about the skate part of the race, in the relay the Classic legs tend to be the most important, with the selection being made there. All too often the US would have Diggins on a skate leg to maximise her strengths, but then by the time she was tagged in they'd be a minute down and she'd be on her own rather than being able to ski with people and share work. Teams like the Finns would regularly be at or holding on to the front from the Classic legs and then they'd have their weaker skiers on the skate legs hanging on to the coattails of those in front, whereas the superior, stronger skate skiers on the US team would in fact lose more, because they were having to work on their own in isolation to the time gaps. And it's not even like it was the fault of whoever they put on the first leg (all too often Hailey Swirbul in recent years), it's just that that leg often simply went to the 'least worst' classic skiers on the team because the whole team favoured skate.

While classic obviously isn't Diggins' favoured technique, she is nevertheless the US skier who has the highest base level of performance and would be able to keep them in contention at the very least. And in today's depleted field and with the great early season form she is in, she can even give them an advantage.

As for the US coverage having Kikkan Randall and "if you can cope with her"... I would actually probably lay money that they're less US-biased than Eurosport International. But simultaneously I would probably struggle with it, simply because for Patrick and Mike, before there was Come On Jess, there was Kikkan Randall.
 
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Can Andersson get a gap?
Not going to be a significant one but there is a small one. Fairly crucial to give Ilar some time in front of Kern since the latter is the better sprinter of the two but Ilar is the stronger distance skier so the harder she makes it for Kern to make contact the more likely Sweden are to win it.

Laukli is clinging on admirably. She's the new Liz Stephen, and I mean that as a compliment. Liz Stephen was my favourite US skier of the last generation by a long way, and Sophia is my favourite of this one, and has a similar skillset and role within the team.
 
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This race is over, Kern should not try to chase back. Then she will crack and be beaten by Carl.
Yea, she needed to be in contact with Ilar so that she could stick to her tracks, Ilar has gone out hard to give her no chance of catching back on, she may pay for that but the distance is too great now. Kern just needs to do her own race. Hell, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for her to let Carl catch her and then hang onto her coattails to outsprint her, unless it lets the Norwegians back into the mix.
 
Mike describes Moa Ilar winning in Ruka as "stealing a win" because he didn't like that she buried herself in the pack, didn't do any work and then won in the last kilometre.

May I remind you that this man cheerled Petter Northug, describing him as a "tactical master" and celebrating "what a race!" at every distance race he won in a sprint after sweet FA happened for 90% the distance, and (although Patrick is the worse offender) constantly whitewashed his off-course indiscretions and still cheerleads Klæbo.
 
I keep complaining about the small size of the women’s field, I am sorry, but this is one of the weakest World Cup fields that has likely ever raced. There are only 6 countries represented, and 9 total, Sweden and Germany with two teams, and one mixed team, racing under the FIS flag. It’s been a while since neither Niskanen or Parmaskoski raced for Finland. Likely their weakest team in many many years. Only Germany and US fielded their top skiers.

I can imagine how excited British Eurosport was about Cringe Diggins and co getting 3rd. They’ll likely never mention this was almost a gimme.
 
Yes, the Finns are in a deep hole it seems, women especially.

Illnesses can be filed under bad luck of course, but it makes me wonder how they have prepared for the season. Seeing as there are no OC and WC this season, one (benign) possibility is that they took calculated risks and significantly ramped up training load with eyes on the coming years. Not being very fresh would be the price for that.

A less benign scenario would be screwing up everyone's prep. But somehow I find this unlikely.
 
Well, a great leg from Halfvarsson, but this should just leave them in no-man's land as the Norwegians should just run into the distance now.

As for Finland, probably just their dedication to tradition is at odds with FIS' continued obsession with chasing a fictitious mainstream audience by giving us mass start and short races, they only tend to be competitive among the women in those distance races and among the men they have some OK sprinters in people like Mäki and Hakola but their biggest threat to the victory on any given occasion is of course Iivo Niskanen in a distance classic race. On the women's side, their only real sprinting contender is Jasmi Joensuu, and she is really good in qualifying but seems not too hot on the in-race tactics as of yet, or has a bit of a tendency to get tangled up and into falls. Piippo and Matintalo have both reached their mid-20s, but the Finns are also a bit like the Austrians in the biathlon and seem to peak at a later age than others, they were getting good results out of Roponen, Saarinen and co and being pretty heavily reliant on them well into their mid-to-late 30s and seem like they'll probably end up doing the same with Kerttu and Krista.
 
I can imagine how excited British Eurosport was about Cringe Diggins and co getting 3rd. They’ll likely never mention this was almost a gimme.
To be fair, it likely wouldn’t have mattered if Parmakoski and Niskanen had been racing, they’ve been very bad this year. And the same it wouldn’t challenge the US of teams like Italy, France, Switzerland, Canada etc had been participating. They beat Norway and that third place was a worthy third place (given Russia is permanently out)
 
Incredible fiasco by Krueger on the third leg. Will be a very interesting battle between Anger and Jenssen, Sweden might actually win this.

Krüger is not the best skier for these 7.5k legs, Amundsen would probably have done a better job, I also think Golberg should have attacked on leg 1 but Jenssen is the shape of his life right now so in the end it didn't mattered. Johanson and Moch did a great third leg has to be said.

In the women's side, Norway is looking awful, Finland even worse though.
 
Two, the German men haven’t had any success in years, apart from Moch getting on the Alpe Cermis podium 2 years ago and the men getting on the podium in the 4x10 in Planica last season. You have to go back to Janosch Brugger posting the fastest pursuit time in Lillehammer in December 2018. And that was during a major snowfall that handicapped the leaders. Before that, I think January 2015 with Tim Tscharnke, so you see where some of problems lie. Germany provides some of the biggest sponsors to both xc and biathlon, and it also provides a decent audience, but if the Germans don’t perform, there is a lack of interest, logically.
good step into the right direction today ;).

USA could have been up there as well if they had lined up Hagenbuch in team 1 instead. Pretty strong performance by him.
 
USA could have been up there as well if they had lined up Hagenbuch in team 1 instead. Pretty strong performance by him.
Key for the group with Moch, Hagenbuch etc was that they actually did smart opening. Canada,USA1 and Italy was very dumb trying to chase down Norway/Sweden. We see it often in these relays, the skiers that are catching 10 seconds with an early rush almost always pays for it in the last lap.

Same with Anger, he was stupid trying to stay away with a 1,8 second gap which he increased.
 
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Key for the group with Moch, Hagenbuch etc was that they actually did smart opening. Canada,USA1 and Italy was very dumb trying to chase down Norway/Sweden. We see it often in these relays, the skiers that are catching 10 seconds with an early rush almost always pays for it in the last lap.

Same with Anger, he was stupid trying to stay away with a 1,8 second gap which he increased.

Moch fell on his first lap, and he had to catch back up, when he looked like he was speeding up and making a move on the group, so he definitely didn’t start slow.
 
Preuß is just fated. Two 2nd places with a COMBINED margin of defeat of 0,4s. She will probably now get sick (this is one thing that she is the undisputed best in biathlon at) and never have this form again.

That said, Jeanmonnot led off from bib #1 and hit 20/20 so there was always the possibility she'd kept a bit in reserve. The last time I recall anybody failing to win from 20/20 with bib #1 was Gabriela Soukalová back in December 2012. And that was against probably the fastest Miriam Gössner we ever saw and with a starting advantage over her of only 2 seconds, so they practically started together. Jeanmonnot started with a 20+ second advantage over Preuß and, let's be honest, Preuß is a much better shot, but also demonstrably not as fast as 2012-13 era Gössner.
 
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