Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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I think it's right that they're doing what they can to get their team leader to win. I'm angered that the Swedes aren't doing all they can to help Hellner/Olsson tbh. It was done successfully in the 2010 Olympic Skiathlon, where Södergren and Hellner went up and slowed the pace in the chasing group to allow Olssons break to succeed. Obviously, had Northug not his misfortunes, it might have been a different race - but still.
 
maltiv said:
Kinda ridiculous that they have a restday, then a sprint, followed by another restday. They have essentially raced for around 3 km's over the course of 3 days...and those who didn't make it through the prologue have basically had 3 rest days in a row!
I think part of the reason is to allow those who go far in the sprint to give everything, and then allowing them to keep the benifit of the earned bonus seconds by being allowed to recover. I think recovering from a sprint race is much more difficult than a distance race. This could be due to the repeat efforts required in the heats.

Another part of the reason is that due to the World Champs this year the race only had 7 stages and the rest days had to be somewhere. I like the set up now with the 4 remaining days being mostly tough distance racing. It kind of emphasizes the tour part of the race. (though if it turns out badly for Northug I might need to return and edit this post to cover up my biased hypocracy.:p)

jsem94 said:
I'm not puzzled they didn't let Hellner go to the final. Skiing is an individual sport in their eyes. Hellner said he would gladly have accepted the help to advance into the final, but understands that this is not a bike race with a team leader (even though the Norwegians seem to have a different thing in mind, with Steira's advance into the finals). Emil should definitely not have let Hellner through if anything though, if anyone is should've been Halfvarsson - but no blame should be put on anyone. Still, I think they should have raced like the Norwegians did letting Steira go through. Emil wasn't even supposed to be at this Tour and has abandoned anyway, but whatever.

I was very impressed otherwise with Johaug. No way Kowalczyk can keep Johaug behind her now.

As for the upcoming race, Northug will not do ANY work in his front group with Cologna and Vyleg - but Vyleg will surely do most of the work. Legkov will go all out, probably catching the front group too - meaning there will be an extreme pace up there. Harvey has to follow Legkov. Chernousov is in a precarious situation, and will probably be caught by Bauer and Hellner from behind. Olsson and Poltoranin also have a chance of attaching themselves to Hellner and Bauer.

It's going to be very hard for Hellner and Bauer to catch up to the front group, but it could happen. What I really wonder is: how much will Cologna do in the front.

As for the women's, I really don't see a lot of changes. I only see Kalla advancing slightly, Johaug getting a bit closer to Kowalczyk and Herrmann to move down the rankings a bit.
I know what they are saying now, but I'm not sure the reasons they are giving is anything other than a rationalization. It could be as I stated above regarding Emil being tired and not having the right situational awareness. It could also be Emil thought the heat was fast and the three of them would go through.

As for who should have given way to Hellner, I think Emil should have been the one. He has the proven tactical nose, and the ability to affect the race. He was in 3 position before the finnish. Halvarsson is set to continue the tour while Emil is not. Thats why I think Emil should have slowed down. It could of course be that it never crossed Emil's mind. But i'm not sure I buy it. Emil is a great tactician and will use all legal means to effect a race. Well I guess the discussion is kind of academic. As I see it Emil did his job for the team during the tour. He helped knock out several competitors, helped Hellner to the Semi, and kept Northug out of the final. He could have helped Helner to the final too. But that is water under the bridge. A split second decision that Emil needed to take can be seen on a replay, and pondered for minutes by people like me.

On the Mens side, I think you are right. How Cologna will act will be interesting.

On the womens side, Johaug has done a lot of training for sprints. I think it showed on the flat part of the course. A year or two ago she would have been passed by on the flat. Now she could keep her place more or less untill the uphill allows her to hammer away. I think she was just tired in the semifinal. Shes not used to being in sprints, so she likely wasted a lot of energy in the quarter final in order to give her a chance to reach the semi. Had she had more experience, she might have been able to save more energy. Same thing with Kalla. Had she had more experience she might have been able to save more to be able to gain more placings in the final. But still, both she and Johaug have good reasons to be proud of their races.

As for what happens next. I have hope that Johaug will slow down at the start of the Dobiacco race and allow Steira to catch up. Those two can work together and close in on Kowalzyc. If they have even more patience, perhaps Kikkan might catch up or even Kalla too and all of them press forward and chase down Kowa. I think Kowa is vulnerable in frestyle.

I'm gonna pray for snow(sugestions for possible gods are welcome:D). That would slow down Kowa a lot. But after that comes 3k classic and 10k mass start in classic. These are diciplines were Justyna usually shines. So it will be difficult. But I still have hope/ am trying to keep hope alive that someone will break the kowa domination of the tour.
 
jsem94 said:
I think it's right that they're doing what they can to get their team leader to win. I'm angered that the Swedes aren't doing all they can to help Hellner/Olsson tbh. It was done successfully in the 2010 Olympic Skiathlon, where Södergren and Hellner went up and slowed the pace in the chasing group to allow Olssons break to succeed. Obviously, had Northug not his misfortunes, it might have been a different race - but still.
Good point! The Swedes were the pioners of team tactics. That makes my speculation that things did not go 100% to plan sound reasonable (the reply above).

If there was a plan, why advertize a small part that failed? Especially with parts of the Swedish tabloids deciding that degrading your team mates overall chances is the honorable thing to do.:rolleyes:

I wonder what their reaction will be if Emil says I should have let Hellner through had I known were Northug was at the time.:D
 
Dec 28, 2011
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Tore: I do not agree about the forbidden area. I think the one who did it was the key for the jury rather than the "crime". Yes, i understand that you follow the sport very close and so... but the name P N is so much bigger than Richardsson. A little, very little, bit like Lances name before 2012. (And I do NOT think of any other similarities between Petter and Lance!)

You cant have rules that isnt for everybody. Petter have to race in a way that he dont have to do such things!
About the bus: I can read that you sort of think the same like I do. (But my english isnt as good as yours.)
 
ToreBear said:
You must be an old Norwegian traditionalist!:D Norwegians are usually the ones being dragged kicking and screaming into new developments in skiing. First it was the freestyle, then it was the mass start, then it was the sprints and the sprint relay. Same with biathlon and the mixed relay.

Personally I like new developments. More athletes get a chance to win. More viewers are atracted to the fun, specialist athletes are developed. I like it.
Maybe I am a bit of a traditionalist, but I'm not against the change in style or the development of the mass start (although I wish the 50k wasn't mass start, since all too often it's been degenerating into a long pack race for the first two thirds). I'm not even against the sprints, I just don't think they're a 'real' event, much less that they should be giving a MINUTE of bonus in the Tour de Ski. While you could argue the bonus seconds in cycling are also artificial, they are at least uniform in every stage (usually). Imagine if they were giving out ten minutes of bonus for sprint wins in the major Tours in cycling, so that they could balance the race challengers between sprinters, time triallists and climbers. You get your reward for being a good sprinter by winning the stage, if you can't do the distance races you don't deserve to be challenging for the win at the TDS.

The sprints are an entertaining occasional carnival, not unlike the München head-to-head slalom in the Alpine skiing or the Gelsenkirchen and Moscow stadium exhibition races in the biathlon. A bit of fun, let the athletes compete in front of a crowd that get to see everybody, and call it quits. I don't think it should be any more than that. There are 7 (seven) sprint events between now and the end of the season. That's just waaaaaay too much.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Maybe I am a bit of a traditionalist, but I'm not against the change in style or the development of the mass start (although I wish the 50k wasn't mass start, since all too often it's been degenerating into a long pack race for the first two thirds). I'm not even against the sprints, I just don't think they're a 'real' event, much less that they should be giving a MINUTE of bonus in the Tour de Ski. While you could argue the bonus seconds in cycling are also artificial, they are at least uniform in every stage (usually). Imagine if they were giving out ten minutes of bonus for sprint wins in the major Tours in cycling, so that they could balance the race challengers between sprinters, time triallists and climbers. You get your reward for being a good sprinter by winning the stage, if you can't do the distance races you don't deserve to be challenging for the win at the TDS.

The sprints are an entertaining occasional carnival, not unlike the München head-to-head slalom in the Alpine skiing or the Gelsenkirchen and Moscow stadium exhibition races in the biathlon. A bit of fun, let the athletes compete in front of a crowd that get to see everybody, and call it quits. I don't think it should be any more than that. There are 7 (seven) sprint events between now and the end of the season. That's just waaaaaay too much.
I agree that the time bonuses awarded in the spring in TDS is grotesque. But I think sprints are fun, although they might have too much weight in the total FIS World Cup rankings. The number of events doesn't concernt me though.

About mass starts, I completely agree too. We need 50km races that are individual on occasion too.
 
jsem94 said:
I agree that the time bonuses awarded in the spring in TDS is grotesque. But I think sprints are fun, although they might have too much weight in the total FIS World Cup rankings. The number of events doesn't concernt me though.

About mass starts, I completely agree too. We need 50km races that are individual on occasion too.
Fun though they may be, it seems like they are now the most common form of competition on the calendar. Not the side circus they should be, where everyone can have a bit of fun a handful of times a season, but at the front and centre of the sport, taking the place of old-fashioned, traditional, non-gimmicky races.
 
Jan 8, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
Maybe I am a bit of a traditionalist, but I'm not against the change in style or the development of the mass start (although I wish the 50k wasn't mass start, since all too often it's been degenerating into a long pack race for the first two thirds). I'm not even against the sprints, I just don't think they're a 'real' event, much less that they should be giving a MINUTE of bonus in the Tour de Ski. While you could argue the bonus seconds in cycling are also artificial, they are at least uniform in every stage (usually). Imagine if they were giving out ten minutes of bonus for sprint wins in the major Tours in cycling, so that they could balance the race challengers between sprinters, time triallists and climbers. You get your reward for being a good sprinter by winning the stage, if you can't do the distance races you don't deserve to be challenging for the win at the TDS.

The sprints are an entertaining occasional carnival, not unlike the München head-to-head slalom in the Alpine skiing or the Gelsenkirchen and Moscow stadium exhibition races in the biathlon. A bit of fun, let the athletes compete in front of a crowd that get to see everybody, and call it quits. I don't think it should be any more than that. There are 7 (seven) sprint events between now and the end of the season. That's just waaaaaay too much.
That is a horrible development. Hopefully they'll have the 50 km as an individual start at the Falun WC in 2015. All this talk about that the germans don't understand the race if it's an individual start, that is just a rude statement.

The best race of TdS is tomorrow, hopefully Hellner can work his way back.
 
hoerpi said:
That is a horrible development. Hopefully they'll have the 50 km as an individual start at the Falun WC in 2015. All this talk about that the germans don't understand the race if it's an individual start, that is just a rude statement.

The best race of TdS is tomorrow, hopefully Hellner can work his way back.
It's also especially ridiculous given that the Germans care far more about biathlon than XC, and the only event at every World Cup meet on the biathlon circuit is the sprint format, which is, of course, interval start.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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ToreBear said:
I don't think Petter is that bad uphill. But we still don't know how good Cologna is if he has to go all out. Last years race was not representative of what Petter can do on the last stage. He was exhausted after waxing mistakes on the 35k and 5k classic. Also the Norwegians did not have skiis at their usual level on the last stage. Hellner and Kershaw had much better skiis. But of course I think Hellner is much better on the uphill than Petter. I think Petter needs perhaps 30 seconds at the bottom of the hill to keep a Hellner in top form with good skiis behind him. Bauer is another matter.
i agree with these observations.

also, if i got the whiff of the norwegian media reporting on petter's preparation focus for THIS tds, he was de-emphesizing the importance of opening stages and concentrating on his endurance for the final stages...

As for the Classic races, Northug is quite good in classic. His double polling has become really good, so unless there is another big mistake in the materials department he should be OK.
my comment was not to belittle northug's classic proficiency (his record speaks for itself) but to point that his competitors (including this tour's only classic race so far) seem to have found an antidote to petter's tactics. i also had in mind legkov's win in the last year tds short classic tt. it seems the competitors are aware of petter's vintage tactic of hanging on with the best to only outsprint them at the end.

we shall see a lot in just few hours :)
 
The 35 km starts now. Should be the best race for us cycling fans as it's the only one that goes from A to B (not in circle!) and is of a reasonable length ;)

I predict Northug will crack on the long ascent today. Cologna and the Russians will stay away.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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my impressions so far (about 50 minutes over and 20 to go):

- nortghug has not shown any signs of being cracked
- legkov closing the gap at the start so easily was impressive
- vyleg is cagily drafting a lot more than even northug
- the eurosport commentators, though quite competent, seem to NOT know that 91% of max HR is not the same as 91% of max aerobic effort (in fact, it's only about 85% of VO2 max)
 
python said:
my impressions so far (about 50 minutes over and 20 to go):

- nortghug has not shown any signs of being cracked
- legkov closing the gap at the start so easily was impressive
- vyleg is cagily drafting a lot more than even northug
- the eurosport commentators, though quite competent, seem to NOT know that 91% of max HR is not the same as 91% of max aerobic effort (in fact, it's only about 85% of VO2 max)
Northug actually looked as if he were about to crack in the start of the climb. He had to leave a little gap and looked exhausted. But luckily for him, Cologna signalled for someone else to go through and the pace dropped, resulting in Northug recovering.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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maltiv said:
Northug actually looked as if he were about to crack in the start of the climb. He had to leave a little gap and looked exhausted. But luckily for him, Cologna signalled for someone else to go through and the pace dropped, resulting in Northug recovering.
perhaps...but don't you think that if cologna sensed the weakness (or if he did not see it, he'd be told by the coaches) he'd accelerate at some point midclimb ?

i did however see northug v1-ing in the back at one point whilst cologna was comfortably v2-ing in front.
 
python said:
i did however see northug v1-ing in the back at one point whilst cologna was comfortably v2-ing in front.
yup. thought northug was suffering there too, and perhaps he was. however, since northug did not crack, it could be written off as a bad patch or even difference in climbing style, no? ;)perhaps a little tougher pace could have dropped him, but it's a gamble and it seemed to me cologna was not feeling lucky today.

kalla was really impressive today. top 4 overall ladies within ca 30sec thanks to her mighty effort. now if she and johaug can perform well in the classic races, then kowa might be in trouble come alpe cermis. somehow i doubt that though.
 
Men's race: I was disappointed with Bauer's lack of effort, so Hellner had no chance when he was doing most of the work himself.

I was very impressed with Legkov's race in catching up the guys fairly quickly, and it wasn't a surprise that Harvey bonked towards the end of the climb.

Daniel Richardsson races brilliantly and took ~40 seconds on the front, and there are two classic races coming. He could do very well.

As for the overall, someone up there will end up having a bad day. Cologna will probably end up as overall winner yet again though, he doesn't seem to ever have a bad day.


Women's:
Zeller, Kalla and Wikén had super days. Especially Kalla, what a race. It's a shame she has little chance of making the podium. This is truly Johaug's to lose, she has a golden opportunity and could be more than a minute behind before the last race day and still end up as winner.
 
I too was a bit bummed about Hellner having to do all the work and Bauer wheelsucking most of the time. Perhaps he too didnt just have it.

Realistically, how much faster is Johaug gonna be in the final climb than Kowa? I'd wager 45sec-1min, max but would not be too surprised if the difference was less. Historically Johaug has gained more if my memory serves, maybe 2010.

Climb times (hill only) and analysis from 2011

1. Johaug 19.23.9
2. Kowalczyk 19.34.3
3. Valentina Shevchenko 19.47.7
4. Marit Bjørgen 20.01.05
5. Katrin Zeller 20.19.9
6. Marthe Kristoffersen 20.20.0
7. Elizaberth Stephen 20.22.2
8. Krista Lähteenmäki 20.31.0
9. Ishida Masako 20.53.7
10. Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen 20.57.4

http://worldofxc.com/blog/2011/01/09/tour-de-ski-alpe-cermis-splits-analysis-women/
 
Aren't those results from 2011?

At least it says 2011 in the link url.

Hard to tell what will happen. Maybe Kowalczyk will have a super day and crush everyone on Saturday.

She didn't seem that great today on the last lap.
 
TomasC said:
Bauer didn't have it. He said he had a lot of trouble hanging behind Hellner.
He's also said he's not good enough to win this year due to his injuries this summer.

At the moment Legkov is the big favourite really. Northug needs to somehow get a minute or so on him before the final day, which seems very unlikely unless Legkov screws up his skis the next 2 days.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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meat puppet said:
I too was a bit bummed about Hellner having to do all the work and Bauer wheelsucking most of the time. Perhaps he too didnt just have it.

Realistically, how much faster is Johaug gonna be in the final climb than Kowa? I'd wager 45sec-1min, max but would not be too surprised if the difference was less. Historically Johaug has gained more if my memory serves, maybe in 2011 or 2010.

Last year climb times (hill only) and analysis

1. Johaug 19.23.9
2. Kowalczyk 19.34.3
3. Valentina Shevchenko 19.47.7
4. Marit Bjørgen 20.01.05
5. Katrin Zeller 20.19.9
6. Marthe Kristoffersen 20.20.0
7. Elizaberth Stephen 20.22.2
8. Krista Lähteenmäki 20.31.0
9. Ishida Masako 20.53.7
10. Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen 20.57.4

http://worldofxc.com/blog/2011/01/09/tour-de-ski-alpe-cermis-splits-analysis-women/
Total stage was 51 seconds, however, with Johaug in the middle of nowhere and no chance of advancing, nor risk of being overtaken.
 

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