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Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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An "all classic" meet ...... not my favourite mix but not my call to make. Will be interesting to see how Kowalczyk starts the season. Hard to draw anything meaningful out of last weekend Swedish meet as, outside of Ingmarsdottir in sprints, Kalla is the only real class Swedish female. She did show improved classic form last season , though lightly raced, but would still have to back Johaug & Bjorgen to be thereabouts.
 
Looking forward to the first round of the Biathlon World Cup this weekend. I checked my schedule the other day and British Eurosport did not have it down but it seems they have fixed the error and the mixed relay is live from 2:15 on Sunday.
 
Dazed and Confused said:
Lets have a 50km classic individual please.
In proper snow and with solid temperatures so I can see the breathing.
Well that's a dream well likely never witness again in our lifetime:eek:

At least there's a 30km classic individual race in Davos. The race of the year, imo.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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in kuusamo the qualifiers just finished...a couple of surprises...

justyna barely made it in 25th. i dont see kalla in the top 30 (prolly did not take part).

among men, a surprising 32nd for joensen. all top norges and the russians are in..i count only 2 swedes in the top 30...

the ladies results are spread widely, whilst men are very tight. petter northug i thought did very solidly, though his lil bro was faster....

the quarterfinals will start in about an hour.
 
So now we don't have the excuse of "it's an Olympic season, they want to keep the calendar fairly easy", and we still have sprints in nearly every World Cup meet, imbalancing the competition completely and with next to zero real long distance races outside of Holmenkollen and presumably Toblach-Cortina (I'm also aware that overpaying points for the Tour de Ski is also going to heavily imbalance the World Cup totals).

If there were only a few of them, the sprints would be a nice addition to the calendar, but at the moment there are so few real endurance races and so many sprints, it's really harming the "cross-country" aspect of the racing. Here as an introduction to the season, like a prologue, it's a good bit of fun, but they're going all Javier Guillén on the balance of the season with them.

Of course it doesn't help that most of my favourites aren't good at the sprints, but at the same time the fact that they're not good at the sprints is part of why I like them. Now, there's practically no incentive to be a distance specialist, and a lot of incentive to be a sprint specialist, and that's only going to hurt the variety of the sport.

Away from my typical complaints, why is Northug racing at present? When is his sentence supposed to be being served, as it is only today 50 days since the sentence was passed?
 
Sep 25, 2009
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the previous semi heat was very interesting...2xc ski biggest talents (in my book at least) met in a classic sprint....petter northug vs ustiugov. ustiugov edged petter but just for the 2nd..yet clearly losing metersto petter as the finish line approached.

the caveats are: ustiugov's skate is better than his classic, and petter is clearly a superior double poler in either.
---
addding: brandsdaal won the final with petter showing his class but unable to challenge...ustiugov simply died to finish last in the final.
 
Yea, I thought once Northug had shown what he can do on the climb, that he would surely take it as he had the inside line and his double pole is without equal much of the time. However, it was clear that whereas in the previous races he'd more or less stumbled his way through looking laboured on the climb, he looked good on the climb in the final but had to go pretty deep to do so, because he had nothing left in the tank.
 
May 19, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
Away from my typical complaints, why is Northug racing at present? When is his sentence supposed to be being served, as it is only today 50 days since the sentence was passed?
Information of serving of sentences isn't public information in Norway. So it is up to him to tell us, or show us by his abscence. As the sentence is that short he can be offered the option of serving in house arrest with ankle monitor. And quite possibly after the end of season.

http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/10/08/sport/petter_northug/promille/northug/kriminalomsorg/35626894/
 
Sep 8, 2009
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nice start of the season i think

johaug-iban mayo, marrit-lance armstrong, kowalczyk-juan mauricio soler. opinions?

i hope therese can keep like that, well the parcours really helped her here
 
Sep 25, 2009
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not the eventual result, but the gaps and the course caught my attention...

the little moto gal gapped the runner up muscle woman by 3/4 of a minute ! that's a huge advantage over such a distance at the top of the world.

Kallas 3d by 2 seconds was a disappointment but she would almost certainly clip the muscle woman had she started behind her. that's sport. justyna is obviously not yet in form, but i doubt she could challenge the moto gal on this type of course . every single one competitor had to resort to 'herring bone'. it was almost amateurish looking for some. will be interesting to compare if men will negotiate the 3.1 km hill by gliding. i think the best will NOT herring bone...

we will find out in 40 minutes...:)
 
Sep 25, 2009
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men's 15k ended minutes ago...too many impressions.

1. finland bravo ! niskanen superb. hope it is the way we saw it...
2. sundby is the new norwegian king, as i was saying even before the tds last year. here to stay for at least another season. 5 norwegians in the top 10 = dominance, but w/0o the top spot it's got an after taste.
3. northug ...if he was in the top 10 it would be his 'usual' level in a classic tt.
having edured exhausting sprints yesterday, his 23d today is good.
4. the russians...belov was supposed to do better, vyleg unlike his usual, did not pace well. legkov looked atrocious, worse then his normal clumsy classic. bessmernych -- a surprize, though, not a huge surprise b/c the russians consider him their 2nd or 3d best classic specialist
5. Poltaranin...i thought he is on a right path. will kick everyone later.
6. cologna...can say much, dont see him doing the tds if he does not pick up soon
7. the swedes...i thought they performed below their potential today. Richardsson being almost 2 meters is not designed for this type of course, helner never was good at classic, calle.. dont know whan to say


oh almost forgot, that 3.1 km hill...as i expected some did not herringbone but most did, at least towards the very top.

the next weekend minitour will be more fun.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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python said:
men's 15k ended minutes ago...too many impressions.

1. finland bravo ! niskanen superb. hope it is the way we saw it...
2. sundby is the new norwegian king, as i was saying even before the tds last year. here to stay for at least another season. 5 norwegians in the top 10 = dominance, but w/0o the top spot it's got an after taste.
3. northug ...if he was in the top 10 it would be his 'usual' level in a classic tt.
having edured exhausting sprints yesterday, his 23d today is good.
4. the russians...belov was supposed to do better, vyleg unlike his usual, did not pace well. legkov looked atrocious, worse then his normal clumsy classic. bessmernych -- a surprize, though, not a huge surprise b/c the russians consider him their 2nd or 3d best classic specialist
5. Poltaranin...i thought he is on a right path. will kick everyone later.
6. cologna...can say much, dont see him doing the tds if he does not pick up soon
7. the swedes...i thought they performed below their potential today. Richardsson being almost 2 meters is not designed for this type of course, helner never was good at classic, calle.. dont know whan to say


oh almost forgot, that 3.1 km hill...as i expected some did not herringbone but most did, at least towards the very top.

the next weekend minitour will be more fun.
The French have those Scandinavians right where they want them...
 
Did anyone watch the mixed relay from Ostersund? Seriously when does MFourcade learn to play by the rules??! :mad: one does not simply take another skiers line coming into a hairpin bend, then cause him to almost fall effectively destroying his rhythm and win an already unfair sprint...
 
Fourcade at 75-80% is already dangerous - though many major names missing from the startlist today, or entering the race already way down. Fourcade is very boring, so I'm really hoping that somebody not in today's race can challenge him. It's also especially frustrating when you have a good race going on and then the exciting finale is ripped out of your hands by the same old same old. Congrats to the French team though - the women are going to have to step up with no Brunet or Dorin, and Simon Fourcade is showing good form for the first time since 2011-12. The Germans went well for a team in rebuilding (the men they are swimming in talents but lacking somebody who can challenge the very best; the women are really lacking in experience and now they're going to be without Dahlmeier, their most reliable racer, until after Christmas, they're really paper thin) and impressed how the Norwegian 2nd-tier men pulled them back into it after a disastrous leg from Solemdal; a couple of seasons ago she was clearly the replacement for Berger as team leader, now it seems set in stone that Eckhoff should take that role. Solemdal has had health difficulties, to be fair, but she is painfully inconsistent.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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ivo niskanen was a recognized classisk talent even before the sochi olympics..as a youth he won the worlds and was noted for good technique and smart racing. at 22 (he'll be 23 in january), provided he's not an enhanced version, his future should be quite bright...

the kid is built perfectly for an elite xc skier - tall, but not too tall (187 cm), slim and wiry ( he weighs about 75kg), intelligentt..

today, according to his own post-race interview in english that i watched on nrk (interestingly he's a rare finn who appears not to speak swedish), he gave a clue to beating everyone, 'i kept my pace controlled on the slopes to max out the double poling speed where it was possible...plus, i trained on the local slopes and knew them very well'...rarely one hears such candid statements from the world's best.
 
The density is insane in the mens field. So many guys within a few seconds. So many within a minute. 15km are almost too short for the men at this point. The density is so high that 30km would be a lot better to get real seperations. Just checked some world cup results from the 90es. There used to be a whole lotz more 30km races back then.:eek:

Johaug winning like this always makes me smile. I mean a real female like her beating those tanks, i like it.
 
Niskaanen seems to be the biggest talent in quiet a while.
I fear though that he´ll be much better suited for individual starts comparewd to mass starts.
Niskaanen would have been perfectly built for 30/50km individual races.
 
Bavarianrider said:
Johaug winning like this always makes me smile. I mean a real female like her beating those tanks, i like it.
How many tanks are there? I mean, Bjørgen's a given. Assume Kowa is a tank too. Randall more than likely. Where is the line? Kalla's very muscular but nothing on Bjørgen and I don't really think of her as racing like a powerhouse in the same way as Bjørgen destroying people, or Kowa just grinding through with pure power and sometimes quite stiff and less aesthetic technique...

I always thought Skofterud was a real powerhouse but she's now doing really well in the real long-distance races :eek:

I don't think any of the current crop of Finnish girls are real powerhouse types, nor Weng, Falla, Østberg, and obviously Johaug. Steira I usually use as the counterexample to the likes of Randall when I'm complaining about the lack of balance in the World Cup calendar, because Steira to me is a good example of a proper skier. Yet some of the sprint specialists aren't the big tanks you might expect.

Really the "tanks" are very few in number, just they happen to contain the freakishly successful ones.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
How many tanks are there? I mean, Bjørgen's a given. Assume Kowa is a tank too. Randall more than likely. Where is the line? Kalla's very muscular but nothing on Bjørgen and I don't really think of her as racing like a powerhouse in the same way as Bjørgen destroying people, or Kowa just grinding through with pure power and sometimes quite stiff and less aesthetic technique...

I always thought Skofterud was a real powerhouse but she's now doing really well in the real long-distance races :eek:

I don't think any of the current crop of Finnish girls are real powerhouse types, nor Weng, Falla, Østberg, and obviously Johaug. Steira I usually use as the counterexample to the likes of Randall when I'm complaining about the lack of balance in the World Cup calendar, because Steira to me is a good example of a proper skier. Yet some of the sprint specialists aren't the big tanks you might expect.

Really the "tanks" are very few in number, just they happen to contain the freakishly successful ones.
Tend to agree with you. Kalla has traditionally been a better skater and has been held up as a technical paragon in that discipline so whilst she has got stronger, she's quite some way from being a tank. Agree regarding "the next generation" of Norwegians .... if anything most could do with more power. Randall (who annoys the $@#& out of me) is mostly power. Kowalczyk - the definite tank.
 
Oh dear, the level of competition among the women in biathlon is shockingly bad.:eek:

Losing 2:45 to Domracheva in the slope is still good enogh for the 10th best course time.:eek:
25 spot is already 4 minutes back!:confused:
 

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