Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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Sep 25, 2009
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...an exceptionally interesting individual classic 15k ! several arguments just got settled:

- the 'classic' classic was clearly superior today to a skating
-the new tougher fis rules for style abusers as far as i was able to hear were applied just once
-sundby is a beast. the upper body beast.. he raced on skating skis and was the only one (except roethe) who are known for their skating being able to compete with the traditional choice .
-bessmertnyck was a somewhat surprising 2nd, despite him normally favouring the classic...at least his classic specialist compatriots like belov and volzhentsev were expected to do better. all russians were on traditional skis while the norwegians choice seemed half-half. so were the swedish choices. the wonder-boy ustiugov did relatively well, better than in a sprint yesterday were his place would normally be much higher.
- i expected more of northug both yesterday and today. perhaps he's over his early season peak which may not be good for his chances in the tds coming soon
- colgna and alex harvey were just about where i expected them, except cologna lost a tad to much imo.
 
Thankfully not all the top ten spots today were filled with Norwegians. MJS is a God among men though. Even though Bessmertnykh had the race of his life, he couldn't stop the alien that is MJS. Cologna is slowly starting to regain his form though, which could be good.

Weng of course tried to match Johaug on the first lap, but it's completely expected that she wouldn't be able to keep such a high pace the entire race.

Both Johaug and Sundby are going to dominate the TDS. Easily.
 
I don't think Sundby is unbeatable in the TDS if Cologna shows up at 100%.

Sundby has raced the first quarter of the season at 100%. It should be impossible to mantain that level over the next four weeks without a drop off.


Johaug on the other side will likely win the TDS with a margin of 3 minutes plus in the end.
 
I know nobody here cares about ski jumping, but I just have to post how freakin' mad I am right now because the competition today was so unfair. Tande was probably as good as Freund, is already !!! 33 !!! points behind and now has ZERO chance to win the 4 hills tournament. :mad:
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Ski Junping is great! But thats the Tournee... it always happens to one of the best athletes, or more. Tande had much better conditions than Freud and Prevc in the first round, if I remember correctly.

But I totally understand the frustration.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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^^ ski jumping ? for me, it is when the major xc skiing events approach :) like the tour de ski in 48 h...can't wait.

the competition will be somewhat dull w/o hellner and halfvarsson, but cologna, polto, manificat and 2-3 russians should make it fun. i will miss lucas bauer.

of the possible surprises, i am looking with a particular interest to how a wonder-boy brute ustiugov will have performed. on his day he is capable of crushing everyone in a skating sprint, to be a complete shadow of himself the next day...though, he had shown some respectable long-distance results too this season. will be interesting how replacing the skiathlon with a classic mass start will affect the overall.. should favour guys like roenning, polto, belov..the last super climb will also be exciting giving the 'lego-man' a chance.

my tenuous predictions...sundby will win but not w/o sweating. i really think that vyleg may surprise hugely despite claiming injuries and illness. he ALWAYS approached the big events in supes-hape. can northug finally win the overall ? if there was no pursuit, even with the last climb up cermis, he could. BUT i doubt it will happen this time if ever. like ustiugov, richardsson and some others he's just too big to maintain gains on the last day
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Re:

python said:
^^ ski jumping ? for me, it is when the major xc skiing events approach :) like the tour de ski in 48 h...can't wait.

the competition will be somewhat dull w/o hellner and halfvarsson, but cologna, polto, manificat and 2-3 russians should make it fun. i will miss lucas bauer.

of the possible surprises, i am looking with a particular interest to how a wonder-boy brute ustiugov will have performed. on his day he is capable of crushing everyone in a skating sprint, to be a complete shadow of himself the next day...though, he had shown some respectable long-distance results too this season. will be interesting how replacing the skiathlon with a classic mass start will affect the overall.. should favour guys like roenning, polto, belov..the last super climb will also be exciting giving the 'lego-man' a chance.

my tenuous predictions...sundby will win but not w/o sweating. i really think that vyleg may surprise hugely despite claiming injuries and illness. he ALWAYS approached the big events in supes-hape. can northug finally win the overall ? if there was no pursuit, even with the last climb up cermis, he could. BUT i doubt it will happen this time if ever. like ustiugov, richardsson and some others he's just too big to maintain gains on the last day
Why wonder boy and more so, why brute?
 
Re:

python said:
^^ ski jumping ? for me, it is when the major xc skiing events approach :) like the tour de ski in 48 h...can't wait.

the competition will be somewhat dull w/o hellner and halfvarsson, but cologna, polto, manificat and 2-3 russians should make it fun. i will miss lucas bauer.

of the possible surprises, i am looking with a particular interest to how a wonder-boy brute ustiugov will have performed. on his day he is capable of crushing everyone in a skating sprint, to be a complete shadow of himself the next day...though, he had shown some respectable long-distance results too this season. will be interesting how replacing the skiathlon with a classic mass start will affect the overall.. should favour guys like roenning, polto, belov..the last super climb will also be exciting giving the 'lego-man' a chance.

my tenuous predictions...sundby will win but not w/o sweating. i really think that vyleg may surprise hugely despite claiming injuries and illness. he ALWAYS approached the big events in supes-hape. can northug finally win the overall ? if there was no pursuit, even with the last climb up cermis, he could. BUT i doubt it will happen this time if ever. like ustiugov, richardsson and some others he's just too big to maintain gains on the last day
How do you see Petter's chances?

Also, can it really be that Eurosport doesn't broadcast the sprint prologue at 13.20 today ? :(
 
Re: Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
Also, can it really be that Eurosport doesn't broadcast the sprint prologue at 13.20 today ? :(
you mean the qualification? Well, it's not overly interesting, and there's the Four Hills Tournament from Garmisch at the same time, so I guess it makes sense not to show it.

The sprint itself starts at 4 or something like that, and it's live on Eurosport of course
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Re: Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
python said:
^^ ski jumping ? for me, it is when the major xc skiing events approach :) like the tour de ski in 48 h...can't wait.

the competition will be somewhat dull w/o hellner and halfvarsson, but cologna, polto, manificat and 2-3 russians should make it fun. i will miss lucas bauer.

of the possible surprises, i am looking with a particular interest to how a wonder-boy brute ustiugov will have performed. on his day he is capable of crushing everyone in a skating sprint, to be a complete shadow of himself the next day...though, he had shown some respectable long-distance results too this season. will be interesting how replacing the skiathlon with a classic mass start will affect the overall.. should favour guys like roenning, polto, belov..the last super climb will also be exciting giving the 'lego-man' a chance.

my tenuous predictions...sundby will win but not w/o sweating. i really think that vyleg may surprise hugely despite claiming injuries and illness. he ALWAYS approached the big events in supes-hape. can northug finally win the overall ? if there was no pursuit, even with the last climb up cermis, he could. BUT i doubt it will happen this time if ever. like ustiugov, richardsson and some others he's just too big to maintain gains on the last day
How do you see Petter's chances?

Also, can it really be that Eurosport doesn't broadcast the sprint prologue at 13.20 today ? :(
i thought i adressesed petter...see red above. also, some time last year i posted my detailed analysis of ALL nine northug's climbs up cermes (it was not always the same distance and route as today). taking into consideration his rather consistent historic limitations on the last hill (averaging about 1.5 minutes behind the fastest), petter needs 2 minutes up on everyone before the alp cermis to be comfortable. it has been shown a literally an uphill fight for him with the best placing 3d overall iirc 6-7 years ago...in his recent interview with nrk he vowed to keep fighting and his coach boasts petter is in supeshape. having just learned that sundby had missed 4 days due to illness after the last wc race, perhaps it levels the chances for others, including petter ?

regarding the sprint qualifiers, they hardly ever are aired, BUT i follow them LIVE on the FIS site. these are live updates available within seconds after the skiers finish. the ladies start in 25 min (6:30 CET). men start quals about 40 minutes later...

@kokoso
ustiugov is an extremely talented young skier who as a junior swept most world titles in most distances. a vundekind. many compared his future to northugs, particularly b/c he's also an excellent sprinter. but unlike northug, he hasn't been consistent often winning sprints due to his immense brutal physical stregth. he's a big guy (183cm, 81 kg). obviously he has the engine to envy, but lacks (yet?) northug's mental acuity or perhaps it is just lack of experience...it could also be due to the the particularities or the russian tendency of overworking their young talents. we will learn more this year b/c he's trained by reto, a swiss who trained legkov 2 yo.
 
Re: Re:

python said:
Cance > TheRest said:
python said:
^^ ski jumping ? for me, it is when the major xc skiing events approach :) like the tour de ski in 48 h...can't wait.

the competition will be somewhat dull w/o hellner and halfvarsson, but cologna, polto, manificat and 2-3 russians should make it fun. i will miss lucas bauer.

of the possible surprises, i am looking with a particular interest to how a wonder-boy brute ustiugov will have performed. on his day he is capable of crushing everyone in a skating sprint, to be a complete shadow of himself the next day...though, he had shown some respectable long-distance results too this season. will be interesting how replacing the skiathlon with a classic mass start will affect the overall.. should favour guys like roenning, polto, belov..the last super climb will also be exciting giving the 'lego-man' a chance.

my tenuous predictions...sundby will win but not w/o sweating. i really think that vyleg may surprise hugely despite claiming injuries and illness. he ALWAYS approached the big events in supes-hape. can northug finally win the overall ? if there was no pursuit, even with the last climb up cermis, he could. BUT i doubt it will happen this time if ever. like ustiugov, richardsson and some others he's just too big to maintain gains on the last day
How do you see Petter's chances?

Also, can it really be that Eurosport doesn't broadcast the sprint prologue at 13.20 today ? :(
i thought i adressesed petter...see red above. also, some time last year i posted my detailed analysis of ALL nine northug's climbs up cermes (it was not always the same distance and route as today). taking into consideration his rather consistent historic limitations on the last hill (averaging about 1.5 minutes behind the fastest), petter needs 2 minutes up on everyone before the alp cermis to be comfortable. it has been shown a literally an uphill fight for him with the best placing 3d overall iirc 6-7 years ago...in his recent interview with nrk he vowed to keep fighting and his coach boasts petter is in supeshape. having just learned that sundby had missed 4 days due to illness after the last wc race, perhaps it levels the chances for others, including petter ?

regarding the sprint qualifiers, they hardly ever are aired, BUT i follow them LIVE on the FIS site. these are live updates available within seconds after the skiers finish. the ladies start in 25 min (6:30 CET). men start quals about 40 minutes later...

@kokoso
ustiugov is an extremely talented young skier who as a junior swept most world titles in most distances. a vundekind. many compared his future to northugs, particularly b/c he's also an excellent sprinter. but unlike northug, he hasn't been consistent often winning sprints due to his immense brutal physical stregth. he's a big guy (183cm, 81 kg). obviously he has the engine to envy, but lacks (yet?) northug's mental acuity or perhaps it is just lack of experience...it could also be due to the the particularities or the russian tendency of overworking their young talents. we will learn more this year b/c he's trained by reto, a swiss who trained legkov 2 yo.
Thanks. Apparently NRK is streaming it, but it's geo-restricted. I'll take a look on FIS site
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Thanks. Apparently NRK is streaming it, but it's geo-restricted. I'll take a look on FIS site
don't feel bad...as far as i can tell - and i watch most of my xc races via nrk (usually on nrk 1 or nrk 2) they did NOT air the qualifiers. nrk1 is showing ski jumping right now and nrk 2 is showing norges smarteste, nrk 3 (which does not air sports usually) is airing right now a kids cartoon...

and another tip on staying abreast i posted once - there is an excellent fis app (for both iphone and sumsung). it is very well designed and very functional, i tested both and often use.. it is free.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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ok, the finals finished 2 minutes ago...what did i see from the gc contenders ? here's my unvarnished, raw impressions.

keep in mind, the relatively longish loop was held at elevation, so it was taxing more than the typical sprint...

1. pellegrino is the new sprint king and its not likely he'll be pushed off the throne soon. fast and smart.
2. those who worry about cologna shouldn't. he is fine making into the final to meet his bad lock there.
3. northug was a tad surprising with his high placing in the prologue, but he looked far, very far from his usual dominant even in his quarter-final. his incomparable finish acceleration was only good for 4th in his semi, being squarely out sprinted by pelle, crogh and (?) was that ustiogov...
4. speaking of ustiogov. he certainly confirmed his class and might. characteristically, he broke a pole in the 1st quarterfinal, which was quite fast, chased and confidently earned his 2nd. hope he holds well for 8 stages...
5. his compatriots, except the last year bronze belov, had failed miserably. legkov, whilst not a sprinter, in past years was closer after the sprints when in good shape.
6. and finally the beast sundby...well, his strength is phenomenal as was shown by his accelerations. the reason he deflated so badly in the final is simple - he did not have time for any recovery btwn the semi and the final.

if i can think of more i may post it....
 
I hope some of the guys that didn't get many bonus seconds today will try something and blow up the race from the beginning. Highly unlikely, though , i know. Most likely it will be snoozefest for the first 25km with a little action in the sprints.

At least Johaug will go balsitic from the beginning.
 
Re:

python said:
ok, the finals finished 2 minutes ago...what did i see from the gc contenders ? here's my unvarnished, raw impressions.

keep in mind, the relatively longish loop was held at elevation, so it was taxing more than the typical sprint...

1. pellegrino is the new sprint king and its not likely he'll be pushed off the throne soon. fast and smart.
2. those who worry about cologna shouldn't. he is fine making into the final to meet his bad lock there.
3. northug was a tad surprising with his high placing in the prologue, but he looked far, very far from his usual dominant even in his quarter-final. his incomparable finish acceleration was only good for 4th in his semi, being squarely out sprinted by pelle, crogh and (?) was that ustiogov...
4. speaking of ustiogov. he certainly confirmed his class and might. characteristically, he broke a pole in the 1st quarterfinal, which was quite fast, chased and confidently earned his 2nd. hope he holds well for 8 stages...
5. his compatriots, except the last year bronze belov, had failed miserably. legkov, whilst not a sprinter, in past years was closer after the sprints when in good shape.
6. and finally the beast sundby...well, his strength is phenomenal as was shown by his accelerations. the reason he deflated so badly in the final is simple - he did not have time for any recovery btwn the semi and the final.

if i can think of more i may post it....
Also, he knew had already gained time on both Cologna and Northug after Cologna's fall
 
See you later Therese, this one's over... as usual, Heia Heidi...

Hmmm... Østberg's continued improvement in distance racing throws yet another obstacle in the path of Heidi's quest to get off that duck egg of race victories. Yes, she's contributed to her own bad fortune at times (Ruka of course the most obvious) but she just strikes me as somebody who is heavily confidence driven, and if the Norwegians just find one of those races like Otepää or Rybinsk where they typically rest the 'A' team and people like Tchekaleva win races, and give Heidi the chance to get off the mark there, it could completely rejuvenate her. All that weight of expectation but there's never a race where there isn't somebody better than her, and she has about a bazillion 3rds (behind Marit and Therese) on her palmarès already.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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after half the distance, sundby hardly shared the front with anyone collecting on the way almost all bonuses...

at times, he'd decide to stretch the field as if testing who's able to stay with him to then allowing the regrouping.

when he did it, ustiugov would almost instantly catch 5-7 seconds, but im still impressed he's able to keep up...cologna, poltoranin, bessmertnyhk are also still with some chances..and so is belov and even petter
 

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