Nordic Skiing/Biathlon Thread

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python said:
here are my 'fun facts' - the best pure climbers yesterday as we, cycling fans, often seek analogies to 2-wheel athletes.

below are the official climbing times between the climb start (km 6.3) and the finish (km 9.0). Added were body weights of the skiers where i could find it.

they tell us quite a lot...

that northug isn't even in the 20...that despite his 80+kg he managed to hang on with the guys 10 kg lighter (a testament to his huge engine)...that hellner is probably an aerobic monster with the best watt/kilo...that winning the tour the ski is probably not within northug's current athletic build as long as alpe cermis is on the manu.

...THAT, or northug will have to lose several kilos and risk losing his explosive power that made him the greatest contemporary winner.

1. 16:57 Marcus HELLNER (75kg)
2. 17:10 +00:13 Johannes DUERR (??)
3. 17:14 +00:17 Alexander LEGKOV (73kg))
4. 17:16 +00:20 Roland CLARA (65kg)
5. 17:16 +00:20 Ivan BABIKOV (68kg)
6. 17:25 +00:29 Lukas BAUER (70kg)
7. 17:26 +00:29 Thomas MORIGGL (65kg)
8. 17:28 +00:31 Giorgio DI CENTA (67kg)
9. 17:30 +00:34 Johan OLSSON (68kg)
10. 17:33 +00:36 Dario COLOGNA (75kg)
11. 17:54 +00:57 Maxim VYLEGZHANIN (68kg)
12. 17:55 +00:58 Robin DUVILLARD (68kg)
.................
21. 18:20 +01:23 Petter jr. NORTHUG (82kg)
Having seen most of them in person. I really don't believe those weights. In my opinion almost all of them are a few kilos heavier.
No way in hell is Bauer only 70 kilos for example. Give me break.
Anayway the analogy to cycling is somehwat flawed. In cross country, unlike in cycling, the whole muscle weight contributes to your motion.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Tyler'sTwin said:
Gotta question those numbers. I doubt most of these guys are built like GT-riders. They sure don't look like it.
if you doubt numbers on the left, that are the official fis times on the climb this year, you should have concern about fis falsifying ALL numbers...

the numbers on the right were google-available body weight for the named athletes...no one made any claims about their accuracy, thus they are no better or worth than any body weight number available for any professional cyclist on the web. unlike bavarianrider, i can not weight skiers with my eyes :p

besides, the idea of my post was not to draw any complete or accurate picture (or even a parallel to cycling) but to remind that the laws of physic still apply. particularly when one has to lift his own weight up a 25% mountain and win. northug has consistently shown strength on the short explosive hills so typical of fis calendar and as consistently showed weakness on the long sustained steep uphills like cermis. the majority (but not all) of those who had demonstrated fastest times on the climbing part of cermis (km 6.3 to km 9) over the 7 years of tds existence seem lighter (to various degrees) than northug. this does not at all mean that their climbing strength is solely due to body weight..
 
MustIski said:
Shame that Lähteenmäki was sick during the earlier days of Tour. She could have definitely competed for a place at the podium if she would have been fit. Kyllönen is having a really good breaktrough season. Too bad that her skis weren't too good today.
Ah thanks for that information. I agree, had she been fit going into the tour I also think she would have placed higher. She is one to watch for the future.

What?! A Finn with bad classics skis?! The Finns seem to have had really good skis in classic these last few seasons so just one skier getting it wrong is not bad at all.

python said:
when analyzing elite race results, i often value post-race comments of the participants themselves above what my own eyes saw…it appears there were 2 reasons for petter’s difficulty: sprinting too early in the race and poor grip wax. At least that’s what the Canadians think…their chief coach justin wadsworth said that the 1st the preem ended petter‘s race. it was too close to the start and too hard, so he instructed his guys to avoid it…also, kershaw noticed that northug did not seem to have the grip running on the outside of the track.
Yep seeing something and understanding what you are seeing depends a lot of what you know about what you are seeing. And the experts tend to see things differently than us amateurs.:D

But in this case I'm not so sure.

Northug usually prefers glide over grip. He prefers to advance in areas were it costs less energy, meaning downhill and the flats. So going up hill one should expect it to look like he might have a bad grip at times.

The observations I have been able to gather is Thomas Alsgaard saying something about Northug perhaps not being able to put in top performances 3 days in a row as he said could be seen in Kuusamo. I remember Northug struggling in that race, but I assumed it was more to do with being out in front alone for the hole race and being chased by the pack in difficult snow conditions. Could be Alsgaard is right, could be I am right, or it could be a bit of both.

Northug said he felt he did not have a good day when the race started and felt he had to take the early bonus points. He might be telling the truth or he might not. I'm not sure going all out for the bonus at first oppurtunity is a good tactic if your having a bad day, so I think I'll take that statement with a huge grain of salt. (I have never ever heard him complain about waxing in a post race interview. This is information that becomes available much later via third parties or an evaluation or something.)

Therese Johaug answered that they did not have the best skis in the classic race when asked a leading question in interviews after the alpe cermis climb the day after. She added that in a tour one has good skis some days and not so good skis other days. Hence careful to not put any blame on the waxers.

One observation supporting a generally bad Norwegian glide in that race both for the boys and the girls was Heidi Wengs race. In the gliding part of the course it was easy to see she had a bad glide. IMHO she is not strong enough in double polling yeat to be able to camouflage bad glide, and her experience in testing and having the right skis is less than the older girls. This I think is due to her being young and new on the team and not having had so much time to build up experience in choosing good skis for her, and the right balance in regards to grip vs. glide for her.

So my theory is that Northug started the race as planned, he might not have felt super, but he might not have felt that bad either. He proceeds as planned and takes the first bonus. His grip is as planned, meaning perhaps a little worse than his competitors. But when he goes down hill and on the flat he finds he is not able to advance as usual. He tries hard on the first round, but after that he starts to limit his losses.

So why did this happen? I think it's a mix of issues. I think the bad glide really exposed him badly, and he did not have the strength to compensate.

But I could be wrong. I think they evaluate the ski performance after the tour, so we might hear something about what happened in a few weeks time. Usually one of the NRK commentators mentions these things in passing during one of the races in january.

So my guess is bad glide+bad day for Northug.

python said:
Today’s climb may bring some surprises. I doubt bauer will keep up with his record on the climb but one of the canadians (babikov!?) may do very well…I also think hellner can deliver a special performance today. as I analyzed a couple of days ago, northug without a comfortable cushion of bonuses was unlikely to win the gc…and so it look to happen.

the topography of the climb (flat for 6.5km out of the total 9km) and the strength of numbers in terms of team tactic/drafting/standings, favor one of the Russians today. i agree, legkov is the most logical choice having shown a consistent climbing strength during the past 2 days (1st to the top in the 5km classic and lively yesterday in the intermidiate sprints).

cologna ? if I recall correctly, lost to legkov almost 1.5 minute last year on the very mountain. so his chances seem to line up with 2nd on the GC.

we shall see in 2 hours :)
And right you were!:) But Dario wasn't that much worse than Legkov in the end so I think the situation in the race is essential in evaluating the climbling performance.
 
python said:
here are my 'fun facts' - the best pure climbers yesterday as we, cycling fans, often seek analogies to 2-wheel athletes.

below are the official climbing times between the climb start (km 6.3) and the finish (km 9.0). Added were body weights of the skiers where i could find it.

they tell us quite a lot...

that northug isn't even in the 20...that despite his 80+kg he managed to hang on with the guys 10 kg lighter (a testament to his huge engine)...that hellner is probably an aerobic monster with the best watt/kilo...that winning the tour the ski is probably not within northug's current athletic build as long as alpe cermis is on the manu.

...THAT, or northug will have to lose several kilos and risk losing his explosive power that made him the greatest contemporary winner.

1. 16:57 Marcus HELLNER (75kg)
2. 17:10 +00:13 Johannes DUERR (??)
3. 17:14 +00:17 Alexander LEGKOV (73kg))
4. 17:16 +00:20 Roland CLARA (65kg)
5. 17:16 +00:20 Ivan BABIKOV (68kg)
6. 17:25 +00:29 Lukas BAUER (70kg)
7. 17:26 +00:29 Thomas MORIGGL (65kg)
8. 17:28 +00:31 Giorgio DI CENTA (67kg)
9. 17:30 +00:34 Johan OLSSON (68kg)
10. 17:33 +00:36 Dario COLOGNA (75kg)
11. 17:54 +00:57 Maxim VYLEGZHANIN (68kg)
12. 17:55 +00:58 Robin DUVILLARD (68kg)
.................
21. 18:20 +01:23 Petter jr. NORTHUG (82kg)
Thanks! Great information. And great you took the time to find their weights! I have noticed Johannes Duerr during the tour and it will be interesting to see how he develops in the future. His weight as far as i can see is obviously 63.256-63.257 ish kg.:p

But one should be careful making conclusions based on one single datapoint. Here is the one from the 2011 tour(2010-2011 season).

1. 17:00 Bauer
2. 17:24 +00:24 Babikov
3. 17:26 +00:26 Perl
4. 17:30 +00:30 Vittoz
5. 17:32 +00:32 Moriggl
6. 17:36 +00:36 Clara
7. 17:41 +00:41 Duvillard
8. 17:46 +00:46 Reichelt
9. 17:51 +00:51 Fischer
10. 17:57 +00:57 Gaillard
11. 17:59 +00:51 Kershaw
12. 18:01 +01:01 Djupvik
.................

13. 18:04 +01:04 Northug
16. 18:16 +01:16 Cologna
20. 18:28 +01:28 Hellner


Northug mentioned this was a good day for him. The thing about the 2011 version is that Northug gained even more time on the flat before the climb. So he should have been much more tired in 2011 vs 2013 when they went rather slow. Northug had great skis and was in a position to utilize his ability on the flat. His pure climbing time was about 1 minute off the pace, but considering how much energy he used before the hill in 2011 vs 2013, he should have been much quicker this year.

He was not, so perhaps he is getting fatter as he keeps telling the media.:eek: Or he had a bad day.

But I agree, Northug is not likely to be among the best up the hill, but with a little time ahead of the climbers, and a possibility of using his strength on the flat part of the course, he might have a chance to win the tour even without loosing weight. And he is only 7ish kg heavier than Hellner so I don't think the weight is that important.

One thing to note is that I think this year had more sig sagging(sp?), so in theory it should be more suitable to Northugs need to vary his tecnique much more often.

So if he has a good day next year he still might be able to win, despite his extra weight.

2011 source:
http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.html?sector=CC&raceid=17525

By the way. Thomas Alsgaard did this race a bit earlier in an amateur competition and won it with a time of 33:54.
http://www.dagbladet.no/2013/01/06/sport/langrenn/tour_de_ski/thomas_alsgaard/25107803/

This would have put him in 59th place on the last stage. That's not bad for a big and heavy guy like him.
 
At last, Kaisa Mäkäräinen shoots well enough to actually take the place her ski speed should be getting her. Ruhpolding is known since the reprofiling for being pretty tough on the trails, but also for having quite an easy run-in to the range; certainly that would bear itself out in the results, with Domracheva, Gößner and Mäkäräinen - who've all had pretty inconsistent years with the rifle - all shooting 90% and being able to easily make up enough time to cover for that penalty loop. Mäkäräinen was typically the fastest at Östersund and in the sprint at Hochfilzen, but since then Gößner has set the fastest course time in every women's race, including the relays. Typically Domracheva and Mäkäräinen have made up the rest of the course time podium, though there have been some odd anomalies (Sophie Boilley being 2nd fastest in the relay two days ago, for example). It is odd, considering two years ago they were known for fast skiers who couldn't shoot, in both genders, but now Germany are, Gößner excepted, mostly about slow skiers who shoot accurately; Erik Lesser seemed a bit out of his depth in the relay in a head-to-head with Martin Fourcade and being chased down by Sumann and Svendsen, because that kind of scenario is just not his forte, while Peiffer was on decent form and if he can recapture his ski form from the second half of the last two seasons he'll be a big threat from here on in - always seems to start the season slowly though. Birnbacher, well, I don't know where to rate his performance because he missed all of Oberhof being ill; a fully fit Andi Birnbacher might have taken leg 4 and held on where Lesser struggled (in fairness to Erik he did also fall which likely had an ongoing effect). Schempp was pretty quick on the trails but is still a level off becoming a major contender, while it will be interesting to see how Florian Graf bounces back from his brush with infamy thanks to a momentary lapse of reason ("Knapp am Darwin Award vorbei"), while it was also interesting to see Kathrin Lang back into the World Cup six months after giving birth, having done just a couple of national races and the Veltins-Arena show race. Germany also haven't been using up their quota in the IBU-Cup which seems mad to me when they're rotating people like Franzi Hildebrand out of the World Cup team at times, because there you have top-30 talent just sitting out doing nothing, which seems ridiculous.
 
Brilliant 1-2 for the Swedes in the sprint in Liberec. Emil Jönsson should, barring any falls or unforseen incidents, at the very minimum podium the WC.

As for biathlon, Fourcade is back to his great skiing form. I can't see him losing the world cup this year.
 
roundabout said:
Martin "the shoulder" Fourcade has just skied the 10km 20 seconds faster than the rest.
Emil and Tarjei gambled on the conditions on the track worsening, so they choose to start early. The conditions got better, so I wouldn't put too much weight on the the skiing times from just one race.


jsem94 said:
Brilliant 1-2 for the Swedes in the sprint in Liberec. Emil Jönsson should, barring any falls or unforseen incidents, at the very minimum podium the WC.

As for biathlon, Fourcade is back to his great skiing form. I can't see him losing the world cup this year.
Ah, seeing 2 swedes pass 1 norwegian on the final is something I hope we don't see again at the Worlds.:p

It would have been nice to see Kiriukov double polling on the finnish. I wonder if he is beatable. But he fell so he was out.

As for favorites. Yep, I agree Emil is the favorite. I think the Val di Fiemme course involves a lot of diagonal, so Emil is the favorite. But there is Theodor Petterson who actually won this race in front of Emil.;)

Fourcade looked strong yesterday, lets see today. As for the overrall, I think he is the likely winner.
 
The Germans have sent Tina Bachmann home and have omitted her from consideration for selection at Antholz or the World Championships. Her ski times have suffered greatly this year and progress has been in the wrong direction, however it does leave a significant hole in the German side, at least from the relay perspective, where she has led off in every race this season thus far. They therefore have one race to test out the alternatives before the World Championships where they - including Tina - are the defending champions.

The German women have only partially been filling their full allocation this year in the absence of Neuner. We can say that Gößner and Henkel are no-brainer choices, but after them Bachmann and Horchler have been the everpresents, with Hildebrand as the main competitor rotating in and out of the team (which seemed daft to me because her performances over the last 2 years have been good enough to justify everpresence). Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, Maren Hammerschmidt and Kathrin Lang have been the various 6th members of the team, and if we assume that the relay is now likely to be either Hildebrand-Gößner-Horchler-Henkel or Horchler-Gößner-Hildebrand-Henkel, then if any illness or injury befalls a member of the team they will need somebody with some kind of experience in the relay in order to bring them in. Lang has only just come back from her baby break and has not yet come back up to pace, so I don't think it's fair to put the pressure on her. Evi has been doing fairly well on the IBU Cup but her ski times weren't very impressive in Pokljuka, so we'll see how she does in Antholz. Carolin Hennecke is doing OK at the IBU Cup as well, but has precious little World Cup experience, while it seems Maren Hammerschmidt has annoyed the DSV a little by complaining about how they aren't using their full allocation at the IBU Cup, and how that means they're being expected to just go from the Alpencup to the World Cup and how that's affecting their development.
 
Well, Malyshko was not that far off. Sure, after missing a shot he got back on thanks to the sluggish pace in the first two laps, but in the end I think he was actually at least as strong as Fourcade.

However, Fourcade had much better skis and he did the final corner perfectly allowing him to have a considerable speed advantage coming to the final straight.
 
meat puppet said:
Well, Malyshko was not that far off. Sure, after missing a shot he got back on thanks to the sluggish pace in the first two laps, but in the end I think he was actually at least as strong as Fourcade.

However, Fourcade had much better skis and he did the final corner perfectly allowing him to have a considerable speed advantage coming to the final straight.
Malyshko did an impressive job against Fourcade on the final lap, but Fourcade seemed completely untroubled by the pace of the race at all times. Since when is Fourcade only 10 seconds better than Alexis Bœuf after the latter has a penalty and he doesn't? I've seldom seen somebody do so little work to take a victory in a mass start event.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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either fourcade (who missed none) played speed games with them, or malyshko (missed 1) and svendsen (missed 2) are getting as fast as the king...well, it was obvious that fourcade did not rush shooting but svendsen loosing only 10 second at the finish whilst malyshko had fourcade sprint as mad for the gold, is nothing short of great skiing.

...in liberc team sprints, i was plenty impressed by kriukov's 'telescopic' leg. where the heck did he find space to come back after chasing the leaders following his partner's fall ?! and the sling shot finish of morilov !..he's probably the fastest world cup man in the last 50 meters.
 
python said:
either fourcade (who missed none) played speed games with them, or malyshko (missed 1) and svendsen (missed 2) are getting as fast as the king...well, it was obvious that fourcade did not rush shooting but svendsen loosing only 10 second at the finish whilst malyshko had fourcade sprint as mad for the gold, is nothing short of great skiing.

...in liberc team sprints, i was plenty impressed by kriukov's 'telescopic' leg. where the heck did he find space to come back after chasing the leaders following his partner's fall ?! and the sling shot finish of morilov !..he's probably the fastest world cup man in the last 50 meters.
The first three laps were slow as anything, Malyshko missed 1 at shooting 1, and was part of a large group also containing several other threats that was able to casually ski back to the front group on lap 2. Don't think Martin turned the wick up until the last 2 laps, by which time Malyshko had made all his time back, and was faster on the range. Fourcade had a fairly deliberate range time today, making sure he got all the targets, knowing that he had enough in reserve to make back the few seconds he lost in range time, but maybe not the time taken to go round the loop (as Svendsen found).

Don't think Martin really went all out on the skis at all until maybe the final lap. He arrived at shooting 3 like he was on a sunday stroll.
 
I think Martin Fourcade might have hit top form unintentionally after his short period of no or easy training following his crash and subsequent shoulder injury. Incidents like that can trigger a peak, but it might not last very long. So he might be peaking a bit too early with worlds in mind.
 
The Miriam Gößner show came to a grinding halt today, she hasn't even qualified for the pursuit on Saturday after 7 misses in the sprint at Antholz, looks like perhaps she peaked for the home events, or is just running out of form, and the confidence can get pretty frail when you miss several like that, bringin back memories of Pokljuka back in 2010. It doesn't totally spell the end of her World Cup bid, as you can wipe out your two weakest results (which would be this and of course the pursuit that she's guaranteed to score 0 in), but it does harm her chances severely, especially bearing in mind Kaisa Mäkäräinen has started to hit shooting form again and Domracheva is getting stronger.

If she sets the fastest course time today she will set a new record for consecutive best course times - she currently shares the record with Magdalena Neuner (who else?). However, her time today was not too spectacular, perhaps owing to an extra kilometre on her race...
 
Libertine Seguros said:
The Miriam Gößner show came to a grinding halt today, she hasn't even qualified for the pursuit on Saturday after 7 misses in the sprint at Antholz, looks like perhaps she peaked for the home events, or is just running out of form, and the confidence can get pretty frail when you miss several like that, bringin back memories of Pokljuka back in 2010. It doesn't totally spell the end of her World Cup bid, as you can wipe out your two weakest results (which would be this and of course the pursuit that she's guaranteed to score 0 in), but it does harm her chances severely, especially bearing in mind Kaisa Mäkäräinen has started to hit shooting form again and Domracheva is getting stronger.

If she sets the fastest course time today she will set a new record for consecutive best course times - she currently shares the record with Magdalena Neuner (who else?). However, her time today was not too spectacular, perhaps owing to an extra kilometre on her race...
She did have the fastest time.
In terms of shooting, she he'll never be consistent.
She 's more like a Lars Berger. And always will be.
 
Bavarianrider said:
She did have the fastest time.
In terms of shooting, she he'll never be consistent.
She 's more like a Lars Berger. And always will be.
While this may be true (according to realbiathlon, as of yesterday her career standing % is 62,5, while Lars' is 62,9), it can't stop fans from having hope, because she CAN pull out performances like Pokljuka's pursuit. Which makes it all the more sad when she struggles like today, because I felt like at least she could make the pursuit and gain some places with her skiing in that, but that won't be possible since she couldn't manage that. I've been waiting for her to break out since Östersund 2010 knowing that she could, and now that she has done, it's both comforting and frustrating to see her show that she's capable of being just as inconsistent as ever now.

A bit of a concern for the IBU-Cup as well that Iourieva and Sachenbacher-Stehle weren't especially impressive; Evi's course time in particular was disappointing as this should theoretically be her strength. All in all, though, a day to forget for the DSV.
 
Yes, she's been impressive this last few weeks. I could also point out that Franzi Hildebrand's ski times for the first two laps were good as well, though that may have arguably contributed to her uncharacteristically poor standing shoot.

Glad Maren Hammerschmidt made the pursuit though after all of the background stuff of the last few weeks with the debates about Germany and the IBU Cup.
 
Soukalova again top 10, though she's a bit slower than in the beginning of the season. She should work on that before the world champs.
Great result for Kuzmina, much needed I think.
 
It's an odd one, because she's already 32; she's doing all the IBU-Cup events while most of the young prospects stay home. It's weird that a lot of much younger prospects like Hennecke and Hammerschmidt seem to get less attention from the DSV when they still have chances to progress; Juliane Döll retired this last week, finally deciding it isn't worth flitting between the IBU-Cup and World Cup anymore, just as Sabrina Buchholz did in the off-season. But Döll and Hennecke are 26, Hammerschmidt just 23. Yet in the aftermath of Tina Bachmann being sent on a break after disappointing showings in the first half of the season, the talk of who would take the final slot included the likes of Laura Dahlmeier and Franziska Preuß, promising youngsters but with precious little experience to be sent up into the World Cup. Perhaps the team ought to remember that Tora Berger has had 75% of her career wins in the last three seasons, and that Andi Birnbacher's career really rejuvenated at 30. It seems odd that they should be so keen on Project Evi when there are a number of younger athletes who may never have the name value, and may not turn into world beaters or consistent top level athletes, but have more time on their side to develop into something better.
 
It's a family affair in Antholz, with Anton Shipulin following his big sister to victory. Another top name missed 7 shots and the pursuit - this time it was Simon Fourcade, who missed all 5 shots in prone, and presumably just gave up at that point - his time was only good for 99th place! Fourcade looked pretty tired after his performance; he had been in a very good spot after shooting 2 but lost a fair amount of time on the final skiing lap, not just to Svendsen but to Fak and Shipulin as well. Something that's interesting is that there has been some attention drawn to the altitude at Antholz, and how that makes it excellent preparation for Sochi (the XC/biathlon complex is at 1400m elevation at the games next year), however while you would expect altitude to have an effect on certain competitors, it is notable that many of the competitors who've done well so far are not the ones that went well at Pokljuka, which at 1350m is the nearest in altitude, however Pokljuka has some tough trails, so it will be interesting to see how tough they are at Sochi when they do the warmup event at the penultimate World Cup meet.

Also, with the Sochi games, Russia are off the World Cup calendar for next year, with the traditional opening pair of Östersund and Hochfilzen, and the traditional New Year block of Oberhof-Ruhpolding-Antholz, then the Games. The third World Cup will be at Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, a second attempt after the 2011-12 edition had to be rescheduled back at Hochfilzen due to a lack of snow (LGB is a fairly unique venue as well with its finishing line over a road, matching the finish to where Fränk Schleck won the 2009 Tour stage, so I presume that's a vaguely uphill finish), while the closing block will be Pokljuka, Kontiolahti and Holmenkollen. The Junior World Championships travel across the pond to Presque Isle, bearing in mind North America hasn't hosted the World Cup (and only one round of the IBU Cup, maybe 2? In Canmore) since Fort Kent in 2010-11.
 

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