Friday, November 21, 2008

Gaellivare Picks

The World Cup season kicks off in about twelve hours with the 10/15km skate races in Gaellivare, Sweden. course map

My picks:

women's 10km freestyle
1. Marit Bjorgen
2. Charlotte Kalla
3. Claudia Nystad

men's 15km freestyle
1. Axel Teichmann
2. Tobias Angerer
3. Lukas Bauer

(Aside I: Compare these to a Swede's top-five picks...)
(Aside II: Why is Anders Soedergren not racing? [Later answer: he's having an operation that - if the online translator can be trusted - will remove a possibly-cancerous testicle. Jeebus. Get well soon, Anders! (Will this improve his sprinting? His power-to-weight ratio should improve, no?)])
(Aside III: Both Devon Kershaw and Kris Freeman will finish in the points.)


Luke S said...

the swedish translation sure is interesting. Ouch on those mens predictions, with the women you got 2/3...the men...Angerer in 30th? Bauer in 9th? Teichmann in 17th or so? Freeman and Kershaw both had good races though, 20th and 24th, I think. Looking like a fun season. Is Hellner the real deal? and who is this Tom Reichelt in 4th?

Luke S said... was your experience with Universal Sports? I had some issues with them, most notably an iffy stream and the fact that it shifted the screen over so I only had a half-screen view

Christopher Tassava said...

Yeah, a total whiff on the men! One race is too early to make a real call on Hellner, but I won't be surprised if he wins races all year long or if he doesn't reach the podium again.

I didn't get to watch the races live, but I'm going to check them out tonight, I hope. I did get to see the highlights, though, and it appears that Piller Cotter tried to throw his ski from about three times further than he should have. Had he poled once or twice more, maybe he'd have eked out that 1.5 seconds he needed to win... On the other hand, Kalla just crushed everyone else. I'd put both real and fantasy-league money on her...

Christopher Tassava said...

Hellner's win reminds me of this great piece on a few years ago:
"Magnus Hellner (20) is one of several very talented young Swedish skiers. Now he wants to start challenging, and beating, Norwegian Petter Northug. The Swedish skier is one year older than the very successful Norwegian who won four gold at junior Worlds and a World Cup race last season! - I’m going to crush him, at least a few times next winter, says Hellner when asked if he can beat Northug next season."