Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stockholm Sprints Live Recap

Apparently all the cool kids do live coverage now, but I swear I didn't know FS was doing it when I started watching my illicit NRK steam. This internet business is getting intense.. I'll see your live blog and raise you a... um... live recap? With more typos? Who knows. Anyway....

Women's quarters were totally predictable until --

Petra's quaterfinal -- she put her tips straight into Natsumi's tails and went down when Natsumi slipped a bit. Totally her fault, but she got back to the front and advanced like the animal she is. Impressive.

Next quarter, my #5 pick Lina A took the holeshot only to get overrun into the corner with too much traffic around -- got spun by her own teammate Anna Olsson... since she's not Petra, that was the end of her chances.

Onto Men's heat 1 -- Joensson took the risk trying to get follow Hattestad to the line while Pettersen had his own track, but Joensson held him off by half a boot. If Hattestad had slowed at the end he could've let his teammate through by blocking Joensson just a bit...

Heat 2 has both Americans, Cologna and Dahl. Cologona leads over Dahl, Neweel at the corner of doom. Down the stretch those 3 drop everyone else and hit the hill 3-wide... andy looks good! Koos over Cologna for 3rd! A rare case of Andy having a better heat than qualifier, and Koos is now a lucky loser.

Heat 3 has Alex Harvey, Modin, Kjoelstad, Pasini... aw crap my media player crashed. We're back in time to see Kjoelstad ski away ahead of Modin. Fast heat though, knocks Koos out of LL I believe. Alex Harvey was sixth.

Heat 4 has Lassila, Onda, Jahojaervi, another Pasini (guess the last one was Fabio), Mats Larsson. Big gap from Lassila over the top with Onda 2nd at the corner. Lassila looks wicked relaxed at the front, almost like he's waiting for them. Onda in pursuit with Jauho and Scola Lassila and Onda kill the last hill to advance easily. Lassila managed to take his skis off as he crossed the line, now that's style! ...or something.

Heat 5 -- Big opening for Northug here with Cologna eliminated. He'll face Kruikov, Kummel, local Swede Teodor Peterson, Petukhov, Kershaw. Let the record show that Petter's haircut sucks. Northug and local Swede go for the same track, lots of contact but no fall. Kummel and Petukhov lead the first hill, Kershaw at the back with Northug, it's gonna take some work for them to get to the front. Tightening up now, only Kershaw is dropped. Final hill.... Northug in trouble.... Kummel looking good with Kruikov... slow heat and NORTHUG IS OUT in 4th! Same place as Cologna! LL's will come from Heat 2 and 3, Scola and Roenning

Women's Semi 1: Muranen, Saarinen, Kowalczyk, Brun-Lie, Kristoffersen, Kalla (LL). Saarinen has the Northug glasses on, which is annoying me more than it should. Saarinen and Muranen lead the first hill, Brun-Lie 3rd. Kowalczyk is waaaay back, what the hell happened?? The two Finns are flying away now on the backstretch. The Norwegians are 3rd and 4th. Kowalczyk to the B final opens the door for Majdic, not that she needs a door, she could just smash through the wall if necessary.

Women's Semi 2: Olsson, Kuitenen, Prochazkova, Visnar, Stehle, Majdic. Two Slovenians! Crazy. Kuitenen, Majdic and Olsson lead the hill. Prochazkova is way back with Visnar on the corner, they're toast against a heat this fast. Sachenbacher is hanging though. Petra leads the double pole ahead of Olsson, Kuitenen. Kuitenen getting dropped now! On the final climb Olsson and Majdic are in control easily, Sachenbacher passes a flagging Virpi though... and then they are both LL's anyway.

Men's Semi 1: Hattestad, Dahl, Modin, Newell, Joensson, Roenning. Tough draw for Andy, but there really aren't any easy draws in the semis.. 3 Norwegians and 2 Swedes though, yikes. Wait... Scola just got swapped for Roenning just before the gun. Surprise! Slow start from Hattestad, Dahl and Modin lead with Newell close. Hattestad slipped a bunch on the hill, hmm. He's only up to 4th on the double pole... Newell 5th... Dahl and Joensson looking good. Here comes Hattestad! But not in time, Dahl/Joensson/Hattestad/Modin. Newell 6th, him and Scola really dialed it back at the end.

Men's Semi 2: Lassila, Kummel, Kruikov, Kjoelstad, Onda, Roenning (for real this time!). Once again Lassila with the hole shot, looking comfortable. Maybe it's just hit upright style, but he looks like he's not even trying. Kjoelstand and Kummel follow, Kruikov at the back. All 6 together halfway through the double pole. Kjoelstad and Lassila will hit the final hill first... Onda and Kummel are toast... Roenning and Kruikov throw for 3rd and both are LL's. Lassila has looked amazing so far, he's totally in control. this race is his to lose. Hattestad is out now, btw, this will be his worst finish of the season.

Women's B final. Kalla, Kowalczyk, Brun-Lie, Prochazkova, Visnar, Kristoferssen (rolling up her sleves on the start line, guess this is serious now). Kalla and the Norwegians go 3-wide through the corner o' doom. Kalla's on the front now, she wants this one. Kowalczyk and Prochazkova are close enough too. Visnar is done. Brun-Lie and Kalla pull away at the base of the hill... Brun Lie pulls away! Kowalczyk charges up the outside but can only get 4th behind Kalla and Prochazkova, finishing 10th overall. That's what, 29 WC points? Big trouble for her with Petra poised for 100 in just a minute.

Women's final: Kuitenen, Saarinen, Olsson, Majdic, Muranen, Sachenbacher-Stehle. Saarinen gets the holeshot over Majdic with Olsson and Muranen close. Majdic gets squeezed out on the corner, probably a bit gunshy from her quarter. But then she lays down the big double pole to get back on terms at the front. Another near-incident with Muranen though! No stabbings, but they both want to I think. Final hill is led by Saarinen with Majdic alongside. Petra is just too much for anyone else in classic... wow... wins big even when she looks bad. Saarinen, Olsson, Muranen follow. No finish-line yelling this time from Muranen. Kowalczyk drops another 71 points on the overall and will need some huge performances in Falun to close the gap now.

Mens' B final, Kummel, Modin, Newell, Onda, Scola, Hattestad. Gotta like Hattestad here, although maybe he's ready to bow to the crowd at the back given that he's wrapped the title up. Let's see if Andy has any fight left in him... Hattestad leads it out, he's not messing around. Four abreast over the top of the hill! Newell is there. The corner is tight with Scola barely staying up. Hattestad followed by Newell followed by Modin. Newell pulls alongside Hattestad, that's brazen! Kummel now 3rd. If Newell can challenge Hattestand I take back everthing I said earlier. Wow! Scola comes around everyone and kills the hill! Only Hattestad can respond! Once they switch to double pole, though, Hattestad locks it down for the win as expected. 3rd from Newell, good effort. Crazy speed from Scola at the end of the double pole/start of the hill.

Men's Final! Joensson, Kjoelstad, Kruikov, Lassila, Dahl, Roenning. Roenning hasn't made a top two in any heat, yet here he is. With Hattestad missing, Dahl and Lassila are the big favorites. Once again Lassila drills the start and leads the hill with Kjoelstand next to him. Holy crap, Lassila is only double-poling! He's shaking his thigh! He has a cramp?? Dahl and Kjoelstad are all over him now! Roenning goes past! Kjoelstad Dahl Roenning Joensson across the line, Kjoelstad by a mile! Kuikov 5th, Lassila 6th. WOW. Lassila can barely stand on his leg, he's crumpled at the finish line. Kjoelstad was so shocked to win a classic sprint, he ski threw despite having a 1.6 second lead. Love it.


Anonymous said...

Stockholm sprints are part of World Cup Final, so only 50 points for Majdic (along with 60 bonus seconds) and 26 to Kowalczyk (34 bonus seconds). The gap is now 115 points, but with 350 points left in Falun everything is still possible.

Anonymous said...

The WCP rules are complicated. NOt brain-busting, but hard to track on the fly. Here are the FIS's "World Cup Final Rules in Brief." Interestingly, Hattestad's points today are only provisional: he has to finish the entire WCP to get them. Not that he needs them for the sprint title (which he already won), but he might like 'em for the overall, where he's still third. (I think.)

ADS said...

You guys are really pulling away. I gotta pull up my socks. My girls picks are usually pretty right on, but the men are so hard to predict. The talent pool is so much deeper.

Colin R said...

ADS -- it's really just Chris crushing both of us. I'm only 5 points ahead of you or something. If only Lina hadn't been taken out by her own teammate....!