Saturday, January 2, 2010

TdS: Shorter and Faster

The classic pursuits was great, great races - maybe the best races we've seen this winter so far. (Our friend at Nordicxplained recapped the races well, and posted video summaries of both Northug's incredible win and Kowalcyzk's slightly easier victory; Fasterskier's coverage of the men's and women's events is worth reading, too.)

The prologue and pursuit put Northug and Kowalczyk at the tops of their respective leaderboards, and I expect that to hold true through both Sunday's classic sprints (the first such events in the history of the Tour, amazingly) and Monday's freestyle sprints in Prague. The classic sprints are being run on a looping course that has a 180 soon after the start, a downhill left-hander, one 35m climb, and a shorter, sharper ramp about 100m from the finish. Picks for Oberhof:

1. Northug
2. Cologna
3. Legkov
Newell and Kershaw: semifinals; Harvey: quarterfinals

1. Majdic
2. Saarinen
3. Kowalczyk
Renner: quarterfinals