Friday, January 1, 2010

Tour de Ski Prologue Picks

The Tour de Ski prologue was as interesting as I hoped. In the women's race, Petra used her sprint power to take a convincing victory by 2.1s over Korosteleva and three times that much over Kowalczyk. Miriam Goessner of Germany held the top spot for a long time and eventually wound up a surprising fifth, with Arianna Follis in between. Petra's gonna be great in the classical pursuit tomorrow. In the men's race, Northug confirmed his form with a narrow 0.8s victory over Marcus Hellner, 2.0s up on Teichmann. Italian Loris Frasnelli - my choice for best-named non-Estonian racer on the Tour - slipped into sixth, just behind Cologna, who's obviously in good shape, and Shiraev, who has temporarily replaced Legkov as the bEst-PerfOrming Russian.

Recapping my picks and the actual finishers:

men's 3.7km freestyle prologue
1. Northug - Northug
2. Legkov (actual: 9) - Hellner
3. Teichmann - Teichmann

women's 2.8km freestyle prologue
1. Nystad (12) - Majdic
2. Kowalczyk (3) - Korosteleva
3. Follis (4) - Kowalczyk

Tomorrow's classic-technique pursuit races - 10k for women, 15k for men - will be run over the same course as today's races and seeded according to the finishes in the prologue. Northug will have a six-second head start on Hellner, +12s on Tiechmann, +17s on Cologna. Only a great classic skier will be able to catch him (Teichmann, Cologna, maybe even Bauer at +22s or Legkov at +25s), but no one will be able to make it stick. Petter should lead the TdS from wire to wire. In the women's race, Majdic has +7s on Korosteleva, +16s on Kowalczyk. The Russian will drop back, not preferring classical races, but I expect the Pole to come up at challenge Majdic for the win. Picks:

men's 15m classic pursuit (handicap start)
1. Northug
2. Cologna
3. Teichmann

women's 10m classic pursuit (handicap start)
1. Kowalczyk
2. Majdic
3. Saarinen (coming up from 6th, +30s)


Carrie said...

Best times in the handicap start

1. Longa
2. Saarinen
3. Kuitunen

1. Johnsrud Sundby
2. Vylegzhanin
3. Rønning

Anonymous said...

Best time in the handicap start does not really mean that much.

I mean a skier like Northug will not try to get the best time as it would not be in his interest.