Sunday, December 5, 2010


The team sprints at Düsseldorf were fine events, lemme just say. The Italy I duo of Genuin and Follis led from wire to wire in the women's event, giving Follis her second win of the weekend. Norway I - Brun-Lie and Falla - eked out a frankly unimpressive second place, just ahead of Canada's Gaiazova/Crawford team, which finished in a shock third after Slovenia's anchor, Visnar, tripped over her own pole on the finishing straight. Follis and Genuin outclassed everyone in positioning themselves as one of the favorites for the team sprint at Oslo, though that race will be run in classic. Depending on whether Bjørgen races the TS, and on who composes the Swedish team, Italy could be on the top step of the podium.

By my count at least five of the ten teams in the final crashed at least once, with Visnar's self-inflicted tumble being the most significant. A slow-mo collision between the Finnish and Swedish team in the exchange zone was the most entertaining, with some shouting and pole-swinging.

The men's race was comparatively cleaner, with (in my viewing) no serious crashes until the last S-turn before the "downhill" to the finish. There, Germany II's Wenzl, running in first, moved hard to the inside of the turn, trying to fend off Norway I's Dahl, who was trying to sneak past along the barriers. Elbows rubbed, shoulders bumped, and Dahl's ski went under Wenzl's, bringing them both down.

Everyone else zoomed by, setting up a sprint that Norway II's Gløersen took by a toe ahead of Sweden I's Jönsson, with Italy I's Hofer taking third. Amazingly, the Russian teams of Kriukov/Parfenov and Petukhov/Morilov went five and six, fading badly on the last lap (and finishing behind Austria [Austria?]). As the sprint was decided 400 meters away, Wenzl and Dahl discussed their situation. Great stuff - setting things up nicely for Oslo, where I'll be shocked if the Germans figure.


Anonymous said...

I don`T see why the Germans won`t figure in Oslo i mean arguably the there will be less competsion there, seeing as there will not be any Russia 2 Sweden 2 Norway 2 etc.