Friday, February 18, 2011


The Oslo Worlds are less than a week away, just the other side of the last tune-up races at Drammen, Norway. Not the familiar (and, frankly, awesome) city-center sprints of the last few years, this year's events are being held at the Konnerud winter-sports park just outside Drammen.

The stakes are high, of course. The Czech head coach Miroslav Petrasek - who has some decent skiers on his squad - said, "You don’t have to win but if you are not in top ten, you can forget a medal from the Worlds. Top shape won’t come in a week." On the other hand, a commentator for Norwegian TV finds that doing too well just before Worlds means you probably won't be in the right form to win there:
In front of the last eight championships (Olympics and World Championships) has the winner of the general test of distance has never been an individual gold medalist. The last one was able feat in the men's side was Mika Myllylä. He won both the final race before the World Championships in Ramsau in 1999, and became king of the tournament with three gold and a silver individually.
So let me curse some skiers with my predictions over at XC Predictions for the Drammen distance events - 10/15km interval-start classic races:

In addition to these ten racers, I'd add the following athletes to the pool of skiers whom Petrasek would see as possible distance-event winners in Oslo:

Petter Northug
Devon Kershaw
Alexander Legkov
Maxim Vylegzhanin
Tobias Angerer

Arianna Follis
Marianna Longa
Charlotte Kalla
Krista Lahteenmaki
Astrid U. Jacobsen

It'll be interesting to see if Petrasek and/or the NRK blogger is right - that the top 10 at Drammen will supply the medalists at Oslo, but the the Drammen winners won't be on the podiums at Oslo.


statisticalskier said...

I wonder if Bjoergen wins tomorrow whether that norwegian commentator will boldly predict that she's not likely to win any gold medals at WSCs?

WorldofXC said...

I'm quite sure the Norwegian commentator will say that she'll win 2-3 Gold medals in Oslo no matter what happens in Drammen today. They really believe in Bjørgen now, as actually I do as well:) But Kowalczyk will be strong - going to be exciting!

Anonymous said...

Please don't refer to Mika Myllylä as the king of the tournament in Ramsau. Knowing what we now know, there's not a trace of a doubt that he was doing more dope than Charlie Sheen.
I've let it go, but he's not the king of anything.

Anonymous said...

It was, of course, Jann Post (i.e. the guy who blogs for NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Company) who referred to Mika Myllylä as the king of Ramsau.

And FWIW if a Norwegian can bear to call him that, so should you, too:-)

Besides, if you had been around in 1999 and heard the Finns bitterly complain about how they had missed the boat on plasma expanders, you'd possible have a trace of a doubt...