Friday, December 9, 2011

Davos Oddness

After some off-again on-again decisionmaking due to a lack and then a surfeit of snow in Davos, we're going to see some unusual events this weekend: long(ish) individual-start skate races. A 15k for women and 30k for men are being run over a big 7.5k loop that, as usual at Davos, is basically a long uphill to the halfway point and then a long downhill back to the line. It's not the mythical 30k/50k individual races at Holmenkollen, but it's close!

As pointed out in Fasterskier's excellent preview of the race weekend, the altitude - and the early point in the season - has historically made for some oddball podiums in shorter skate races (10k for women, 15k for men), such as Heikkinen and Khazova in 2009 and Poltarinin in 2010.

This year, I think the distance is going to matter even more, with proven long-distance skiers atop the results sheets. Cologna has won skate marathons, and on home snow, he'll be charging hard. (I'd peg Northug for the win, but I don't think he can concentrate for 30,000 meters of individual-start racing!) Johaug won the 30k skate at Worlds last year, and is going to get another World Cup win.


Anonymous said...

It was actually a 10/15km CLASSIC race last year, when Bjoergen and Poltoranin won. As far as the predictions go, don't bet on a Northug podium. Unless he latches onto a good train of skiers and he can just draft off of them, he is gonna have a hard time getting into the top 10. Of course, it's always possible he could win, but I doubt it, especially on a hard course like Davos, a 30km, AND an individual start.

Anonymous said...

I doubt any of the Norwegian men will be in the top 10 they always do poorly in Davos

Kieran said...

Avoiding Bjoergen for the top spot was not such a hot idea - she killed out there. And Northug made a mockery of everyone's predictions I think - who would have guessed he could put the hammer down for 30 k and kill a solid distance field by almost a minute.
Lesson I learned - predict Bjoergen and Northug first for the rest of reason - make up rest of podium randomly.

Anonymous said...

I really hope some other women can challenge the Norwegians soon. I don`t think this kind of domination is good for the sport. I mean i`m Norwegian and its getting boring for even me to watch.

I was shocked by Northug and the rest of the Norwegian mens team i didn`t think any of the would be top 10 and if non of the ended up in the top 20 i would not have been surprised.