Friday, December 16, 2011

Round and Round Rogla Goes

Rogla, Slovenia, has only hosted the World Cup once, back in 2009, when the venue ran classic mass-start races over 15k for the women (Kowalczyk, Bjørgen, Haag) and 30k for the men (Northug, Legkov, Vylegzhanin). Those races were interesting for at least three reasons: the new site, heavy attrition in the men's race (19 DNFs!), and some nasty racing among the women, with Saarinen getting DSQ'd for bumping hometown girl Majdic.

This year the races are interesting because the organizers only have one flat, 2,000 meter loop to use. This would be a complete disaster if they were trying to run the 15k/30k races from two years ago, but - luckily? - they've only trying to run 10k/15k events. How exactly that's gonna work is anyone's guess, but even given the medium-sized fields, I've gotta think that they'll need to pull skiers as they get lapped - mostly the SLO skiers. (Get it?)
The short loops might also mess with the usual suspects in both the men's and women's races. Without any serious climbs, I can't see people like Johaug putting the hurt on anyone. On the other hand, I've learned that it's foolish to bet against Northug ever. I'll be interested to see how this craziness shakes out.

Note: I won't be surprised if Randall finishes in the top 10, or even better. Seems like the tight quarters could be made for her, and she does have a good spot in the start grid - tenth.


Anonymous said...

"SLO" skiers? As in 'slow' skiers? Lame. You are expecting them to pull the juniors out, eh? I'd like to see you try and hang on to some of the best athletes in the world, and see if you can't get lapped. Heck, looking at your results, you'd probably have trouble trying not to get lapped by Minnesota j4's. Nice try at being funny.

Christopher Tassava said...

Sheesh, Anonymous. Did you get some klister stuck in your hair, or what? It was a bit o' wordplay. I couldn't pass it up! I am happy to be pack fodder, no bones about it. More than anything, I was just speculating on track management.