Friday, November 23, 2012

Back to the Snow!

The Nordic Commentary Project has been quiet for a looong time now, but with the World Cup opener at Gallivare now less than a day away, it's time to get back to the half-informed commentary, the half-sensible predictions, and the halved fandom (half for the U.S.A., half for Canada). I made these guesses for Saturday's distance skate races at the XC Predictions site:

But beyond those two races, I'm interested in at least these eleven storylines for the upcoming season:
  1. Will Northug and Bjorgen repeat their World Championships domination at Val di Fiemme in February? (My guess: no.)
  2. Can Kikkan Randall win the sprint championship again this season? (Yes!)
  3. Will Liz Stephen make the jump up to elite status this year? (Yes.)
  4. Will the men's overall World Cup be the usual two-horse race between Northug and Cologna? (Yes, unfortunately. Cologna will win again.)
  5. Can Northug win the Tour de Ski this year? (No, he'll be too focused on the Worlds.)
  6. Can Johaug win the Tour de Ski this year? (Yes. She's just some decent sprint results away from the title.)
  7. How much doping will we find out about this season? (Very little, but it'll be in the usual team.)
  8. How will Devon Kershaw do this year? (Just about as good as last year.)
  9. How will Alex Harvey do this year? (Really well - top five overall.)
  10. Will Kowalcyzk race her face off again this year? (Yes.)
  11. What can we expect from Lukas Bauer racing in the marathon Cup this year? (Dunno! He could be great, or it could be a waste of time.)