I have recently taken up watching World Cup races while commenting on the action, passing judgment on the participants, and drinking obscene amounts of coffee. Currently the distribution is fairly limited, ie to my Fantasy Nordic Skiing pool, (yes, it does exist), but I know more people enjoy World Cup action.
Enjoy! (or not...)
Please note, all times EST.
10.16 - A quick look at qualifying. 2 Canadaians get into the heats - Dasha 20th, Alex 30th.
Other notables include Kowalcyzk down in 8th, Andy Newell in 17th, and a whole lot of guys who can't sprint between 22 and 29. Angerer? Vylegzhanin? Veerpalu? Sundby?
In an odd turn of events, they're showing last weeks Oslo sprints on Eurosport in a replay before Stockholm.
I think I know what happens in the womens final. Oh and they're claiming its live.
Yup, Bjoergen STILL won.
Also, I think I just had some sour milk in my cereal - it really didnt taste that good.
Supposed to start in Stockholm, but Oslo men's final still to come.
If I miss the women's quarters again... free Eurosport will have some explaining to do.
Here we go, that looks like a city in Sweden.
OoooHH, Katja Visnar.
Couse profile - sick uphill finish. Those are awesome in classic sprints, striding is way better than double poling.
Brutal fight with my computer to get a feed.
But here we go.
No idea what heat we have.
But there's Muranen and Bjoergen.
And a couple of Swedes.
Sweet 180 degree turn at the bottom of a big downhill. Carnage central in the mens heats for sure.
Follis in this heat too, looking good actually.
But Muranen is in control coming up the last hill with Bjoergen on the outside.
Wow thats a monster climb to the finish.
Bjoergen and Muranen go through.
Hanna Falk was 5th, still struggling with her classic sprinting.
Women's Heat 4
Steffy Boehler - so hot, trust me, YouTube her
Hanna Brodin - who looks really built - those are BIG guns
Relaxed looking start from Zeller, which really screws her over. This is the World Cup, not some half-assed German club race, come on, get your sheet together.
Brodin is just cranking it out up the first hill. What a monster! Apparantly I have turned into Pierre MacGuire.
The three Swedes just blew everyone else out of the water, and have a huge lead.
Kuitenin making a comeback in the double-pole stretch.
Still a little bit off the back, but actually in it, unlike the Germans, who look pretty uninspired.
Epic battle between Brodin and Pajala, who has to switch tracks!
But its Brodin, and I think the annoucer said Pajala is for sure in the lucky loser spot.
Niskanen - rando Finn qualifies in 22nd?
Steira - havent seen her in a sprint yet this year, could be fun.
Other chick is Russian, and I'm assuming garbage.
Kowal gets out front in the double pole, edging out Saarinen in the corner.
Steira is struggling, which is not surprising, as she isn't a sprinter OR a classic skier.
Top of the first hill, its clear only Kowal and Saarinen are actually in this.
Kristoffersen decides to double pole out of the tracks... and is still really far back.
Kowalczyk and Saarinen easily make the next round.
Pajala and Kalla may be the lucky losers, if my understanding of the announcers is getting better.
Men's Heat 1
Alex Harvey! - look at that sexy suit
Roenning - good classic sprinter usually
Mats Larsson - won the qualifier
Hellner - he qualified 21st this time, so he doesn't have to always be the worst guy in his heat like Oslo
Peterson gets out to a rockin fast start
Andrew Jeffrey called....distraction from writing...
Alex is waaay back.
But its going to Larsson and Petersen getting through.
However, Hellner can't repeat last weekends heroics is the lesson to learn here.
Men's heat 2
Pettersen - the Norwegian version
Hattestad - Number 4 qualifier
Andy Newell - He has to be sharp today to get into the top 3 sprint points.
About 100 m in, and Ricardsson and Angerer are done, with Kruikov in control.
180 turn and Ricardsson goes down.
Double poling pace is super slow.
Now it picks up, snow flying everywhere.
Angerer has battled back, but Kruikov is in control bigtime.
Its all about the striding now on the last uphill.
Kruikov, Pettersen go 1-2. Hattestad made a brilliant quadruple lane change in an attempt to lunge past Pettersen, but no dice.
Newell ends in 5th, which has to be a disappointment.
Gloeersen - killed it last weekend, and was good in the classic city sprint in Drammen
Petukhov has his entire foot over the line, start gets recalled.
And here we go...
Modin out front up Hill 1, looking good.
Norwegians tucked in behind him.
180 degree turn, no carnage.
Modin is an epicly good double poler today.
Theres a russian right behind him into the finish..
Modin and Petukhov, despite a good hustle by Dahl.
Teichmann - this outta be funny
Jens Eriksson - never heard of him
Joesson - wearing his red bib, kinda good
Sundby - wow, he and Teichmann can ski a 50 km pace at the back.
Sundby has a killer start(???), right behind Joensson
And then fades up hill one, to go back and hang out with Teichmann
Joensson, Morilov and Cologna out front
180 degree turn, again no carnage. What am watching sprints for???
Joensson double poling out of the tracks, looks faster.
All six are back together, the pace must have dropped.
Cologna and Morilov are going to have a battle and a half here, because Joensson won't give up the lead.
Joennson is gone on the final straight, leaving only one spot open for a qualifier to the next round.
And Morilov outsprints Cologna, who just about gets eaten alive by a lunging Teichmann
Joensson and Morilov get into the semi's.
Veerpalu - looking really nervous, not surprised, cause i doubt hes done this before
Northug - pretty laid back
Brandsdal - racing well, looking good
Manificat - another distance guy gets into the heats
Northug cruises to the front, doubles poles the entire first hill! Does he even have classic skiis?
NO! Wow, he's going to need to hustle here.
And into the double pole, he's ripping, but Panzhinsky and Brandsdal aren't letting him get away yet.
But Petter goes again! 10 meter lead, 15 meter lead, and hes out of the picture.
SEEEEYAAAA - until the last uphill, when he's in trouble. Turns out that hill is kind of slow pure double-poling.
And hes getting reeled back in, but hes in the right track! Northug manages to eak out the win!
Panzhinsky gets through, as does Bransdal in the LL spot.
Video of Northug at the finish line talking to his coach - looks like he says he's not going to do that again.
Women's Semi 1
Visnar - who i didnt get to see in the heats
Olsson - the camera lingers awkwardly - oh right, she's retiring after this season, so its her last few races
jeez, Sweden, got enough chicks in this semi?
Visnar looks good out of the gate, gets out front.
Some Swede chick goes super inside line on the corner, looks really awkward.
Big spaces in this heat on the downhill.
180 corner no carnage because they're all about 5 meters apart.
Olsson out front, drops the pace
Final uphill, and its all Olsson out front.
Smutna and Andersson are dueling
But Smutna is way ahead, and gets across easily ahead of Andersson.
Olsson and Smutna go through.
Womens Semi 2
Again with the Swedes. And this heat is fricken STACKED.
Brodin is the only one without a WC podium this year, but she destroyed World Juniors, so I wouldn't count her out.
Expect awesome things.
TIGHT action around the corner, no one is going to walk away with this.
I'm rooting for Brodin.
Kowal out front into the double pole section, Ingermarsdotter right behind her.
Brodin making a play on the outside.
Wow, shes looking strong. Unlike Saarinen, who has checked out.
Last uphill, Kowalczyk looking good, Brodin not going to do it.
and Brodin and Bjoergen go through on LL spots.
Not too surprising considering the quality in this heat.
Mens Semi 1
Brandsdal - lucky losered his way through
Petterson - Norwegian version
Peterson - Swedish version
Peterson Sweden, has a hot start, stays ahead of the Russkies
Not sure where Larsson is going, he did a triple lane change to get to the inside.
Turns out it worked, he's out front by a few meters.
180 degree turn, everyone is in traffic except Larsson.
Who seems to be cruising
And then he turns out the jets, and Kruikov is the only one to respond.
They're a few strides clear of the rest on the uphill.
Larsson takes a look back.
Larsson and Kruikov go through easily.
Men's Semi 2
Man, this isnt going as fast as I thought, I still have to write an entire Rec 280 paper
Panzhinskiy - the announcer mentions the Olympics for the thousandth time
Northug - is he wearing classic skis?
Joensson - looking preeeetty confident
Hellner - got a lucky loser spot, he is also the luckiest sprinter alive
Shot of the crowd, including Indiana Jones
OOoh, Morilov wipes out on the startline. Thats going to hurt.
Northug still double poling, goes straight to the back on the first uphill.
Bad tactics on his part, everyone else has figured him out.
I guess when you have the WC overall wrapped up, you can do what you want.
Northug on the inside, poling past everyone.
The Swedes are hammer down in an attempt to keep up.
Northug does the same thing as last heat!!
Monster lead! Unreal! How do they let him do that??
They're reeling him in, but not fast enough!
He wins again, with Joensson right behind.
Modin and Hellner get LL spots into the final.
Hellner AGAIN! What a lucky loser. Ephasis here on LOSER.
Some goofy dressed up Swedish gaurds come out to the startline.
I assume this what they call 'culture'.
Going to be a gong show, still rooting for Brodin.
3 Swedes, looks like odds are good.
Brodin makes sure all 3 Swedes go side by side up the first hill, then fades a bit.
Olsson and Ingemarsdotter with a big lead.
Kowalczyk brings it back with a good double pole bit.
And goes to the front with the hammer down!
Last uphill, going to be close, Olsson looks like she might do it.
Olsson! So close! Just edges out Kowalczyk, while Bjoergen ends up third.
4 Swedes this time, smart money has one of them winning. But Northug might not agree.
I hope he put grip wax on his skis this time, just to screw with the other guys.
Again Northug is double poling only. Holy crap, does he not get tired?
Larsson is gone on the inside track, his striding is wild.
Swedes sitting 1-2-3
Until the double pole straight, and here comes Northug!
Kruikov has switched lanes about 100 times in the last 10 meters.
Northug does his standard hammertime, and Kruikov goes with him!
Northug is in trouble! The striders are right behind him and hes out of gas!
Kruikov goes by, and so does Joensson!
Its a three way lunge!
Kruikov won for sure, but Joensson and Northug are close.
Replay shows Northug did manage to get it.
The Swedes go 3-4-5-6, which has to be a disappointment.