Prediction results Women 10 km Classic

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 28 Feb 2011@14:21

Very impressive predictions by fintopten who hit the jackpot in the womens predictions – all the Top 5 correct! He has a lead of 9 points on Magnus Mellbye Larsen in the predictions for the classic interval start races – Larsen put Longa in 5th instead of Lahteenmaki.  Prediction results are to be calculated for the womens and the mens race together – thus we have to wait until tomorrow for the final results for this discipline. It is still quite open after the women’s race.

In the overall World Champs 2011 predictions, Rauno has taken over the lead – 10 points ahead of Anders with Aaron Gaio in third shared with Ivan Banov.

Overall results after 5 races
# Name Total points Average points Min points Maxpoints # predictions
1 Rauno 1622 540 436 608 3 predictions
2 Anders 1612 537 400 700 3 predictions
3 Aaron Gaio 1591 530 436 648 3 predictions
4 Ivan Banov 1591 530 340 721 3 predictions
5 Mountainmums 1590 530 436 615 3 predictions
6 pally 1578 526 436 625 3 predictions
7 Christopher Tassava 1550 516 390 651 3 predictions
8 Roberto Dallavalle 1549 516 406 648 3 predictions
9 Roar 1539 513 406 671 3 predictions
10 Paul 1522 507 406 571 3 predictions

Race development: 10 km Classic Women

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 28 Feb 2011@14:08

Justyna Kowalczyk had a fantastic start – but Marit Bjørgen skied faster and faster, and finally took the victory after a fantastic finish! The only one faster on the last 3 km was Marianna Longa – Longa skiing right behind Bjørgen the last 3 km, and beating Bjørgen on the last few hundred meters. Kowalczyk obviously started to hard, and had only the 8th best time on the last 3 km!

In the above illustration, a flat line on a split means that an athlete is the fastest on a split. The splits are at 2.2 km, 7.7 km and 10.0 km (very few splits in this race, unfortunately – at the 30 km for men yesterday there were 25(!) splits). The steeper the line goes, the more an athlete looses on that split.

Some observations:

  • From 2.2 km to the finish, Kowalczyk was beaten by Bjørgen, Saarinen, Johaug, Longa, Lahteenmaki and Muranen. Kowalczyk obviously had a too tough start – but that was probably her only chance to beat Bjørgen based on what has happened earlier this season.
  • Saarinen had a very good last part of the race – and will be dangerous in the relay along with the other Finnish girls.

Take a look at the interactive graphical illustration yourself to understand more of the race development:

Split 1
1. 06:49 Justyna KOWALCZYK POL
2. 06:59 +00:10 Marit BJOERGEN NOR
3. 07:05 +00:16 Aino Kaisa SAARINEN FIN
4. 07:06 +00:17 Therese JOHAUG NOR
5. 07:08 +00:19 Anna HAAG SWE
6. 07:10 +00:21 Charlotte KALLA SWE
7. 07:11 +00:22 Pirjo MURANEN FIN
8. 07:11 +00:22 Marianna LONGA ITA
9. 07:13 +00:24 Krista LAHTEENMAKI FIN
10. 07:15 +00:26 Kerttu NISKANEN FIN
11. 07:17 +00:28 Kristin Stoermer STEIRA NOR
Split 2
1. 12:15 Marit BJOERGEN NOR
2. 12:17 +00:01 Justyna KOWALCZYK POL
3. 12:19 +00:04 Aino Kaisa SAARINEN FIN
4. 12:20 +00:05 Krista LAHTEENMAKI FIN
5. 12:21 +00:06 Therese JOHAUG NOR
6. 12:23 +00:08 Pirjo MURANEN FIN
7. 12:33 +00:17 Marianna LONGA ITA
8. 12:37 +00:21 Kerttu NISKANEN FIN
9. 12:39 +00:24 Vibeke W. SKOFTERUD NOR
10. 12:44 +00:29 Kristin Stoermer STEIRA NOR
11. 12:46 +00:31 Yulia TCHEKALEVA RUS
Split 3
1. 08:24 Marianna LONGA ITA
2. 08:26 +00:01 Marit BJOERGEN NOR
3. 08:26 +00:01 Aino Kaisa SAARINEN FIN
4. 08:31 +00:07 Krista LAHTEENMAKI FIN
5. 08:32 +00:08 Pirjo MURANEN FIN
6. 08:35 +00:11 Therese JOHAUG NOR
7. 08:37 +00:13 Kerttu NISKANEN FIN
8. 08:38 +00:14 Justyna KOWALCZYK POL
9. 08:40 +00:16 Vibeke W. SKOFTERUD NOR
10. 08:41 +00:17 Yulia TCHEKALEVA RUS
11. 08:42 +00:18 Kristin Stoermer STEIRA NOR

Prediction results World Champs Pursuit

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 27 Feb 2011@15:14

Many had Petter Northug on top in the mens pursuit today – but Vylegzhanin’s second spot was a bit more tricky, and nobody had predicted that Chernousov would take the third spot or Dolidovich the 4th spot. Thus really tricky in the mens class as expected. Best of all when looking at the men and women overall was Ivan Banov with 721 points ahead of Anders with 700 points.

In the overall World Champs 2011 prediction results, we have also got Ivan Banov in the lead ahead of Anders. The lead of Banov is 39 points – in third spot we have Rauno.

Classic 10/15 km: Here are the favourites – who do you think wins?

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 27 Feb 2011@15:00

There is only one race with interval start in this years World Championships in Cross Country skiing for men and women respectively- the classic 15/10 km races on Monday and Tuesday. Thus this is the big chance for skiers who have not got a fast finish sprint. It is also the only individual race in classic style, thus there is also a lot at stake for the classic specialists.

In the women’s class we have again got Marit Bjørgen as the big favourite, whereas it is more open in the mens class. Read on for an evaluation of the favourites – and follow the link below to set up your predictions.

Men – 15 km classic

The mens 15 km classic race is quite open – with 9 different skiers who have taken medals in the four classic distance races with interval start in the World Cup this year. In addition there are a few more who might climb all the way to the top of the results list based on how they have raced in earlier championships. These six may be picked as the big favourites:

  • Daniel Rickardsson.  Rickardsson’s series in the classic World Cup races with interval start this season is 3 – 21 – 2 – 1. This is the best in the start field, and thus  the Swede is definitely the big favourite. His performance in Drammen the weekend before this years World Championships started was exceptional - but some thought he might be too early in top shape. Rickardsson had a good start in the pursuit on Sunday, but lost time towards the end of the classic part. According to Rickardsson did not have top skis on the pursuit, though.
  • Dario Cologna. The Tour de Ski winner won the 10 km classic race with interval start in Kuusamo in November, and has two 4th places in classic races with interval start in the World Cup later on. It is difficult to beat Cologna in a classic interval start race when he is in top shape and he has good skis – can he take a gold medal in Oslo? His pursuit race was not as good as expected, but a 15 km classic interval start is something completely different. According to Cologna’s skis were also not perfect.
  • Eldar Rønning. The Norwegian won the 15 km classic race in Otepaa in January, and has been top 10 in all classic interval start races this year. His victory in Otepaa was impressive – and thus he must be counted among the absolute favourites.
  • Alexander Legkov. The Russian was fantastic at the start of the season – finishing 2nd both in classic interval races in both Kuusamo and Davos. His shape was not quite as good in Drammen, but in parts of the pursuit race it looked like he is back in shape for Oslo.
  • Lukas Bauer. Bauer was 3rd in Davos, but has not dominated the classic interval start races this year the way he has done previously.  The Czech was disappointed by his 10th place in the classic World Cup race in Drammen, and skipped the pursuit race to save power for the classic race on Tuesday. If Bauer finds his top shape he will be very difficult to beat in Oslo.
  • Martin Jonsrud Sundby. He looked like he was going to take the victory in Otepaa after a very good start – but lost a lot of time in the end and finished 7th. In Drammen his opening speed was a bit lower, and he held his pace all the way to the finish – finishing second behind Rickardsson. This strong Norwegian is definitely one of the skiers who can take a gold medal on this 15 km classic race.

In addition to these Petter Northug should of course not be forgotten. Classic races with interval start is his worst discipline, but he has previously shown that he can win such races as well. Update: Northug is not starting! There is also Alexey Poltoranin who won the World Cup race over 15 km classic in Davos in December. He has however not shown the same shape later on. Maxim Vylegzhanin should also not be forgotten – he took the 3rd spot in the classic World Cup race with interval start in Otepaa in January – and showed that he is in shape now by taking the silver on the pursuit. Finally, the Germans Teichmann and Filbrich can fight for the medals – and so can Jauhojärvi and Sedov.

The below table gives results of the top medal candidates from the classic interval races in the World Cup this year.

Name Kuusamo
2010-11-27, 10 km
2010-12-11, 15 km
2011-01-22, 15 km
2011-02-19, 15 km
RICKARDSSON Daniel 3 21 2 1
ROENNING Eldar 4 8 1 7
COLOGNA Dario 1 4 4
LEGKOV Alexander 2 2 11
VYLEGZHANIN Maxim 9 7 3 12
POLTORANIN Alexey 18 1 39 32
NORTHUG Petter jr. 13 8 3
TEICHMANN Axel 5 14 8
BAUER Lukas 23 3 10
FILBRICH Jens 6 9 18
BELOV Evgeniy 14 11 14 14
SEDOV Petr 13 14 6
HELLNER Marcus 12 33 4
Women – 10 km classic

Based on earlier results this season in classic races with interval start in the World Cup, one could just about give the gold and silver medals to Marit Bjørgen (Norway) and Justyna Kowalczyk (Poland) . Bjørgen has won all four races and Kowalczyk has finished second in all four races. However, anything can happen – some might start getting tired already racing their third race in the championships. The following are the biggest favourites:

  • Marit Bjørgen. The table below speaks for itself – Bjørgen has won all distance races she has started in this season – and thus she is the big favourite no matter from which angle you look at it.
  • Justyna Kowalczyk. Kowalczyk is just as big a favourite for the silver medal as Bjørgen is for the gold medal.
  • Therese Johaug. The Norwegian bronze medal winner from the pursuit race has two 3rd places from classic interval race in the World Cup earlier this year, and is one of the big favourites for the bronze in the 10 km classic in Oslo. There are however a few who want to challenge her for the medal.
  • Aino-Kaisa Saarinen has her strongest discipline in 10 km classic in her current shape, and took the 3rd spot in the classic 10 km race in Drammen the weekend ahead of the World Championships. The Finn lost some time in the classic part of the pursuit race, but that was partly due to non-optimal skis. Saarinen will surely give Johaug fight for the bronze – and might even climb even higher on a good day.
  • Petra Majdic. The Slovenian can race excellent classic interval start races if she has a top day. She has not shown very impressive shape lately, but don’t write Majdic completely off for a medal.
  • Vibeke Skofterud. The Norwegian has a 5th place from Otepää, and may climb all the way up to the medals on a top day. Not one of the biggest favourites, though.

In addition to these six, the two Swedes Anna Haag and Ida Ingemarsdotter should not be forgotten. Both can fight for medals in a classic interval start race. Nicole Fessel from Germany showed some impressive racing earlier this year, but does not seem to be quite in that shape now.

The below table gives results of the top medal candidates from the classic interval races in the World Cup this year.

Name Kuusamo
2010-11-27, 5 km
2010-12-11, 10 km
2011-01-22, 10 km
2011-02-19, 10 km
BJOERGEN Marit 1 1 1 1
KOWALCZYK Justyna 2 2 2 2
JOHAUG Therese 14 3 3 4
SAARINEN Aino- Kaisa 4 4 3
TCHEKALEVA Yulia 4 10 6 11
MAJDIC Petra 3 20 9 17
LONGA Marianna 9 5 6
SKOFTERUD Vibeke W 7 5 13
ISHIDA Masako 31 6 11 8
HAAG Anna 8 7 12
LAHTEENMAKI Krista 16 8 7
KALLA Charlotte 6 9
FESSEL Nicole 5 16 22
ROPONEN Riitta-Liisa 21 12 8

Prediction results Women 15 km Pursuit

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 26 Feb 2011@14:27

Impressive predictions by Roberto Dallavalle for the womens part of the Pursuit races: All the medals correct – and Longa and Kalla on the 4th and 5th spots interchanged! Prediction results are to be calculated for the womens and the mens race together – thus we have to wait until tomorrow for the final results for this discipline. It is still quite open after the women’s race – as many got the top 3 correct.

Race development Pursuit Women World Champs 2011

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 26 Feb 2011@14:10

Taking a look at a graphical representation of the race development for the 15 km pursuit at the World Champs in Oslo today, you can see just how good Bjørgen, Kowalczyk and Johaug were. Summing up the best times from each split gives a time which is only some 20 seconds better than Bjørgen’s winner time!

Note! Not all skiers are included in the graphical representation (e.g. Follis is missing) – as not all skiers are included in the official splits at all stations.

Some other interesting observations:

  • You can see how Aino Kaisa Saarinen tried to increase her speed from split 5 until split 8 – going away from Kalla. Saarinen even had higher speed than Bjørgen this period in the race – but it looks like it was too fast – as Saarinen broke down and lost a lot of time after this fast period.
  • Nicole Fessel looses quite a lot in the classic part, but does a very good skating part.
  • Kristin Størmer Steira tried to race away from her pack twice in the last part of the race, but was caught and lost quite a lot of time in the last part.

Take a look at the interactive graphical illustration yourself to understand more of the race development:

Pursuit: Here are the favourites – who do you think wins?

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 25 Feb 2011@14:13

The pursuit is the second medal discipline in this World Championships. Whereas the sprint was very open – there are two very big favourites in the pursuit: Marit Bjørgen and Petter Northug – both competing on home ground in Oslo. Can the home crowd carry them towards two more gold medals for Norway?

The interesting aspect of a pursuit race is that the first part of the race is in classic style – and the second part in free style. That means that the classic specialists will try to keep the speed as high as possible in the first part of the race to make the remaining field as small as possible.

Men – 30 km pursuit

We have four big favourites in the mens class:

  • Petter Northug. The Norwegian has his big strength in the last sprint, and can relax back in the field throughout the race with the knowledge that he can usually beat anybody on the last kilometer. That confidence is worth a lot!
  • Marcus Hellner – reigning world champion on pursuit – and also the winner on the World Champs sprint this year. Hellner is probably the one who has the biggest chances of beating Northug – but is Hellner hungry enough after the sprint gold?
  • Dario Cologna. The Swiss is always in the top – but seldom wins World Cup races. However, as he has showed in some cases he can deliver a top performance when it really counts. Can Cologna beat the Scandinavians?
  • Alexander Legkov. The Russian was extremely strong at the start of the season, but has not been that dominant lately. However, he has showed his potential, and if he is at his top, he will be very difficult to beat. Legkov will probably try to decide the race some kilometers ahead of the finish, to avoid the very last sprint.

In addition we have Daniel Rickardsson as an outsider. The Swede crushed everybody on the last classic races in Drammen a week ago. His strenght is classic skiing, but he has gotten better and better in skating this season. He is not among the top gold favourites, but it still will not be a big surprise if he takes it home! One should also not forget Lukas Bauer – although skating is not his best discipline Update: Lukas Bauer concentrated on the classic 15 km on Tuesday, and is not starting. Alex Harvey may also surprise everybody and get a medal – maybe even gold?

Women – 15 km pursuit

Among the women we have two very big favourites – Marit Bjørgen and Justyna Kowalczyk – but behind these two it is more open. If the field is together all the way towards the end, one of those behind might even manage to grab the gold in front of the two big favourites.

Here are the favourites in the womens class:

  • Marit Bjørgen. Has won all distance races this year – she has been so dominating that it would be a surprise if she didn’t take the gold medal.
  • Justyna Kowalczyk. The Pole is the World Cup leader after a great performance in Tour de Ski – and if Bjørgen would not have been on the start list, she would have been the big favourite.
  • Charlotte Kalla. The Swede is one of the skiers who may beat Bjørgen on a great day. Is Saturday February 26th Kalla’s day?
  • Aino-Kaisa Saarinen has been a shadow of her own self most of this year, but she showed last weekend in Drammen that she found her shape just in time for the World Champs. Don’t be surprised if Saarinen takes a medal – on a good day she might even go all the way?
  • Therese Johaug. This very strong Norwegian is not the fastest in the final sprint, but will surely be in for the medal fight.

In addition to these, we have Kristin Størmer Steira who might be fighting for the medals if she is fully fit from her injuries. Also, don’t forget the Italians, Follis and Longa.

Sprint predictions: Surprise Hellner victory made it tricky

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 24 Feb 2011@18:26

Of nearly 80 people setting up their predictions, nobody had guessed that Hellner would take the gold medal in the sprint today. In the womens class, Bjørgens victory was expected by most, but Kikkan Randalls fall in the quarterfinal was a disappointment to many – the American was a clear second choice among the XC predictors.

Tommaso Scalet hit best with the predictions – having Bjørgen and Jønnson on top. That gave 632 point – 17 points ahead of Alex Marchuk. Mamma came in third spot.

Sprint heat statistics World Champs sprint

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 24 Feb 2011@18:11

We had some very interesting results in the womens race today: The top six when looking at the sum of the heat times was exactly the same as the final results. Marit Bjørgen was extremely strong – racing with even time in each heat. Among the men, the winner Hellner had also the sum of the best heat times – shared with Hattestad. Looks like we got the right winners todayno matter how we watch it….

I am just on the bus on the way down from Holmenkollen, so that is all for now. No place in the media center for me, unfortunately:) Great athmosphere in Holmenkollen today!

XC Predictions: Ready for the World Champs!

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 23 Feb 2011@8:00

We are ready for the big highlight of the season – the World Championships in Cross Country skiing starting here in Oslo with the sprint tomorrow! Prediction are available for all individual races – and there will also be overall results like we had for the Tour de Ski. Set up your predictions – and fight for glory against many others! Are you the best to predict the results? Do you think Northug and Bjørgen will win it all – or will they be beaten on home ground?

Set up your predictions here:

Race Preview Sprint
  • The sprint among the men is probably one of the most open races in this years World Championships. There are a lot of skiers fighting for the gold medals – and many of them may actually get no further than to the Quarter finals. Among the gold favorites we have to include at least the reigning champion Ola Vigen Hattestad, the winner in Drammen last weekend Emil Jönsson, the Russians Petukhov and Morilov – and of course Petter Northug. I’d also count in Gløersen, Kershaw and Hellner to the absolute gold favourites. I’d say there is a 95% chance that the winner is among these 8 skiers. But there are others who might beat all these – and take the first gold medal for the men in this championships. I was very close to extending my gold favourite list with Alex Harvey who got second in Drammen. And what about the Italians with Pellegrino and Scola at the front? And the remaining Norwegians and Swedes? And what can Cologna manage here? It is going to be very exciting indeed!
  • Among the women the list of big gold favourites is a bit shorter – but it is still the most open discipline. Kikkan Randall has to be counted among the absolute favourites after her two victories lately. It is the “worst” discipline of Marit Bjørgen – but she is still one of the big gold favourites. Justyna Kowalczyk can win – but Follis might be an even bigger favourite. I’d give an 80% probability that one of those four take the gold. But don’t forget the Slovenians ; Majdic has been the big name, but Fabian and Visnar took the double in Rybinsk. Kalla, Caspersen-Falla (second in Drammen – impressive racing in each heat) and Brun-Li are also outsiders. And I guess I nearly forgot the Astrid Jacobsen in there. Really looking forward to this one as well!
  • First start for the qualification is at 13:30 CET
  • Startlists will be available here: Startlist men and startlist women
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