Tour de Ski XC-Predictions: Stage 2

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 29 Dec 2011@19:21

More than 170 people set up their tips for Stage 1 of Tour de Ski. The best predictions were made by Sofia with 712 points – ahead of tolsrav with 703 points and Piots with 693 points.

Stage 2 Preview

The second stage of Tour de Ski 2011/2012 is the 15/10 km Handicap start in Oberhof – based on the Prologue results. The time distances are quite small, and there will probably be several big groups forming in the race. If there is snowfall during the race, there might be even more grouping.

There are some significant gaps in the start of the startlists due to the bonus seconds. In the mens class, Petter Northug starts 6 seconds ahead of Dario Cologna with Manificat 14 seconds down and Hellner 20 seconds down. Behind Hellner it is tight, with Chernousov, Harvey and Legkov at 22 seconds, Morilov at 23 seconds and Vylegzhanin at 24 seconds. Within the next 16 seconds there are another 40 skiers!

We will probably see Northug “waiting” for Cologna – and while Cologna might try to keep the speed up, Northug will probably want to save his energy, and a more probable development is that Manificat and maybe also the “Russian group” will chase down the leading duo.

In the women’s class, Kowalczyk has a lead 5 seconds ahead of Bjørgen with Brodin 14 seconds behind, Lilja-Sarasova and Kristoffersen 19 seconds behind and Roponen, Saarinen, Korosteleva, Kalla and Randall 22 seconds behind. In the next 25 seconds there are another 40 skiers. Note that Johaug is 27 seconds down.

The chances of the leading duo – Kowalczyk and Bjørgen – getting a significant lead on the rest of the field is a lot larger among the women. This might even be the deciding factor for the Tour de Ski. Can Johaug get close enough to be in touch with them?

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