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Men's Giant Slalom 2/23/10

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm watching the men's giant slalom live on TSN.  http://www.ctvolympics.ca/video/TSN/index.html
The World Cup level skiers have all completed the first run and it is a very competitive race with only 0.6 seconds separating the first 8-skiers. 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Ted Ligety is in the 8th slot and Bode DNF (off-course).  He was way off the pace when he inclined into a gate, caught an arm, and the uphill ski slid out.  He skied off the course near the bottom.  He was never in the running.
Switzerland JANKA Carlo 1:17.27 0.00
Austria BAUMANN Romed 1:17.29 +0.02
Norway SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1:17.43 +0.16
Italy BLARDONE Massimiliano 1:17.47 +0.20
Austria HIRSCHER Marcel 1:17.48 +0.21
Austria RAICH Benjamin 1:17.66 +0.39
France RICHARD Cyprien 1:17.86 +0.59
United States LIGETY Ted 1:17.87 +0.60
Slovenia GORZA Ales 1:17.95 +0.68
Croatia KOSTELIC Ivica 1:18.05 +0.78

 
 



This race still has a long way to go, and watching the skiers from Iran and Greece doesn't seem to be changing the leaderboard.  
Edited by Cirquerider - 2/23/10 at 1:12pm
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Run 2 is starting now.  http://www.ctvolympics.ca/video/tsn/index.html?cid=viewersguide

The light is really flat and the snow is softened from above freezing temps.
post #3 of 17

Anyone know why all the races got a second run, rather than the top 30?

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Olympic rules.  All that finish get a second run.  If you're not in the top 30 its after the race is all over and the course is pretty well rutted.  We get to see second runs by racers from Iran, India, Pakistan and Jamaica this way. 
post #5 of 17

Hmm. I like FIS rules better.

Olympic rules really sucked today. Due to the sheer number of racers, they even sent the A racers out at intervals, Julia and Lindsey ended up on course together, and you know (or you will, if you aren't watching until tonight) how that turned out.

post #6 of 17
If by FIS rules you mean ... WC rules ... then okay.

Europa Cup is usually limited to the top 60 get a 2nd run, and "normal" open FIS races everyone (who finishes...) gets a second run. So. .. yeah.

That being said, the Olympics are about participation, so it makes sense for everyone to get a second run. Julia and Lindsey would have ended up on course at the same time even by WC rules, most likely ... they weren't in the A seed...they were starting in the late teens.

Ski racing consists of many variables, and nobody said it was fair.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was watching the event live, and JM really got messed up by the situation.  She was the 18ths starter and didn't get to complete her run until the 31st position.  By then the weather and course had really deteriorated.   The argument for re-running both runs is that the later racers did not have an equal chance, as very evident in their times.   The restart of Mancuso was a real mess.
post #8 of 17
Notes:

As bruins14sammy notes, FIS rules do contemplate having people beyond the top 30 get a second run, though you're allowed to cut it off. In your standard-issue FIS and USSA races, typically everyone who finishes gets a second run - as well they should, since there are FIS points to at stake for many of them. The World Cup cuts the racers off at 30. Kind of makes sense, I suppose, as the racers already have established FIS-point profiles, and WC points cut off at 30 anyway.

Being used to seeing these particular racers on the World Cup, I was also kind of thrown off to see 31, etc. running, but it makes sense after you think about it.

As for start intervals, it's totally normal to have two racers on course at once. The "standard" interval is 60 seconds, though the jury often shortens it to 40 seconds, and can go as short as 30 (in GS). In lower-level races, it seem pretty common to go to 40 or 30 seconds. Okay, sure, the results don't matter as much as the Olympic results, but on the other hand, the racers probably crash a bit more often. In deteriorating conditions, you might choose to go for shorter intervals to keep the playing field relatively level. Whether that was at play today, I don't know.

The only reason the jury is supposed to extend the interval longer than 60 seconds is to facilitate TV coverage. Those of us who've been involved in J4+ races may have occasionally seen intervals lengthened to avoid the problem of one racer being fast enough that (s)he catches the person ahead, but I hope that's less of an issue here.

The size of the field in the second run did not, of course, have anything to do with the start intervals in the first run. Note that the Olympic start list is about the same length as in an ordinary World Cup race. If anything, it might be slightly shorter. Of course, the field has relatively fewer really good Austrians and Swiss, and relatively more not-so-good Cypriots and Azerbaijanis. As I'm sure quite a few people here are all too aware, by the broader standards of ski racing generally, the Olympic fields are pretty small. In less exalted races, what with women and men typically running the same course, it's not odd to have well over a hundred people going one after another after another after another ....
post #9 of 17

Very good facts ^^^^^.  You can go longer than the standard, or shorter, but as SJJ notes the FIS rules suggest that the only reason to go longer is TV. From what I hear, they had real concerns with the weather, so they shortened up the planned interval, then did it again at bib 16. They wanted to get the run in, with the best they could work with. Really tough luck for Julia. Having to take a re-run, at that level, in that weather, with that surface, just sucks. She laid down a great run. My hunch is that would have been a top five run on a better surface. She's skiing very well again. Having two kids who have experienced a lot of highs and lows in this sport, I really felt for her. Hopefully she torches it tomorrow.

Race fields can be very big. And the conditions can be brutal late. For example, this weekend is the Middlebury Carnival. Best college skiers in the East. The GS is run on the same course, guys follow ladies. The women are GOOD, and they tend to trash the course with their own turn shape. Then the guys go, with an entirely different track being set. Even the very best guys have to deal with significant and odd ruts from the ladies.  Where they intersect.....big holes ad shelves get formed. So when the hundreth guy is on the course, he's probably the 30th guy, maybe a 35 point skier. And the course is trashed. Then the 70th guy, who may be a 50 point skier has real "interesting" conditions. Luckily in the East, a lot of these races are on rock hard snow on North facing hills. Middlebury got two feet of snow today, with another foot on the way tomorrow. Racing Friday. I think that's about as brutal as I see. I know guys who have started Europa Cups in the 80's....and that's no fun. Nor is your first FIS race with something close to bib 140. Start position is huge, and more important as you move up the ladder.

On a tangent, there's been discussion about whether LV really should be racing the GS, and the SL. Her GS needs a lot of work. Some think that she needs to get her skis dialed in, and possibly make more changes. She's not making GS turn shapes that will lead to podium finishes, and she's DNFing a lot. Evidently, the shin does hurt a ton, and I can't see racing the SL improving it. When she's skiing SL well, as she did last season, she's a threat. She's not skiing SL as well right now, and she's injured. She got her DH gold, which was huge. Next important prize is another overall WC globe and the DH globe {already has SG clinched}. Seven WC starts left on the calendar. Only one is SL, one GS. Four speed races and a SC. 

I would think the strategy is to be healthy, and to lock things up. With that schedule, everybody has pretty much conceded that it is hers. So beating herself with an injury, or further injuring the shin could be the only issue. I bet we don't see her race SL. The WC wraps up on March 13th {two weeks from Sunday}, so staying fit is important. The Olympics at her level is all about medals, and I don't see an SL medal on the horizon. I'm a fan, not her husband/coach, but I hope that they don't push the TV exposure and risk the big prizes over the next 20 days.
 

post #10 of 17
What type of ussa racer could do those courses 22+ seconds behind the leader? Like we saw with the Pakistani and Indian racers.
Lindsey broke her pinky in the crash.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-features/news/newsid=443869.html#vonn+crashes+mancuso+slowed
post #11 of 17
There is an "Eddie the Eagle" rule that says that you have to have less than 140 FIS points in the discipline to compete at the Olympics (at least in slalom and GS). So these guys arent terrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

What type of ussa racer could do those courses 22+ seconds behind the leader? Like we saw with the Pakistani and Indian racers.
Lindsey broke her pinky in the crash.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-features/news/newsid=443869.html#vonn+crashes+mancuso+slowed
 
post #12 of 17
140 is not that difficult to attain... Don't get me wrong, you have to be able to ski. But it's very easy to get to in a race where people are throwing points away. In GS and SL anyways. DH and SG are a little more difficult to attain, probably why you don't see many "exotic" skiers in the Speed events.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMAS29 View Post

140 is not that difficult to attain... Don't get me wrong, you have to be able to ski. But it's very easy to get to in a race where people are throwing points away. In GS and SL anyways. DH and SG are a little more difficult to attain, probably why you don't see many "exotic" skiers in the Speed events.

Yeah, it's become increasingly easy to get low FIS points since the advent of shaped skis: there's a far tighter bunching in the ranks than there was, say, 15 years ago.  And as said here, if racers go to a race or two where NCAA or national team skiers show up to juice up the points, then it's easy to meet the mark with a couple of decent runs. 

I know that a lot of folks made their way to FIS races out west in the spring for these things.  The soft snow makes for an easier time skiing the course, which can allow folks with questionable skill levels to attain (to my eyes) artificially low points (i.e. under more normal conditions, these racers would never get results that match such low points).  The same is true for races in New Zealand and South America, where the racers from up north are seldom in peak form at the races and tend to "give away" their points.

And as was also mentioned above, this isn't usually the case with speed events, which tend to be held in the deep of winter and penalize those with more suspect skills.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tog:

What type of ussa racer could do those courses 22+ seconds behind the leader?

The time differentials seen at the Olympics are likely a combination of:

  1. Artificially low points (as explained above).
  2. Pre-race jitters.
  3. Injected/treated snow.

If these racers got their points by racing on softer snow, racing on a treated/injected course is a rude awakening.  Such snow does not forgive questionable technique.
post #14 of 17
The times actually don't seem to be that wildly off the points.

If FIS points were perfect, 140 points would represent the ability to finish with about 16% of the time of the best racer in the world: divide 140 by the F-factor for GS (880) = 16%. In a 75-second race, that's about 12 seconds. But your FIS points are supposed to measure the best you can do, not what you typically do. They're based on your two best finishes.

Plus, for the reasons noted by songfta, there are a number of ways that your best can look a bit better than it is, particularly when you drop below the highest-level racers. In smaller races, you often get a few really good racers making gifts of low points; short, easy course, etc.

Incidentally, the last-place finisher in todays race was from alpine-ski-power Iran ... kind of curious what Iranian women ski-racers wear: speed suits seem fairly un-Islamic.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post



Incidentally, the last-place finisher in todays race was from alpine-ski-power Iran ... kind of curious what Iranian women ski-racers wear: speed suits seem fairly un-Islamic.

Normal speed suits ... women have come under some scrutiny in Iran for both their uniform but also because the movement of knees in skiing is "more like dancing than sport" ... okay ...

That being said, some great skiing in the mountains outside Tehran ...
post #16 of 17
I remember, way way back when the Shah was in charge, that Skiing did one or more features on skiing in Iran.

Google reveals that Iranian women ski racers do, indeed, wear speed suits (Spyder, in the photo I found).
post #17 of 17
I was at Creekside for the GS and believe me, the back of the pack guys were a long way from 140 FIS point skiers.  I know one of them was 50 years old, not that it has any bearing on FIS points, but age gets us all in some ways.  What was funny to me was that some of them skied ouf of the finish area on their "race" skis as far down the corrall as possible and then they popped their skis off, put them together without any ski straps.  One thing that I found really impressive was some of the top guys willingness to pose for pictures with the slower skiers.  I am more a fan of Cuche now than ever.  He did not have a great day or a great olympics, but what a nice guy and great attitude.
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