The Baggy Bib Edition from Nové Město
Nové Město, Czech Republic served up a traditional rock'em sock'em pursuit series on the World Cup. Saturday featured a 10 k/15 k interval start skate, followed by a 10 k/15 K classic pursuit. Bolshunov and Johaug were the clear fitness outliers but some great races within the race unfolded. And yes, how about those big baggy bibs? Part art-class smock part moo-moo, it was not a good race look. But we digress. To break it all down, former Canadian National Ski Team member Jess Cockney joins Devon for the show.
20 Jan 2020
The Festivities on the Alpe (Stage 7 TdS)
Holy smokes. It concludes. First off, for those who have listened to this seven-episode post-TdS run, we appreciate it.And there was the racing. Johaug. Weng. Diggins and Brennan in form today on the Alpe, and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen in seventh overall. For the men .... Johannes Høsflot Klæbo faded on the Alpe while Alexander Bolshunov came into his own.We could digress. But we'll leave that for the podcast. Ciao.
5 Jan 2020
Stage 6 Ski Tour 2020: Waxing for Hell or High Water
Stage 6 of the Ski Tour 2020 was, by any stretch of the imagination, a steamroller for Norway. A clean sweep on the men's and women's podium. On the men's side, that's not exactly what we expected. Russia's Alexander Bolshunov looked like a sure thing for the overall win. A 30 k classic for the twenty-three-year-old, I mean who would have predicted anything different? The weather was all over the place. As Devon has said several times, the weather in Trøndelag can be a mix of everything unpleasant. And that's the way it was. Big flakes of snow fell during the men's race. Let's just say that the klister on the Russian's skis didn't synch with the precipitation. Good on Johaug for her near clean sweep, she won five of six stages, and Pål Golberg and his wax techs scored a big one for the home crowd in Trondheim.
24 Feb 2020
Stage 4 Ski Tour 2020: Lung Busting Across the Norwegian Countryside
The race ended where it began: Stage 4 of the Ski Tour 2020. In between, it was 34 k mass start skate bliss through the Norwegian countryside for those watching from home. For those racing on course, it was not such a comfortable vibe. Pain cave anybody? We discuss the unstoppable Johaug and an Alexander Bolshunov who sent it ... and stuck it, as he made a one-skier-show of the front of the race. Of course, there's some chit chat in there too. Thanks for listening.
20 Feb 2020
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Stage 5 Ski Tour 2020: Championship Style Classic Sprinting
A full-on championship course in Trondheim, Norway where the World Championships will go down in the mid-2020s. That's a long way off. This much was true: the venue, like this tour, has been kind to Norway. Maiken Caspersen Falla and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo pleased the home fans. And yes, with all the fans, it seems this might be a venue to revisit in the near future. One more day, a Stage 6 15 k/ 30 k classic pursuit to go.
22 Feb 2020
Lenzerheide Sprint Showdown (Stage 2 of the TdS)
Moving on from picturesque Lenzerheide, Switzerland. With two days of racing, the leaderboards are shaking out for the men and women. In this Tour de Ski episode, we break down the day's skate sprint, pay homage to Jessie Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen, and bow to the sprint king Klæbo.
29 Dec 2019
Classic Sprint Val di Fiemme Style (TdS Stage 6 Recap)
A bit of moving day on the women's side today as Stage 6 of the Tour de Ski concluded. The biggest mover, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen eeks within three seconds of Therese Johaug for the overall. So much drama set to unfold tomorrow. And then there's Lampic and Diggins on the podium.For the men, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo ran away with the win. But the Alpe Cermis on Stage 7 could crush the young man -- or maybe just the pace set by Sergey Ustiugov and Alexander Bolshunov will be enough. For sure it will be a showdown.The Stage 6 rundown is ready for your listening pleasure.And thanks for sticking with us this entire Tour.
4 Jan 2020
From Oberstdorf with Love -- Day 1 Skiathlons
Next season the 2021 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships will be hosted by Oberstdorf, Germany. On Saturday, the women raced a 15 k skiathlon, the men 30 k on what is now a gut-punch of a course. It is championship-worthy.In today's episode, we cover all the striding, all the gliding, and the ski-exchanges in between. Bolshunov remains on form after the TdS, while two notable Norwegians, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Emil Iversen appear to be in a distance funk: both posted a DNF today as they pulled from the race. More pleasant news, father time has smiled on Martin Johnsrud Sundby who missed the podium by a fraction and Dario Cologna who raced to a top-ten.For the women, well, it was Johaug. But not by much. The top end of the field kept her within sight. It was good chase-them-down skiing on the women's side. And yeah, we discuss the down day for the Americans who have us conditioned for podium expectations.Thanks for listening.
25 Jan 2020
Old School Davos
In this episode of The Devon Kershaw Show it is all things Davos. While the glam Swiss valley boasts mountain scenery, and a fusion of traditional Swiss cowbell and high finance, in many ways it remains decidely old school. Among other things, we discuss what some say is an outdated Davos distance course and the killing it Swedish women's team-- in particular, women's sprint winner, twenty-year-old Linn Svahn. We'll be releasing a mid-week episode where we chat about last week's WADA decision to ban Russia from major international competitions for four years.Thanks and you can find The Devon Kershaw Show on iTines and Google Play. The link to subscribe is on the embedded audio player below.
16 Dec 2019
So Long Toblach, Hello Val di Fiemme (Stage 4 recap)
Stage 4, a 10 k/15 k classic pursuit in Toblach, Italy saw Johaug retain the overall lead for the women, and Bolshunov snag the yellow leader's bib from Ustiugov. On a tricky classic course with steeper hills than Stage 3's skate loop, big efforts took their toll. Kershaw lays it out and discusses the winners and the faders from the day's stage. The Tour takes a rest day tomorrow as Val di Fiemme awaits for the last three stages.
1 Jan 2020
The mail is delivered
In this episode, Devon answers questions ranging from how World Cup athletes maintain in season fitness to why in fact relays don't end with a classic leg. Fell free to send in questions regarding the World Cup to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. This week's post-racing recap will be posted on Monday following the weekend's racing in Nové Město.
17 Jan 2020
Round and Round with the Dresden Team Sprint
We are corrected in this episode: we try to be better Francophiles by improving our pronunciation of the weekend's stand out performer on the men's side, Lucas Chanavat. We also dig down and find the fun in Sunday's team sprint in Dresden. With a whirlwind 0.7 k loop, and each skier racing six legs, it was basic sprinting fun. Thanks for listening.
12 Jan 2020
The Lenzerheide Low Down: Stage 1 of the TdS
Stage 1 of the 2019-2020 Tour de Ski is final. With two distinct shows during the Lenzerheide, Switzerland men's and women's mass start races, the seven-stage TdS narrative has the intro chapter written. Therese Johaug for Norway looks prepped for the distance race sweep, whereas the men's side has several skiers playing for keeps. On second thought, maybe it's not that simple after all. They've got six stages to go.
28 Dec 2019
Weathering the Storm in Planica
Yes, the sprint skiers put on a show this weekend in Planica, Slovenia. With a pure skate sprint weekend - both an individual and team sprint were on tap -- speed and dicey conditions were a highlight. But perhaps, it took a supporting role to the weather. Day one featured a green-brown and rainy template peppered with bountiful bolts of lightning. The racing was postponed for a bit of time. Sunday was a winter wonderland: big puffy snowflakes fell down...a winter gift from the weather gods.In this episode, we talk racing, attendance at cross-country World Cups, the upcoming Tour de Ski, and yes, the weekend's sprint races.If you have questions, send them to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
23 Dec 2019
Post-Tour de Ski, it is time to visit historic Dresden, Germany for a weekend of city sprints. With trucked in artificial snow, slick, fast, and icy conditions made for some spills on the Dresden oval. Stay on your feet, and stay out front: basic tactics that some mastered Saturday. Chanavat took the men's win and Svahn the women's victory. Dresden is calling.
11 Jan 2020
Kershaw on WADA and Russia...and FIS
The show notes below come from a FasterSkier article published on Dec. 10. Russia never tip-toed around its desire to dope on an industrial scale. That much has been documented in an Academy Award winning documentary and the more academic reports cataloging Russian doping misdeeds. Many have claimed Russia suffered a mere hand slap from WADA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its transgressions. When RUSADA was reinstated as compliant in September 2018, the world of clean sport made a collective eye roll. At that point, RUSADA and the Russian sport authorities had yet to comply with the conditions set forth by WADA for reinstatement. The primary unmet condition was the handing over of the Moscow anti-doping lab’s raw data. WADA eventually received the lab’s data in April 2019.In a report leaked several weeks ago, and then subsequently made public by WADA, it was determined the data had been manipulated. Additionally, it was determined that internal communications had been fabricated to help push blame onto actors like Grigory Rodchenkov, the former lab head who became a whistle blower. The communications were to make it appear that a few rogue individuals were at the core of the doping program.This brings us back to today’s vote which made effective a four-year ban — what WADA calls a “period of non-compliance for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.” Many consequences were laid out in Monday’s press release. In some ways, Russia’s skin will be taken out of the international sporting game. The most publicized penalty remains a ban on Russian Government officials, representatives, and athletes from major international sport events including the 2020 and 2022 Olympics and Paralympics and World Championship events.Like in 2018 when the Russian Federation was banned from the Winter Olympics, Russian athletes cleared of any wrongdoing, however, will be allowed to compete at these “Major Events” during the four year sanction. Athletes will do so under a yet undetermined neutral flag. During the PyeyongChang Olympics, Russian athletes were allowed to compete under the IOC umbrella as an “Olympic Athlete from Russia” or OAR. It also appears Russian athletes will be allowed to compete under the Russian flag in such events like the European Football Championships – Euro 2020 – as this is not considered a major event.Not all believe justice has been served.“Today the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has robbed athletes worldwide of their right to clean sport due to their inability to enforce the strongest possible sanctions on Russia,” claimed the Global Athlete, an athlete centered advocacy group dedicated to clean sport. “Strong sanctions which would include a complete ban of Russia and Russian athletes at all international competitions including the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”As a counter, Johnathan Taylor, the chair of WADA’s Compliance Review Committee that recommended the penalties, said innocent Russian athletes and athletes at large are protected. “Today, the ExCo has delivered a strong and unequivocal decision. While being tough on the authorities, this recommendation avoids punishing the innocent and instead stands up for the rights of clean athletes everywhere. If an athlete from Russia can prove that they were not involved in the institutionalized doping program, that their data were not part of the manipulation, that they were subject to adequate testing prior to the event in question, and that they fulfil any other strict conditions to be determined, they will be allowed to compete.”Taylor is quoted as saying WADA possesses the names of 145 athletes who are the “most suspicious” despite the manipulated, and in some cases deleted, data set. Russia has 21 days to appeal the decision to the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS).
19 Dec 2019
Stage 1 Ski Tour 2020
It was all Norway in both the men's and women's Stage 1 of the Ski Tour 2020 from Östersund, Sweden. Sjur Røthe on the men's side was pacing perfection while Therese Johaug simply steamrolled. This was clear, Norway had the best skis, and perhaps by default, the fastest skiers almost across the top-10 board. Yet, it is a long week ahead, and we are one stage into a six stage event. Here's the debrief from Devon: post 15 k/ 10 k interval start skate.
15 Feb 2020
Interval Starts and Tight Racing: TdS Stage 3 from Toblach
In this episode, Devon gets into the nitty gritty of a lovely day of interval start racing. That's for real: 15 k for the men, 10 k for the women ... all skate. Stage 3 starts a run of three distance races in a row. Overall positions are still in play, but the top-tier are beginning to separate. Lots of Russians today in the top-10 for the men, and a nail biter on the women's side. Yes, interval start racing can be all that.
31 Dec 2019
Stage 2 Ski Tour 2020 and a Deviation into Biathlon
The Ski Tour 2020 show continued Sunday in Östersund, Sweden with the men's and women's classic pursuit races. Again, as we discuss in the podcast, it was Norway and Russia heavy on the men's side. For the women, Johaug did her thing, but the racing was gritty. A chase pack of three and a speedy group from fifth through sixteenth made the 10 k affair a fun watch.Like usual we dig into the day. We also diverge a bit and celebrate Susan Dunklee and her silver medal at the 2020 IBU World Champs, and we also discuss some of the latest doping news surrounding Russia and a few of their biathletes.Thanks for taking the time to listen and we'll be back on Tuesday after Stage 3.
16 Feb 2020
Slinging Stats with the Statistical Skier
This week, we re-posted a great piece from the Statistical Skier (Joran Elias). Before jumping into this episode, it's worth taking some time to digest some of the findings. Elias wrote the piece in response to a podcast we posted after the classic sprint in Oberstdorf, Germany. In that sprint, Norway's Johannes Høsflot Klæbo had an astounding qualifier. In the podcast following the race, we discussed Klæbo'performance and the time-back to some skiers in the field.What does it all mean? Well, Klæbo still crushed it. However, the Statistical Skier's analysis helped put some things into perspective."This is one of the problems with measuring performance based on only the winner," Elias wrote in the Statistical Skier. "Devon talked (correctly, I think) in the podcast about how if you’re 15 seconds back from the winner in qualification that’s a pretty good signal that you’re not going to win. But, it is a potentially quite misleading signal about how you skied relative to your own performance history!"Jump on in head first.You can find more great material from the Statistical Skier here. (This might be one of those occasions when it helps to have a computer open to the Statistical Skier piece when listening.)
5 Feb 2020