Next up at the 2007 World Championships are the men's 15km and women's 10 km individual start skate races. No more drafting with mad sprints to the finish line. Skiers with the highest MaxVO2, the most efficient technique will prevail.
Favorites for the podium could very well be the same racers that were on the podium in the pursuit race. Better yet, any of the other skiers in the top 10 from the pursuit could sneak on the podium.
Favorites include Olga Savialova (RUS), Katerina Neumanova (CZE), Kristin Stoermer Steira (NOR), Evi Sachenbacher Stehle (GER), Virpi Kuitenen (FIN), Claudia Knuetzel-Nystad (GER), Riita Liisa Roponen (FIN), Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN), Marit Bjorgen (NOR), and Kristina Smigun (EST).
In these Championships, Marit Bjorgen has been struggling. Can she step it up and improve?
Virpi Kuitenen did not finish the pursuit race. Is she tired or sick from the sprints? Or will she be the one to beat in the 10km?
Kristina Smigun was only 10th in the pursuit. She has a history of peaking perfectly for World Championships and winning medals.
Can Kikkan Randall and company step it up and jump into the top-30?
Fasterskier.com picks the following skiers for top three finishes (in no particular order): Sarinen, Kuitenen, Steira.
No one has spoken (aloud) about the Norwegian biathletes Ole Einar Bjordalen and Lars Berger possibly racing in the individual skate races. They could both take the top spot. They've proved themselves before, could they do it again?
Our headline could be — Will a biathlete win the 15-k at Worlds but a better one is probably: Will the Germans win again?
Other racers who have been absent to date at Worlds include Norway's Tore Ruud Hofstad who has been sick.
Petter Northug? Could he have medaled in the pursuit a few days ago if he had not fallen 300 meters before the finish line enroute to passing the Germans? It seems as if he doesn't have the capacity to win (yet) an individual race, but makes up for it on guts and cockiness! Bets have him in the top 10…. but can he win?
Fasterskier.com favorite picks for top slots include Angerer (GER), Teichman (GER), Piller Cotrer (ITA), Vittoz (FRA), Filbrich (GER)and Bjorndalen (NOR…if he races).
As for North Americans, can Kris Freeman crack the top 10? How about Canadian George Grey?
However the races end up, it will be a fight til the end, and full of action!
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