Nations Cup Ranking: 21st (33 pts)
Men: 18th (33 pts)
2010/2011 World Cup Team (Best estimate)
What You May Have Missed Last Season:
On the World Cup, the Spanish were incredibly quiet most of the year. But like a couple of teams (see Canada, Sweden), they had a proportionally impressive Olympics. Vincenc Villarula finished in 31, a heart-breaking .1 behind Jean-Marc Gaillard and a top 30 placing. Meanwhile in her three races, Laura Orgue bagged placings of 38, 27 and 36. As for the ageless Diego Ruiz, he didn’t have such a hot Olympics, but seeing as the 33 year old is now a three-time Olympian, we’ll cut him some slack.
On the plus side, the team has benefited from not having a complete nut-job skiing for them, as Johann Muehlegg apparently was.
What You Should Know For This Season
Spain has been hurting on the World Cup ever since Johann Muehlegg took an FIS-enforced break from the sport after his little incident with something called ‘darbepoetin’ at the Salt Lake City Games. While Muehlegg is German-born, he waved the Spanish flag while winning in Salt Lake in 2002 by over two minutes with brutal technique, in one of the ugliest ski suits ever seen on a race course. Check out those sparkly arm pieces. He later tested positive and had to return his medals.
Should have been pretty obvious to just about everyone…
Who You Should Watch
Laura Orgue has been knocking on the door of the top-30 for the last couple of years. She finished in the top-40 in all three Olympic races, which could mean the 24-year old could squeeze off a few points. At least in distance races, she could become a points-getter – her sprinting could be generously listed as ‘needs improvement’.
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October 29, 2010 at 10:12 am
Watching the finish of this race is interesting – the battle for 4th became key as Sjkeldal ended up with a bronze. But who knows how things play out if those athletes were racing for a medal instead of a place – maybe the same, maybe not.
Another example of how doping messes things up. Just disqualifying the athlete and re-awarding medals doesn’t fix it.
This is particularly true in sprints now where a doper could prevent a clean athlete from advancing in the heats and take away all chances of a a podium finish.
October 29, 2010 at 11:10 am
Also obvious how jacked up the Austrians were. The Ramsau World championships were a farce and at Salt Lake the Austrian team was so reckless they left their IV gear in their rooms after they left.
So, who was the true gold medalist in the 30k free in 2002?
October 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm
Poor, poor Per Elofsson! Who knows what would have happened had he not tried to go with that brutal pace. He was arguably the most talented skier in the post-Daehlie era. Yes he got one medal that year after the Muehlegg dq, and he did very well at worlds the following year, but still, his career was way, way too short.