2009-2010 Nations Cup Ranking: 22nd (20 pts)
2010-2011 Nations Cup Ranking: 20th (67 pts)
Men: 17th (57 pts)
Women: 20th (10 pts)
2011/2012 World Cup Team (Best Estimate)
What You May Have Missed Last Season
Sergei Dolidovich very quietly had a strong season, capping it off with two huge performances World Championships in Oslo. His fourth place finish in the 30 k pursuit shocked many who were not familiar with the big-game performing Byelorussian, but it was his participation in the 50 k freestyle that really turned heads.
With just over one kilometer to go, Dolidovich was cruising along comfortably in second place when the unthinkable happened. And yes, that is Petter Northug running over the Byelorussian from behind, breaking his pole. Without the fall, it’s entirely possible that the aging yet surprisingly strong Dolidovich could have been in the hunt for a medal – especially after settling for the wooden medal in the pursuit.
After their disastrous sprint relay at the Olympics two seasons ago, the Byelorussians failed to score a single point in the team event this past year.
And speaking of the Olympic Team sprint, Leanid Karneyenka (Dolidovich’s partner in that little escapade), who is just 25 years old, has dropped off the map following his Olympic sized and located mistake. His FIS profile lists him as ‘Not Active’ and he hasn’t raced since. Which is really too bad, as the young Byelorussian can ski – he is the silver medallist from the 2007 World Championship 15 k skate, where he took advantage of an early start position to avoid a snow storm to shock the field.
Oh, and the guy really needs some love on Facebook…
What You Need to Know For This Season
Dolidovich is entering his 13th season on the World Cup circuit, and has already begun reducing his racing schedule, starting just five World Cup weekends in addition to World Championships. His best results have always come from distance races at major events, and he has only attempted the Tour de Ski once, in 2007, so it is unlikely he will be taking on a larger role this season.
On the whole, the Byelorussians are probably not going to increase their presence on the World Cup. Their only woman to score points is Alena Sannikova, who is now 32, while Michail Semenov and Alexander Lasutkin have not recorded more than ten World Cup starts in any previous season.
Who To Watch
Michail Semenov looks to be following closely in Dolidovitch’s footsteps. His 12 points came from a 19th place finish in La Clusaz, France, where Dolidovitch picked up a second spot. If the race is 30 k freestyle mass start, don’t be shocked if Semenov is holding tough in the top pack.