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Boarder-X: do favourites win, or random winners

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Watched Boarder-X for the first time over the last couple of days. It's impressive and exciting to watch, but I've been struck by how often racers are taken out by others in such a close contact sport (by Alpine standards, at least). Does this mean that over the course of a season there will be more winners than in, say, skiing, because of the fairly random way in which people crash out?
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rob@rar.org.uk, from the skierX I've watched the best/favourites often take the lead pretty early, so I suppose even if there are the odd few crashes it may be more between those fighting for the minor places?
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the pre-competition favourite won the boarder-X and so I guess that this shows that it cannot be too random.

anyway, does it really matter? cycle racing relies on positioning as much as fitness. you take each sport on its rules and the best at the particular discipline will shine through
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just watched the ladies final where the US leader by miles tried a fancy trick, caught an edge and finished 2nd, she was gutted!!
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Gillings crashed out in the quarters - looked like she was taken down IMO
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HUge hope of ours too. Started so well in the WC in S America
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gregh, I don't think she'll be 'grabbing her melons" in future finals.
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chris wrote:
gregh, I don't think she'll be 'grabbing her melons" in future finals.


Laughing
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There does seem to be a huge amount of (bad) luck involved. I was struck though that this mostly involved 2nd and 3rd positions - which of course is the only split that matters until you get to the final. This is the first time I've watched boarder-X carefully, and I thought it pretty good. From what I saw though, I think there's more opportunity for overtaking/recovery-skills in skier-X (although I'm quite ready to be corrected if that's a misapprehension, as I've seen even less of that).

The related matter I noticed was that the leader after the 2nd jump almost invariably won the race - crass stupidity like that from the Yank in the final excepted (oh did I pi$$ myself there - that stunt cost the USA a clean sweep of the golds in the boarder events). The only exceptions I can remember were one of the ladies semis (or was it the small final) where the leader just messed up a landing and crashed, and the men's final, which seemed to have the only case of genuine overtaking of the leader.

The format is an interesting one - and the head-to-head aspect makes it much more exciting than timed races - but there seems to be insufficient opportunity for genuine overtaking manoeuvres. For a sport where this seems to work well, I think short-track speed skating seems to be good - plenty of overtaking, and there is a strong disincentive to taking anyone out as they seem to have DSQs for far less contact than does boarder-X.

On Gillings though, I saw both her two finals runs. Yes she was taken out in both cases, but she was also back in 3rd or 4th place in each case, and really looked out of it. Did not look close to being the medal-winning talent she'd been billed as. She only scraped into the finals in the first place, but I understand that was largely due in the first timed run to some gross negligence on the part of the race preparation team, leading to furious protests (or so the Eurosports commentator said). Maybe just a bad day at the office.
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PG wrote:
rob@rar.org.uk, from the skierX I've watched the best/favourites often take the lead pretty early, so I suppose even if there are the odd few crashes it may be more between those fighting for the minor places?


I'd say this was largely true of the mens rounds yesterday as well, although I suspect that this had a lot to do with the fact that the top contestant in each round had 1st choice of starting gate and hence best line in first bend etc. i.e. initial placing in earlier rounds perpetuated itself in said advantage/disadvantage in later rounds.

Getting out in front did seem have an added advantage and this probably benefits those who are very good starters? After the lane choosing and start elements, it did seem to become a bit of a lottery though?

Still great entertainment.
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is skier-X on at the Olympics or just boarder??
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i have watched a fair amount of the boarder/skier x and feel like most folk there is a huge element of luck involved,as a keen follower of motorcycle speedway the same way they run individual meeting would work for boarder x where each competitor would race each other over 20 heats with 16 racers and the person with the most points would win or put the top 8 points scorers into a semi final and top 2 finishes from each semi into the final.This idea works well with speedway as it gives everyone a equal chance with riders having alternate gate positions and one fall or bad race would not result in a early exit ,poor Zoe Gillings the public will now have the impression after being involved in half a race that she is another second rate performer with the system above she would have another 4 races to redeem herself and show how good she is heres hoping some one takes notice
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gregh,

I think they're trying to get skier-X in in Vancouver. - That's what Graham Bell said on the Beeb yesterday, anyway. Don't know whether it'll be in competition or just a demo sport, though.
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