Versatile tactics of elite ski cross-country skiers in simultaneous-start and pursuit races


PhD N.B. Novikova1
PhD N.B. Kotelevskaya1
G.G. Zakharov1
1St. Petersburg Scientific Research Institute of Physical Culture, St. Petersburg

The study gives an overview of the research projects in winter sports run by LSRIPE with a special emphasis on the versatile tactics of the elite cross-country skiers in simultaneous-start and pursuit speed races for the competitive progress related purposes. Objective of the study was to analyze the modern cross-country skiing tactics most efficient in the contact races. 30 elite national cross-country skiers and their competitive performance in 11 events of the 2017-18 World Cup finals were sampled for the study. The study profiled variations of the race speeds over distances in the simultaneous-start and pursuit speed races; found the speed sagging trend in the middle-distance section; and rated accelerations in the final section. The leading athletes showed the highest speed dispersion on the middle distances – from 3.33% to 8.35% in the 15km races to 6.1% to 10.7% in the 30km skiathlon. The competitive performance was found to be mostly determined by the speed on the difficult terrains in the middle to final sections of the distance.
The study data and analyses may be beneficial for the initiatives to improve the elite cross-country skiers’ training systems. It should be mentioned that most important for success in the simultaneous-start and pursuit speed races is the ability to speed up on the distance and fast recover thereafter, plus save necessary acceleration resource for the finishing spurt.

Keywords: cross-country skiing, tactics, simultaneous-start race, pursuit race, elite cross-country skiers, resource management, competitive success.


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