With the end of the first World Cup period comes updated “Red Group” lists from FIS. The Red Group consists of the top-30 men and women in both distance and sprint. Ranking is based on World Cup points and includes races from the previous twelve months.
Racers in the Red Group have travel and lodging expenses covered by World Cup event organizers, so this is a big deal for National Governing Bodies.
The Red Group IN NO WAY IMPACTS SEEDING. The seeded group in World Cup races is often referred to as the Red Group, but is actually completely different. The seeded group for any race is determined by the CURRENT World Rankings, based on World Cup points. These rankings only include races from the current season.
The US and Canada each have four skiers in the Red Group.
US Red Group Skiers
Andy Newell 11th (sprint)
Torin Koos 28th (sprint)
Kris Freeman 27th (distance)
Kikkan Randall 12th (sprint)
Canadian Red Group Skiers
Sara Renner 19th (distance)
Devon Kershaw 22nd (distance)
Alex Harvey 19th (distance)
Chandra Crawford 29th (sprint)
In addition, Ivan Babikov is just out of the top-30 on the distance list, currently ranked 33rd, 19 points behind 30th.
Crawford is included despite the fact that she missed all of last year. FIS rules have a provision for athletes who miss an entire season due to injury.