Let’s check in on where we’re at with Kikkan Randall and Devon Kershaw’s World Cup points situations. First, Kershaw:
I finally figured out a decently efficient way to track WC points during a season, that requires only a minimal amount of data entry by hand. Cologna’s going to walk away with this one, obviously, but one thing this graph reveals is that that’s largely a function of Northug’s choice of schedule (and subsequent illness). Cologna may have eventually beaten Northug anyway, but they were matching each other pretty evenly up until Northug essentially left the WC circuit for a few weeks.
Kershaw is probably safe from Hellner, given how the Swede has been skiing of late. Legkov is probably the bigger worry now. As for overtaking Northug, I’d say that Kershaw could certainly overtake him next weekend (especially if Northug skips those races as well). But Kershaw’s two most recent sub-standard sprints probably have made it impossible for him to stay ahead of Northug. At least, assuming Northug doesn’t completely collapse. You never know.
As for Randall:
Randall got some lucky breaks this weekend from her opponents with Matveeva just missing the finals and Kowalczyk, well, not winning. Kowalczyk finishing third, not first, makes a huge difference in the point gap between them. With only two more sprints to go, I’m willing to go out on a limb and predict that Kikkan has this locked up.
Well, suppose for a moment that someone pulls a Tonya Harding and Kikkan earns zero points in the remaining races cause she’s home with two broken kneecaps. Matveeva is currently the closest, so her path to winning is the easiest. She’d need to garner 139 points to move past Randall.
But the final sprint is part of a stage race, and hence is only worth half the points. To get 139 points, Matveeva would have to win in Drammen and finish in the top four in the World Cup Final sprint. If Matveeva does not win in Drammen, it’s over, mathematically speaking.
Indeed, the gaps to Falla and Kowalczyk are both larger than 150 now, so they can’t overtake her no matter what they do.
I hope Kikkan knows all this and that it makes her even more aggressive and pumped for the final two races!
- <Follow-Up On Kikkan Randall
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- <Can Devon Kershaw Overtake Petter Northug In The WC Overall?