Six Canadians and Five Americans Make Season-Ending Red Group

Audrey ManganMarch 28, 20131

Red Group Period IV

With the conclusion of the 2012-2013 World Cup season and of competition Period IV in Falun, Sweden, FIS released the world ranking lists in sprint and distance disciplines from which the new Red Group is determined.

A top-30 spot on either the sprint or distance list gets athletes a spot in this elite set of skiers whose travel, lodging and living expenses are paid for, within the sprint or distance discipline, through the next competition period, until the rankings are recalculated.

Out of all the rankings released periodically throughout the winter, a spot in the Red Group after Period IV most truly represents performance consistency within a single season. Rankings are tabulated from World Cup points from the previous calendar year, which means that lists released after Period I, II and III include results from the previous season. Period IV, however, only represents races from the last five months, and in contrast to the straight World Cup rankings include points from World Championships.

This can turn out to be good news for athletes who sat outside the bubble at the end of Period III, and bad news for those who were previously inside it. Moving in or out of the top-30 from one period to the next comes down to relativity — whether an athlete performs better within a period than they did in the same time frame the previous season. New results at the same venues supplant the old ones with the release of each list.

American Holly Brooks, for example, was outside the top-30 cutoff at the end of Period III in the distance rankings, when she was 41st. With a few of her best results of the season in Falun this past weekend, however, she moved up to 29th and will have her expenses covered at the beginning of next year for distance World Cups.

Her teammate Jessie Diggins, by contrast, moved from 30th in the distance list at the end of Period III to 35th for Period IV, just outside the Red Group cutoff. Diggins ended this season with a strong eighth in the Falun prologue, but it didn’t quite match the results she posted last season in the same period and she consequently moved down the list.

Outside the bubble skiers, there were few changes amongst those who made the Red Group on the American and Canadian teams between this period and the last. In the sprint rankings, Kikkan Randall led the way at the top of the women’s list and Ida Sargent joined her in the top-30 in 23rd.

Canada’s Dasha Gaiazova and Perianne Jones both remained in the money in 17th and 30th, respectively.

Andy Newell finished the season comfortably in the Red Group with a seventh-place sprint ranking and is the lone American in the top 30.

Canada’s Lenny Valjas finished the year only a few points behind him in eighth, and Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw also squeaked into cutoff in 21st and 23rd.

Randall also finished the season with a high ranking in the distance list, in tenth, to lead two additional Americans in the top 30: Liz Stephen was 14th and Brooks just made the cutoff in a points tie with Italy’s Virginia De Martin Topranin in 29th.

No American men made the distance Red Group; Noah Hoffman was 42 points away in 35th.

Ivan Babikov and Harvey each made it in for the Canadians, Babikov in 18th and Harvey in 23rd. Kershaw and Valjas were outside in 43rd and 44th.

In all, five Americans (four women, one man) and six Canadians (two women, four men) are in the Red Group for the start of the 2013-2014 season. For athletes on the U.S. Ski Team the distinction is an important one; Hoffman told FasterSkier he was informed at the beginning of the season that Red Group would be sufficient for A-Team nomination for the following year.


North Americans on the World Ranking Lists, Period IV:

Distance Men

18. Ivan Babikov (CAN)

23. Alex Harvey (CAN)

35. Noah Hoffman (USA)

43. Devon Kershaw (CAN)

44. Lenny Valjas (CAN)

52. Kris Freeman (USA)

72. Andy Newell (USA)

81. Graham Nishikawa (CAN)

97. Torin Koos (USA)

102. Tad Elliott (USA)


Distance Women

10. Kikkan Randall (USA)

14. Liz Stephen (USA)

29. Holly Brooks (USA)

35. Jessie Diggins (USA)

51. Ida Sargent (USA)

58. Sadie Bjornsen (USA)

87. Dasha Gaiazova (CAN)

Sprint Men:

7. Andy Newell (USA)

8. Lenny Valjas (CAN)

21. Alex Harvey (CAN)

23. Devon Kershaw (CAN)

50. Simi Hamilton (USA)

59. Jesse Cockney (CAN)

70. Torin Koos (USA)

73. Phil Widmer (CAN)

95. Skyler Davis (USA)


Sprint Women:

1. Kikkan Randall (USA)

17. Dasha Gaiazova (CAN)

23. Ida Sargent (USA)

30. Perianne Jones (CAN)

39. Sadie Bjornsen (USA)

43. Chandra Crawford (CAN)

44. Holly Brooks (USA)

45. Jessie Diggins (USA)

47. Sophie Caldwell (USA)

70. Becca Rorabaugh (USA)

Audrey Mangan

Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.

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One comment

  • surfh2o

    March 29, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Way to go, Ida! Congrats and good luck to you and all of the North American skiers!

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