HomeTag Cross-Country

Following up from last time, we’ll look a little more closely at the individual trends among some of the top Swedish women in distance and sprint events. First the distance skiers (click through for a larger version): Not surprisingly, Charlotte Kalla is generally the top performer here. But notice that there’s a bit of a [...] Related posts:

  1. Most Improved: Women’s Distance
  2. Most Improved: Women’s Distance
  3. Most Un-Improved: Women’s Distance

Reading the recent interview with Rikard Grip, the Swedish women’s coach got me thinking about how they’ve fared recently. From a very broad perspective for the whole team, we have the following in distance events: Clearly their depth has greatly improved, as evidenced by the dramatic rise in the number of top 30 results per [...] Related posts:

  1. Most Improved: Women’s Sprint
  2. Comparing Variability In Men’s & Women’s Sprinting
  3. European Mid-Season Review

Kris Freeman and Kikkan Randall have been basically the top US skiers for quite some time now. (I’m sort of brushing Andrew Newell under the rug here, mostly just due to time contraints. I’ll do a follow up on him next week.) Freeman has been more or less unquestionably the best US male distance skier [...] Related posts:Victims & Nemeses: Kris Freeman Is Qualifying In The Top Ten A Good Sign For Kikkan? Top 10 Qualification vs. Making The Final

Since the interviews on the FIS websites is one of my main sources of post topics during the off season, we’ll continue in that vein with one from a while back with Øystein Pettersen. In it, he talks about how his focus this season is (unsurprisingly) the classic sprint at World Championships. Pettersen has been [...] Related posts:

  1. Technique Preferences: Norway
  2. Sweden’s Men’s Sprinting
  3. Can Kikkan Randall Win The Sprint WC Title?

Continuing with my summer reading of XC news, I again perused an one of FIS’s short interviews, this time with Switzerland’s Laurien Van der Graaff. Unlike Masako Ishida, whom we considered earlier this week, Van der Graaff is a sprint specialist, and a freestyle sprint specialist at that. Van der Graaff really did have a [...] Related posts:

  1. Can Kikkan Randall Win The Sprint WC Title?
  2. Can Kikkan Randall Win The Sprint World Cup?
  3. Career Retrospective: Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset

I was reading FIS’s interview with Japan’s Masako Ishida with interest, because I’ve really been rooting for her to pull off some strong results. In the interview, she mentions that some of her goals for next season include increasing her presence in the top 5, and in particular making the jump up to some podium [...] Related posts:

  1. Most Unimproved Women: Distance
  2. Davos Recap: Distance
  3. Week In Review: Friday Jan 14th

Kikkan Randall, the reigning women’s World Cup sprint champion, obviously had a pretty darn good season last year. How does it stack up against some of the best sprint seasons put together since 2005-2006? The first thing that stood out to me is that if you rank the best women’s sprint seasons, Randall participated in [...] Related posts:

  1. How’d We Do? USA/CAN Season Review 4
  2. Career Retrospective: Petra Majdic
  3. Can Kikkan Randall Win The Sprint WC Title?

By request, we’re looking at how the length of World Cup sprints has changed over time. Specifically, since the length in time of the effort is really more meaningful than the length of the course in terms of distance, that’s what we’ll consider. So the following graph shows the average of the top five qualification [...] Related posts:

  1. TdS Classic Sprint: North Americans
  2. Can Kikkan Randall Win The Sprint WC Title?
  3. Sprint Qualification Pacing Analysis

Since I’m starting to accumulate a reasonable collection of heat times from World Cup sprint races, I thought it might be interesting to compare general trends between the few seasons I have data on. The biggest trends that you can typically see are the differences in tactics between the men and women. Generally what I’ve [...] Related posts:

  1. Düsseldorf Sprint Recap
  2. Flashback: Kuusamo Sprint
  3. Men’s Sprint Heats Tend To Be More Tactical

Travel is a big issue for cross country skiers, particularly those of us living in North America.  Flying back and forth to Europe can be both time consuming and exhausting for athletes.  Obviously, this can have some serious effects on performance.  Of course, this works both ways.  Presumably it’s difficult for Europeans to travel to [...] Related posts:

  1. Fragmented FIS Race Scheduling And What It Means For The Sport
  2. Beitostølen FIS Race Recap: Women
  3. North American Race Penalties Over Time

In a post last week I talked about how I felt that a single early season result wasn’t necessarily a great predictor of how someone will tend to ski (on average) during the rest of the season. I feel like most people would accept that this is, in principle, generally true. Just because you pop [...] Related posts:

  1. Andrew Newell: Qualification vs Heats Part Deux
  2. Andrew Newell Sprint Qualification Redux
  3. OPA + Scandinavian Cup FIS Points Follow-Up

As often happens, FasterSkier gifted me with a handy topic for a few posts to kill time with over the summer by publishing a summary of USSA’s new criteria for automatic qualification for WJCs/U23s. For WJCs, the FIS point cutoff has been lowered to 50 for both men and women (it used to be higher [...] Related posts:Post-WJC/U23 Development: Canada North American Race Penalties Over Time Predicting FIS Points For World Cup Races

Everyone wants to nab podiums at the World Cup level, which means everyone can be pretty fascinated with the development characteristics of those skiers who end up on the podium. Here’s yet another way to slice that. If we take the skiers who’ve attained at least one podium result at the WC level between 2006-2007 [...] Related posts:

  1. Post-WJC/U23 Development: Canada
  2. Post-WJC/U23 Development: Germany
  3. Post-WJC/U23 Development: Italy

Another retiring skier that I’m only passingly familiar with, Switzerland’s Silvana Bucher. Like Vina the other day, she hasn’t raced a ton at the WC level in distance events: Or sprints: But you can see that one sprint race that stands out among the rest. Indeed, that 6th place finish was her best WC result, [...] Related posts:

  1. Career Retrospective: Sara Renner
  2. Career Retrospective: Claudia Nystad (Kuenzel)
  3. Career Retrospective: Laurence Rochat

Another retiring skier that I’m only passingly familiar with, Switzerland’s Silvana Bucher. Like Vina the other day, she hasn’t raced a ton at the WC level in distance events: Or sprints: But you can see that one sprint race that stands out among the rest. Indeed, that 6th place finish was her best WC result, [...] Related posts:

  1. Career Retrospective: Sara Renner
  2. Career Retrospective: Claudia Nystad (Kuenzel)
  3. Career Retrospective: Laurence Rochat

A few other athletes that I was less familiar with are also retiring, according to FIS, beginning with France’s Emilie Vina. Naturally, I head over to Wikipedia and discover that apparently she’s a non-commissioned officer? Huh. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she were a biathlete, I suppose, but that’s not a combination you see [...] Related posts:

  1. Career Retrospective: Rene Sommerfeldt
  2. Career Retrospective: Sara Renner
  3. Career Retrospective: Virpi Kuitunen

No, not that A-Team. (Although she’d probably kick some butt.) As discussed recently over at FasterSkier, Brooks just missed qualifying via objective criteria, as she finished 55th in the World Cup overall. That means that if she’s named, it will have to be based upon some discretionary judgement by the coaches. I think you can [...] Related posts:

  1. NOW Is It Panic Time For The Norwegian Men’s Distance Team?
  2. WSC Pursuit Recap: North Americans
  3. Should Jessie Diggins Be On The A-Team?

Woo hoo! Another classic specialist! Ivan Batory has been around the block a few times. The first WC race I have for him is all the way back in the 1994 season. Let’s see, I think I was a freshmen in high school that year. Among Batory’s top 30 results, 63 were classic, 31 freestyle [...] Related posts:

  1. Career Retrospective: Rene Sommerfeldt
  2. Career Retrospective: Laurence Rochat
  3. Career Retrospective: Tore Ruud Hofstad

A skier after my own heart, he was! Skating? Bah! That’s for losers! Hjelmeset was the quintessential classic specialist: If you’re basically only going to do classic races, you’d better be pretty good at them, and Hjelmeset certainly was. His World Cup career included 119 classic starts, only 26 freestyle starts and another 9 pursuits [...] Related posts:

  1. Career Retrospective: Rene Sommerfeldt
  2. Career Retrospective: Tore Ruud Hofstad
  3. Career Retrospective: Petra Majdic