Technique Specialization

There are two somewhat different ways in which you could be considered a skating or classic specialist.  First, you can be noticeably better at one technique than the other.  Second, you could just only do races of one technique or the other.

These two situations might overlap, or they might not.  In any case, they are easier to consider separately.  Let’s look first for skiers who specialize via participating primarily in one technique or the other.  Some ground rules: I’m going to toss skiers with fewer than 30 WC, OWG or WSC races in their career, pursuits with a break will count as one classic race and one skate race, pursuits without a break will count as half of classic race and half of a skate race.

We could get picky about changes over time, particularly with changes in the number of classic/skate races available on the schedule each season, but I’m going to ignore that for now.  Also, keep in mind that there will be skiers here who’s careers extend beyond my database, so the data for them is incomplete.  Requiring at least 30 races weeds out the more extreme examples of this, but not all.

First let’s look at the distribution of the percentage of skate and classic races by athlete for their entire career:

This is a tad redundant since the skate and classic proportions will always add up to one, so the densities in each row are just mirror images of each other.

The overwhelming majority of skiers are pretty balanced, doing roughly half skating and half classic races.  Oddly, the men’s distributions have slightly fatter tails than the women’s indicating that there are more men doing races of just one technique than women.

The interesting aspect of this is not the normal people, it’s the abnormal people, and there are a few.  You can check them out for yourself in the following tables (you can sort the tables using the column headers; my apologies to RSS readers, you’ll have to visit the actual page for these features):

NameNationClassicSkateTotal
AASEN Geir LudvigNOR0.3720.62839
AASMAE MeelisEST0.6490.35147
ALBARELLO MarcoITA0.5970.40367
ALSGAARD ThomasNOR0.470.53101
ALYPOV IvanRUS0.5390.46138
ANDERSEN RemiNOR0.250.7538
ANGERER TobiasGER0.450.55139
ANTAL ZsoltROU0.3170.68352
ASCHWANDEN WilhelmSUI0.4670.53392
AUKLAND AndersNOR0.750.2590
AZAMBRE StephaneFRA0.3530.64734
BABIKOV IvanCAN0.450.5530
BAJCICAK MartinSVK0.4940.506158
BALLAND HerveFRA0.0940.90632
BATORY IvanSVK0.5220.478186
BAUER JohnUSA0.5540.44637
BAUER LukasCZE0.5350.465158
BEHLE JochenGER0.6420.35853
BERGSTROEM AndersSWE0.4930.50773
BINZER MichaelDAN0.3850.61539
BJERVIG EspenNOR0.5290.47152
BJONVIKEN ToreNOR0.5670.43352
BLANCHARD ChrisCAN0.40.635
BOLCHAKOV NikolaiRUS0.40.645
BOTVINOV MikhailAUT0.480.52100
BOTVINOV MikhailRUS0.4790.52148
BOUCHARD DanyCAN0.5160.48431
BRINK JoergenSWE0.4860.51473
BRODAR NejcSLO0.3440.65632
BUCHTA LubosCZE0.5470.45353
BUNDI Gion AndreaSUI0.3710.62985
BURGERMEISTER RetoSUI0.6370.363106
CARLSSON LarsSWE0.5660.43438
CARRARA BrunoITA0.7640.23636
CHEBOTKO NikolayKAZ0.50.574
CHECCHI ValerioITA0.5180.482110
CHEREPANOV SergeyKAZ0.5240.47641
CHERNOUSOV IliaRUS0.440.5642
CLARA RolandITA0.460.5462
COLOGNA DarioSUI0.5290.47151
DAEHLIE BjoernNOR0.5050.495105
DAHL John KristianNOR0.5470.45332
DEMENTIEV EugeniRUS0.4650.53572
DENISOV VitalyRUS0.5810.41962
DI CENTA GiorgioITA0.4880.512204
DIETHELM HansSUI0.4720.52836
DOLIDOVICH SergeiBLR0.3880.612121
EBISAWA KatsuhitoJPN0.5460.454119
EDER JohannesAUT0.3170.68330
EIDE AndersNOR0.4630.53754
ELOFSSON PerSWE0.4710.52969
ESTIL FrodeNOR0.630.37123
EVANS AnthonyAUS0.50.536
FARLEY DonaldCAN0.5570.44361
FAUNER SilvioITA0.4720.528126
FILBRICH JensGER0.5710.429133
FISCHER RemoSUI0.2550.74547
FLORA LarsUSA0.5290.47135
FORSBERG HenrikSWE0.4930.50769
FREDRIKSSON MathiasSWE0.5170.483204
FREDRIKSSON ThobiasSWE0.5670.43330
FREEMAN KrisUSA0.5380.46279
GAILLARD Jean MarcFRA0.4890.51190
GANDLER MarkusAUT0.4770.52365
GJERDALEN Tord AsleNOR0.4390.56157
GODIOZ GaudenzioITA0.4150.58553
GOERANSSON MorganSWE0.4740.52658
GOERING FranzGER0.5670.43352
GOLOVKO AndreiKAZ0.6080.39251
GREY GeorgeCAN0.5390.46176
GUTIERREZ Juan JesusSPA0.3630.637113
HARTONEN JukkaFIN0.2430.75737
HASLER MarkusLIE0.4570.543164
HEIKKINEN MattiFIN0.4810.51954
HELLNER MarcusSWE0.4230.57752
HETLAND Tor ArneNOR0.3460.65491
HIETAMAEKI KarriFIN0.8120.18869
HJELMESET Odd-BjoernNOR0.8270.173107
HOFFMANN ChristianAUT0.2070.79399
HOFSTAD Tore RuudNOR0.2250.77551
HORIGOME MitsuoJPN0.4270.57389
IMAI HiroyukiJPN0.5610.439139
INGESSON MagnusSWE0.4910.50956
ISOMETSAE JariFIN0.4920.508127
IVANOV MikhailRUS0.6250.37580
JAKS MartinCZE0.5810.41931
JAUHOJAERVI SamiFIN0.5350.46585
JEVNE ErlingNOR0.810.1984
JEZIK StanislavSVK0.5330.46730
JOHNSON AndrewUSA0.4290.57142
JOHNSRUD SUNDBY MartinNOR0.5120.48842
JONNIER EmmanuelFRA0.3190.681102
JONSSON NiklasSWE0.5470.453107
KANAMARU TomioJPN0.4870.51339
KASSIN ElmoEST0.3190.68147
KATTILAKOSKI TeemuFIN0.0740.92647
KAVALAR JoseSLO0.3060.69436
KERSHAW DevonCAN0.5220.47867
KIRVESNIEMI HarriFIN0.7950.20573
KOCH BeatSUI0.8680.13238
KOKK KasparEST0.50.540
KORUNKA VaclavCZE0.3780.62237
KOSTNER FlorianITA0.4380.56240
KOUKAL MartinCZE0.4280.572125
KOZU MasaakiJPN0.5070.49371
KRECZMER MaciejPOL0.4860.51437
KREZELOK JanuszPOL0.5170.48390
KRIANINE SergueiRUS0.4130.58752
KRISTIANSEN EgilNOR0.1820.81844
KUNZ StephanLIE0.50.593
KUUSISTO MikaFIN0.5410.45937
LANGLI TerjeNOR0.6490.35137
LARSSON MatsSWE0.6110.38954
LASUTKIN AlexanderBLR0.4380.56232
LEGKOV AlexanderRUS0.4540.54687
LEGOTINE VladimirRUS0.4860.51470
LEYBYUK RomanUKR0.5420.458108
LIVERS ToniSUI0.3790.62158
MAE JaakEST0.5890.411179
MAECHLER PatrikSUI0.3110.68953
MAGAL JiriCZE0.4930.507138
MAJ FabioITA0.4920.508119
MAJBAECK ChristerSWE0.490.5151
MALAK MichalSVK0.2930.70741
MANIFICAT MauriceFRA0.4380.56232
MARENT AlexanderAUT0.6180.38272
MCKEEVER RobinCAN0.5360.46442
MICHL PetrCZE0.240.7650
MOGREN TorgnySWE0.4320.56874
MORIGGL ThomasITA0.5690.43136
MUEHLEGG JohannGER0.3970.60368
MUEHLEGG JohannSPA0.50.536
MYLLYLAE MikaFIN0.5430.45794
NAGAHAMA KazutoshiJPN0.5680.43244
NARUSK PriitEST0.6710.32970
NASH MarcusUSA0.4710.52951
NEUBER JankoGER0.3020.69848
NEVZOROV AndreiKAZ0.4770.52343
NORDBAECK HakanSWE0.5360.46442
NORTHUG PetterNOR0.4690.53165
NOUSIAINEN VilleFIN0.5410.45961
NOUTRIKHINE AndreiRUS0.5140.48637
NOVIKOV SergeyRUS0.5240.47682
ODNODVORTSEV MaximKAZ0.4910.50957
OESTBERG FredrikSWE0.4670.53330
OHTONEN OlliFIN0.5480.45252
OLLE RaulEST0.9620.03839
OLSEN JonasDAN0.5420.45836
OLSSON JohanSWE0.50.573
PALOLAHTI AriFIN0.50.536
PANAVAS RicardasLTU0.8120.18840
PANKRATOV NikolaiRUS0.5230.47786
PERL CurdinSUI0.420.5844
PERRILLAT ChristopheFRA0.6350.36585
PILLER COTTRER PietroITA0.4280.572194
PLAKSUNOV ViatscheslavBLR0.4240.57633
POLTARANIN AlexeyKAZ0.60.430
POLVARA GianfrancoITA0.4190.58131
POZZI MaurizioITA0.3580.64260
PROKOUROROV AlexeiRUS0.4870.513118
RAESAENEN JariFIN0.4590.54137
REHEMAA AivarEST0.5590.44185
REICHELT TomGER0.3670.63345
REIN ToraldGER0.6140.38644
REMY PatrickFRA0.5850.41553
REPO SamiFIN0.5210.47997
RIABININE PavelKAZ0.490.5151
RIBO JordiSPA0.4390.56157
RICKARDSSON DanielSWE0.5530.44747
ROELLI PatrickSUI0.310.6942
ROENNING EldarNOR0.7270.27366
ROTCHEV VassiliRUS0.6030.39773
ROUSSELET AlexandreFRA0.5190.481108
RUIZ DiegoSPA0.3210.67956
RUPNIK VasjaSLO0.6360.36433
SANCHEZ PhilippeFRA0.4130.58746
SANNIKOV AlexanderBLR0.4260.57447
SANTUS FabioITA0.4680.532108
SARACCO CristianITA0.5450.45544
SCHLICKENRIEDER PeterGER0.2290.77135
SCHLUETTER AndreasGER0.5790.421127
SCHWIENBACHER FreddyITA0.4170.58360
SEIFERT BenjaminGER0.7060.29434
SEMENIAKO NikolaiBLR0.5160.48432
SIM BenAUS0.4060.59432
SIMILAE TeroFIN0.6640.33655
SIVERTSEN StureNOR0.6430.35770
SKJELDAL KristenNOR0.4440.556153
SMIRNOV VladimirKAZ0.4680.53279
SOEDERGREN AndersSWE0.5080.492118
SOERGAARD KristerNOR0.6230.37765
SOMMERFELDT ReneGER0.4580.542192
SPERL MilanCZE0.50.571
STADLOBER AloisAUT0.5320.46877
STEBLER ChristianSUI0.6910.30934
SVARTEDAL Jens ArneNOR0.7570.24376
SWENSON CarlUSA0.3370.66352
TAIPALE KuismaFIN0.6850.31562
TEICHMANN AxelGER0.50.5128
TREGOBOV AlexijBLR0.5950.40537
TSHEPIKOV SergeiRUS0.4880.51241
ULVANG VegardNOR0.540.4663
URAIN GerhardAUT0.4340.56691
VALBUSA FulvioITA0.4690.531163
VANZETTA GiorgioITA0.4150.58553
VEERPALU AndrusEST0.7810.219128
VERDENIUS Jan JacobNOR0.4360.56439
VILARRUBLA VicenteSPA0.3680.63257
VILISSOV VladimirRUS0.5410.45986
VITTOZ VincentFRA0.470.53186
VYLEGZHANIN MaximRUS0.4750.52560
WADSWORTH JustinUSA0.5080.49264
WALCHER AchimAUT0.3730.62767
WIGGER JeremiasSUI0.50.556
ZORZI CristianITA0.320.68111
ZYBAILO VladislavasLTU0.6290.37131
NameNationClassicSkateTotal
ALBRECHT LORETAN BrigitteSUI0.4580.542118
ANDERSSON LinaSWE0.7050.29556
ANTONOVA ElenaKAZ0.6440.35659
AOKI FumikoJPN0.5190.48178
ARTEMOVA (KHAZOVA) IrinaRUS0.4770.52344
BALATKOVA ERBENOVA HelenaCZE0.4260.57468
BARANOVA-MASOLKINA NataliaRUS0.50.578
BAUER ViolaGER0.6290.37193
BAY TinaNOR0.6350.36552
BELMONDO StefaniaITA0.4970.503148
BENEDICIC MajaSLO0.4220.57832
BERG GJOEMLE EllaNOR0.5910.40944
BJOERGEN MaritNOR0.5830.417121
BJOERNAAS Kine BeateNOR0.50.555
BLUM ConstanzeGER0.4590.54161
BOEHLER StefanieGER0.5050.495107
BONER SerainaSUI0.5410.45937
BOURGEOIS PIN ElodieFRA0.510.4951
BUKVAJOVA JaroslavaSVK0.5820.41885
BURUKHINA ElenaRUS0.3190.68147
CONFORTOLA WYATT AntonellaITA0.5080.492186
DAHLBERG AnnaSWE0.570.4357
DAL SASSO GuidinaITA0.4690.53149
DANILOVA OlgaRUS0.50.5104
DI CENTA ManuelaITA0.50.564
EGOROVA LjubovRUS0.4750.52579
EK ElinSWE0.5820.418110
EVALDSSON AnnikaSWE0.5080.49261
FABJAN VesnaSLO0.50.531
FESSEL NicoleGER0.3380.66237
FOLLIS AriannaITA0.3750.625120
FORTOVA ZELINGEROVA IvetaCZE0.5620.43832
FUKUDA NobukoJPN0.580.4250
FURUSAWA MidoriJPN0.5240.47642
GAVRILJUK NinaRUS0.4670.533137
GAYASOVA ElenaUKR0.5890.41145
GENUIN MagdaITA0.4180.58267
GOTO KanokoJPN0.50.530
HAAG (HANSSON) AnnaSWE0.4640.53642
HANDLER MarianaSWE0.50.535
HARTZ DYBENDAHL TrudeNOR0.5580.44277
HAVRANCIKOVA AlzbetaSVK0.410.5983
HENKEL ManuelaGER0.5890.411129
HIETAMAEKI-PIENIMAEKI ElinaFIN0.4610.53938
HONEGGER SylviaSUI0.5290.47187
HUBER AndreaSUI0.7050.29556
HUGUE CoralineFRA0.2880.71233
ILANOVSKA-BALAZOVA LubomiraSVK0.6110.38936
ISHIDA MasakoJPN0.6430.35770
JACOBSEN AstridNOR0.5430.45735
JAKIMCHUK VitaUKR0.4620.53852
JANECKOVA IvanaCZE0.3540.64648
JATSKAJA OxanaKAZ0.5270.473131
JOHANSSON NORGREN BrittaSWE0.540.4650
JOHAUG ThereseNOR0.5420.45848
KALLA CharlotteSWE0.4890.51147
KEMPPEL NinaUSA0.5490.451102
KNOTTEN GuriNOR0.4850.51533
KOCUMOVA ZuzanaCZE0.50.535
KOLOMINA ElenaKAZ0.50.575
KOROLIK SHABLOUSKAYA LudmilaBLR0.4530.54743
KOROSTELEVA NataliaRUS0.4780.52268
KOWALCZYK JustynaPOL0.5350.46599
KUEMMEL InaGER0.5160.48431
KUENZEL-NYSTAD ClaudiaGER0.4820.518140
KUITUNEN VirpiFIN0.570.43121
KURKINA LarisaRUS0.5160.48461
KUUSISTO MerjaFIN0.5530.44738
KWASNA DorotaPOL0.5630.43763
LACEN NatasaSLO0.3450.65571
LAZUTINA LarissaRUS0.4750.525119
LEONARDI CORTESI NatasciaSUI0.3950.60586
LINDBORG SaraSWE0.6410.35939
LONGA MariannaITA0.6060.39499
MAATTA PirkkoFIN0.6360.36433
MAJDIC PetraSLO0.6060.394141
MALAHOVA-SHISHKINA SvetlanaKAZ0.5320.468124
MALI AndrejaSLO0.30.730
MANNIMA TatjanaEST0.5950.40542
MEDVEDEVA-ABRUZOVA EvgeniaRUS0.3840.61699
METTLER BarbaraSUI0.5140.48635
MIKKELSPLASS MaritNOR0.5570.44370
MISCHOL SerainaSUI0.610.3968
MOEN AnitaNOR0.5340.466102
MORODER KarinITA0.5790.42189
MOSALENKO-ROTCHEVA OlgaRUS0.4390.56174
MUERER STEMLAND KristinNOR0.4790.52170
MURANEN (MANNINEN) PirjoFIN0.5060.49483
NAGEJKINA SwetlanaRUS0.5060.49477
NATSUMI MadokaJPN0.6840.31638
NESTERENKO LadaUKR0.570.4350
NEUMANNOVA KaterinaCZE0.4740.526137
NILSEN ElinNOR0.4320.56896
NYBRAATEN IngerNOR0.70.340
OEHMAN KarinSWE0.680.3250
OESTLUND Marie HeleneSWE0.5120.48841
OLOFSSON Anna-CarinSWE0.4220.57832
OLSEN KATNOSA AnitaNOR0.4140.58635
OLSSON JennySWE0.5090.49157
ORDINA AntoninaSWE0.4430.55770
OTAKA TomomiJPN0.6770.32331
PALUSELLI CristinaITA0.510.4999
PARUZZI GabriellaITA0.5030.497196
PEDERSEN Hilde G.NOR0.5270.47392
PERRILLAT-COLLOMB (STORTI) AurelieFRA0.5330.46760
PESTREKOVA MarinaUKR0.520.4851
PETTY KerrinUSA0.60.430
PEYROT LaraITA0.5130.48739
PHILIPPOT KarineFRA0.4030.597149
PIOTROWSKA POCEK BernadetaPOL0.5610.43941
POROMAA FANQVIST AnetteSWE0.5120.48843
PROCHAZKOVA AlenaSVK0.5310.46948
PULKKINEN KatiFIN0.4060.59432
PYYKKONEN TuulikkiFIN0.6730.32752
RAJDLOVA KamilaCZE0.5980.402107
RANDALL KikkanUSA0.6090.39132
RENNER SaraCAN0.5140.486111
RESCHWAMM SCHULZE AnkeGER0.4070.59391
ROALDSETH MaritNOR0.7380.26240
ROCHAT LaurenceSUI0.5770.42384
ROIDER RenateAUT0.7950.20544
ROLIG LUKKARINEN MarjutFIN0.5810.41931
ROPONEN (LASSILA) Riitta-LiisaFIN0.4490.551108
RUCHALA MalgorzataPOL0.5650.43546
RYDQVIST MariaSWE0.4710.52934
SAARI JAHO MillaFIN0.510.4952
SAARINEN Aino-KaisaFIN0.5490.451133
SACHENBACHER-STEHLE EviGER0.4860.514148
SALONEN SatuFIN0.5270.47373
SANNIKOVA AlenaBLR0.5460.45454
SANTER AnnaITA0.4640.53642
SANTER StephanieITA0.5850.41541
SARASOJA RiikkaFIN0.4820.51856
SAVIALOVA OlgaRUS0.4710.529189
SCOTT BeckieCAN0.4910.509114
SENTELER AndreaSUI0.4840.51632
SHEVCHENKO ValentinaUKR0.5030.497197
SIDKO AlenaRUS0.5140.48673
SINKEVITCH YelenaBLR0.5380.46252
SIRVIOE RiikkaFIN0.5530.44766
SKARI MARTINSEN BenteNOR0.5360.464124
SKLADNEVA LUSINA IrinaRUS0.3940.60633
SKOFTERUD Vibeke WNOR0.5540.446111
SMIGUN KatrinEST0.4680.53277
SMIGUN-VAEHI KristinaEST0.4970.503165
SMUTNA KaterinaAUT0.6780.32245
SONETA ChizuruJPN0.4380.56240
SORKMO Maj HelenNOR0.4590.54198
STEIRA Kristin StoermerNOR0.4640.536111
TCHEKALEVA YuliaRUS0.5140.48637
TCHEPALOVA JulijaRUS0.470.53148
TERELIA IrinaUKR0.5220.478134
TERENTJEVA IrinaLTU0.1710.82935
THERIAULT MilaineCAN0.640.3650
THEURL MariaAUT0.3270.67352
THOMPSON LeslieUSA0.4670.53330
VAELBE ElenaRUS0.4730.52774
VAELIMAA (ANTILLA) KirsiFIN0.6840.31657
VAHTRA CristelEST0.5690.43151
VALBUSA SabinaITA0.4480.552221
VARIS KaisaFIN0.4820.51856
VASILJONOK OlgaBLR0.3610.63936
VAXELAIRE-PIERREL AnnickFRA0.4620.53879
VENAELAEINEN-SUNDQVIST KatiFIN0.5570.44397
VILJANMAA AnnmariFIN0.6050.39557
VILLENEUVE SophieFRA0.4320.56888
WAGNER Wendy KayUSA0.7440.25639
WILLE SigridGER0.5120.48841
YOKOYAMA KumikoJPN0.4670.53345
YOKOYAMA SumikoJPN0.5190.481160
ZELLER KatrinGER0.5350.46571

If you look at the men’s classic specialists, there are the familiar Norwegians we’d expect to see: Hjelmeset, Jevne and Svartedal.  Andrus Veepalu and Hjelmeset take the cake for classic specialists with significantly more races than the others (not to mention the fact that they were actually quite fast).

But Estonian Raul Olle really, really likes classic skiing.

For skating specialists, we have two standouts in Teemu Kattilakoski and Herve Balland.  Christian Hoffman and Tore Rud Hofstad are probably the fastest skating specialists here.

With the women, Lina Andersson and Inger Nybraaten stand out as particularly fast classic specialists.  Nybraaten is a great example of someone who I only have races at the tail end of their career, so there is some question as to whether the 40 races I do have is representative of the rest of her career.  And she probably raced for a time when skating perhaps wasn’t really an option.

For some reason I had no idea Wendy Wagner did so many more classic races, but apparently so.

Turning to skating, Lithuanian skier Irina Terentjeva really, really prefers skating it would appear.  Some of the Russians I’m not so familiar with, but I recognize Arianna Follis and Karine Phillipot, who both seem to prefer skating with around a 60/40 split for each of them.

Related posts:

  1. A Look At Skier Speeds
  2. Bjoern Daehlie vs Thomas Alsgaard
  3. Career Retrospective: Milan Sperl
  4. Career Retrospective: Rene Sommerfeldt
  5. Career Retrospective: Tore Ruud Hofstad

About Joran

Comments

One Response to “Technique Specialization”
  1. Brett says:

    How can one figure out if it is better to specialize. Ex the Martian nordic team has only classic sprinters and classic distance races, freestyle sprinters and freestyle distance skiers. They have no super stars but do they always win overall team titles??

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