Athlete To Watch: Nicole Fessel

Who impressed me most in the races last weekend in Kuusamo?  Well, I have to agree with one of my commenters in picking Germany’s Nicole Fessel.  I’m not crazy enough to stay up till 1am to watch the races live on the internet, so I only have the results to go by.  Still, how impressive has her season been so far?  Let’s take a look:

WC, WSC and OWG results for Nicole Fessel.

Note I’ve plotted the finishing rank here, so as to put sprint and distance results together.  Her distance results have, um, improved.

I might be reading way too much into her sprint results, but does anyone else see the two diverging trends after 2007?  One going up and one going down? Unless someone has a really plausible explanation for that I’m going to chalk it up to random chance (the human eye likes to see patterns, even if none are there).

Let’s put her distance results trend in a little more context by plotting all of them, using FIS points this time:

Nicole Fessel's distance results.

You just don’t see athlete development patterns like that every day.  Promising early career, followed by some struggles between 2006-08, followed by rapid improvement.  How will she race for the rest of this season?  Anyone care to weigh in?


Related posts:

  1. Athlete Rankings: What’s In Your Bucket?
  2. Athlete Similarity: Beckie Scott
  3. Career Retrospective: Reto Burgermeister
  4. Career Retrospective: Sabina Valbusa
  5. Career Retrospective: Virpi Kuitunen

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3 Responses to “Athlete To Watch: Nicole Fessel”
  1. FedererFTW says:

    She’s doing what Kikkan has been doing the last couple of years. Developing into a distance skier. She used to be an out and out sprinter, but something changed, perhaps a strong run of confidence and she has become an allrounder. She is a former WJ champion in the sprint, so the talent was always there. I think it would be an interesting comparison with Kikkan. Steady improvement in distance races and a pretty even sprint line, IMO.


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by statskier, WoXC_D. WoXC_D said: Statistical Skier – Athlete To Watch: Nicole Fessel: Who impressed me most in the races last weekend in Kuusamo?… […]

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  2. […] Finally, Germany’s Nicole Fessel has had a rather stunningly good opening to her WC season, so I made some graphs showing just how impressive she’s been. […]

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