Best (Most Extreme) WC Performances

Yesterday’s post sparked a little bit of discussion about how to measure the “best” performances. That wasn’t what I really intended, I was just trying to give a sense for some of the most extreme performances, relative to the median skier.

No matter what you do, events will conspire to put some “weird” races on lists like these that don’t necessarily match up with our notion of best performances. Frankly, I’m fine with that. Cross-country skiing is, as a coach of mine used to say (quoting another), “an outdoor sport”.

If you’re unsatisfied with my previous measure, we have a few options. We can either concoct some new and fancier way of measuring performance, or we can simply limit our original list in an ad hoc manner. For instance, we could measure the percent back from the median skier, the 25th percentile skier and the 2nd place skier and then take a weighted average of these values. This way we could give greater weight to performances that not only outpaced the field (median) but also outpaced the front of the field (25th percentile) and even the entire field (2nd place).

Or we can simply look at subsets of out original list. For instance, here’s the top thirty restricting ourselves to regular World Cup events:

Best 30 WC Performances

1995-01-29WCMen15SMIRNOV Vladimir1-3.29
2008-03-08WCMen50SOEDERGREN Anders1-3.17
2001-01-13WCMen15MUEHLEGG Johann1-3.16
1992-12-12WCMen10ULVANG Vegard1-3.03
2007-02-16WCMen15ANGERER Tobias1-2.95
2009-01-17WCWomen15KOWALCZYK Justyna1-2.94
2008-02-09WCMen15BAUER Lukas1-2.93
1999-03-20WCWomen30TCHEPALOVA Julija1-2.89
2002-03-09WCWomen10BELMONDO Stefania1-2.84
2009-01-17WCWomen15LONGA Marianna2-2.82
2007-02-16WCWomen10NEUMANNOVA Katerina1-2.82
2003-01-04WCWomen5SMIGUN-VAEHI Kristina1-2.8
1994-12-14WCMen15PROKOUROROV Alexei1-2.79
1993-12-18WCWomen10VAELBE Elena1-2.79
2010-12-18WCWomen15BJOERGEN Marit1-2.79
2007-02-16WCMen15VITTOZ Vincent2-2.78
1993-12-11WCWomen5VAELBE Elena1-2.78
2010-12-18WCWomen15KOWALCZYK Justyna2-2.78
2009-03-14WCMen50JAUHOJAERVI Sami1-2.77
2004-02-06WCMen15VALBUSA Fulvio1-2.76
2010-01-16WCWomen10KOWALCZYK Justyna1-2.76
2008-02-16WCMen11.4GAILLARD Jean Marc1-2.75
2001-11-24WCMen15AUKLAND Anders1-2.75
2002-01-12WCWomen5TCHEPALOVA Julija1-2.75
2007-02-16WCMen15JONNIER Emmanuel3-2.74
2002-12-21WCWomen10SKARI MARTINSEN Bente1-2.74
2010-12-11WCWomen10BJOERGEN Marit1-2.71
2010-01-16WCWomen10BJOERGEN Marit2-2.69
1991-12-14WCWomen5VAELBE Elena1-2.69
2009-11-21WCWomen10BJOERGEN Marit1-2.68

Now we’ve eliminated all those WSC/OWG 10/15km races, many of which have weaker fields, and some by chance had bizarre weather. That Smirnov performance stands out to me. If you go back and check the results you’ll see that he won by over a minute. Over second place! Mühlegg’s pre-Olympic WC is still there, of course.

And now we see a bunch of other “unusual” races that we’d probably like to exclude. Six of these races had notably weak fields (the China and Canadian WCs). And so on. But the list is still kind of interesting.



Related posts:

  1. All Time Best Performances
  2. Drammen 10/15km Classic Recap
  3. Putting WSC Sprint Results In Context
  4. Rybinsk: Does Anyone Care?
  5. WSC Women’s 10km Classic Recap

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  1. […] would really be interested in seeing how this race ranks in Joran’s “Best (Most Extreme) WC Performances” . Even though Johaug slowed down at the end for the flag, I’m sure it’ll be pretty high […]

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