Does Lukas Bauer Ski Better Early In Major Events?

I noticed an interesting tidbit in a FasterSkier article the other day previewing today’s men’s 15km classic race. Towards the end, it mentioned that “Bauer also often does better in his first event in a major event.”

Obviously, Bauer had a pretty bad race today, his first of the event, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a streak going before this. That would be fairly interesting, so I thought I’d look up some data. Prior to this season, Bauer has participated in multiple races at 10 different championship events (WSC or OWG) dating back to 1998.

The following graph shows his results relative to his first race in each event, as measured by finishing place:

If Bauer tended to ski better in his first event in a major championship, we would expect most of the lines to travel above zero (blue line) as we move to the right. Instead, things are quite mixed. There are two instances where Bauer’s second race was much, much worse than his first (2005, 2009 WSC). But overall,there are five cases where Bauer went on to ski better than his first race and five times when he did not.

Just to check, here’s the same graph but instead of using finishing place, using difference in percent back from the median skier (standardized):

This measure yields the identical results (5 times he raced better than his first race, 5 times he didn’t).


Related posts:

  1. Putting WSC Sprint Results In Context
  2. Sweden’s Men’s Sprinting
  3. Tour de Ski Summary Statistics
  4. Tour de Ski Without The Bonus Seconds
  5. Variability In World Cup Ski Racers

About Joran


3 Responses to “Does Lukas Bauer Ski Better Early In Major Events?”
  1. It’s getting so you can’t say anything on the internet without someone fact-checking you. First insinuations about doping, now judgments about Bauer’s WC performances. I fear you’re going to spoil my post tomorrow about various teams’ chances of relay success! (Preview: I’m tabbing Japan and Kazakhstan to win.)

    • Joran says:

      Honestly, though, I really do feel sorta self-conscious and don’t want people to think I’m “fact-checking” them, although I guess I kind of am. Sometimes people throw out speculations like this and I’ve done posts on them that confirm it. Mostly I’m just grateful there are people out there willing to hypothesize stuff like this; I honestly don’t care whether the data end up agreeing with them, as long as it’s an interesting question. Also, it makes coming up with posts a hell of a lot easier for me.

      You may have noticed that I steer clear of relays, so you’ve got nothing to worry about on that front!

  2. xcskier22 says:

    The world we live in has always had this massive paranoia about anything and everything, add internet and ways to communicate with people through various sites and forums, you are bound to get some fact checking. Bauer, for three straight championships has focused mostly on the individual 15km races. It’s worked for him the last two, but today he was off. Before 2006, he was known as a really consistent skier, but one that couldn’t fight for a medal at the majors, well, something changed in 2006, and now he’s got multiple medals at WSC and OLY. What’s also interesting is that the he and his techs aboslutely dial in his wax and skis on those individual races and the last three championships, the weather has been quite strange. Today it was -4 Celsius, but glazed tracks and very high humidity, and Dixon and Goldstrom were saying how different the conditions were at various parts of the course (no wonder so many ‘missed’ the wax). Even in the 2006, the conditions were terrible, it was a full on snowstorm, and on that day it was the Norwegians who struck out. I agree though, about Bauer, but in the sense that a lot of veterans seem to be doing that in todays world of xc. Italians and Estonians are the most notable, and my understanding is that the Germans, in any sport, really only look towards big championship events and like peaking for that (i guess i am stating the obvious). I guess you pick and choose what event you feel your chances are great, and Bauer, seeing that he isn’t a sprinter, picks and chooses interval start races. I think it’s a smart move on his part, because it has worked wonders for him in recent years! Having said all that, I feel really sorry for Freeman, as he is also one of those carefully looking to peak for the 15km’s and sometimes the pursuits, but just didn’t have the snap today.

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