Most Improved: Men’s Distance
Now that the World Cup season has wrapped up, it’s time for a series of graphs looking at who made big jumps, in either direction, this year. We’ll start with the most improved in the men’s distance events.
The criteria here is sort of a blend of different measures, with an adjustment for scale, so that faster skiers don’t get penalized for it being harder to improve from, say 15th to 5th.
These are the 12 “most improved” men’s distance skiers (only median percent back is plotted, obviously, though the metric included several factors). I wasn’t expecting Daniel Rickardsson to show up here, for some reason, but I suppose he had an unusually bad season previously. It’s pretty easy to I think to be a bit down about how the Canadian men performed this winter, so it’s interesting to see Ivan Babikov do well by this metric. What’s helping him here is a modest improvement in his median result, and then a major improvement in his best 4-5 races.
Both Italian Dietmar Noeckler and Austrian Johannes Duerr weren’t terribly fast in an absolute sense, but they both made major jumps this year. They might be people to watch out for next year, if they keep that up.