North American World Cup Sprints

It’s always fun when the World Cup takes a turn through North America, although I’m a cranky old traditionalist, so sprints aren’t my favorite event, and city sprints are even further down the list for me.

One challenge that comes up in trying to assess performance in WCs held in North America is that the field is almost inevitably somewhat weaker than usual. For regular races, this is what FIS points and the penalty system is supposed to address, but WCs have a penalty of zero by definition, regardless of the field.

One option is to look at how we did compared only to the other WCs held in North America. So for instance, looking at the American and Canadian teams, we’d see something like this for the Quebec city sprints:

These are all US and Canadian WC results (no OWG or WSC) from sprint events held in the USA or Canada, measured simply with finishing place. The blue line is tracking the median result for each individual race, and of course 30th is marked in red.

The Canadians had a rough day, the women in particular. The big story was, as usual, the US women, who placed five skiers in the points compared to their usual 1-2 in the past. Note, however, that the back end of the US women’s field, mostly domestic races getting their first taste of WC action, did basically the same as they always have.

For the US men, Andy Newell’s race was a welcome positive note among some generally disappointing results. The back end of the US men appeared to do considerably worse than they have in the past in North American sprint races.

We’ll do a similar comparison for the distance races after this weekend’s events in Canmore…

Race Snapshot: Quebec City Sprint

The men:

And the women:

 

Race Snapshot: Stockholm Classic Sprint

Race Snapshot: Drammen Sprints

Race Snapshot: Moscos Sprints

Milan Sprint Recap

The weekend after the Tour finishes will have smaller fields, and this was no different. Still, The Americans will take the results regardless of who else shows up. Here’s how the women’s finalists progressed during the day:

Flat courses will tend to produce times like this, where the qualification round is quite fast, and then things slow down in the heats as tactics become more important. Still, the final turned out to be relatively fast. I didn’t watch the race (as usual) but I wonder if that was also tactics, with Kikkan (and maybe Ida) deciding to try to avoid dealing with navigating around people by simply pushing the pace. Semifinal 2 was slightly faster this time: Read more

Race Snapshot: Milan Freestyle Sprint

Next Page »