Monday, December 8, 2014

Projected Alpine Skiing World Cup standings explained

I have added the projected Alpine Skiing World Cup standings to my blog. It is a different perspective to the overall World Cup standings. The actual standings can be distorted by the uneven number of races in different disciplines. The projected standings show how many points the skiers will have at the end of the season if they score points at the same rate as earlier in the season. Surely this isn't the perfect way to present the World Cup standings, for example this doesn't take injuries into account. And Henrik Kristoffersen winning all 11 slalom races to finish the season on overall third place is an unrealistic assumption. But surely it is fair to assume Felix Neureuther will finish the season higher as 18th overall where he is ranked now due to the small number of technique races. 7th, as in the projected standings, seems more likely. One thing to remember is also the combined races that can't have been included to the projected standings.

A quick look into men's standings shows two men above others, Kjetil Jansrud and Marcel Hirscher. Jansrud is the only man to have made the podium in all speed races whereas Hirscher is the only man to have made the podium in all technique races. Jansrud leads as he has more wins and has scored points in three disciplines. Still it would be way too early to say he has the title in bag, even if he doesn't get injured. Both Jansrud and Hirscher will have bad races and the one with less bad races seems like the one to win the title.

Of course, it is still too early to predict the final standings. Pinturault can be strong in slalom, giant slalom, and super-G. If he begins to succeed constantly in all of them and get wins, he can win the overall title. But as the projected standings show, he must improve from how he has performed this season. Of course, he has no slalom points in the projected standings as he got no points from Levi. With more races the projected standings will get more accurate.

On women's side, Tina Maze is way above others. She is the only one who can constantly get high points in all disciplines. It is yet to be seen what Lindsey Vonn can do in technique disciplines; if she succeeded there, she could join the title battle. A big mover in the projected standings is Lara Gut who is only 12th in the actual standings, due to more technique than speed races. If she can keep on scoring points in speed races like in Lake Louise, she can fight for the third place in the overall World Cup.

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