Wednesday, March 4, 2009

World Cup Prediction Challenge

I've been watching with much amusement as Chris hopelessly tries to predict the outcome of each World Cup race. Outside of men's sprinting (which used to be the unpredictable event, weird), it's been a total crapshoot, and Chris's utter inability to pick anything right speaks to that. But then again -- this is the same guy who picked Astrid Jacobsen to win the world cup this year, so it might be a more of a personal problem.

After all, two weeks before Liberec started, I was like... hey Maxim Vylegzhanin was 2nd in the 50k freestyle mass start at Russian National Championships, I bet he's going to have a breakout performance in a 50k soon. If only I had verbalized this notion here, I'd have even more credibility to ridicule Chris's picks -- as if my foresight of Polish domination this year isn't enough!

Anyway, in an attempt to establish that I know everything, and Chris knows nothing, I have challenged him to the World Cup Prediction Challenge.

Rules are as follows:
1) Each one of us picks the top five for each race left this season.
2) Points are awarded based on how much you "missed" by, i.e. the guy
you predicted to be 2nd was 5th, thus you get 3 points.
3) Points are capped at 10 (the guy you predicted to be 5th was 43rd,
you get 10 points)
4) Lowest points at the end win.

Race #1: Lahti Freestyle Sprint, 3/7/09

Colin's Picks:

1 Follis
2 Matveeva
3 Randall
4 Kowalczyk
5 Genuin

Alternates: Hansson, Muranen

1 Hattestad
2 Joensson
3 Petukhov
4 Kjoelstad
5 Cologna

Alternates: Di Centa, Hetland

(Alternates are in case some of my top 5 don't start, since I haven't seen a start list yet...)

Competing picks from readers are encouraged in the comments, because the only thing more important than me winning is Chris not winning.


For now, I'll leave the trash talking to the guy who's running the table in the fantasy XC-skiing league he's set up. Instead, I'll offer two possibly useful pieces of information:
the current sprint standings for men and women
the top three from all the sprints at Lahti since 2000

Christopher's Final Picks:
men's freestyle sprint
1. Hattestad
2. Morilov
3. Hetland Petukhov
4. R. Pasini
5. Newell

Alternate: Joennson

women's freestyle sprint
1. Majdic
2. Muranen
3. Follis
4. Saarinen Matveeva
5. Kowalczyk


Anonymous said...

assuming you get negative points if your racer does better than predicted... wouldn't it be smarter to put who you think you will win in fifth position... thus receiving -4 points if that athlete indeed wins? Your points system might need some adjusting for a fair fight...

Colin R said...

Nah, it's how much you missed by, not real result minus predicted result. Predicting the eventual winner to finish fifth would be worth 4 points.

Colin R said...

ha, we both like Follis/Saarinen/Kowalczyk, in that order. Guess I'm cheering for Kikkan and Natalia in the women's race.

keeron said...

While I won't profess to have anywhere near the knowledge of WC that you two posess, I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Hattestad WILL NOT WIN tomorrow. While I realize that this is a cop-out pick and statistically weighted heavily in my favour, I just want to say, you heard it here first.

Christopher Tassava said...

Yes, but who *will* win? C'mon - say "Kershaw." Go ahead. Say it.

Colin R said...

keeron, you sure about that? Hattestad has won 6 out of 7 this year, I believe. Picking him to win is the safe bet :)

But I share your skepticism that surely, he can't keep doing it?

Anonymous said...

I know it's just trashtalking, but who could predict that Astrid U. Jacobsen would operate both her achilles tendons in the fall... I predict she'll be back with a vengeance next season, so Chris should stick with her:)

Christopher Tassava said...

Excuses, excuses... I love 'em! Thanks!

ADS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ADS said...

I wouldn't mind getting in on this little betting pool you have going...

1. Ola Vigen Hattestad
2. Alexy Pethukov
3. Andy Newell
4. Anders Gløersen
5. Renato Pasini

Alternate: Northug

1. Petra Majdic
2. Arianna Follis
3. Justyna Kowalczyk
4. Pirjo Muranen
5. Anna Olsson

Alernate: Kikkanimal

Laura Gardner said...

1. Matveeva
2. Follis
3. Majdic
4. Muranen
5. Andersson

Alternate: Randall

1. Hattestad
2. Pettersen
3. Kjølstad
4. Lind
5. Dahl


Christopher Tassava said...

Thanks, ADS and Laura, for your picks!

I've tallied the results of the Lahti sprints, and published the results in an online Google spreadsheet. Though I'd like my co-blogger/trashtalker to review the scores so far, the results seem to indicate that he truly stinks at predicting sprint results: my total score (men and women) is 26, his total score is 63 (though that's after "awarding" ten points for his second pick: neither that skier nor either of the alternates raced).

Christopher Tassava said...


ADS has 41 points, Laura has 39.