December 23rd, 2010
I’ll start with a correction. In our report on the Women’s 15km Mass Start in La Clusaz, we incorrectly reported the total number of Marit Bjoergen’s World Cup victories. The article has now been corrected.
A representative of the International Ski Federation (FIS) politely informed us that victories in stages of the Tour de Ski, World Cup Finals, and mini-tours do NOT count as World Cup victories.
This policy is confusing, and honestly seems foolish. It is certainly not one of the critical issues facing elite cross-country skiing, but it is worth noting.
There is a podium ceremony following those races, there is prize money, FIS points are awarded, and World Cup points (albeit half the usual) distributed. The races are just as hard,and take just as much toll on the athletes.
This means that Ivan Babikov, who posted the top time in the Final Climb of the Tour de Ski in 2009, does not have a World Cup win.
And if win’s don’t count, does that mean all results are meaningless? If I write an article on Devon Kershaw, and want to compare a recent race to his top World Cup finishes ever, should I ignore Tour de Ski results? How do I total Kershaw’s World Cup top-10’s?
Kershaw has two top-3 finishes in Tour de Ski events, but technically FIS does not count those as World Cup podium appearances.
I am sure there is a reason for this, but I can’t imagine a very good one.
This also explains the frustrating nature of the FIS database. If you select an athlete and request World Cup results, individual races in the multi-day events do not display. You need to select Tour de Ski, World Cup Finals, etc, individually to see these results.
A win should be a win whether or not it takes place in the Tour de Ski or the Davos World Cups.