Seeing Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) in the US Cup-CX leader’s jersey after races has become a common sight this season. Keough won the opening race at the KMC Cross Fest five weekends ago and has maintained her position atop the standings ever since.
Keough had a successful trip to Cincinnati, winning on Saturday and finishing third on Sunday. She current sits 25 points ahead of teammate Emma White with 415.
White lost some ground on Saturday with a fourth-place finish and then picked up a few points by finishing second on Sunday.
For fun, I decided to do my best Nate Silver impression and handicap the series outcome. The spread between White and Keough is currently at 25 points, which means if Keough finishes fifth or above, she wins the series. The tiebreaker gives the nod to the most recent winner, which means a sixth for Keough and a win for White would give the latter the overall series title.
Since the start of 2015, Keough has finished in the top five in 82% of domestic UCI races she has entered. I excluded the U.S. World Cups, if you are checking the math. Of course, thanks as always to Colin Reuter at crossresults.com.
White, however, is not an easy out. During that same time period, she has podiumed in 70% of the domestic UCI races she has entered.
Based on the limited data and broad assumptions, Keough has an 89% chance of winning the US Cup-CX overall series.
Will a DNF derail Keough’s quest for the $10,000 prize? Not likely.
Fun Fact gleaned from https://t.co/5GlDNGOWQn "research": In 213 races recorded there, @kaitiekeough has never DNFed.
— Cyclocross Magazine (@cyclocross) October 31, 2017
With the announcement by Scott Tedro that the prize purse for the US Cup-CX will be expanding to provide payouts to second and third, the battle for those positions now takes on a renewed interest for riders and fans.
Ellen Noble (Aspire Racing) had a monster weekend in Cincy and now sits in third place at 285 points. Rebecca Fahringer (Stan’s NoTubes p/b Maxxis/Go Fahr) sits 11 points back in 4th.
The last race in the series is Saturday’s Derby City Cup C2 in Louisville. 70 points will be on the line for the winner.
Women's US Cup-CX Standings After 6 of 7 Races