30 nationalities to start Tour de France

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Flags

The start sheet with rider numbers is now available. A quick glance reveals 30 different nationalities:

France 45
Spain 26
Belgium 15
Italy 15
Germany 12
Netherlands 12
USA 10
Russia 9
Australia 6
Denmark 5
Great Britain 5
Kazakhstan 5
Slovenia 4
Switzerland 4
Poland 3
Ukraine 3
Colombia 2
Lithuania 2
Luxembourg 2
Norway 2
Portugal 2

Whilst Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Estonia, Slovakia, Austria, Canada and New Zealand each have one rider in the race.

And so does Bielorussia, an omission earlier today. Cпасибо to an alert reader.

Starr June 30, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Andrey Amador of Costa Rica is the first person ever from Central America to get selected to the Tour.

(And for you geo-neo’s out there, Mexico is North America)

Tom June 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Nice to see Denis Galimzyanov announced with Katusha. There was a post about him on the Inner Ring a couple of months ago. Good to see he made it to the final 9, he’s up for a big 11+ days of racing.

JT July 1, 2011 at 12:04 am

29 nations sounds impressive but Central & South America only just make the list, Africa is not represented at all and Asia’s riders come from Russia or a former Russian republic. I don’t want to get into the discussion of whether the UCI’s dual role as policeman and promoter is correct or whether it needs splitting up. That has been covered before and deserves its own post. However, if part of the UCI’s role is to globalise the sport, then they should be doing more to support races and racers right across the world.

That support should mean expanding the World Tour and enhancing the funding of the biological passport so that it can cover more racers. Just the name ‘World Tour’ is arguably a misnomer. Just adding the Tour of Beijing to the schedule is not enough, especially if the race is boycotted.

ProTeam managers need to see a passport history before they will hire a new rider. That barrier is blocking fresh talent from countries outside the ‘old order’ from entering the peloton. Changing the way the passport is funded could provide the money for more riders to be tested and thereby build up a profile that can satisfy ProTeam mangers and help diversify the peloton.

bubnoff July 1, 2011 at 1:35 am

Let’s round to 30.
87 KIRYIENKA Vasil Belarus.

Mike July 1, 2011 at 5:29 am

You forgot the Isle of Man (the home of the Manx Missile) which is independant from Great Britain.

roomservicetaco July 1, 2011 at 5:48 am

JT, you may want to look at where the sport has been relative to where it is now:

1981 – 30 years ago

150 riders from 16 countries
2 countries make up 2/3 of the riders
4 countries make up 89% of the riders

Belgium 50
France 48
Spain 19
Netherlands 16
Switzerland 3
Luxembourg 2
Portugal 2
United Kingdom 2
Australia 1
Austria 1
Denmark 1
Germany 1
Ireland 1
Norway 1
Sweden 1
United States 1
[anyone now why no Italians that year?]

1991 – 20 years ago

198 riders from 20 countries
Top 4 countries make up 55% of the riders

France 35
Belgium 27
Spain 25
Italy 22
Netherlands 19
Colombia 14
Switzerland 13
Russia 8
United States 7
Denmark 6
Germany 6
Australia 3
Ireland 3
United Kingdom 3
Norway 2
Canada 1
Latvia 1
Mexico 1
Portugal 1
Uzbekistan 1

2001 – 10 years ago

177 riders from 25 countries
Top 4 countries make up 61% of riders

France 36
Italy 32
Spain 26
Belgium 14
Netherlands 13
United States 9
Germany 8
Denmark 7
Switzerland 7
Sweden 4
Australia 2
Colombia 2
Estonia 2
Kazahkstan 2
Latvia 2
Poland 2
Austria 1
Czech Republic 1
Lithuania 1
Luxembourg 1
Norway 1
Portugal 1
Russia 1
Slovenia 1
United Kingdom 1

2011

198 riders from 30 countries
Top 4 countries = 51% of riders

Maybe you believe that the pace of change is too slow, but it’s easy to forget that not too long ago, pro cycling was basically the championships of 4 or 5 countries in continental Europe. It has spread to English speaking countries, former Communist Bloc countries (including central Asia), Slavic and Nordic countries.

You can be fairly confident that the 2021 start list (if not 2016 will include many Chinese and Japanese riders, as well as Brazillians and other South American representatives. Africa? Probably not for a little while, but it did take the US quite a while to get engaged.

Bundle July 1, 2011 at 9:24 am

No Italians that year, because Italy was its own cycling planet at that time, with a billion tiny teams, almost good enough to race the Giro. And Giros that were increasingly soft and mountainless. They didn’t go to the Tour because they didn’t feel they could do anything there.

David Gardiner July 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I am Costarican, so i am very excited to see Amador making history on the roads of France.

Gillis July 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Thanks roomservicetaco, I’ve never seen the breakdown by country like that.

Also interesting to look at other “world” sports like F1 where 90% of the drivers are European, despite the fact that half of the season is held outside of Europe these days.

Matt Rose July 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Thoughts:

African Riders: Robbie Hunter and Chris Froome are 2 TdF quality riders that just didn’t happen to be picked this year. They’re both from SA, but that’s one of the few African countries with a good network of decent roads.

Non Ex-Soviet Asian Riders: Where’s Fumy Beppu? Did RS not pick him this year?

Final Thought. As a Canadian, I do get a kick out of the fact that Canada’s lone Ryder has a good chance of beating every single Frenchman in the race.

The Inner Ring July 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Mike: nations get complicated but Cav has a British licence.

Matt Rose: I thought Chris Froome was from Kenya? Robbie Hunter was the first African winner of a stage in the Tour de France but he’s not had the results this year. And Beppu wasn’t picked, nor Arashiro for Europcar. Ryder could do it but he’s up against Gadret, Coppel, Peraud, and more.

Zan Dobersek July 2, 2011 at 8:31 pm

A bit of local trivia that I think should not go unnoticed (yet I found no better place to tell it):
Grega Bole 0f Lampre became Slovenian national champion week before the start of Tour de France, but the team screwed up with the jersey and ordered the colors wrong – instead of the vertical white-blue-red pattern they’ve printed the red-white-blue pattern.

To avoid being fined, Bole is now sporting the Netherlands national champion’s jersey while the correct jersey is to be handed to him on Tuesday.

The Inner Ring July 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Thanks Zan, interesting information.

reilly searson August 15, 2011 at 11:59 am

heaps good to watch. well done cadel we support you

Tyler Reiland July 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Peter Sagan and Christian Vande Velde are my two most favorite riders in the whole tour. Them along with Lance Armstrong, but he’s retired.

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