Albert Timmer’s Long Year

Monday, 28 October 2013

Who had the biggest year in 2013? Certainly in qualitative terms Chris Froome is the obvious choice and winning awards and exhibition races alike. But what about Adam Hansen’s Giro-Tour-Vuelta grand tour trinity? All valid but in terms of pure numbers it’s Albert Timmer (Argos-Shimano) who’s had the biggest season.

That’s the table of the number of kilometres raced in 2013. Timmer is top thanks to a very busy season that started in January with the Tour Down Under and ended with the Tour of Beijing early this month. Along the way Tirren0-Adriatico, the Volta Catalunya and then the Giro and the Tour de France. No Vuelta but he was still racing in September. It’s safe to say Timmer is not a household name in the Netherlands – where his name means “carpenter” – and his results don’t show too much at first glance. Just one top-10 all year and his average finishing position this year was 110th place. But this doesn’t tell the proper story as he’s a vital engine in Argos-Shimano’s sprint train, a locomotive that’s helped to set up many of Marcel Kittel’s wins this year. Timmer isn’t just the leader in the kilo count, he’s topped the number of race days too.

What else stands out?
Adam Hansen’s grand tour triple puts him on 98 days, remember he’s now done seven grand tours in a row and this year he won a stage of the Giro.

Philippe Gilbert and Thomas Voeckler both stand out too. Gilbert’s been chasing his form all year although in past year’s he’s been one of the biggest mile-eaters of the peloton. The same is true with Voeckler, who’s been even more consistent with a huge count every year. OPQS have got their money’s worth from signing Mark Cavendish, he’s been busy since winning a stage of the Tour de San Luis in January all the way to the Tour of Britain and 19 wins in total or a win rate of 19.8%, only bettered by Peter Sagan (22 wins, 13,647km, 85 days, 25.9% win rate).

The count above shows the rider with the most kilometres per year from 2007 to 2013. Timmer’s total is the smallest of the lot. Maybe it’s too early to spot the trend but we’ve seen a trend for shorter distances stage races and this is set to continue in 2014.

Finally just counting the race days and distance is a fraction of a cyclist’s season. There’s plenty more to add in training days especially as some like Voeckler and Gilbert are infamous for riding almost every day of the year. But then there’s the gym sessions – Timmer was lifting iron in the Argos-Shimano pre-season training camp in Spain – and more, all assuming a rider has no injury. On top of all of this you can add travel time, the hours spent in airports and more, ask Manuele Mori, the table’s number two above who started his season in Australia and finished with the Japan Cup, 98 days of racing of which only seven in Italy. He’s been away so much you wonder if he gets lost when training back home.

David Leibowitz October 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I know it’s difficult to get the stats, but I’d be interested to know how significantly the annual race kilometers of the workhorses riding in the 70s, 80s, and most importantly 90s, eclipsed these numbers.

Cinq October 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Great article and interesting to see how hard these guys work.

Reminded me of this BigRingRiding post:




maximflyer October 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Hansen is surely a character. I loved your piece on his own shoe design 🙂
Will he try next year all three grand tours? If yes he would equal Bernardo Ruiz on finishing all three GTs in the same year 3 times and also Marino Lejarreta on finishing 10 GTs in a row.
I made some research on Ruiz and Lejarreta and both were exceptional:
Lejarreta finished 24 GTs btw’79 and ’91. Won the Vuelta once and was top10 15 times.
Ruiz finished 21 GTs btw’45 and ’58. Won the Vuelta once and was top10 5 times.

Larry T. October 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm

“Peter Sagan (22 wins, 13,647km, 85 days, 25.9% win rate)” is the most impressive stat to me, especially in this era with the Manx Missile dominating the pure sprinting game. Almost Merckxian.

jaas October 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

that’s alot of KMs to be in white shorts

Othersteve October 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Hey Larry T,
How many days did Horner race?
How about GT stage wins and least days raced!
Chris Horner…
How about that as an impressive stat?
Oh we forgot he won the whole thing at 41

Larry T. October 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm

The 25+% victory stat is impressive to me exactly BECAUSE of how many days Sagan raced rather than how few – which was the point of describing him as Merckxian.
Sorry if I failed to make that clear 🙂

Othersteve October 29, 2013 at 12:21 am

Very clear.

Both stats are equally impressive.

We do seem to see much more “specialization” of racers in the modern era. Sagan is a bit of “throw back” he is so good and like Eddie in that he can win in so many different race situations.

Larry T. October 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Scary to think of how many races Sagan was also in contention to win, but screwed up in some way. I doubt he’ll make those mistakes again, so if he’s in the same form in 2014, watch out.

Chrisman October 30, 2013 at 2:34 am

Same could perhaps be said for Cav too though. Both often lacked support at key times in races.

Human Cyclist October 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Wow, race days is pretty much racing 1 in every 3.5 days. I’m tired just thinking about it. How do Sky riders stack up against the rest? I assume the whole marginal gains is focussed on quality rather than quantity.

Sam October 29, 2013 at 10:53 am

Its interesting. Froome definitely rode less days than his major Tour rivals eg Contador. But then if you look at a sample of their respective key mountain domestiques, you get the following stats (number of race days in 2013 inc DNFs):

Porte – 80
Kiryienka – 78
Siutsou – 83
Lopez – 82

Kreuziger – 72
Jesus Hernandez – 63
Mick Rogers – 80
Nico Roche – 88

snack October 29, 2013 at 12:25 am

Love the stats!
And because I have this in Excel file…
George Hincapie – 17 TDF’s, 61024kms, 341 stages, 11 prologues, 40kmh avg speed (minus whatever he missed in 1996)

Steppings October 29, 2013 at 10:20 am

Good article, sadly is shows just how few miles I’m getting in.

The Inner Ring October 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm

This should help give some more ideas on the distances ridden all year:

Steppings October 30, 2013 at 11:36 am

I’m close, just need another 20,000km’s.

Paolo November 1, 2013 at 1:04 am

28,000km is not that much actually. Zabel got close or over 40k most years.

Christie October 30, 2013 at 12:24 am

Albert Carpenter? I like how these foreign names, well for me at least, turn out normal.

The Inner Ring October 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

If you like that, you’ll like this:

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