Team Victory Rankings

Thursday, 14 August 2014


August is the busiest month of the year with more days of racing than in April and it’s hard to stop and count the wins but today is as good as any. Plus if things keep up the chart will get even more skewed by OPQS’s win rate.

OPQS are the statistical outlier with 50 wins so far, a tale of quality and quantity. Stage wins in the Tour de France, spring classics and plenty more and so far 14 riders have contributed to the success, or even 16 if you include the two extra riders who helped win the team time trial in Tirreno-Adriatico who have yet to win a race themselves so far this year. It all looks set to continue with rich backers, sponsorship renewals and a judicious development and recruitment program that’s bringing on riders like Julian Alaphilippe.

On to the rest of the results and they speak for themselves. Giant-Shimano are a winning machine but it wasn’t that long ago that they were struggling to stay in the World Tour while Team Sky might be having a year to forget but they’ve scored plenty of wins as consolation.

Some say BMC Racing are the real improvement this year but you look at their roster and surely they can do even better? Tinkoff-Saxo might be the turn-around tale of 2014 with 23 wins so far compared to just seven last year. But what further shopping will they do in the transfer market? They have Sagan but maybe a new sprinter would help them.

FDJ will lose Nacer Bouhanni and he’s brought eight wins so far, almost half their tally. Maybe stagiaire Marc Sarreau can help, the 21 year old was second yesterday’s stage of the Tour de l’Ain and enraged that he lost. Of course Thibaut Pinot’s performances in the Tour are a highlight for the team but he didn’t win. So as ever, the obligatory word of caution between counting the wins and measuring performance.

Cannondale are similar to FDJ with just four riders responsible for their wins this year. The team’s demise seems certain with an exodus of riders to other teams while those still under contract will fold into the Argyll armada, the second merger since the team merged with Cervélo. Europcar are the stragglers, promoted to the World Tour but they’ve yet to win a World Tour race and Jimmy Engoulvent’s stage win in the HC-rated Four Days of Dunkerque was their highest status result so it’s low and quality and quantity alike. But the team budget is low and Euro for Euro they perform well for results whether Pierre Rolland’s Giro raids or Bryan Coquard’s improving sprints.

Onto the pro continental rankings and Rusvelo are having a great time. But can you name one of their wins? Probably not. Their wins have come in clusters, several stages at time in the Five Rings of Moscow or the GP Adygeya. Their biggest win has been Timofey Kritskiy’s stage win in the Tour of Quinghai Lake, a re-emergence for a once promising rider who was a rival to Tejay van Garderen in the U23 ranks until he crashed out of the Tour de l’Avenir.

Earlier this year we had seen some squads pull away with a collection of “wildcard” teams, those big enough to rival the World Tour teams in grand tours and earn other invitations pulling away from the rest, as if there was a division within the second division. Now this isn’t so clear. It’ll be interesting to see how MTN-Qhubeka fare in the Vuelta and they’re busy recruiting riders to strengthen for 2015. There are no few names yet but I wonder if Ted King will join, the team needs a US rider. Why? Well because the US bike market is so valuable that almost every team has an American to act as an ambassador and besides King was at Cervélo and the African team will ride Cervélo next year.

But enough speculation. Cofidis remain a mystery, the French squad has a bigger budget than some World Tour teams but without the results to match, if cycling was football the manager would have been sacked long ago. Last but not least are Team Colombia, always an exciting team but with few wins and no sooner does a rider get any good than he’s poached by a World Tour team.

gogo garmin August 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm

“…bringing on riders like Julian Alaphilippe.”

Surely it’s Julien with an E, not Julian.

StevhanTI August 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm
The Inner Ring August 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Correct, normally Julien but not him. An unusual rider, he went to a music conservatory with a specialism in drumming/percussion and his father’s an orchestra conductor. He’s spent time as a soldier in France and told L’Equipe yesterday France should bring back military service.

Tovarishch August 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I give up. Who is the missing UCI Pro team with 17 wins?

Hound August 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Belkin?

The Inner Ring August 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Belkin. It should be visible, try hovering your mouse/cursor?

Cilmeri August 14, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I don’t recall hearing any talk of a wildcard for a grand tour for Rusvelo – are they in the picture for that at all? Perhaps explained by the dearth of quality in their wins.

StevhanTI August 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Isn’t there some kind of rule forbidding teams of the same sponsor/owner to compete against each other? That would mean Russvelo can’t start any race that Katusha starts hence no PT races at all for russvelo

Sam August 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

I thought the same. Which is why both Katusha and RusVelo riding Tour de Pologne last week, confused me…

The Inner Ring August 14, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Yes there is. Teams with the same paying agent or “partner”, ie sponsor can’t race together. It means Katusha and Itera-Katusha can’t race together… but somehow RusVelo is seen as more independent, even if it’s still got shared funding and interests.

Anonymous August 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm

They were in the recent Tour de Pologne.

SH August 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm
Przemek August 14, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Graphs only including races of a given category would be more interesting for me. For example, Sky has lots of wins, but most of them only in small races like Kennaugh’s Coppi and Bartali, while they have still 0 GT stage wins, which is really bad for them.

sam August 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm

I’m a little confused. 5 of the 24 wins came from Coppi e Bartali. Really that’s the only ‘small’ race on their win list, and the only race below HC or WT status.

They’ve had a very poor year by their standards at GT level for sure. But I think your claim that ‘most’ of their wins have only come from ‘small races’ is a bit of an exaggeration.

Unless you consider everything other than a GT a small race, of course.

tourdeutah August 14, 2014 at 5:50 pm

In your stats, I realize you are counting stage wins, but what about GC wins ? Are they counted ? How about Young Rider and Team classifications ? Are they counted as well ?

As to BMC, no doubt their win total will increase at both the USPro and LA Vuelta. They dominated Utah with three stage wins and Best Young Rider (Dylan Theuns)

JT August 14, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Caja Rural are a bit of funny one on the UCI Pro Conti side of things where wins don’t do them justice I think. Always in the break and always on the attack which is great for the sponsors and LL Sanchez has had a few good GC results for them: 2nd in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, 3rd in the Vuelta a Andalucía and 8th in the Tour of Turkey. I don’t think they do too badly considering the rest of the roster and the budget!

Larry T. August 14, 2014 at 11:53 pm

I wonder if there’s any way to compare wins vs TV presence? Lowly Europcar gets a lot of out of their boys despite not being the ones crossing the finish line with arms aloft while few might even see all those races OPQS wins.

Fatso Rosa August 15, 2014 at 3:53 am

How about compared to their payroll/budget? Who gets the most “bang for the buck”?

The Inner Ring August 15, 2014 at 8:59 am

It’s harder than it looks… someone was asking something similar the other day, here’s the response:
http://inrng.com/2014/08/team-sky-accounts-2013-season/#comment-112248

Gowlett August 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm

There’s a lot of data available to teams/sponsors. Firms like IFM produce detailed reports on the amount of screen time the different logos receive and they are also graded on quality of exposure plus amount of ‘noise’ ie how many other logos in the frame.

There is also a financial value given to the commentators naming of the teams.

It’s not a great piece of analysis by any means but offers a simplistic way to rank brand exposure by race, rider, team etc. By also tracking where the broadcast is distributed you can work out a global media value.

It’s rather an old fashioned way to measure sponsorship, if you can get to true ROI that is much better.

Joe Hill August 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm

IAM will (should?) be disappointed. Their office is built on top of a giant pile of cash (OK, Switzerland), they’ve an enviable(ish) roster mixing up emerging talent like Reichenbach & Wyss with classy veterans like Elmiger, Lofkvist and Chavanel. But just nine wins? Time to pull their collective finger out, I think.

Larry T. August 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

All I get when I see the IAM riders is the urge to buy some pet food. :-)
http://www.iams.com/about-us

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