Team Victory Rankings

With the Giro done it’s time to review the standings of wins by the pro teams so far this season. Since the last look after the spring classics the top four in UCI World Tour are unchanged although OPQS have substantially extended their lead.

In terms of race days we’re now almost halfway in to the season with over 250 days of racing completed. So whilst OPQS dominate, on average 88% of the time they don’t win.

OPQS have 12 wins from Mark Cavendish who alone has more wins than several teams or in fact more than the last four teams on the chart above combined.

If the top four are unchanged Movistar climb up. Normal since the Spanish team is built for stage races and it enjoyed four wins in the Giro allowing it catch up with FDJ who had a rotten time in Italy. The French team, despite the quiet revelation of Francis Mourey’s stage racing talent, lost their hopes of a stage win with Arnold Jeannesson, Sandy Casar and Nacer Bouhanni all leaving the race early. Casar’s injuries mean his goal of riding all three grand tours is gone and he’s now unlikely to start the Tour de France.

Talking of the Giro, Astana is on “just” eight wins although one of these includes the Trofeo Senza Fine, an obvious reminder of the difference between quality and quantity. For all Movistar’s and OPQS’s success in the Giro, Astana won the race outright.

BMC Racing are too far to the right of the chart but can of course count on the deep support of Andy Rihs. Team Saxo-Tinkoff have just two wins, a far cry from the days when Bjarne Riis managed the world’s top team but all can change with a successful summer for Alberto Contador. Note Oleg Tinkov is said to be selling Tinkoff Credit Systems which could mean even more money.

However the likes of Vacansoleil-DCM and Euskaltel-Euskadi show how tough life can be. The Dutch team has been hunting for new sponsors but the lack of wins can’t help.

Europcar continue to dominate the Pro Continental ranks, revealing the gulf between those at the top and the bottom of cycling’s second division. At the top teams like Europcar and Vini Fantini can count on wildcard invitations which means valuable publicity in their home grand tours, which means more potential for sponsor income which allows hiring better riders and therefore an increased chance of wildcard invitations, and all this without forking out for a World Tour licence. New teams MTN-Qhubeka and IAM Cycling are trying to crack this, the African team is playing a variety of “Moneyball” in hiring riders like Gerald Ciolek for a new lease of life whilst mining swathes of Africa for raw talent. By contrast Swiss team IAM have a solid roster and they are in talks to hire Fabian Cancellara for 2014 but they’re not targeting a World Tour spot. It’s a virtuous circle but still risky as momentum matters and the likes of NetApp-Endura and Sojasun need results soon.

28 thoughts on “Team Victory Rankings”

  1. A very interesting comparison! What counts as a win? Just first past the line in a stage, a one-day, or winning a GT? Given the quality/quantity thing, maybe you need some kind of weighting so that Astana’s Giro overall win counts more than say, a stage win. And then what about podiums? Do sponsors care though? Probably not, but it’s an interesting discussion for statistical dweebs like me 🙂

    • In reply to NotAsFastNow as well these have to be proper first place or “arms in the air” moments of victory such as winning a stage or a race outright, for example Nibali’s Giro win counts for Astana, as do his two stage wins.

      A podium moment and jersey is valuable and a big result but this is a strict count of race wins.

  2. This is really interesting, as always. There is a real difference between these rankings and those of the UCI Pro-Tour, which has Europcar first, but then followed by Sojasun and Androni. I suspect that the ‘arms in the air’ moments are far more what the sponsors and teams take notice of. Sojasun do look under the cosh and there is a vast difference between their results at this stage last year and this one. Very much hope they get something out of the TdF, I really like the way Stéphane Heulot runs that team.

  3. Having one of those ‘I know I should know this’ moments but…

    Apart from guaranteed (mandatory) entry to all WT events for World Tour teams, what are the restrictions around which events World Tour and Pro Conti (and for that matter Conti) can/cannot take part in?

    Could a Continental level team get a GT invite?
    Can a World Tour team compete in a national level (i.e. non UCI ranked) event?

    • Only pro conti teams can ride grand tours and World Tour races although there are a couple of exceptions, eg the UniSA team that does the Tour Down Under or the Chinese team in the Tour of Beijing.

      World Tour teams can ride ranked races eg World Tour, UCI HC and .1 races but not anything below and the lower you go down the scale, the fewer big teams can ride as more places are open for lesser teams. Eg only 50% of the field can be UCI Pro Teams/World Tour in a UCI rated 2.1 stage race.

    • World Tour regulations are that WT races are for WT teams, invited UCI Pro-Conti teams plus national teams where the participation of that national team is for an event considered to be ‘of strategic importance to the development of cycling’. (E.g. the 2011 Tour of Beijing had a Chinese national squad participating).

      I’m not sure about the WT teams participating at non-UCI events but there are rules around multiple teams participating in the same event where they are registered with the same paying agent or team structire. (e.g. You can’t have WT Katusha participating in the same events as their Conti-development team, Itera-Katusha).

  4. 17 wins for GreenEDGE! Didn’t realise early-onset memory loss kicked in at 37, but the only thing I can remember of them winning is various posts complaining about Gerrans wheelsucking. Oh, and now I’ve dusted off the memory bank, a dim recollection of Gossy bossing it in Tirreno when the OPQS and Lotto trains came off the rails. Had to Google the others, and feel somewhat vindicated for missing Tuft’s ITT win in San Luis, given the coverage of it probably consisted of two hours footage of the start ramp, shot on a Box Brownie from between the legs of a pampas fox.

  5. Thanks Inrng, regarding your nod to quality vs. quantity, is there a chart to show points yet for the comparison, or is it too early?

  6. after ag2r’s dismal year last year i’m sure they would have been expecting more already and with the likes of Betancur who has been strong in every race he’s ridden I find it almost unbelievable they still have such a lack of wins. Even Radioshack are ahead. BMC should be doing a lot more with their team and budget and Saxo only have 2 wins though I think that might change pretty soon.

  7. @Inrng – Presumably the table includes Overall wins as separate victories from stages?
    I.e. Do BMC get 2 for Van Garderen’s ToC wins – the ITT and Overall? Similarly Nibali at the Giro.

    As you point out, either way it’s a tricky metric to use for team comparison – Nibali’s GT win plus stages is less than the Movistar Giro win count – despite the fact Astana took a grand tour and Movistar didn’t.

    A great comparison would be with the team points haul, but only showing points awarded for victories, not podiums, top tens etc.

      • It would be great to see the points earned for these victories over-layed on the same table to see the relative ‘value’ of the victories.
        I’d expect the ‘value’ of some teams lower down in victories to be higher than some of those to their left – the ‘value’ of Astana’s 8 probably being greater than Blanco’s 13.

        I guess that’s a pretty arduous bit of data mining to get all that info together though?

  8. Yes, this system is absurd. A gt win equals a stage win, ludicrous. And this is part of the some sort of official calculation to rank teams? So the system is nonsensical as well as corrupt. What a sport.

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