Albert Timmer’s Long Year

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.

19 thoughts on “Albert Timmer’s Long Year”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. “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.

  4. 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

    • 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 🙂

      • 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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

  6. 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)

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