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2015 World Tour Rider Age and Nationality

Matteo Tosatto

There are 474 riders from 41 nations registered with the 17 UCI World Tour teams for 2015.

The average age of a rider is 28 years and 3 months. The oldest rider is the 40 year-old Matteo Tosatto (Tinkoff-Saxo) who is pictured above and just seven years younger than his boss Oleg Tinkov. Lampre-Merida’s Colombian neo-pro Eduardo Estrada is the youngest pro, aged 19.

Here’s a look at the 2015 World Tour peloton in numbers. There’s a look at rider age, the “oldest team” and also analysis of how many pros come from each country and more.

Let’s start with the total number of riders. 474 is down from 502 at this team last year, largely because of the Europcar team’s ejection from the World Tour. The French team still don’t have a Pro Continental licence either but hopefully this is fixed with the resumption of business after the Christmas holidays. But pro teams have got a tiny bit smaller, the mean average has fallen from above 28 to just below, and this in spite of Europcar leaving the selection as they had a relatively small squad.

Now onto age. As mentioned the mean average rider age for 2015 at the start of the season is 28.25 but there’s a wide difference.

World Tour team average age

Cannondale was the second youngest team last year and their youth has merged into the Cannondale-Garmin team who’s average drops further thanks to retirement of David Millar and the departure of riders like Fabian Wegman and Johan Vansummeren. Tinkoff-Saxo retain the title of pro cycling’s gerontocracy but have just one of the peloton’s top-10 old croans in Matteo Tossato although the oldest pro on the road. Trek Factory Racing are relatively rejuvenated by the departure of Jens Voigt and Danilo Hondo. Here are the oldest riders in the 2015 peloton:

Rider Team Date of Birth Age Today
Matteo Tosatto
14/05/1974 40
Pablo Lastras
Movistar 20/01/1976 38
Greg Henderson
10/09/1976 38
Luca Paolini
Katusha 17/01/1977 37
Cadel Evans
BMC Racing
14/02/1977 37
Xabier Zandio Team Sky
17/03/1977 37
Haimar Zubeldia
Trek Factory Racing
1/04/1977 37
Angel Vicioso
13/04/1977 37
Svein Tuft
9/05/1977 37
Jean-Christophe Péraud
Ag2r La Mondiale
22/05/1977 37

If a 39 year old can win the Vuelta…

In recent years the likes of Jens Voigt and Chris Horner seemed to give hope to masters-category riders around the world. Now there are fewer celebrated names among the top-10 elder statesmen especially as Cadel Evans is going to quit in the coming weeks. Tosatto and Lastras are two riders worth cheering for and Lastras is a cult rider for some, enduring and known for his generosity. But note the presence of Tuft, pink jersey wearer in the Giro and of course Péraud although at 37 he’s spritely compared to the now retired Voigt.

Last year a cluster of older riders affected the age distribution, the presence of Voigt, Horner and others meant the mean average was higher by six months than the median. For 2015 this gap is much closer. Here are the top-10 youngest riders in the World Tour:

Rider Team Date of Birth Age Today
Eduardo Estrada
Lampre-Merida 25/1/1995 19
Matej Mohorič
Garmin-Cannondale 19/10/1994 20
Lorrenzo Manzin
24/7/1994 20
Caleb Ewan
Orica-Greenedge 11/7/1994 20
Frederik Ludvigsson
Giant-Alpecin 28/04/1994 20
Quentin Jauregui Ag2r La Mondiale
22/04/1994 20
Tiesj Benoot
Lotto-Soudal 11/03/1994 20
Miguel Lopez
04/02/1994 20
Sondre Enger Holst
IAM Cycling
17/12/1993 21
Rick Zabel
BMC Racing 07/12/1993 21

Matej Mohorič was the youngest last year and now is still the second youngest pro, pipped by Eduardo Estrada who is just short of his 20th birthday and the only rider born in 1995 in the peloton.

Rider nationality
Now let’s look at where the riders come from. Here’s the breakdown by nationality for the 474 riders;

UCI World Tour

Outside of the top-25 we have Belarus with three, Ukraine, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estona, Croatia and China with two while there’s one rider from Taiwan, South Africa, Japan, Finland, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina.

Despite the ejection of Europcar from the World Tour France remains the top nation for pros in the World Tour, just ahead of Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. Domination for cycling’s traditional nations? Yes but look at the 28 riders from Australia. However if you think the Aussies are closing the gap, think twice as two years ago there were 35 Aussie pros in the World Tour.

  • Note the official source data from the UCI website are incomplete but as expected ProCyclingStats.com has the more up-to-date info.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • logreid Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 12:46 pm

    I’d update the team of Rick Zabel, otherwise great breakdown as ever

  • GB Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 1:04 pm

    The ‘pro cycling’s gerontocracy’ sentence has a few errors and you misspelled ‘spite’ as ‘spit’
    Thanks as always.

  • Ronan Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 1:06 pm

    Always interesting to have a look at the data on teams and ages, and an excuse to brush out some notes and remind myself of average, mean average and medians….

  • Joe K. Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 1:45 pm

    I thought there was more than one South African in the Worldtour–who is it, van Rensberg? I guess the rest are on the Pro Conti team MTN Qhubeka.

    • The Inner Ring Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 1:50 pm

      Darryl Impey. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg has left Giant-Shimano for MTN-Qhubeka.

  • Joe K. Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 1:56 pm

    Just read in Cyclingnews that Ale-jet Petacchi has signed with former Yellofuo team. Does this make him the oldest rider in professional road cycling, or do Rebelline and Horner trump him?

    • The Inner Ring Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 1:58 pm

      It’d be Rebellin, 43 and a few months older than Horner. Rebellin’s in the Pro Conti CCC team so not on the list above while Horner’s one lower level down with Airgas-Safeway. Petacchi’s just turned 41.

  • Marco Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 2:07 pm

    Is Estrada confirmed at Lampre?
    Here (http://www.cicloweb.it/articolo/2014/11/15/l-intervista-lampre-nel-2015-sarai-protagonista-parla-beppe-saronni-con-un-budge) Saronni says he’s probably not ready for WT and they’d probably let him do some experience first in a conti team

    • The Inner Ring Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 2:12 pm

      Interesting, thanks. I looked and he’s not on the UCI website but many riders are missing from the UCI listings, eg there’s no Kolobnev from Katusha and Bradley Wiggins and Chris Sutton aren’t with Sky. But procyclingstats have him and there are reports of Estrada himself saying he’s signed with the team. Maybe they don’t race him much or place him with a smaller squad? He was racing briefly in France with the Ag2r feeder team Chambéry CCF.

      • Sam Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 2:48 pm

        I think its a question of which riders have signed contracts with the team for the following year at the time of the teams submitting their paperwork to the UCI for licences etc by end-Oct, isnt it? Those that didnt – and Wiggins was definitely one of them – at that point, dont show up on the UCI website – at least for a while.

  • Bisi Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 2:11 pm

    France remains just ahead of Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.
    You missed Italy in the description.
    Other than that, great work, as always!
    Happy to see Luxembourg as such a small country up with 5 Pro in ProTour even if Andy Schleck retired. We must be the nation with the biggest ratio of ProTour riders/inhabitants 😉

    • Anonymous Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 4:38 pm

      did roughly calculate the ratio (using population info from Wikipedia)
      Luxemburg has 1 pro rider for every 110k inhabitants
      Belgium: 1/220k
      Slovenia: 1/295k
      Other countries with more than 1 pro / 1000k inhabitants are Netherlands (412), Swiss (432), Denmark (566), Estonia(658), New Zealand (759), Australia (846), Norway (859) and Latvia (995).

  • Augie March Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 2:27 pm

    Interesting stuff as always, but if I can continue the nitpicking a “crone” can only ever be an old woman.

  • jka.ne Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 2:56 pm
    • RK Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 5:49 pm

      thank you for this. very nice, a world map of pro cycling 😉

    • Tyler M. Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 8:28 pm

      Very cool!

  • JT Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 2:59 pm

    Interesting reading, thanks INRNG! Just for my own sanity, I am presuming this second ‘Cannondale’ was was supposed to say Garmin? “Cannondale was the second youngest team last year and their youth has merged into the Cannondale-Team”

  • betabug Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 4:26 pm

    Great info!

    I guess the 2nd mention of Croatia should have been Costa Rica?

  • Gavin Tuesday, 6 January 2015, 10:20 pm

    That average age graph would really benefit from being replaced by a box and whisker plot, or at least the median ages.

    Sorry (stats pedant)

  • Roger Wednesday, 7 January 2015, 3:05 am

    Orica’s website has the average age as 27.5….


    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 7 January 2015, 8:51 am

      Can’t work that one out, even if the piece was from December it was >28 years on that date. Small difference though.

  • Alan S Wednesday, 7 January 2015, 6:35 am

    And in the stroke of a single offseason, I officially became a dinosaur.

    Well, it was a good run. Will miss Jens and Thor.

    • Chris Thursday, 8 January 2015, 2:48 am

      Trust me, it’s a big club. Welcome!

      • Alan S Thursday, 8 January 2015, 5:57 am

        Thanks! I’m actually surprised (and glad) it took so long!

  • Paul Jakma Wednesday, 7 January 2015, 2:16 pm

    Belgium has an amazing number of riders relative to the size of the country, wow. Shows how popular the sport is there.

  • Chris Wednesday, 7 January 2015, 3:38 pm

    I’d be interested to see a histogram of rider age for the entire peloton.

  • A. Widhi Wednesday, 7 January 2015, 5:36 pm

    Traditional cycling countries still dominate at the World Tour teams. I hoped that other countries would have pro cyclists. I wanted pro cyclists from different countries. Cycling teams must tolerate rosters from different countries and cultures. Let’s make road cycling multiethnic and multicultural. Diversity would become the key of road cycling development.

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 7 January 2015, 6:12 pm

      The peloton’s a very homogeneous group, it doesn’t reflect the society around it. France is different, there are black pros, Muslim pros etc but we don’t see this to the same extent with the other European nations for now.