Team Victory Rankings

Etixx Quickstep

What do you see in the picture above. Etixx-Quickstep forced to chase after missing the move in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad? Or the most successful team in the sport so far this year?

As February ends some 15% of the season’s race days have been raced. Here’s a look at the victory rankings for teams and some of the stories behind them.

Team Victory Rankings Feb 2016 World Tour

Read the Flemish press this morning and it’s full of tales of woe for Patrick Lefevere after his team had a poor showing. As ever they’re held to higher standard than everyone else in the spring classics because of their record and home status. So when Lefevre was asked by Belgian TV what went wrong and he said his team had won, only it was in France thanks to Petr Vakoč, this won’t satisfy the Belgians. The Quicksteppers are by far the most successful team in the world this year with quality and quantity. They top the table and thanks to eight different riders plus a team time trial win. Marcel Kittel is on five wins with Fernando Gaviria on two which could have been three had he not gifted one win to team mate Davide Martinelli. Vakoč won twice over the weekend saying that since he’d won on Saturday he could sit tight on Sunday and follow the moves although watching the race he’s was very active and matched everything Romain Bardet and Jan Bakelants could throw at him. They copped flak for the weak performance in the openingsweekend but in truth they came with their B-team. Yes Tom Boonen and Niki Terpstra looked off the mark but it’s February and once Zdeněk Štybar and Yves Lampaert are racing the tables can turn.

Astana are next with nine wins and three thanks to Andrea Guardini. The Italian sprinter is a useful house sprinter for them to collect wins but can never ride the Giro d’Italia because he has to cede the team to Vincenzo Nibali or Fabio Aru. No matter how well paid “Flash” may be it must grate to miss out on his home race and the public recognition that comes with it. Nibali is off to a winning start, a contrast to many previous years where he’s spluttered like a lawnmower that’s been neglected over winter and refuses to start.

Team Sky are third with wins in Australia and Europe including the overall classification in three races. They could be even higher as they’ve had 12 second places so far too but perhaps they’ll get more in upcoming stage races like Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. Their Australian cousins – for both teams were born out of national track programs – Orica-Greenedge have seven wins and so far all are in the southern hemisphere thanks to Simon Gerrans and Caleb Ewan in Australia plus Daryl Impey’s South African time trial title. With these riders and Michael Matthews they’re bound to win more soon and managing the riders right is going to be the hard thing, especially if the misunderstanding between Matthews and Gerrans from last year’s Worlds hasn’t been patched up.

Katusha have five thanks to Alexander Kristoff including his 0.008th of second win ahead of Mark Cavendish. He might be their sole winner but his performances are the result of a collective effort with several riders pulling his sprint caravan across the desert sands of Qatar and Oman.

Marc Madiot read the riot act to his riders over the winter according to L’Equipe, warning some riders not to show up overweight for the classics again. As well Arthur Vichot seems to have found his mojo again and told Radiovelo recently he’d been wondering what he was doing in the sport after spells of illness, injury and ignominy but it’s one thing to take a win in an early season race in France and another to deliver a World Tour win. FDJ say Vichot will be their “sniper” for Paris-Nice, presumably because he can drop his rivals and pick off wins rather than hiding out of sight all week.

Tinkoff have four wins which might not sound like much but they had to wait until mid-May to win this amount last year. Cannondale have two which is two more than a year ago but one of these is Paddy Bevin’s New Zealand time trial title. Giant-Alpecin have no wins but plenty of goodwill following their training accident as by now you’d have expected John Degenkolb to have taken a win and according to The Cycling Podcast neo-pro Max Walscheid was beating Degenkolb in practice sprints. Lampre-Merida meanwhile have come close with nine podium places without a top step.

Pro Conti victory rankings Feb 2016

Direct Energie top the Pro Conti rankings and by some margin. They started with three stage wins and the overall for Adrien Petit in the Tropicale Amissa Bongo. Not the biggest race nor a market for their sponsor but a win is a win. Plus there’s the lucre and the lure of relatively weak opposition so that the winning team take home enough prize money each pay for, say, a luxury family holiday at the end of the season. On top of this Bryan Coquard took two wins before breaking his shoulder this month while veterans Sylvain Chavanel and Thomas Voeckler have each enjoyed a win with Voeckler taking his first win since 2013.

Jakub Mareczko

Next are Southeast-Venezuela with three wins although just. Two come from their 21 year old Italian sprinter Jakub Mareczko but he was wearing the Italian team jersey for one in the Tour de San Luis. Yes that’s a Polish name (marr-etch-co) and he was born in Jarosław right next to the Ukrainian border but he moved to Italy as a boy and Kuba grew up in Brescia with a sharp northern accent to match. His win in the maglia azzura needed a photo finish to separate him from team mate Elia Viviani and sparked a mini polemic of lèse-majesté, the understudy beating the team boss. Mareczko isn’t just promising, he won more races in 2015 than any other Italian.

Newcomers One Pro Cycling have two wins but they’re .2 level races so don’t count in these tables. Otherwise it’s slim pickings with many teams yet to win a race. Etixx-Quickstep and Astana combined have more races than entire cohort of Pro Conti teams combined. These second tier teams know they can’t win as much and rely on the Coubertin ideals of participation rather than winning, albeit for less noble reasons given they get on TV.


31 thoughts on “Team Victory Rankings”

  1. For all the pathetic politics, cheating, etc. Regardless of what All the Real facts are behind the scenes, there is a talented group of riders that are just starting to come into there own. While Boonen’s most productive days are behind him, Wiggins’ career at a close, Valverde and Contador aproaching their last years, we’ve got some great new talent to follow. This is my favorite season for this sport.

  2. It is way too early to judge EQS. However, if I was one of their lesser riders, I’d have targeted these two races as being my best chance for individual success in that team (as Rowe apparently did at Sky). Would have thought the team would look favourably on that too.

      • That was my point: EQS should have done what Sky did with Rowe: get someone like Vermote/Lampaert/Maes/Van Keirsbuick/Trentin (so many good options) to target these two races – they’d still be in good enough form come the Ronde to support the team leaders then. Worst thing that could happen would be that it was good experience for this rider (or riders – one per race?) and would make for a happier domestique. Plus, you have a ready-made excuse for the home journalists.

        • Well, if the team is poorly positioned heading into the key moments of the race (as in Omloop) and they have crashes that disorganize them, does it matter whether it is less established riders or stars they are riding for? I think not.

        • The peloton very nearly did catch the winning breakaway on Saturday and was closing very fast at the end. Was it a simple miscalculation by EQS?
          As for Rowe, he is a bit more than a general domestique these days and is likely to be the Sky road captain for the big Classics.
          The Sky team for the openingsweekend seemed to be aimed more at the Sunday than the Saturday.

  3. Etixx’ B Team still rated four riders with rings in the Omloop Preview, so it wasn’t that weak.
    It was the manner of their riding at the weekend, particularly Saturday, which was more surprising than the lack of a podium.
    They were totally incidental in the Omloop and ultimately toothless yesterday.
    They got spanked Inner Ring, on their own turf, in their specialist races, on the opening weekend, by their fellow countrymen mostly.

    • I wonder if Boonen’s presence is holding EQS back somewhat? His only win of any quality last year was in the Eneco Tour (and that’s second tier at best) and after two bad crashes in 2015 one wonders if it’s time to hang up the cleats. Contrast that to Sky in OHN who fully backed Luke Rowe (and regardless of the result he did make the winning move) rather than their star riders. If it have been Lefevere managing Sky he would have based the team around Stannard and Thomas regardless of their form or season-long trajectory and then berated them if they didn’t win.

      • No doubt Lefevere and Co have cocked it up recently at the Spring Classics but I’d wait to pronounce Boonen past-his-sell-by-date until….how ’bout the middle of April? I’m holding out hope for one final season of epic battles between “Tommeke” and “Spartacus” before they hang up their wheels. Meanwhile the “Monuments” win total for Team Sky since 2010 is….well….0… or have I missed something?

        • Well ask Lefevere which he’d prefer to have, Sky’s 2015 classics season or Quick Step’s and I think you’d have a pretty good answer to your riposte. This is not a man to rest upon history, he seems more like “What have you done for me in the past week?”

          I too would relish one final showdown between the two giants of the current era, but from a team tactics perspective many people are starting to think that EQS haven’t been the smartest of late. If Boonen is only 90% in a race then shouldn’t they back another horse? It’s not like there’s a shortage in that stable of theirs. Just a thought. Sagan has realised no one will ride with him in a move, but this has been the case with Boonen for a much longer time. In this situation the only way is to be stronger than everyone else, and if you’re not well then you aren’t going to win races.

          • The answer to your question is very obvious – I’d rather have Quick Step’s.

            Am I missing something? Quick Step won more than Sky did last March and April. Quick Step had 3 wins (KBK, Strade Bianche and Amstel Gold) plus 6 second places (although these don’t really count) to Sky’s 2 wins and 1 third place in Gent Wevelgem.

          • I think Lefevere would take the collection of monument wins his teams have collected over the years vs the current 0 for 30 ( 6 seasons with 5 monuments in each?) record of SKY. By mid-April all the armchair experts might be singing different songs?

    • Saturday they were beaten by a combination of sub-optimal form and plain bad luck, at least that as the explanation of Boonen and Lefevere aftewards. Just before the move on the Taaienberg both Boonen and Terpstra had some mechanicals or were held up by crashes. On the climb Stijn VDB barely missed the move, afterwards they didn’t feel like chasing the break down alone, knowing that the might come up short in the final…
      When Lefevere opens his mouth, half truths come out at best, but this story does hold up if you ask me. Sunday seemed to confirm the part about the form not being optimal yet, but at least they didn’t miss the break this time. Anyway, plenty of re-matches possible. The big loser of the weekend for me was the Dutch lotto team, missing the break and refusing to work, on both occasions. Sep will be alone a lot in the races to come…

      • Thanks Stevhan, good information.

        I was reading in the Belgian press that Stuyven’s contract is up at the end of this season. A Boonen replacement?
        Also apparently Kittel is doing Paris-Nice, but no word on the one-dayers other than to confirm his non-participation in San Remo, then the Giro.

  4. I think this weekend showed that Trek-Segafredo are going to be a force all spring. Cancellara, Stuyven and Theuns are quite a threesome for other teams to cover on the cobbles. Plus they have Nizzolo for sprints, Felline for Amstel Gold and Mollema for the Ardennes.

  5. Along with the team victory graph wins (above), it would be interesting to also see how many races the team entered. Cannondale won 2 but how many races did they enter? Quick Step with 15 wins out of ____? -Which would lead to %’s and statistic mind boggling extras. There’s always more.

    INRNG, thanks for being here.

    • Actually when you look at PCS, Etixx have had 5 x wins and 2 x 2nds in the last ten races they’ve competed in.
      Not too shabby.
      They’ve got Julian Alaphilippe returning in Le Samyn later today, Stybar in Strade Bianche, Kittel in P-N.
      In fact, looking at the confirmed riders in the upcoming two month’s races, the names are awesome.
      Better put that Lidl champagne on ice..

  6. EQS and Sagan look to be in the same modus operandi as last year for the early spring classics–EQS rides for Tom Boonen, and Sagan rides alone with no team support.

    At the Omloop, EQS had all their eggs in one basket, namely, Tony Martin, who was up front breaking the wind for Tommeke and his security guards–until Martin wiped out, and also wiped out their chances for a win. And Sagan, who once again, in the finale, was lacking that little bit of extra reserve strength that might have come from a teammate’s support leading him up to the final kms. Ah, spring time–everything old is new again!

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