Team Victory Rankings

Gianluca Brambilla

Time for another look at the victory rankings with the Giro completed. The Italian race got a lot of limelight and there were many more chances during the month to take more wins. Here’s a look at the stats and some of the back stories too.

World Tour Team Victory Rankings May 2016

Etixx-Quickstep keep adding on the wins, they had a great Giro and a successful Tour of California thanks to Julian Alaphilippe. 29 wins and look at the width of the team too. 12 riders have won races and all but seven riders have had their own top-10 places this year.

Movistar, Astana and Team Sky come next. The Spanish team is punching above its weight, at least financially as it doesn’t have quite the same budget as the others. If anything Movistar could have taken more wins if house sprinters Rojas and Lobato had enjoyed a better start to the season. All three of these teams have had wins from many riders: eight for Movistar, nine at Astana, ten at Team Sky.

Dimension Data have had a good month of may with several wins from Edvald Boasson Hagen and Mark Cavendish but only five riders have won races. FDJ were impressing people with their improved time trialling but haven’t won a thing this month, Arnaud Démare tried in the Giro until he got ill; Alexandre Geniez made the top-10 last year but crashed out early. They’re now hoping to renew Thibaut Pinot and Arnaud Démare’s contracts, both want to stay if the price is right but finding the budget is not easy, their continued presence on the team is dependent on salary but also having the support in place from key – and expensive riders – like Steve Morabito. Today’s L’Equipe says it’s been discussed at the highest level in the offices of the French state lottery.

Lotto-Jumbo’s lowly position in the table is another way to view just how painful Steven Kruijswijk’s Agnello crash was. Success is rare for this team, even small victories are hard to come by so losing a grand tour and falling off the podium because of a mishap must be crushing.

If cycling did relegation and promotion then several teams are near the drop zone. But it doesn’t and the likes of Cannondale are safe, indeed the US team is said to be merging with Pro Conti team Drapac. The UCI caps teams sizes so a merger isn’t like a business deal where 1+1=2. In reality Cannondale’s merger looks like a way to get a co-sponsor on board with Australian real estate mogul Michael Drapac. The team has done it all before when the Garmin and Cervélo teams merged. It was said IAM Cycling looked at a merger with BMC but that didn’t work out so the Swiss squad is stopping, meaning one of the newest joiners to the World Tour is leaving. There’s no news on Tinkoff‘s future either but during the Giro La Gazzetta reported Alberto Contador could be working with Ivan Basso to take over the team. Meanwhile of the new Bahraini team links up with Lampre it’ll mean changes in this team, in comes Nibali and his circle of riders and staff meaning out will go some; possibly including Merida too with Argon 18 coming in which means changes for the Bora team. It all makes for a big merry go round, a game of musical chairs.

In one day Giant-Alpecin trebled their win tally in a day going from one win to three thanks to Nikias Arndt’s Giro stage win – at the expense of Giacomo Nizzolo  – and Zico Waeytens’s stage in the Tour of Belgium last Sunday. With neo-pro sprinter Max Walscheid back to racing in the Tour of Belgium all of the riders involved in the crash in January have returned to racing.

Direct Energie have more wins than the next two teams combined. If this was a football league table then they’d look like prime picks for promotion already. Only it isn’t and they’re not. I suspect you’re trying to think where those wins all came from?

British readers will surely recall Thomas Voeckler’s two wins in the Tour of Yorkshire when he took the final stage and overall classification. Since then Bryan Coquard took three stages and the overall in the Four Days of Dunkerque. All good but promotion to the World Tour isn’t on the radar, they’re happy where they are. Coquard is central to the team but yet to win a World Tour race and has only twice won outside of France, two stages of the Tour de Langkawi in 2013. He’s got his eye on the Tour de France but so does Peter Sagan, John Degenkolb, Greg Van Avermaet when it comes to an uphill sprint.

Caja Rural are becoming a promising team, the new Euskaltel. Whereas once all Iberian races had to pick Caja Rural out of obligation given the lack of other local outfits to join now they’re a lively prospect who promise to bring more animation than Disney to a hilly stage race. Hugh Carthy’s been a revelation and the subject of interest from several teams although he says he’ll consider renewing with Caja Rural. Meanwhile CCC Sprandi have been invited to some World Tour races but have collected wins in their backyard with the Tour of Estonia and the Bałtyk-Karkonosze Tour. Cofidis are on eight wins and as ever built around Nacer Bouhanni who has resumed racing recently after a post-classics break and took two stages in the modest Tour de Picardie and the overall. The real test for him is the upcoming Dauphiné and the Tour de France.

Pro Conti vs World Tour
As far as wins go there’s little contest. Among the second tier of teams Cofidis have three World Tour wins, all thanks to Bouhanni. Bardiani-CSF have one with Ciccone’s Giro stage, mission accomplished especially as it was achieved in the team’s home region. Gazprom-Rusvelo took a stage of the Giro too thanks to Sacha Foliforov mountain TT. Wanty-Groupe Gobert won the Amstel Gold Race thanks to Enrico Gasparotto. And that’s it, just six wins in the World Tour across all the Pro Conti teams. Of course winning isn’t everything but it does highlight just how hard the smaller teams have it when they compete in the biggest races, a win is very rare.

Bora-Argon 18 are a good team and getting all the best invites but have few wins to show. House sprinter Sam Bennett has been very quiet. Androni are among those teams with no wins, they have taken the Tour of Bihor in Romania but this is a 2.2 race and so doesn’t count for the rankings. Fortuneo-Vital Concept used to be Bretagne-Séché, a team with a big regional identity but so far all their six wins have come from foreign recruits with Dan McClay on three.

  • Methodology: all World Tour, HC and .1 races count. A one day race counts, as does the overall victory in a stage race and a stage of a stage race. Wearing an ancillary jersey like the points, mountains, young rider or best local etc, or winning this outright does not count.

59 thoughts on “Team Victory Rankings”

  1. Isn’t it odd that, in your mind perhaps (unless you watch every race going), Etixx seemed to have had a downbeat Spring whilst teams like Orica, Tinkoff, Lotto Soudal etc were (relatively speaking) excellent?
    Yet here we are, Etixx way out in front.
    Of course, their fortunes improved over the past three weeks but is there something of the ‘school yard bully’ syndrome about them, when the wins statistic is presented as starkly as this, knocking off the wins in the *lesser* races (Giro notwithstanding)?

    Compare the wins table to PCS Ranking table, and the tale is much different, truer I would say, for where we are in the season so far.

    • You are just misleading here. Ettix have the most WT wins: 8, Sky has 7, Astana 5, Movistar 6, BMC 5 (source: PCS). All teams have their share of “lesser” races, Astana has 5 wins in Tour de Langkawi! Movistar has 4 in Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, Sky has 3 in Herald Sun Tour. Perhaps an in-depth breakdown based on UCI race classifications would have been more helpful:

      29 total
      8 WT wins
      7 wins (1.HC or 2.HC)
      12 wins (1.1 or 2.1)

      20 total
      7 WT
      5 wins (1.HC or 2.HC)
      8 wins (1.1 or 2.1)

      20 total
      5 WT
      11 wins (1.HC or 2.HC)
      4 wins (1.1 or 2.1)

      21 total
      6 WT
      1 win (1.HC or 2.HC)
      14 wins (1.1 or 2.1)

      • By my count Orica GreenEdge have the most World Tour Wins, 4 stages and the overall in Tour Down Under, two stages in Paris-Nice, a stage in both the Giro and Romandie plus Paris-Roubaix, so you might wish to revise that a bit.

        • Many would rather try to forget that the TDU is WT.
          Me too, from a certain POV.
          I feel it’s very fine to keep it in in order to help the race, but it stops (or starts? 🙂 ) being funny when people use that to weigh victories.

          • @Anonymous

            But nobody is non-European in cycling, so it doesn’t matter. Clearly, _World_ Tour shouldn’t include anything from outside of Europe.

          • I don’t think anyone has a problem with the TDU because of its geographical location but rather because of its position in the calendar and its consequences.
            If, say, the Eneco Tour and the Tour Down Under switched places in the calendar (but not on the map), the weights of the victories would change somewhat, wouldn’t they?
            (Not to mention that it would probably make for some quite interesting race conditions in January and rather complicated travel plans…)

        • You are correct, they have 9 WT wins + Paris-Nice prologue won by Matthews! They do have a great season, great performances in Paris-Roubaix, but also Il Giro. I also love their youtube channel…
          … only source was PCS and I didn’t count for every team, no injustice intended.

          • I don’t know, some of Putin’s buddies behind Katusha would be worse than Orica in the eyes of most. Plus if this Bahrain team gets off the ground then there will be even more issues there.

          • Whilst I am affected more than most by Putin’s buddies I still consider that the environment and pollution are the biggest problems facing this planet. Putin, Murdoch et al will be gone in the not too distant future. The impact of Orica is longer lasting and has much more impact on the planet than all the oligarchs put together.

          • It’s all well and good to dump on Orica because they’re – literally – at the coal face, but their mining chemicals and products are needed to extract the iron ore used by Lampre and Southeast for their steel products – are those companies not implicit in this ‘environment and pollution problem’?
            What of Team Sky and their owner Rupert Murdoch with his monopolizing of media throughout the world and his ability to influence politics/elections – is that not a greater problem for our world.

            Lets look on the bright side and be happy that these companies want to try to ‘green-wash’ their brands by sponsoring teams in a sport we all love – better than the money just going to a larger shareholder dividend.

          • You are obviously not aware of Orica’s record of pollution. Try Wikipedia. I can (and do) avoid Murdoch’s publications. I can’t avoid the impact of environmental damage.

          • The Orica sponsorship runs out at the end of 2017, and is extremely unlikely to be renewed due to the company’s poor performance since they last renewed the deal for the 2015-17 seasons.

            The team is certainly doing everything right in terms of performing for potential new sponsors in the big televised races, and there are already rumblings about an upcoming sponsorship announcement after the Tour de France.

        • Good observation about OGE… I cant recall too many smaller races where they dominated or were close to winning (exception being Ewan)…. A case of team strategy? To target only important races impacting to WT status/rankings??

          • For sure.

            I think the key is having sporting directors who understand how to get the maximum efficiency out of what is one of the cheapest squads in the WorldTour peloton. The only other team coming anywhere near getting the bang/buck ratio of OGE would be LottoNL-Jumbo.

            I reckon the strategy is more about the big races which are shown on terrestrial TV in Australia (important when they will probably need to chase title sponsorship for 2018) than the WT rankings. Of the WT wins and podiums to date this year, only Albasini’s stage win at Romandie came in a non-TV race. If they get the results they are looking for in those races, the rankings will look after themselves.

      • They’re a great team, with real depth of strength, of course.
        But if one used PCS Team Ranking for this season, they’re in 4th position.
        And, looking solely at the 2016 WT race winners (that’s the winner of the race), not a sausage.

        Are they as good as they could or should be?
        Where’s the next generation of top Belgian riders on their team?

        • This is a very interesting subject that I am no longer knowledgeable enough to address in the way that it deserves.

          But, all owners and managers are in the sport with a varying degree of a variety of reasons; LeFevere has, for his career, been driven by delivering to his investors the most Good publicity that he possibly can in any given year. Since Mapei in ’95, who has done this better?

        • Perhaps the thing this year with EQS is that their winning everywhere but in Belgium therefore it seems their season is not that good it used to be. It seems the team is really re-shaping, and though I really liked the way Boonen was racing, I am also really intrigued the way EQS tries to find his winning ways without him.

  2. Out of curiosity, how much lower is Movistar’s budget than the biggest ones? How do they cut financial corners to have equal success as the big boys?

      • They’re paid by Canyon to ride them of course. There’s talk Canyon will drop Katusha and just back Movistar which would mean more money coming in.

        Haven’t got the accounts to hand but Movistar’s wage bill has been almost half that of Team Sky’s in the past. The wage bill is a team’s biggest outlay.

          • I was most interested to learn that Sean Kelly is riding a Vitus these days (thanks Eurosport) – he’s got a tie-up with them – and they’ve got some great value bikes (Dura Ace’d up too) on their website.

        • I suppose they save some money by having no ambitions in the cobbles races and hiring domestics in the traditional sense (not would be leaders of mid-range teams a la Sky). Having a star like Valverde who delivers most the season is also I suppose cost effective.

          • Vitus is one of many in-house brands of the mail order giant Chain Reaction Cycles (who also own the UK importer/distributor Hotlines, and are about to merge with another mail order giant Wiggle) and Kelly was brought on board as the face of the revitalised brand. Surprised it’s taken him this long to shoehorn it into the commentary to be honest!

            I pity bike shops who carry Hotlines-supplied product, and know of a few who won’t, because you can guarantee at year’s end CRC will be flogging off stock for less than those shops paid trade-price (there’s quite a few Nukeproof mountain bikes gathering dust in shops…)

  3. On IAM Cycling: “This means the newest joiner of the World Tour is leaving.”
    Surely Dimension Data are the newest WT team?

    • They are, meant to say one of the newer joiners coming in. It seems both IAM and DD, plus Europcar before then, were encouraged by the UCI to join the World Tour; it’s hard to see who the UCI could lean on to move up now given IAM’s exit.

      • Perhaps, instead of trying to repeat the folly of sucking a PC team into a division they don’t want to be in, this is a good opportunity for the UCI to make a peace deal with ASO and the other grumpy race organisers and trim the WorldTour back to 16 teams?

        The race organisers would get a win by opening up a couple more invitational slots, and the UCI would be able to avoid the prospect of the WorldTour getting devalued by not having half of the big races.

        The issue of the team licence length would still need to be resolved, but that should be relatively easy to get a mutually agreeable solution. I would suggest a workable plan for licensing of 16 teams would be to award three year licences to the two best-ranked teams facing licence expiry at the end of each year, two year licences to the next three teams and one year licences to the next four. There would be 9 licences up for grabs at the end of each year and 7 teams going through with another year or two to go.

        • Forget 16, you just end up with 16 teams battling for 16 places. I say cut it (well, really just get rid of it altogether) down to the top 12 so some real conditions can be imposed. Then allow the local organizers to add 6 wild-cards. You end up with a 162 rider peloton that fits much better on modern roads full of traffic furniture, less team vehicles and is generally more manageable.
          How the hell can a brand called Argon-18 afford to have their bikes be used in the top-tier? Where is the money for this coming from? Other than in the races I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. The sales volume can’t be that high, so is the profit margin big enough for them to afford the kind of expenditure that’s driven out pretty much everyone who doesn’t more-or-less slap their brand-name on Asian-produced bicycles? This is really puzzling to me…does anyone know the real story behind this?

          • Just because Argon-18 doesn’t sell in your home state or in Italy doesn’t mean it’s unsuccessful and can’t afford to sponsor a bike team.

            Every bike brand at some point started out small or local. Cervelo was a tiny Canadian company before it hit the Triathlon scene, Felt was small before hitting the world tour… that’s the whole point, the Pro Continental/World Tour advertising gives the company exposure.

            Argon-18 is a really good Canadian brand that was used by the teams that Steve Bauer managed (do you remember him? He was a yellow jersey wearer). He currently has some involvement with them for his touring company. My impression is that the company itself does really well.

          • Argon 18 is making a calculated investment. I understand there has been some key investment within the company in the last few years, so even though their current sales would slot them just shy of a company like Cervelo, they are a company on the move The Bora team sponsorship has yielded positive exposure & sales. They are now ready up their investment (& exposure) by going to a WT level. They are currently one of the hottest brands in triathlon, and this potential jump to a WT road team will help them gain greater exposure & sales globally. They obviously feel the risk/reward is worth the investment.

          • Is Bora the kitchen extract company?
            They do a lot of advertising between all manner of sports programmes – cycling on Eurosport and Sporza obviously, also during the half-time break of football.
            It just goes to show you the changing demographic of your average sports fan, I suppose.
            Once it was a cup of bovril and a pie at half-time, now it’s a space-age cooking extract system!

        • CA – can you contribute anything other than misplaced outrage? Where did I write anything claiming this company was unsuccessful? And yes, I know who Steve Bauer is – I was there at LeTour when he wore the Yellow Jersey. I just wondered if anyone knew where the big money it takes for Argon-18 to sponsor a top-tier team was coming from. Big S is rumored to be putting $3.5 million into a team with Peter Sagan for 2017 – that might not be big money to you, but it is to me.

          • Larry T – I’m sorry, but I was only reacting to your comments and implication that Argon-18 was a small little bike company… I wouldn’t be surprised if the sponsorship money and bikes they provide is only a part of their advertising expense. They are very popular in triathlon, and increasingly in road, and mostly focus on very high end bikes, where the profit margins are very high. They’re a private company, so their financial performance is not disclosed.

          • OK, fair enough, but who’s got the bucket of loot here? Is this brand owned by some massive conglomerate like Cervelo is at present? I took a brief look at Argon-18’s website and it’s the way-too-common “designed and engineered in…” which is code for Made in Asia, just like almost all of their competitors. The fact that tri-jocks like them doesn’t explain why a top-tier pro team sponsorship makes sense, especially since the UCI chrono bike rules differ from triathlon. I’d lay money on this operation , assuming they’re not already owned by a huge money backer, if they buy into the WT either a) doing a Cervelo, as in getting some big time lust factor going, then selling the thing off before “flavor-of-the-month” wears off or b) doing a Guru.

          • “mostly focus on very high end bikes, where the profit margins are very high.” Profit margins on high end bikes is not very high. P&A is where the money is, that is why you see brands like Trek and Megalized branching out so much into P&A.

            I’ll be surprised if you see Argon-18 still in business for 5-10 years. They have a poor warranty (2-years, where most major brands offer lifetime) which has lead to lots of bad blood amongst their customers, especially when they have a history of cracking easily. They also do very little to support their dealers, often opening new dealers very close to existing stores. You can also buy a frame direct from China which leaves very little reason to support the local retailers, especially considering the lack of a substantial warranty.

      • Inrng – in general (and I know it’s horses for courses…) do the bike manufacturers just cough-up free kit to the teams, or do they have to contribute more (or even pay) for the pleasure?

          • @Larry T – man, you mean to say that you haven’t got a downward-sucking kitchen extract system? And you call yourself a cycling fan?

            But, seriously, I believe Bora are the principle sponsor. Argon 18 supply the bikes, and probably some finance as the secondary sponsor.

          • Ecky – you wouldn’t believe how primitive our kitchen is..but when we have people over for dinner (always Italian of course) the remarks are quite often (from friends who have high-dollar kitchens with stuff like Bora) how they “can’t believe how THIS wonderful food came out of THAT kitchen!” It’s all due to my wife’s skill – and the right ingredients.
            On the kitchen front, you may not remember that plenty of Italian teams (Del Tongo, SCIC, Salvarani) were sponsored by kitchen makers back in what some of us consider the “golden age of cycling”. All kinds of consumer products were represented in marketing efforts towards the housewives at home with the Giro on their recently purchased B/W TV set during the day.

  4. The crash of Kruijswijk wasn’t the only unfortunate thing in the Giro for LottoNL-Jumbo. They also had 4 second places, 2 in timetrials with less then a second behind the winner.

  5. Interesting about LottoJumbo. They are near bottom of the victory rankings but 9th above a lot of the bigger teams (inc. Astana) on the UCI Tour Rankings. So not all bad news, even though it could’ve been a lot better, given three 2nd places for Kruiswijk. Are victories more important than ranking points?

    • I would dare say that to the general public, and probably to a majority of cycling fans too, victories certainly count more than any point system or other ranking one can come up with.

      • I’m not so sure. As far as the general public are concerned, second place in a race that they notice – a Grand Tour, in some countries a Monument or another Classic, in other countries, only the Tour de France – may well count for more than wins in races that pass below their radar.

        • As painful as it will be to relive that moment over and over, Kruiswijk’s calamitous crash in the snow probably earned the team much more worldwide mainstream media exposure than if he had stayed upright and won the Giro. There was a story created when he capitulated.

          I assume their high WT ranking points is mostly down to Sep van Marcke’s placings in the spring classics. Despite not winning he was there or thereabouts in all of them.

          • LottoNL’s points total of 361 is currently made up of
            Vanmarcke 201
            Kruijswijk 118
            Roglic 28
            Kelderman 10
            Hofman 4

            It’s not all Vanmarcke though, they scored relatively well at the Giro with Kruijswijk (90 for GC 4th place, 24 for 3x stage 2nd place, 4 for a stage 3rd place), Roglic (16 for a stage win, 8 for a stage 2nd place) and Hofland (2 points for a 4th place, 1 point for a 5th place) chipping in a few.

            That means 145 points came from the Giro, which is a handy complement to Vanmarcke’s haul of 201 from earlier in the year. Without the Giro points, their 9th position would drop to 12th.

  6. It seems the win rankings are very closely correlated to budget and least if you look at it in tiers. Maybe BMC is punching somewhat below weight (Gilbert injuries not helping) and DD a bit above thanks to Cav. Though I don’t actually know DD’ budget and with Cav it may be more than I think.

    • Yes, they’re obviously related, but perhaps not that closely. Hard to say without knowing the exact budgets, but Movistar looks like they’re well above their wallet (as it was noted by others), Katusha lower than you might expect, Lampre is down the chart but it’s still better than richer teams, Cannondale was reported last year just below the 20M $ mark, and they’re well below Trek which was reported at 14M € (don’t know how much they made with Segafredo). Etc.

      • Had Zakarin been able to keep control of his bike and continued on to get 3rd place at the Giro, Katusha would be right on the back of the four Tier One teams and not the second team in Tier Two.

        • Not in a “victory ranking” (the day he fell he was already too far back to win, the following day Katusha got a victory anyway, hence nothing would have changed… unless you think Zak was going to win the sprint in Turin 🙂 ).

      • RE: team budgets, I thought Cannondale’s budget was way lower than 20M? JV tweets how hard it is to make a living with a small budget every now and then, and I recall reading a figure around 8-9M somewhere, not sure where though.
        Still, with the riders they have and the successes of past seasons they surely could do a bit better.

        • Last August, on Cyclingtips, you could read something like this:

          “Vaughters is a former pro who set up the Slipstream team in 2007. He has worked closely with the American businessman Doug Ellis, who has made substantial contributions to the team budget over the years and helped keep it afloat.
          Despite that, and despite the addition of Cannondale as a backer going into the 2015 season, he said that his team is in the bottom 25 percent of budgets. The dollar total is just under 20 million per year”.

          Perhaps I got something wrong?

          • Sometimes people confuse total budget, and the amount spent on rider salaries (overlooking mechanics, DSs, buses, cars, etc). The $20m vs $8m may have come from that.

            There’s also the issue of that Cyclingtips interview talking in US$ (I assume, it might be AUS$), when most budgets are given in €.

    • The current WorldTour rankings reward teams who have five riders who can score regularly.

      BMC are doing okay with 4th place at the moment, despite Gilbert being out. A measure of a team’s depth is to look at the fifth-best of the five scores which are added together to make the WorldTour ranking. The fifth-best rider at BMC is TJVG on 56 points, and only three other teams have a better fifth rider than that (Tinkoff, Sky, Etixx) which unsurprisingly works out to include two of the three teams currently ahead of them.

      Having too many team leaders can be a problem though. If Gilbert were fit and getting good results, his results would only have benefitted the team by the difference between his score and the score of the rider he bumped out of BMC’s top five. His presence at Flèche and Liege might also have led to Sanchez working for him and swinging off early, instead of placing well and earning a total of 82 points himself.

      Cav is not getting the results for DDD, he hasn’t scored a single point for them so far. I don’t think he’d be on a rich deal with them, he was only an opportunistic signing by DDD at the end of September (two whole months after transfer season opened, and far longer after rider agents started unofficial negotiations) when none of the present WorldTour teams were interested. If you’re still on the market at the end of September, your stocks won’t be high and you’ll be ready to accept a much lower deal or even a minimum salary deal with performance incentives.

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