Team Victory Rankings

A look at the win rates for the top teams and as ever a chance to look at some of the stories behind the wins and the stats relating to the teams especially as we’re in the middle of the transfer season.

Etixx-Quickstep lead as usual and by now half the team have enjoyed a win each and that’s excluding collective wins in time trials. Another impressive stat is they’ve won 10% of the races counted here (World Tour down to *.2 races). Yet questions swirl over the team’s future, headline sponsor Etixx, a brand of energy food, belongs to Omega Pharma which used to be owned by Belgian sports fanatic Marc Coucke however he sold the business to US firm Perrigo with a small clause saying they had to fund the team until the end of 2017. With no replacement sponsor found yet the clock is ticking and the team can only sign riders on one year deals for next year but it seems they’re planning in the future, only today they’ve announced a side sponsorship deal through to the end of 2018. You’d think the team could name its price among the Belgian corporate sector for the VIP opportunities offered in April alone but, in reductive terms, the cost of running a team these days is superior to this kind of national value but not yet worthwhile internationally: too expensive for a Belgian sponsor, not global enough for a multi-national?

Chris Froome Tour de France 2016

Team Sky are second and among the 34 wins is that Tour de France win, the prize that eclipses everything else in the sport but there’s been more, for example the accordeon-playing Gianni Moscon’s recent success in the Arctic Race of Norway this month.

Dimension Data are the newest joiners to the World Tour and have enjoyed plenty of wins. Mark Cavendish took four stage wins in the Tour de France and the yellow jersey and has eight wins in total this year, the same count for Edvald Boasson Hagen. Tinkoff have often struggled for wins but will bow out with plenty this time, 28 of which only nine come from Peter Sagan, “only” as you might expect him to carry the team but others have shared the load. Astana are having a mixed season by their usual standards. Vincenzo Nibali won the Giro, Miguel Angel Lopez took the Tour de Suisse and they’ve had more wins here and there but Fabio Aru vanished in the Tour de France and their chances in the Vuelta look slim as promising as Miguel Angel Lopez is. One hope is the World Team Time Trial Championships, with talk of a boycott today’s L’Equipe reports Astana are the only World Tour team planning to ride.

Orica-BikeExchange are mid-table and have won when it counts. A bonzer Tour Down Under then two stages in Paris-Nice, Mathew Hayman’s Roubaix win and stages in the Giro and Tour and more including last weekend’s win in Hamburg for Caleb Ewan against sprint royalty. They undergo a transformation from a team packed with sprinters and ex-track riders into a herd of mountain goats or at least a squad led by stage race contenders like Esteban Chaves and the Yates brothers while Michael Matthews leaves. In comes Roman Kreuziger and his baggage as a client of Dr Ferrari but there’s a difficult balancing act ahead, Chaves and Yates x 2 means three leaders when some teams struggle with two and that’s before Caleb Ewan asks for his shot at grand tour sprint success and expects some wagons for his sprint train.

IAM Cycling have only 14 wins but they’ll be missed next year, a pirate ship amid the World Tour galleons with riders willing to attack and take chances to win like Jarlinson Pantano along with a few surprises, think Roger Kluge winning a stage of the Giro when all the sprinters had gone home.

Cannondale-Drapac have eight wins and it’s hard to recall one of them because none have been big, they’ve not won a race in the World Tour this year. Unlucky? Perhaps but they’ve not had many opportunities either, Moreno Moser was second in the Pinerolo stage of the Giro and they’ve had some third places in other World Tour races. In comes Sep Vanmarcke as the big signing which is potentially game changing if he can convert his podium placings to a big win. We’ll see if Mr Drapac’s millions can help buy in more riders. Overall you sense a team that’s lost its mojo, once they painted themselves as The Clean Team and Argyle underdogs and now it’s not so clear what they’re doing.

Ag2r La Mondiale‘s last place in the rankings doesn’t matter too much because with a stage win and a podium finish in Paris thanks to Romain Bardet with the kind of audacity that’s so exciting it almost makes you want to buy a Sram-equipped Focus and wear brown shorts. The sponsors are delighted and are pouring more money into the team. They’ve been sponsoring the squad for 17 years now and the budget has gone up to allow them to recruit more riders, notably Stijn Vandenbergh who can help in the classics but also play a bodyguard role for Bardet in July and they’ve taken five riders so far from IAM Cycling, possibly more than will join from Drapac in their formal merger with Cannondale.

On to the second tier of teams and it’s like peering at a different planet such is the gap between these teams and the World Tour. Direct Energie top the rankings on 22 wins with 13 from Bryan Coquard. So far so good but they’ve not won a World Tour race since 2013 and Thomas Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel seem to be consuming the wage budget without delivering proportionate results.

Among the others Bora-Argon 18 resemble a family car that’s about to have a jet engine strapped on the roof with the arrival of Peter Sagan for 2017. It’s fun but it could be disruptive too but should be manageable, riders used to taking their own chances know these “suicide” moves don’t usually pay-off so they’ll be only to happy to rally behind Sagan.

Some teams have clear national goals so CCC-Sprandi have won six races in Poland and most of their other wins come in and around Central Europe. Bardiani-CSF probably want to win big in Italy – and their Giro stage win means they did – but six of their eight come from outside Italy with Sonny Colbrelli back in form thanks to two stage wins in the recent Tour du Limousin.

From national to regional and once upon a time the sport had several regional squads, think of teams representing Brittany, the Basque Country and Galicia but now there’s not much left. One survivor is Topsport Vlaanderen but they’ve had a disappointing time, normally a conveyor belt for promising Flemish riders no rider stands out this year but there’s always the upcoming Eneco Tour. One growing theme in recent years has been improved talent detection and so the best riders are spotted early and brought into feeder teams from an early age, it’s rare. Still if they’re last on the chart Marseille-Delko-KTM, Team Novo Nordisk and Team Roth have not had a single win between them.


20 thoughts on “Team Victory Rankings”

  1. The Cannodale signings this past year have really dissapointed. Uran, Rolland and Wippert. Big zero’s. The young guys have promise, but I’m note sure if its more than top-10 in grand tour’s materials. Woods might have the most victory potential of any of them and he’s not even young.

    • Wippert wouldn’t be the first sprinter to consistently rack up the wins in the lower ranks then struggle at WT level, see also Magnus Cort.

      • Agree. Was surprised by Uran’s performance in the Giro and there doesn’t appear to be any improvement for Rolland since moving. I think that Dombrowski, Formolo and the soon arriving Morton are future podium chances at a giro or vuelta.

  2. “…too expensive for a Belgian sponsor, not global enough for a multi-national?” I’d substitute “too much risk of a doping scandal” instead of “not global enough” all thanks to Heinie’s Folly, aka World/Pro/Whatever Tour. No direct reflection on this team but more that the costs are too high for Belgian sponsors who might risk it, but the entire sport’s still too risky as a purely business/advertising expense for a multi-national.
    I too wonder about Cannondale, is the management there so distracted by Velon’s efforts to get their fingers into the pockets of ASO that the team is suffering?
    Finally, I don’t know the size of the “Manx Missile” paychecks these days, but I’d wager in 2016 he’s been the best value in pro cycling, bar none.

  3. I hadn’t realised that Etixx, the company, support multi sports teams and several cycling teams.
    They don’t *seem* like a company paring back, quite the opposite?

  4. Really like my Focus with SRAM. Not quite ready for brown shorts… Hard to say how Contador would have fared in this years TdF had he not crashed but I get the feeling grand tour wins are less likely. Podiums a maybe. Is Trek a definitive destination for him or still in the rumor mill? Is he the name that will re elevate the brand to Armstrong days glory – doubt it

  5. Surprising to see Dimension Data so highly ranked in the victory standings–better than Tinkoff, Astana, BMC and Lotto-Soudal! And seeing Giant-Alpecin so far down the rankings shows what sort of detrimental effects were felt from the terrible pre-season accident involving Degenkolb and four other key riders.

  6. Here are some data-mining stats

    The high profile riders make a difference from a win count perspective

    – The Top 10 riders accounted for 23% of the wins
    – The Top 32 riders accounted for 50% of the wins
    – 18 of the top 32 riders (4 wins or more) are sprinters
    – 9 of the non-sprinters won at least one ITT.
    – 6 of the non-sprinters won at a GC (not including sprinters)
    – 3 riders –Cummings, Gilbert and Wellens (1 GC) are Single Stage Chasers

    Main point – If you want wins Sprinters produce results, ITT superstars deliver, and GC riders are likely to get ITT wins.

    Some additional data points:
    – 6 of 6 AG2R wins were in France
    – 15 of 19 FDJ wins were in France
    – 15 of 32 Movistar wins were in Spain
    – 8 of 20 Orica wins were in Asia-pac. (6 Australia – 2 Honk Kong)
    – 11 of 16 Lampre wins were in races with one or no other WT teams
    – 9 of 27 Astana wins were in Latavia, Kazakhastan and Langkwai (Malaysia)
    – 9 of 16 Lotto NL Jumbo wins were in Holland or Belgium
    – 8 of 15 IAM wins were in France or Belgium
    – 6 of 28 DD wins were in National Championships

    On the PCT / Continental side
    – 25 of 29 Nasr Dubai wins were in Algeria (the team is based in Dubai)
    – 16 of 22 Direct Energie wins were in France, 4 more in Gabon
    – 21 of 21 Verandas Willems wins were in France, Belgium, and Holland
    – 17 of 35 wins by US based teams were in the US (23 of 96 with WT)
    – 8 of the 17 wins by US teams above were by US racers – 4 by Holowesko

    Main point number 2 – wins have a higher probability of being generated with race selection and via national championships in tertiary countries (biggest example Hong Kong)

    Looking at the 2015 data:
    – The top 10 riders accounted for 25% of wins (8+ wins)
    – The top 25 riders accounted for 44% of wins (5+ wins)
    – The top 38 riders accounted for 54% of wins (4+ wins)
    – 18 of 38 riders that got 4+ wins in 2015 have 4+ in 2016
    – 19 fo the top 38 riders are sprinters
    – 4 are stage hunters, 12 are GC riders – with 9 with gc, 9 have TT wins
    – 6 of the top 10 from 2015 are in the top ten of 2016
    – 6 out of the top 15 are no longer in the top 32 of 2016 (none of the were in the top 5)

    The above data excludes TTT.

    Going for GC is gamble without a superstar – the big budget team – GC riders seem to generate more wins, however Orica (Sanchez), Giant – Alpecin (Domulin) and FDJ (Pinot) were outliers in 2015.

  7. What did people make of Caleb Ewan’s Hamburg victory?
    Bouhanni has had so many dodgy moments that the judges may be biased against him.
    Not just the judges, but a lot of people on cycling websites.
    With only the head-on shot, it’s hard to tell. I couldn’t honestly say if I believe it was a ‘racing incident’ or a deliberate body check (unlike most, who seem so certain) – nor whether or not it was decisive to the result: Ewan moves more than seems necessary (albeit he gets clouted at ~60km/h).
    I don’t like the guy’s riding at all and have criticised him a lot in the past, but when Cavendish does things like that he doesn’t get relegated – and nowhere near as many people deride him. It was a bad movement, but I’ve seen a lot worse over the years go unpunished.

    • Justified. Bouhanni seems almost incapable of a clean sprint, even when he gets away with it he always looks pretty bad, see stage 8 of the 2014 Vuelta for a shameless body check of Michael Matthews (maybe he just hates Australians for some reason) even though he was already in front. Perhaps he could spend the off season having anger management therapy and learning to sprint in a straight line. Either that or giving up cycling for MMA, as that would appear to more suit his disposition.

      • Yeah, I’m still not sure about this particular incident, but Bouhanni has earned his reputation.
        I suppose overall my opinion is that regardless of motive the result may well have been altered by the action, so it’s probably the right decision. But I’d be interested to hear the views of others, especially UHJ, who (I believe) works as a commissaire or similar.
        But I think the point still stands that Cavendish has pulled a variety of similar stunts – less barging, but a lot of swerving (not factoring in his latest work on the track) – over the years, but doesn’t face the same opprobrium and usually gets away with it with regards to DQs.
        Not just picking on Cavendish – I’m not sure many other riders would have been DQ’d for what Bouhanni did.

        • Cav has had his swervy moments for sure, but even if Bouhanni’s reputation is inviting closer scrutiny from race officials, surely the answer is to be, excuse language, less of a dick? The only one to blame for losing races in this manner is himself.

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