A retrospective on the team victory rankings for 2023 in the men’s World Tour, looking at the rankings, some extra stats and also a team-by-team report on their season.
It looks like the skyline of a big city with several teams as skyscrapers towering above the rest. The first five teams took over half the wins between them, normal given sport is a winner-takes-all domain but dominant all the same.
This chart above goes beyond the win count to show the podium placings for the teams and the share. As you can see Jumbo-Visma are also the alchemists, turning bronze and silver into golden wins. There’s a touch of selection bias here as win a mountain summit finish or a time trial and you may collect GC as well but their results go beyond this. We can see Ineos were often close but didn’t win as much as they wanted while Alpecin-Deceuninck were highly efficient, if they came to contest the win they often go it. Statistically Bahrain weren’t so victorious and both DSM and Ag2r struggled to convert runner-up places into wins.
Finally this chart shows which teams are reliant on one lead rider for their wins or not. Jumbo-Visma saw Vingegaard and Roglič tied with 15 wins and Olav Kooij on 13 so they’re not dependent on one rider to bring home the bacon, even if Vingegaard is of course their central rider. The surprise is that UAE is only 30% as Pogačar won often but the team won plenty elsewhere too. Alpecin-Deceuninck’s key man is Jasper Philipsen, he tops the rankings for pro wins this year on 19 wins. At the other end of the scale fewer wins mean data is less reliable but Astana really need home hero Alexey Lutsenko.
Jumbo-Visma (69 wins) were tied with UAE in 2023, now they are well ahead of the pack. Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič delivered the goods as expected with 15 wins each but the count was boosted by Olav Kooij and his 13 wins. Topping the tables for wins and quality with the Tour de France and the grand tour slam. Is 2023 their high water mark? They’ll miss Roglič and his win rate. Wout van Aert wasn’t as prolific but he was gifting wins at times and playing helper, next year he’ll race for himself more. All this and they had a sponsorship crisis but a reminder that backers aren’t waiting in the wings watching to see if they can win the Vuelta, these deals can take years to nuture and when Jumbo pulled the plug pre-emptively things can change fast.
- Hit: the Tour de France win was so emphatic that it’s got rivals asking whether they should do the Giro instead for fear of losing
- Miss: active on every front but for all the dominant rides in the spring classics, still no Monuments. Paris-Roubaix and the Ronde prove elusive
- Surprise: Sep Kuss’s Vuelta win
UAE Emirates (57 wins) are more than just Team Pogačar even if he delivered close to a third of their wins. Adam Yates won plenty before slotting as a luxury lieutenant at the Tour de France. Juan Ayuso didn’t have the Vuelta he wanted but we ought to drop any recency bias and remember his excellent Romandie and Suisse wins.
- Hit: Pogačar had an outrageously good season with two monuments, the Amstel, Paris-Nice, Flèche
- Miss: in his own words Jay Vine didn’t have the season he wanted but let’s say the Vuelta as this included Vine crashing out and neither Almeida nor Ayuso shaped the race
- Surprise: Adam Yates proved an excellent hire, winning the UAE Tour for the team, taking Romandie and proving invaluable for Pogačar in the Tour de France
Soudal-Quickstep (55 wins) used to top the these rankings every year but have been overtaken although if things had gone differently on the Nogaro motor circuit at the end of Stage 4, as in no crash, maybe Fabio Jakobsen would have racked up more wins? The optimistic spin is they’re swapping quantity for quality as they become a grand tour squad lining up behind Remco Evenepoel but this year’s roster wasn’t exactly stacked with helpers to tow the Belgian prodigy into place on the last mountain climb. He’s central to the team but they struggled to shut down summer transfer talk.
- Hit: Remco Evenepoel and his win rate
- Miss: maybe it’s our fault for expecting them to perform in the cobbled classics
- Surprise: the team is an institution so who imagined their major shareholder and title sponsor trying to switch to another team leaving the Quicksteppers stranded?
Ineos (36) finish the season with the same report as last year, a season without a grand tour win but Tom Pidcock brought some entertainment along the way and they still won plenty. Arguably though it’s worse to repeat this, an off-year is ok but this is starting to look structural with many riders choosing to leave and even the new joiners being put on hold.
- Hit: Tom Pidcock’s raid in Strade Bianche impressed
- Miss: you can see the results not matching ambitions but it’s the recruitment, key riders left
- Surprise: Josh Tarling’s season. We knew he was promising, he was delivering too
Alpecin-Deceuninck (35) were newly promoted to the World Tour and thrived. The team is superb in flat races but any gradient and they’re in trouble. But wins galore and prestige as well, Mathieu van der Poel is their star but they’ve diversified with Jasper Philipsen and Kaden Groves racked up plenty of wins too. The World Tour obliges them to have at least 27 riders but they could operate as a ProTeam of 20 riders and do just as well.
- Hit: Jasper Philipsen’s Tour de France
- Miss: they’re very much a team of flat landers
- Surprise: Kaden Groves can deliver when Van der Poel and Philipsen are resting
Lidl-Trek (27) are a team in transformation, they changed name mid-season and have big ambitions to be one of the leading squads but 2023 was their last year as Trek-Segafredo and the corresponding roster but this delivered, they’re winning more and more these days. Eight national championships added to the win count but there was quality too. Guilio Ciccone’s polka-dot jersey at the Tour isn’t officially a win but worked out nicely after Covid forced him to drop the Giro, he rode the Dauphiné where he took the fun Bastille finish and then had a great July.
- Hit: Mads Pedersen is a gem of a rider for them, a powerhouse but handy in selective uphill finishes
- Miss: it’s hard to ask for a lot more. Still Quinn Simmons started the season with a win in San Juan but didn’t get the results he wanted in the spring and salvaged the season with his US champs win
- Surprise: Mattias Skjelmose’s great season, he was tipped for the season but surpassed expectations
EF Education First-Easypost (26) are in seventh place and that’s remarkable in itself for a team that has struggled for wins in recnet years. Still only four World Tour wins but they’ll go into 2024 hoping for more from Neilson Powless, Marijn van den Berg, Ben Healy and especially Richard Carapaz. Healy’s a revelation of the season and also their most prolific winner with five wins, not bad for a rider who has said out loud he can’t sprint but still gives everyone the slip.
- Hit: Neilson Powless’s long spring campaign
- Miss: big signing Richard Carapaz suffered illness and crashes and their Tour de France suffered
- Surprise: Ben Healy’s season
Bora-hansgrohe (23) are probably the season’s under-performers when measured against expectations. They ought to be up there with UAE and Ineos given the roster. Still it was a solid year with stage wins in all three grand tours but tellingly nothing in the spring classics, their best results in April where in the Basque Country and the Tour of the Alps. Now they could be the antithesis of Alpecin-Deceuninck and be made for the mountains but they had Sam Bennett, Danny van Poppel and Jordi Meeus. Signing win machine Primož Roglič should fix things but cheque-book tactics haven’t paid off.
- Hit: Jai Hindley taking a stage of the Tour de France and the yellow jersey for a day
- Miss: Max Schachmann’s gone missing in action
- Surprise: Nico Denz taking two stage wins in the Giro
Intermarché-Circus-Wanty (20) are going from plucky outsiders trying longshot moves to stalwarts capable of poaching wins here and there; earlier this year they were Belgian’s leading team with more wins than Quickstep and Lotto. Rui Costa took their most wins and his exit to EF outwardly looks like a loss but could be a boon for the team as it shows signing with Intermarché for a year can be a platform to new things, it might tempt other overlooked talents in their 30s to sign up. House sprinter Gerben Thijssen popped up for some wins and Madis Mihkels is promising although both spoilt the party with their racist gestures at the Tour of Guangxi but the team were quick to deal with them.
- Hit: Rui Costa took the most wins
- Miss: excepting his direct rivals, everyone would have liked to see more from Biniam Girmay.
- Surprise: Georg Zimmermann’s rise isn’t so surprising but in the moment watching him mug Mathieu Burgaudeau for a Dauphiné stage win was.
Groupama-FDJ (19) gave a lesson in winning… hearts and minds with Thibaut Pinot’s retirement season and if you were getting a little tired of the videos by the end of the year, that’s probably the point were they were starting to reach the general public which is what sponsors crave. They lost Arnaud Démare mid-season, he was going to leave anyway but things accelerated following a spat with David Gaudu but if Gaudu was in the ascendency, he didn’t get a win for the team all season. In fact their best scorer was neo-pro Romain Grégoire while captains Stefan Küng and Valentin Madouas each got a World Tour win.
- Hit: Romain Grégoire took five wins
- Miss: David Gaudu’s Tour de France. He said he was producing the same power numbers as last year but 2022 saw him behind Thomas who was well behind Vingegaard and Pogačar so it was always going to be hard to parlay this into a result in July, especially after a great Paris-Nice which raised expectations further
- Surprise: Thibaut Pinot managed to retire on a high with results, UCI points for the team and saturation media coverage, very few champions get to bow out like this
Writing about Bahrain Victorious (19) wins feels awkward given the death of Gino Mäder, a tragic accident and the loss of a rider with great humanity, he said aloud he had questions about riding for the team given the regime sponsoring it which is refreshing when message discipline normally requires riders to praise every sponsor to the sky. The team “rode for Gino” and delivered some strong results all the same but there’s the sense the squad are not the force they were upon launch, Bahraini funding only goes so far and they’d like a co-sponsor which, ironically, could replace the “Victorious” but make them win more.
- Hit: Matej Mohorič’s summer form, his Tour de France win and his post-stage interview
- Miss: Mikel Landa… but wait a minute, a podium in the Flèche Wallonne and regular top-10s in all stage races except for the Dauphiné and Tour. It was solid rather than swashbuckling
- Surprise: Jonathan Milan made a name for himself in the sprints
Jayco‘s (17) best rider was Simon Yates who changed his usual routine to ride the Tour Down Under and Tour de France. A stage win in Down Under was good for the team and fourth overall in Paris was the story of Yates’s season, a formidable result but just short of victory whether it was second to Adam in the opening stage, fourth overall in Paris-Nice or third in the Giro dell’Emilia. Dylan Groenewegen got the most wins among their riders but “only” six, his win rate dropped off this season with more podiums than wins. He might be concerned about the arrival of Caleb Ewan next year but teams can run two sprinters, it could arguably impact Yates and Michael Matthews more who have fewer resources on hand. No wins for Eddie Dunbar but the team management will be rubbing their hands with plans for 2024.
- Hit: six wins for Dylan Groenewegen
- Miss: only six wins for Dylan Groenewegen
- Surprise: new hires Eddie Dunbar, Filippo Zana and Felix Engelhardt all shined
Movistar (16) had their first season post Valverde and it showed. Their top scorer was Oier Lazkano with three wins this season. Matteo Jorgenson won in Oman and was second in Romandie and finished as the team’s top points scorer and basically said out loud he’d ploughed a lot of his salary into training camps and performance to achieve this, the subtext being that the team didn’t supply enough for him to get the best out of himself. He’s duly off to Visma-LeaseABike. Enric Mas is steady but no wins and you think the team could dispatch him to some of the smaller Spanish stage races for an “easy” win here or there but those days are gone, the likes of Pogačar, Evenepoel, Roglič and Vingegaard use the same races for practice too and it would require Mas on peak form when it’s arguably better to go big in the summer; his Tour was ruined by that opening crash. Einer Rubio took two mountain stage wins.
- Hit: Oier Lazkano had a great season, the 24 year old winning the Spanish title was a masterpiece ride
- Miss: missing out on signing Carlos Rodriguez, to use a metaphor the ink didn’t dry on the contract
- Surprise: Matteo Jorgenson went up a gear
Mark Cavendish got plenty of headlines for Astana (16) but it was Alexey Lutsenko who delivered the wins, nine in all. This made Astana the only team where one rider delivered half or more of their wins. 2022 was such a poor season for them – five wins, of which two were the obligatory Kazakh championships – that 2023 was an improvement but Cavendish took their only World Tour level win
- Hit: Mark Cavendish’s Rome stage win in the Giro, it gave them a big win and his postponed Tour retirement is making people look again at the team
- Miss: just one World Tour win
- Surprise: not much to write home about but hiring ex-triathlete Javier Romo is one of those alternative signings that paid off
You probably remember the stat that Cofidis (14) hadn’t won a stage of the Tour de France since 2008. Victor Lafay ended the drought and then Ion Izagirre put an end to the nine day dry spell with a second stage win. Bryan Coquard also got his first World Tour win in the Tour Down Under and Jesus Herrada took a Vuelta stage win. So far so good but you’re only reading this having got past 14 other teams and so while they won big, they didn’t win too often.
- Hit: Victor Lafay’s win on the opening weekend of the Tour de France, box office stuff
- Miss: maybe harsh, but Axel Zingle only had one win out of 23 top-10s
- Surprise: after a long drought of Tour de France success they took two stage wins and with style
Here’s a question for you: what’s the purpose of Team DSM-Firmenich (11)? It’s not posed with sarcasm or cynicism, more that this team has operated in a slightly different way to others, a big emphasis on bringing on young riders who are mentored by a handful of seniors and internally there’s a huge importance given to process and protocol. But it’s a sports team not a management consultancy project and if the wins haven’t flowed but this is probably down to budget. They’ve not had star riders but they have still been a fixture and now get increased funding from Firmenich and the coup of landing Dutch co-sponsor PostNL for 2024.
- Hit: Andreas Leknessund’s Giro
- Miss: nothing went wrong, no signing was disastrous, their problem is nobody expected big results and they’ve remedied this by signing Fabio Jakobsen for 2024
- Surprise: their youngest rider Max Poole was a revelation this season
Arkéa-Samsic (10) are the only World Tour team without a World Tour win but just pip French rivals to avoid last place. They battled hard throughout 2022 get into the World Tour for this season but don’t have much to write home about. Injuries plagued them, David Dekker crashing out of the Giro, Kévin Vauquelin’s knee and so on. But if you have a blog that does race previews you don’t pick from among their roster… at least until August when they signed Arnaud Démare and he delivered two wins. For the modest budget, a chunk of which goes in payroll taxes, they’re alright but need something to show in the Tour de France.
- Hit: hiring Arnaud Démare mid-season suited everyone
- Miss: Kévin Vauquelin should be a rising star but his knee’s caused problems; Clément Champoussin was even more discreet
- Surprise: Luca Mozzato was one of B&B’s best riders and the team did well to pick him up
Ag2r Citroën (9) are last. Auto maker Citroën came on board and their injection of funding helped fund the recruitment of classy but ageing riders like Greg Van Avermaet which didn’t bring up the win rate. Their headline budget is high and even if a chunk of this goes out in payroll taxes rather than talent they’re been underperforming, and it’s something they’ve said aloud too. But if team management sit back and think of 2023 over a glass of mondeuse then a smile is bound to appear with Felix Gall’s Tour stage win, the big triumph they craved. Hiring Ben O’Connor and Felix Gall looked like a strong of genius but surely nobody imagined they’d get this good, but the team can be proud they’ve enabled them to reach these heights. All change for 2024 with Decathlon on board with more funding but it’s much more than a sponsorship deal, the team has a vertical pipeline with a junior team and an U23 team.
- Hit: Felix Gall’s Tour de France stage win
- Miss: tricky second album problems for Ben O’Connor and Benoît Cosnefroy who struggled to beat their excellent 2022 seasons
- Surprise: Dorian Godon’s a beast but brute force doesn’t equate to wins, but he parlayed this into two victories