The UCI World Tour teams have been announced. This years tour is comprised of 507 riders, representing 43 nations. I thought it would be interesting to see a breakdown of the tour riders age and nationality, as well as see what each team is riding.
First off, here are the 18 teams…
- Ag2r-La Mondiale
- Blanco Pro Cycling (formally Rabobank)
- BMC Racing
- Cannondale (formally Liquigas)
- Omega Pharma-Quick Step
Some names have changed, but in general it’s the same lineup as last year with the exception of Katusha, who was not included for “ethical reasons” and Europecar which is a Pro Continental team now.
The average age of this years pro peloton is 28 years and 2 months. The oldest rider in the tour is none other than Jens “shut up legs” Voigt (Radioshack) at 41 years of age. The youngest is Danny Van Poppel (Vacansoleil-DCM) at 19 years of age.
The graph below illustrates the 18 teams ranke by average age. This years geriatric team award goes to team Saxo-Tinkoff which has the majority of riders over 30, including Albert “el pistolero” Contador.
The table below lists the top ten oldest riders riders in this years World Tour. Curiously some of these riders are so old that they distort the overall average age. The mean average of all the riders is over 28 but the modal average is 27 or put another way Radioshack’s 40-somethings, lean as they might be, help to fatten the tail of age distribution…lets hear it for the “old farts”!
|Rider||Team||Date of Birth||Age Today|
|Matteo Tossato||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||14/05/1974||38.6|
|Nicki Sorensen||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||28/01/1975||37.6|
|Bert Grabsch||Omega Pharma-Quickstep||19/06/1975||37.5|
The top ten young pups are…
|Rider||Team||Date of Birth||Age Today|
|Danny Van Poppel||Vacansoleil-DCM||26/07/1993||19.4|
|Carlos Verona||Omega Pharma-Quickstep||04/11/1992||20.2|
|Jay McCarthy||Team Saxo-Tinkoff||08/09/1992||20.3|
|Joshua Edmondson||Team Sky||06/07/1992||20.5|
As I mentioned before, there are 43 nations representing the field of riders. The top 20 nations are illustrated in the graph below…
Outside the top-20 Austria, Lithuania, Norway and Slovakia are represented by 4 riders; Belarus, Czech Republic, Japan, South Africa and Sweden with 3 riders; Argentina, Costa Rica, Ireland, Ukraine, Venezuela with 2; and Brazil, China, Croatia, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Morocco and Uzbekistan with 1.
As much as the sport might be spreading around the world “Old Europe” dominates with Italy, France, Belgium and Spain accounting for well over half the World Tour peloton, yet 92 riders come from English speaking nations making the principle language English.
As for the bikes and equipment used by the 18 teams, you’ll find that Merida is the most represented bike sponsor with 4 teams choosing to ride either their own namesake (Lampre switched from Willier-Triestina to Merida) or Specialized (Astana, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Saxo-Tinkoff) which Merida is both the major shareholder and frame builder. Pon Holdings comes in second, with the Cervélo and Focus bikes chosen by Garmin-Sharp and Ag2r-La Mondiale. The table below lists the complete bike, component an wheel breakdown.
|Blanco Pro Cycling||Giant||Shimano||Shimano|
|Omega Pharma-Quick Step||Specialized||SRAM||Zipp|
Shimano dominates the component this year, while Campy displaces SRAM for second place. Wheel selection is also dominated by Shimano which was probably due more to their deep pockets and all important sponsorship dollars than anything else. Note also that the teams selecting Campy and SRAM also use wheels associated with their brands (SRAM owns Zipp and Quark while Fulcrum belongs to Campy).
Even at the top level some teams are not sponsored by component manufacturers. Some teams are sponsored directly by the parent company but others rely on deals with their national distributor and a few squads even buy their components. For example note Garmin-Sharp is not sponsored by Shimano but uses their parts, albeit with a mix n’match to incorporate components from the likes of Rotor. The chieftains of choice are Vacansoleil-DCM with an FSA crank, Look pedals and a gold KMC chain and more.
Regardless what they ride, we all know it’s the “engine” that makes the difference, as well as a lot of strategy, great support and yes, luck. Here’s to a great 2013 season.