2013 Cycling Season

tour_de_france-2011

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
  • Argos-Shimano
  • Astana
  • Blanco Pro Cycling (formally Rabobank)
  • BMC Racing
  • Euskaltel
  • FDJ
  • Garmin-Sharp
  • Orica-Greenedge
  • Lampre-Merida
  • Cannondale (formally Liquigas)
  • Lotto-Belisol
  • Movistar
  • Omega Pharma-Quick Step
  • Radioshack
  • Saxo-Tinkoff
  • Sky
  • Vacansoleil-DCM

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.

worldtourteamages2013

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
Jens Voigt Radioshack 17/09/1971 41.3
Chris Horner Radioshack 23/10/1971 41.2
Stuart O’Grady Orica-Greenedge 06/08/1973 39.4
Alessandro Petacchi Lampre-Merida 03/01/1974 39.0
Danilo Hondo Radioshack 04/01/1974 39.0
Matteo Tossato Team Saxo-Tinkoff 14/05/1974 38.6
André Schulze Euskaltel-Euskaltel 21/11/1974 38.1
Julian Dean Orica-Greenedge 28/01/1975 37.9
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
Bob Jungels Radioshack 22/09/1992 20.3
Jay McCarthy Team Saxo-Tinkoff 08/09/1992 20.3
Alexey Lutsenko Astana 07/09/1992 20.3
Joshua Edmondson Team Sky 06/07/1992 20.5
Luca Wackermann Lampre-Merida 13/03/1992 20.8
Emilien Viennet FDJ 06/02/1992 20.9
Lachlan Morton Garmin-Sharp 02/01/1992 21.0
Nikias Arndt Argos-Shimano 18/11/1991 21.1

As I mentioned before, there are 43 nations representing the field of riders. The top 20 nations are illustrated in the graph below…

worldtournations2013
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.

Team Frame Components Wheels
Ag2r-La Mondiale Focus Campagnolo Fulcrum
Argos-Shimano Felt Shimano Shimano
Astana Specialized Campagnolo Corima
Blanco Pro Cycling Giant Shimano Shimano
BMC Racing BMC Shimano Shimano
Euskaltel Orbea Shimano Shimano
FDJ Lapierre Shimano Shimano
Garmin-Sharp Cervélo Shimano Mavic
Orica-Greenedge Scott Shimano Shimano
Lampre-Merida Merida Shimano Fulcrum
Cannondale Cannondale SRAM Vision
Lotto-Belisol Ridley Campagnolo Campagnolo
Movistar Pinarello Campagnolo Campagnolo
Omega Pharma-Quick Step Specialized SRAM Zipp
Radioshack Trek Shimano Bontrager
Saxo-Tinkoff Specialized SRAM Zipp
Sky Pinarello Shimano Shimano
Vacansoleil-DCM Bianchi (mixed) FFWD

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.

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