Thursday, July 3, 2014

Last Year's Tour Revelations and Their Prospects

How are the prospects for last year's Tour revelations in this year's Tour?

Something of a mixed bag, if past trends are indicative of anything. With callous disregard for the reasons a given rider had never previously been in the top 20 (domestique duties, for instance), disinterest in HOW they went from zero to hero (one good break that stuck, the disappearance of the original team leader), and a total disinterest in WHY a rider might fail to perform the year after a breakout performance (being a known quantity, going from being a team member to leader, team transfers), here are some facts with regard to riders who performed unexpectedly well in a Tour de France in the last 10 years.

2004 through 2012, 32 riders have had top 10 finishes after never finishing inside the top 20 before

The Good News:

  • 12 finished inside the top 10 the next time they rode the Tour.
  • 4 podiumed
  • 3 won
The Bad News:
  • Following their "breakout" performance, 20 finished outside the top 10 the next year they rode the tour (62.5%)
  • 17 finished outside the top 20.
  • 8 didn't even finish (or got DQ'd - or in 1 case, ever ride a TdF again)
  • Only 8 riders improved on their previous year's performance.
  • 3 remained "neutral", getting the same finish spot*.
* Contador won in 2007 and again in 2009, so it's not really fair to call this "neutral" - though he was forced to take 2008 off due to Astana not being invited to the tour as punishment.

So of the 4 riders who pulled off the feat last year

  • 2. QUINTANA Nairo
  • 6. MOLLEMA Bauke
  • 7. FUGLSANG Jakob
  • 9. NAVARRO Daniel
Chance they will end up outside the top 20: 53%
Chance they will end up outside the top 10: 62.5%
Chance they will DNF/DQ: 25%*
Chance they will finish in the top 10 again: 38%
Chance they'll actually improve: 25%
Chance they will podium: 13%
Chance they will win: 9%

* Quintana isn't even riding the Tour so we're covered here...

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