A few Pre-Tour facts and figures

Here’s a few facts and figures to wile away the hours until the Tour begins.

Time Trials

Just 1.24% (41.8km) of this year’s route will be made up of Time Trials, the lowest amount in the 1980 to 2015 period. The only other times it has taken up under 2% between 1980 and 2015 was with 1.47% in 2014, 1.67% in 2010 and 1.91% in 2011, with the average across 1980 to 2015 being 4.1% (151.3 km).

itttt

Climbs

There will be 81.8km worth of final climbs at the 2015 Tour, the highest amount in 2000-2015.* This equates to 2.44% of the route – the only other two years in the 2000-2015 period over 2% were 2002 (2.4%) and 2011 (2.12%). The average gradient of these final climbs is 7.19%, almost bang on the average of 7.18. The highest average gradients were in 2013, when the 53.1km of final climbs averaged 7.96%, and the lowest was 2012, when the 42.4km of summit finishes were only 6.01% on average.

TT
There’s no data pre-1997 for summit finishes as I can’t find the required route maps…

Anyone who wants to pick on Bradley Wiggins and say he had an easy ride at the 2012 Tour can point this low figure, plus the high 2.9% of the route that was made up of TT’s in 2012, as evidence as the stars aligning for him that year – interestingly, his other succesful GC campaign, 2009, saw another contextually high % of TT’s at 2.75%, and a mere 40.4km of summit finishes, the third lowest amount in the 2000-2015 period. But enough picking on Wiggo…

*It’s worth pointing out that this is just counting the final climbs, not the total ascent or the entirety of the mountains before hand. There could be a whole lot of summit finishes with not many climbs before hand, or lots of mountain stages finishing on descents that would scew this ratio, for instance.

Nation stats

Nation

Belarus don’t have representation in the Tour for the first time since 2006.
– Daniel Teklehaimanot and Merhawi Kudus will become the first riders from Eritrea to ride the Tour.

MTN aren't the first African team (that honour goes to North Africa in 1950) but they do have the first Eritreans. And awful national champions kits. Sigh.
MTN aren’t the first African team (that honour goes to North Africa in 1950) but they do have the first Eritreans. And awful national champions kits. Sigh.

– The 10 British riders on the Tour is the most since 2010, when there were eight.
– 2015 will be the first year Kazakhstan have only had one representative since 2009.
– In the first Schleck-less year since 2005, Luxembourg still have 3 riders, equaling their total in 2008, 2009 and 2014.
– With the Tour starting in Utrecht, the 20 Dutch cyclists starting the race is the most in the last 11 years (Only eight started in Rotterdam in 2010)

LottoNL, the only Dutch World Tour team now Giant Alpecin have gone German, are celebrating the Utrecht start with this patriotic collar.
LottoNL, the only Dutch World Tour team now Giant Alpecin have gone German, are celebrating the Utrecht start with this patriotic collar.

South Africa’s four riders is their highest ever representation at the Tour.
Switzerland will have a double figure number of riders for the first time in the 2005-2015 period.
Spain’s 15 riders is the lowest they’ve had at the Tour in the 2005-2015 period – they peaked at 41 in 2007 and have averaged 28 in the period.
– The United States can only muster three riders – their lowest since 4 in 2008, and less than half of the 7 they’ve averaged between 2005 and 2015.

There will be three previous winners at the 2015 Tour: Alberto Contador (2007, 2009), Chris Froome (2013) and Vincenzo Nibali (2014).
winnersEveryone seems to think this is quite a large, impressive number, but that’s not really the case. Since 1980, there’s been an average of 2.25 previous Tour winners in each Tour, so it’s not that much of an improvement (the maximum, if anyone is interested, was in 1992, where Indurain, Lemond, Delgado, Roche and Fignon were all present.) Similarly, the three are defending four Tour titles between them – again, since 1980, the average is 4.25 tour wins between competing riders.

Previous

I love a good graph, so here that is in graph function

graph

There are a few grand Tour winners however – as well as the obvious Alberto Contador (Tour 2007, 2009, Giro 2008, 2015, Vuelta 2008, 2012, 2014), Chris Froome (Tour 2013) and Vincenzo Nibali (Vuelta 2010, Giro 2013, Tour 2014), there is also Ivan Basso (Giro 2006, 2010), Alejandro Valverde (Vuelta 2009), Ryder Hesjedal (Giro 2012),  Michele Scarponi (Giro 2011) and Nairo Quintana (Giro 2014).

GTwins

As for men who have previously finished on the podium, there is Alberto Contador (2007, 2009), Chris Froome (2012, 2013), Vincenzo Nibali (2012, 2014), Jean Christophe Peraud (2014), Thibaut Pinot (2014), Nairo Quintana (2013), Joaquim Rodriguez (2013) and Samuel Sanchez (2010), although Sanchez didn’t actually get on the podium physically, but he has been bumped up to 3rd after the DQ of Alberto Contador, with 2nd place vacant after Menchov’s DQ.

There will be 36 previous Tour stage winners at the 2015 Tour, with a whopping 105 stage wins between them, enough to take up 5 years of the Tour. Ivan Basso is the earliest winner, having won in La Mongie in 2004. The riders are:

Mark Cavendish GBR, Etixx Quick Step (25 – 2008 [4], 2009 [6], 2010 [5], 2011 [5], 2012 [3], 2013 [2])
Tour+de+France+2009+Stage+Two+azSC7pNxq_2l
Fabian Cancellara SUI, Trek Factory Racing (8 – 2004, 2007 [2]-2010, 2012)
cancellara-wins-stage-3
Andre Greipel GER, Lotto-Soudal (5 – 2011, 2012 [3]-2014)
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Alejandro Valverde ESP, Movistar (4 – 2005, 2008 [2], 2012)
2008-7-5-valverde81829997
Chris Froome GBR, Team Sky (4 – 2012, 2013 [3])
chris_froome_wins_on_mont_ventoux_tour_de_france_2013_0
Peter Sagan SVK, Tinkoff Saxo (4 – 2012 [3], 2013)
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Pierrick Fedrigo FRA, Bretagne Seche Environment (4 – 2006, 2009-2010, 2012)

Tour de France 2010 - 16a Bagnres-de-Luchon - Pau 196 km - BettiniPhoto©2010 - Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
Thomas Voeckler FRA, Europcar (4 – 2009-2010, 2012 [2])
TOUR DE FRANCE - STAGE FIFTEEN
Vincenzo Nibali ITA, Astana (4 – 2014 [4])
NIBALI ST13 TDF 18-07-2014 Victoire Chamrousse (bettiniphoto_0182375_1_full)Tony Martin GER, Etixx Quick Step (4 – 2011, 2013, 2014[2])

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Alberto Contador ESP, Tinkoff Saxo (3 – 2007, 2009 [2])
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Rui Costa POR, Lampre Merida (3 – 2011, 2013 [2])
Rui Costa
Sylvain Chavanel FRA, IAM Cycling (3 – 2008, 2010 [2])
2010_tour_de_france_stage2_sylvain_chavanel_wins1Alexander Kristoff NOR, Katusha (2 – 2014 [2])
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Christophe Riblon FRA, AG2R (2 – 2010, 2013)

Alpe-d'Huez- France - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Christophe Riblon (France / Team Ag2R La Mondiale)  pictured during  the 100th Tour de France 2013 stage-18 from Gap to Alpe-d'Huez - photo VK/NV/PN/Cor Vos © 2013
Edvald Boassen Hagen NOR, MTN-Qhubeka (2 – 2011 [2])
BOASSON-WINS-571x440
Filippo Pozzato ITA, Lampre Merida (2 – 2004, 2007)

Italy’s Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas/Ita) celebrates in front of Italy’s Daniele Bennati (Lampre/Ita) after crossing the finish line of the fifth stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Chablis and Autun, 12 July 2007. Pozzato won ahead of Spain’s Oscar Freire (Rabobank/Ned) and Italy’s Daniele Bennati (Lampre/Ita).  AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
Matteo Trentin, ITA Etixx Quick Step (2 – 2013, 2014)
TrentinSalute-620x412
Pierre Rolland, FRA, Europcar (2 – 2011, 2012)
2011_tour_de_france_stage19_alpe_d_huez_pierre_rolland_europcar_wins2
Rafa Majka, POL, Tinkoff Saxo (2 – 2014 [2])
Rafal-Majka-wins-Tour-de-France-2014-stage-17
Simon Gerrans AUS, Orica GreenEdge (2 – 2008, 2013)
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Brice Feillu FRA, Bretagne Seche Environment (1 – 2009)
brice-feillu-wins-in-arcalis-2009-getty
Daniel Martin IRE, Cannondale Garmin (1 – 2013)
Daniel Martin
Ivan Basso ITA, Tinkoff Saxo (1 – 2004)
Ivan-Basso-2004-etappensieg-DW-Politik-La-Mongie
Jan Bakelandts BEL, AG2R (1 – 2013)
jan-bakelants_2604292b
Joaquim Rodriguez ESP, Katusha (1 – 2010)
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Lars Boom NED, Astana (1 – 2014)
boom_2969695b
Matteo Tossato ITA, Tinkoff Saxo (1 – 2006)
tosatto_etape18
Michael Rogers AUS, Tinkoff Saxo (1 – 2014)
Michael-Rogers
Nairo Quintana COL, Movistar (1 – 2013)
nairo_quintana_tour_francia_et20_g_2013_sirotti
Pieter Weening NED, Orica GreenEdge (1 – 2005)
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Ramunas Navardauskas LIT, Cannondale Garmin (1 – 2014)
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Samuel Sanchez ESP, BMC (1 – 2011)
12.samuel.sanchez.pascal.rossignol.reuters
Thibaut Pinot FRA, FDJ (1 – 2012)
Thibaut-Pinot
Tony Gallopin FRA, Lotto-Soudal (1 – 2014)
Gallopin_2976946b
Tyler Farrar USA, MTN-Qhubeka (1 – 2011)
tyler_reuters_1937888c

teams2015These are split fairly equally, with only 4 of the 22 teams not having a previous stage winner. That said, 4 teams have never won a stage at the Tour (Although 2 are debutants),and some have been waiting quite a while for a stage win. Lampre Merida haven’t won since 2010, for instance, but have 2013 stage winner Rui Costa on their roster now, whilst things look less rosy for Cofidis, who don’t have any previous stage winners and haven’t won a stage since 2008.

Yellow jersey wearers

11 riders have worn the yellow jersey before, for a total of 103 days, just under 5 Tours worth. Only one, Daryl Impey, has never won a stage, and Fabian Cancellara (2007), Vincenzo Nibali (twice in 2014)  Alberto Contador (2009) and Chris Froome (twice in 2013) have all won stages in the yellow jersey. Cancellara has the honour of having worn the yellow jersey for the longest time without having actually won it outright.

Fabian Cancellara SUI, Trek Factory Racing – 28 days (2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012)
dv546057_600_600
Thomas Voeckler FRA, Europcar – 20 days (2004, 2011)

THOMAS VOECKLER ON STAGE FOURTEEN OF THE 2011 TOUR DE FRANCE

Vincenzo Nibali ITA, Astana – 19 days (2014)
hautacam2014#2
Chris Froome GBR, Sky – 14 days (2013)
chris-froome_ap_2621371b
Alberto Contador ESP, Tinkoff Saxo – 11 days (2007, 2009)
1340631431837-1gdl7rzf8bvc2-960-540
Jan Bakelandts BEL, AG2R  – 2 days (2013)
Jan-Bakelants-TTT
Sylvain Chavanel FRA, IAM Cycling – 2 days (2010)
tdf-10-08-chavanel
Simon Gerrans AUS, Orica GreenEdge – 2 days (2013)

Simon Gerrans on stage five of the 2013 Tour de France

Daryl Impey RSA, Orica GreenEdge – 2 days (2013)
Daryl+Impey
Alejandro Valverde, ESP, Movistar – 2 days (2008)
corvos_valverde_yellow_jersey_stage_2
Tony Gallopin FRA, Lotto-Soudal – 1 day (2014)

2014, Tour de France, tappa 10 Mulhouse - La Planche des Belles Filles, Trek Factory 2014, Gallopin Tony, La Planche des Belles Filles

Alpe d’Huez 

alpe

There will be two previous winners on the Alpe d’Huez in the 2015 Tour – Christophe Riblon, who won in 2013, and Pierre Rolland, who won in 2011. Alberto Contador, sharing the image with Rolland, has also won on the Alpe, but that was in the Dauphine in 2010.

Opening time trial

CancellaraLondon320

2015 marks 10 years of a very special event. No, not Lance Armstrong’s 7th title – the last and only time Fabian Cancellara has lost an opening time trial. This is perhaps unfair, given that he has only competed in two. Confused? Well, Cancellara has entered (and won)  four prologue time trials in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012, and, well, prologue TT’s have to be under 8km in length.

h-4-1607132-1246731097

He has entered two opening time trials – 2005 had an 19km opener, in which Cancellara was 7th (although he was beaten by Zabriske, Armstrong, Vinokourov, Hincapie, Bodrogi and Landis – of which only Lazlo Bodrogi has no drug links). Cancellara also won the 2009 15km loop of Monaco, meaning that only Zabriske and Thor Hushovd (who won in 2006) have had a look in at opening TT’s since 2004. Quite a record for Spartacus.

Locking down on yellow

Aru-Contador-and-Porte-659x440

Whilst Alberto Contador has now lost his much admired record of having never lost a leader’s jersey when Fabio Aru, now surely at the very least destined to be an answer to that trivia question forever, pilfered it for a day at the Giro, he has still never lost yellow when he’s had it at the Tour (we’ll ignore that 2010 business, where he didn’t lose the jersey once he claimed it either, but would ultimately lose the whole thing).

Chris Froome is unable to become a rider who has never lost a leader’s jersey once he has claimed it, as he held the Vuelta’s red jersey for a day in 2011 before giving it back to Bradley Wiggins, but he has never lost the yellow jersey once he has held it.

Vincenzo Nibali may have held yellow for longer than any of the overall contenders, but he lent it out for a day on stage 10 to le Planche des Belle Filles, so he too has lost a jersey. Quintana, out of interest in this novel idea of the “big four”, has lost the Vuelta lead after crashing in a TT, so he can’t achieve the “never lost the jersey” feat either.

Winning Streaks

greipelsnip

Fresh from the Giro where, in adding another stage win to his excellent palmares, the chiseled German Andre Greipel has already equaled Thor Hushovd’s feat of winning a grand tour stage for eight consecutive years (Hushovd 2004-2011, Greipel 2008-2015), but he also has the opportunity to extend his streak at the Tour de France to five years, as he has won every year from 2011.

streaks

This would put him within a year of equaling Mark Cavendish’s and Thor Hushovd’s 6 years on the trot (2008-2013 for Cavendish, 2006-2011 for Hushovd) at the Tour – it would be all the more impressive given, when that when Cavendish and Greipel weren’t so pally, Greipel was unable to take part in the Tour.

However, Greipel would still be off Lance Armstrong, who of course won stages for seven years in a row. Other riders who can extend their winning streaks at the Tour are both Etixx riders: Tony Martin, who has won the last two years and Matteo Trentin, who has achieved a similar feat. Of course, everyone who won a stage last year who is present this year (Nibali, Kristoff, Navardauskas, Boom, Gallopin, Majka and Rogers) can all double up this time around.

Winning gaps 

s-BASSOARRIVO-2672

I’m unsure what the biggest time gap between winning stages is, but Ivan Basso could probably get close if he won one, as it would be 11 years since he won in 2004. The gap between a first and last stage might be more interesting – Thor Hushovd and Robbie McEwen had seven years between their first and last stage wins, with plenty in the middle, but David Millar has a 12 year gap, as he won in 2000 and 2012.

alejandro_valverde_etapa10_tour2005

Alejandro Valverde wouldn’t be far off, as he won a stage in 2005, and with a finish on the Mur de Huy, he will be confident of winning stages 10 years apart. At Tinkoff Saxo, an Alberto Contador or Daniele Bennati stage win would get them up to eight years, and should the veteran Pierrick Fedrigo on Bretagne Seche Environment capture his 5th stage win, it would be nine years since his first, as it would for Matteo Tossato if he won.

World Champions at the Tour
screen-shot-2014-10-05-at-13-16-57

Michal Kwiatkowski will be riding his third Tour, and obviously his first as World Champion, looking to improve on his 11th place in 2013 and 28th in 2014. Stage wins might be more interesting to him however, or simply attempting to do better than past World champions have managed. Here’s a run down of the last bunch of World Champions who’ve entered the Tour.

Worth getting a bit of Kate in
Worth getting a bit of Kate in

2014: Rui Costa – withdrew on the second rest day, with bronchitis, having been placed 13th overall, and thus allowing everyone keen to further the idea of the “curse of the rainbow jersey” more ammunition.

champs2
2012: Mark Cavendish – having been promised a shot at the green jersey, Cavendish found that a certain Mr Wiggins was calling the shots,  finding himself only with Eisel and Boassen Hagen to occasionally lead him out as Sky was consumed with lust for the yellow jersey. He still won three stages though, but was clearly dissapointed at the service he was given, despite becoming the first World Champion since Oscar Freire to win in the rainbow jersey and the first (I think) to win on the Champs Elysees.

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2011: Thor Hushovd – already peeved that he had targeted Paris-Roubaix, only to find that Jonathan Vaughters just wanted to use him as an anchor for Fabian Cancellara, Hushovd took a stage win that included a climb of the Hors Categorie Col de Aubisqye as well as a breakaway triumph to show his versatility and talent. Two stages helped him get out of Garmin-Cervelo and off to BMC, where, frankly, he was rubbish.

cadel-evans12010: Cadel Evans – Having ridden to 5th in the Giro earlier in the year, Evans looked on form to add to his second places and banish the memories of his slump to 30th at the 2009 Tour. He took yellow after the stage to Morzine Avoriaz, but had crashed earlier in the stage and suffered a hairline fracture of his elbow, which the team tried to keep secret from the rest (albeit under a covering of tape). Evans couldn’t keep up with the leaders the next day thanks to the injury, and was left in the unenviable position of cracking as both World champion and Tour de France leader. At the time, it looked like his last chance to claim Tour glory had slipped from his grasp…

265679972009: Alessandro Ballan – Ballan didn’t really do a lot at the Tour, only getting into breaks towards the end of the 19th stage to Aubenas, but he was swept up on the descent as Mark Cavendish added yet another win.

_41850530_boonen_getty2006: Tom Boonen – With 17 victories under his belt including stages of Paris Nice, the Tour de Suisse, E3 and of course the Tour of Flanders, Boonen appeared to be the imperious sprinter at the the Tour, which would be passing through his homeland on stage 4. Thanks to time bonuses, Boonen secured the yellow jersey for that stage, but was now keen to get a win as world champion and the race leader. However, when the Gert Steegmans/Robbie McEwen partnership wasn’t beating him, Oscar Freire was, and a frustrated Boonen became the most miserable yellow jersey for some time. He eventually abandoned on the stage to Alpe d’Huez, having sprinter to 13th, 2nd, 4th, 4th, 2nd and 3rd.

sportsTourDeFrance_t440Previous to Cavendish, the last rider to win a stage of the Tour in the rainbow jersey was Oscar Freire in 2002, and he himself had been the first since Bernard Hinault in 1981 to achieve the feat.

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