When winning isn’t the only way to win

The Tour de France is a peculiar animal. It’s one of the few major annual professional sporting events where a significant portion of participating teams have zero hope of achieving ultimate victory. They know it. Fans know it. Yet they eagerly line up in any case, year after year, seeking to ‘win’ in other ways. Every stage presents a unique race within the race. Then there are multiple jerseys and awards up for grabs, both for individuals and teams. It isn’t quite ‘every child gets a prize’, but there are certainly plenty of chances to win something. Whether this constitutes success or failure ultimately depends on each team and its ambitions. Of course, as decidedly linear beings who love few things more than to see a points table that reveals a clear winner in everything in life, this poses some challenges. How do we line them all up?

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Well, to try and put all of these races within races into some kind of perspective, we’ve used a simple and hastily-concocted weighted formula to help rank all 22 of the teams, based on their performances across each of the defined race categories. While it’s good news for some teams, it’s the exact opposite for others.

Here’s how our (highly unscientific) system works.

STAGE RESULTS: Winner 200 points, 2nd 100 points, 3rd 60 points, Yellow jersey  100 points, Green jersey 75 points, Polka dot jersey 75 points, White jersey 50 points, Leading team 50 points, Most aggressive 30 points.

OVERALL RESULTS: Winner 1000 points, 2nd 500 points, 3rd 300 points, Green jersey 500 points, Polka dot jersey 500 points, White jersey 300 points, Leading team 500 points.

Below is what the rankings look like right now, after Stage 18. Amongst other things, it shows:

  • Katusha-Alpecin and Dimension Data have been sadly invisible
  • Trek’s race hasn’t perhaps been as bad as it seems
  • Peter Sagan has singlehandedly carried Bora-Hansgrohe in the top 5 (despite the efforts of Emanuel Buchmann, Sagan has won almost all of their points)
  • Even if Deceuninck-Quickstep and Jumbo-Visma fall off the GC podium entirely in the next two days, they’ve still killed it in 2019
  • Soudal-Lotto have shown why you don’t need to hunt the GC to ‘win’ at the Tour
  • It also shows which teams have really thrown everything into the GC basket, most notably Team Ineos and Groupama-FDJ – and if they don’t get it, they’ll have precious little to show for all their hard work.

 

RANKINGS AFTER STAGE 18

1 Deceuninck-Quickstep 2530 points

2 Soudal-Lotto 2335

3 Jumbo-Visma 1920

4 Bora-Hansgrohe 1620

5 Mitchelton-Scott 950

6 Trek-Segafredo 940

7 Ineos 600

8 Movistar 590

9 Groupama FDJ 400

10 CCC 270

11 Bahrain-Merida 260

12 AG2R La Mondiale 205

13 Astana 160

14 Wanty-Groupe Gobert 120

15 Sunweb 100

16 UAE-Emirates 100

17 Cofidis 90

18 Arkea-Samsic 30

LAST Katusha-Alpecin, Dimension Data, EF Education First-Drapac, Direct Energie 0 points

We’ll publish the final list after the remaining stages, so stay tuned.

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