Having spent the past season staring at a spreadsheet once a week for the weekly promotion-relegation updates, the occasional team victory rankings were overlooked. So about time to catch-up on the teams and how they fared this year when it comes to throwing their hands up in the air, starting with the World Tour teams.
Jumbo-Visma (48 wins) top the table, just. You can argue over what counts as a win, the simple version is when a rider wins riding for the team. So Tobias Foss’s Wollongong worlds win doesn’t count because he was in a Norway skinsuit but when development team rider Archie Ryan joins the World Tour squad and wins it does count. The Dutch team are joint with UAE, but go ahead in the tie breaker when you count second and third places. Obviously quality matters more than quantity but it’s this that’s striking with Jumbo-Visma, they top the table and win the Tour de France. Paris-Nice set the scene with the 1-2-3 on the opening day and then Wout van Aert won the TT stage before towing Roglič to the overall win. Not long ago Sky had a “risk management” attitude to racing that saw them all in for their grand tour leaders, here Jumbo-Visma show it’s possible to win stages and the GC. Extending their grip over the race could be more boring, it’s widening the monopoly, but because it involves some risk too it is, for now, interesting to see.
Hit: the Tour de France where they dismantled the UAE team and had energy to spare with riders winning stages for themselves
Miss: a rough start to the Giro but Bouwman won two stages and the mountains journey too. But forced to pick, well they didn’t win a monument this year
UAE Emirates (48 wins) are joint first. With Tadej Pogačar on 16 wins he’s got one third of their wins and has enormous range. Sure he was beaten in the Tour de France but that was a rare mistake. There’s no need to build the whole team around Tadej Pogačar but they consistently lack the support riders needed to help grand tour leaders
Hit: Pogačar’s Ronde ride did live up to the hype, but his Lombardia win because it was a collective effort the team, each rider playing their part
Miss: they could have won even more had their house sprinters fared better, Pascal Ackermann and Fernando Gaviria got four wins together
Quick-Step (47) are finally dethroned, just. In 2011 they tied with Team Sky for the most wins and since they’ve topped the tables every year, sometimes by a long way. It’s tempting to see this as a move to becoming a GC team with riders lining up in service of Evenepoel but his Vuelta win is clouding the mind, it’s too soon for this. If, would, coulda and all that, but they’d probably top the table if Alaphilippe hadn’t had that horror crash in Liège or they’d got more out of the cobbled classics. Normally sprinters top the rankings but Evenepoel pips Fabio Jakobsen this year. As ever they win a lot, and a lot of them win with 12 different riders getting a victory this year
Hit: Evenepoel and Jakobsen get 28 wins between them, as a pair they won more than entire squads
Miss: the spring classics campaign… until Evenepoel won Liège of course
Ineos (39) have a season without a grand tour win for the first time since 2014 but made up for it with a prolific victory streak throughout the season. But the team still feels like a trophy team for its billionaire owner and no matter how exciting some of the young riders coming through are, the Tour de France is still the big goal. Pidcock’s stage win via that Galibier-Télégraphe descent was exciting but it’ll take time to build towards more GC victories.
Hit: with plenty of wins it’s hard to pick a highlight but Paris-Roubaix comes to mind
Miss: measured against their own record or budget, no GC title
Bora-hansgrohe (30) had a wunderbar season. They’re right up among the big teams now thanks to Jai Hindley taking the Giro and they have a solid feeder team to help ensure a pipeline of talent. They’re a complete team that can win on a range of terrains but in trying to do everything they’re not bossing any particular niche. Despite classics contenders and sprinters the majority of their wins came from hilly stage races on sunny days.
Hit: the Giro, Hindley helped by a strong team performance
Miss: their spring classics season
Lotto-Soudal (25) scored well in the victory rankings so why are they relegated? Largely because they had a bad 2020 and 2021 seasons. They scored almost as many points in 2022 as the previous two years combined. But in quantitative terms, only two world tour wins among this. Also they got a lot of wins relative to second and third places, it’s great to win but some more placings as well would have helped. Arnaud De Lie stampeded to over a third of their wins.
Hit: Arnaud De Lie was impressive all year, Thomas De Gendt took a great Giro win but Philippe Gilbert taking the 4 Days of Dunkerque overall was a good swansong
Miss: Caleb Ewan had a bet with an Ineos rider he’d win 20 races this year and if he did, the Ineos rider had to run naked up the Col d’Eze. Ewan had a good start but after his crash in the Giro he’d crash again in the Tour and only won once more in September. The Col d’Eze residents are safe.
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert (24) have had a great season. A squad with a low budget, they’ve often acted like a team of misfits and outcasts, scrapping for wins here and there, think Gerben Thijssen smoking Kooij, Démare, Viviani and Ackermann to win a bunch sprint in the Tour de Pologne. But as well as 24 wins, they’ve also taken some 24 carat victories, see Biniam Girmay winning Gent-Wevelgem, the Scheldeprijs for Alexander Kristoff and a Giro stage with Girmay again.
Hit: Biniam Girmay’s win in Wevelgem was impressive, his Giro stage ice cool but collectively the whole team punched above their weight throughout the season
Miss: measured against relatively low expectations it’s hard to think where something went wrong, or bad luck got in their way
BikeExchange-Jayco (22) signed Dylan Groenewegen suited everyone, him, his old Jumbo team and above all BikeExchange who landed a rider capable of delivering big wins. They had a great season in terms of wins and results but got sucked into the relegation battle which made them look on the receiving end of events rather than in charge.
Hit: Groenewegen’s Tour de France stage win was big, Simon Yates’s Giro stage win was a thriller but Michael Matthew’s Tour stage win was a masterpiece
Miss: Simon Yates’ GC bids came undone through bad luck but this had the ripple effect of missed UCI points which got the team into an autumnal panic as they scrambled for points
Bahrain-Victorious (21) were, yes, rather victorious at times. Matej Mohorič’s Sanremo triumph is the standout moment for them. Mikel Landa was solid at the Giro but seemed destined not to win while Jack Haig and Gino Mäder were on the wrong end of illness and injury and are probably in the gym as you read this making plans for 2023.
Hit: Mohorič winning in Sanremo
Miss: the pre-Tour hotel raids in Denmark? Although we still don’t know if Interpol were put up to this following a twitter beef (yes, seriously). But rather than point to a single disaster, this team seems to be drifting
Groupama-FDJ (20) got a slew of wins from Arnaud Démare, their house sprinter scored all of their World Tour wins except for Thibaut Pinot who took a stage of the Tour de Suisse. This was a season defined by other achievements than winning. David Gaudu’s fourth place in the Tour de France, third place for Valentin Madouas in the Ronde, third place for Stefan Küng in Roubaix. For Pinot it’s a glass half-full season, coming back from chronic injury to win in the Tour des Alpes was impressive; yet he was berating himself after several near-misses in the Tour.
Hit: David Gaudu ground out a fourth place in the Tour de France. His problem is going to be improving on that but each year he delivers
Miss: structurally they’re still very reliant on a handful of leaders
Trek-Segafredo (19) lead a trio of teams on 19 wins but had 25 second places this season. Mads Pedersen took nine of their wins, this year they’re team most dependent on one rider for their wins, the Dane took 47% of their wins compared to De Lie scoring 36% of Lotto-Soudal’s wins. If Mattias Skjelmose can keep up his progress then he should help share the load next season, the Dane can climb and time trial. Stages in the Giro, Tour and Vuelta all go down a treat.
Hit: Mads Pedersen showed versatility in the season
Miss: the cobbled classics, they’re capable of more
Cofidis (19) started the season in the relegation zone so keeping their World Tour status is a win of sorts. Jesus Herrada and Ion Izaguirre got World Tour wins. Top winner was Benjamin Thomas, the track rider was a handy signing. As ever they’re still chasing that elusive Tour de France stage win but their best riders are infrequent winners.
Hit: good at collecting points all over the place even if they don’t get many big wins
Miss: good at collecting points all over the place even if they don’t get many big wins
Movistar (19) got dragged into the relegation battle but 19 results is alright and if it’s higher than you think, this could be the relegation talk effect or the lack of a big high profile victory. Enric Mas did plenty in the Vuelta to save their season but Alex Aranburu took a crafty win in the Tour du Limousin and Gonzalez Serrano won the abbreviated Tour of Britain. While we’re looking at the men’s World Tour here, you can make a good case that Annemiek van Vleuten outshone the entire men’s team.
Hit: Enric Mas in September and October, he was strong and consistent in the Vuelta to help save his team from relegation and then kept racing with style into Lombardia
Miss: just one World Tour win, when Carlos Verona kept Roglič at bay in the Dauphiné, only Astana fared worse
Israel-PremierTech (15) spent the season battling relegation. They’d had a poor 2020 season but 2022 doomed them, only Astana fared worse for scoring points. The team can find comfort in the quality of their results, notably two Tour de France stage wins for Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle while Patrick Bevin and Michael Woods were jointly the most prolific with three wins each
Hit: two stage wins at the Tour de France
Miss: letting Hugo Hofstetter move to Arkéa-Samsic was arguably the swing factor that saw Israel relegated and the French team promoted
Ag2r Citroën (11) often didn’t win much over the years because they don’t have a house sprinter, they were regularly the last team to win a race each year. Hiring Marc Sarreau helped bring four wins – four more than he got last year for them – but they didn’t add much more on top. The team’s budget has jumped but the results haven’t. It’ll be interesting to see where they go in the transfer market next. By the way Julian Alaphilippe’s contract is up soon.
Hit: Benoît Cosnefroy’s turning into a potent puncheur while Bob Jungel’s Tour de France saved July for them after Ben O’Connor’s Roubaix nightmare
Miss: similar to Trek-Segafredo and Bora-hansgrohe, they have a strong cobbled classics department and ought to have done better
Team DSM (10) are lucky not to be relegated. They had a great 2020 season which saves them from that but 2022 looked a lot like 2021 in terms of results. It could all have been different had Romain Bardet stayed in the Giro but alas, although he recovered, reset and rode to a steady sixth overall in the Tour. Rider retention’s an ongoing concern, Thymen Arensman showed what he can do with a time trial win in Poland and a mountain stage win in the Vuelta but he’s joined Ineos; the team don’t have a budget to retain riders.
Hit: Andreas Leknessund’s Arctic Race of Norway win was an impressive solo win
Miss: Bardet’s Giro exit and what could have been
EF Education-Easypost (9) didn’t win much but look at the roster and they have some exciting riders but not prolific winners. As much as they try to find ways for publicity away from wins and results whether via gravel or other means, they still need points to stay in the World Tour and ride the Tour de France. The one rider who can score on varied terrain is Magnus Cort and he only got two wins in the season but was the only rider to get more than one win and one of these was a Tour de France stage.
Hit: the Tour de France with Magnus Cort’s parade in front of the Danish fans followed by his stage win in the Alps
Miss: a lot more second and third places than wins
Astana (5) started the season with a rap video and it might be the most memorable thing of their season although we should note Nibali going out with a fourth place in the Giro. Five wins and two of these were in the Kazakh national championships make a stingy season. Things looked up, they’d signed Gianni Moscon and Miguel Angel Lopez as leaders but Moscon struggled with illness and what sounds like post-viral recovery while Lopez never got going.
Hit: Vincenzo Nibali’s fourth place farewell in the Giro, Samuele Battistella is doing well
Miss: a season to forget
Finally two more charts. The one above shows the percentage of wins taken by a team’s most prolific rider, a measure of how dependent they were on one rider for success. We can see high rates for Trek-Segafredo and Lotto-Soudal where Mads Pedersen and Arnaud De Lie were responsible for the majority of their wins. Obviously this is dependency after the event, a team may be set up in the service of a great leader only for them to miss the season through injury and the stats wouldn’t show that; plus the rate is more meaningful among those teams with more wins, for example Tadej Pogačar is central to UAE’s success; but see how Intermarché can have stars like Kristoff and Girmay but plenty of others win too.
This chart shows the distribution of podium places via gold silver and bronze bars. Note the skew among the victorious teams for wins rather than podium places and vice versa. Now you’d expect a team that wins a lot to have a lot of the gold but you’d also expect them to place a lot more than the other teams, it’s true but the alchemic bias towards gold is interesting.