What's Cool In Road Cycling

An Interesting Look at the 2021 Season Race and Rider Statistics

The 2021 season in numbers

With last Sunday’s Ronde van Drenthe, the curtain dropped on the European road season. As with every season there is a pile of statistics and thanks to WielerFlits and ProCyclingStats we can have a look at some of the more interesting numbers.

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Wout van Aert – Top winner of the 2021 season

Most Individual Wins of the Season
The biggest winner of 2021 is not a sprinter. For the first time in ten seasons (Philippe Gilbert was the last non-sprinter in 2011), that honour fell to a different type of rider. After Elia Viviani in 2018, Dylan Groenewegen in 2019 and Arnaud Démare in 2020, three riders can carry the unofficial title of ‘Top Winner of 2021’. All three are non sprinters: Wout van Aert, Primož Roglič (both Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) have each won thirteen races this year.

The Slovenian in a Dutch team won the Tour of Spain, Olympic gold in the time trial and the Tour of the Basque Country. His teammate Van Aert won three stages in the Tour de France, the Amstel Gold Race and Gent-Wevelgem. Pogačar won the biggest competitions in quality, with the Tour de France as the highlight. He also took two Monument victories with Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Lombardy, plus Tirreno-Adriatico and the UAE Tour.

Victory 2021 in UCI races
1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – 13 victories
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) – 13 wins
1. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) – 13 wins
2. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – 10 wins
3. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) – 9 victories
3. Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers) – 9 wins
3. Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) – 9 victories
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) – 9 victories
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) – 8 wins
4. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – 8 wins
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) – 8 victories
5. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) – 7 wins
5. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) 7 wins
5. Marijn van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ U23) – 7 wins
5. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – 7 wins
5. Patryk Stosz (Voster-ATS) – 7 wins
5. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) – 7 wins.

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Lefevere’s men won 65 races in 2021

The Team with the Most Wins of the Season
With Van Aert and Roglič both as winner of the year 2021, Jumbo-Visma should also be at the top of the team ranking with the most victories, but they finished in second place. The most victories were won by Deceuninck – Quick-Step. Patrick Lefevere’s team took 65 victories. Eighteen of the thirty Deceuninck – Quick-Step riders managed to take at least one victory in 2021. Jumbo-Visma had 43 victories by thirteen riders. INEOS Grenadiers achieved a total of 35 victories with the same number of riders, placing the most expensive team in the world in third place. The team in fourth place is ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix, where leader Mathieu van der Poel is not the only one to rake in victories, with his eight wins from a total of 32 victories, spread over eight men.

Team With the Most UCI Victories in 2021
1. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 65 victories
2. Jumbo-Visma – 43 victories
3. INEOS Grenadiers – 35 victories
4. Alpecin-Fenix ​​– 32 victories
4. UAE Team Emirates – 32 wins
5. Bahrain Victorious – 30 wins
5. BORA-hansgrohe – 30 victories.

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Alaphilippe and the French riders clocked 96 wins

The Country with the Most Victories in 2021
The Belgians teams were performing well and so you would expect them to have the most victories based on the country ranking. But it is France who leads this ranking with 96 victories. The Italians follow on 86. Belgium and the Netherlands share third place, both with 75 victories. Despite the presence of Pogačar and Roglič, Slovenia is in tenth place with 32 victories. Matej Mohorič had four, Jan Tratnik and Nik Čemažar, both one.

Countries with the most UCI victories in 2021
1. France – 96 victories
2. Italy – 86 victories
3. Belgium – 75 victories
3. Netherlands – 75 victories
4. Colombia – 45 wins
5. Germany – 44 victories.

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Top Classic rider – Yes, Wout van Aert

Best Classic Rider on the UCI Ranking 2021
The results in the one-day classics has resulted in a Belgian winner for the third consecutive year and, just like in 2020, that is Wout van Aert. With victories in the Amstel Gold Race and Gent-Wevelgem and a third place in Milan-San Remo, he is well ahead World champion Julian Alaphilippe. Despite two Monument victories, Tadej Pogačar finishes in third place, just ahead of Mathieu van der Poel.

Final standings UCI One Day Race World Ranking 2021
1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – 3016 points
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – 2523 points
3. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) – 1915 points
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) – 1836 points
5. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) – 1705 points.

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Top Tour man – Pogačar

Best Tour Rider on the UCI Ranking 2021
Tadej Pogačar is the top Tour rider ahead of his compatriot Primož Roglič with a larger margin on Egan Bernal. These are the winners of the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia respectively. Except for Roglič, the other riders in the top five are all younger than 25 years old. João Almeida and Jonas Vingegaard complete that Top 5.

Final standings UCI Stage Race World Ranking 2021
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates) – 3423 points
2. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) – 2499 points
3. Egan Arley Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) – 2187 points
4. João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – 1771 points
5. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) – 1545 points
8. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – 1341 points.

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If you win a Grand Tour and Monuments you will be the best on the road

Best Rider in the UCI Ranking 2021
The UCI World Ranking sees a mixture of the best Classic riders with the best Tour riders, led by the best rider of the year: Tadej Pogačar. The 23-year-old Slovenian won the Tour de France, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia. Wout van Aert and Primož Roglič are next.

Final standings UCI Individual World Ranking 2021
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) – 5363 points
2. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – 4382 points
3. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) – 3924 points
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) – 3104.67 points
5. Egan Arley Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) – 2576 points
7. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) – 2461 points.

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Best bang for your buck – Van Aert

Best Performing Rider of 2021
The best rider of the season is not the best performing rider of the season. When you divide the number of points achieved (not UCI points, but ProCyclingStats points) per rider by the number of race days, Wout van Aert had a better season than Tadej Pogačar. The Belgian gets 57.3 points per race day, while Pogačar is on 53.6 points. Van Aert delivers more for his salary than Pogačar and also Jumbo-Visma teammate Primož Roglič and Mathieu van der Poel.

Best Performing Rider Based on Race Days of 2021
1. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – 57.3 points per race day
2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) – 53.6 points per race day
3. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) – 49.3 points per race day
4. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) – 42.5 points per race day
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 30.9 points per race day.

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Deceuninck – Quick-Step had a long list of winners

Best Team in the UCI Ranking 2021
Wout van Aert, Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar dominated the individual rankings, but their teams, Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates, finished in third and fourth places in the UCI Team Ranking. Deceuninck – Quick-Step is at the top thanks to Julian Alaphilippe, Remco Evenepoel and Fabio Jakobsen. INEOS Grenadiers is also in a better place than Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates with Egan Bernal, Adam Yates and Richard Carapaz. Again the ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix did well finishing is sixth place with 8251 points.

Final Standings UCI World Team Ranking 2021
1. Deceuninck – Quick-Step – 15641.21 points
2. INEOS Grenadiers – 14998.66 points
3. Jumbo-Visma – 12914.67 points
4. UAE Team Emirates – 12355.66 points
5. Bahrain Victorious – 10429 points.

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The Worlds didn’t work out, but Belgian riders took the most UCI points

Best Country in the UCI Ranking 2021
The World championships in Leuven showed that Belgium is still the hot-bed of road sport. This is reflected in the UCI country ranking. The Belgian riders collected a total of 14350 points, quite a bit more than Slovenia, 2500 points less, but the Balkan country relies on three riders, with the Belgians have many more. The Netherlands is in sixth place, behind France, Italy and Great Britain.

Final standings UCI World Nation Ranking 2021
1. Belgium – 14349.33 points
2. Slovenia – 11993 points
3. France – 11541.67 points
4. Italy – 10851 points
5. Great Britain – 9960.6 points
6. Netherlands – 9808.66 points.

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The most race days and kilometres ridden in 2021 by Cesare Benedetti

Rider with the Most Race Days and Kilometres in 2021
The riders with the most race days and the most kilometres. In both cases, Cesare Benedetti is the winner. The 34 year-old rider of BORA-hansgrohe, who is now a Pole, completed ninety race days. On 25% of all race days in 2021 he was on a bike. Intermarché-Wanty Gobert rode many races and often with the same riders. Jordi Meeus as a neopro has eighty race days. Mathieu van der Poel only had 34 race days on the road this year.

Most race days of 2021
1. Cesare Benedetti (BORA-hansgrohe) – 90 days
2. Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) – 86 days
3. Max Walscheid (Qhubeka NextHash) – 85 days
4. Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) – 84 days
5. Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) – 83 days
5. Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) – 83 days
5. Boy van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) – 83 days
5. Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech) – 83 days

Most Kilometres of 2021
1. Cesare Benedetti (BORA-hansgrohe) – 14,784 kilometres
2. Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) – 13.592 kilometres
3. Max Walscheid (Qhubeka NextHash) – 13.548 kilometres
4. Andrea Pasqualon (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) – 13.422 kilometres
5. Boy van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) – 13,365 kilometres.

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Pogačar and Roglič didn’t race against each other at a Grand Tour, maybe in 2022

So, what does it all mean?
The numbers above tell us that three riders, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) were the big winners of 2021, but you probably already noticed that. Roglič crashing out of the Tour wouldn’t have made much difference, except he would have had more points. But, in saying this, the top three didn’t make the racing boring as there were many other riders eager to show what they could do: Julian Alaphilippe, Sonny Colbrelli and to a lesser degree, Tom Pidcock and Mathieu van der Poel who both also had the Olympic mountain bike race as a main target. Then there was also Egan Bernal’s Giro win, but he didn’t show much in other events.

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Van Aert battled on many fronts – Very successfully

When it comes to the team results there was again four main winners, not surprisingly Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Jumbo-Visma, UAE Team Emirates and INEOS Grenadiers. Patrick Lefevere’s Deceuninck – Quick-Step team didn’t have a Grand Tour win, but the Belgian based team would win races everywhere and would have riders at the top end of most races. The riders with Deceuninck are not all Belgian, but Belgium was the best country on UCI points ahead of Slovenia and France, but the French won more races. The Belgian success is mainly thanks to Wout van Aert. The Jumbo-Visma leader raced a full season, competing in stage races and one-day races, taking a number of very nice victories. The big loser is Spain, who has plummeted down the rankings and is still relying on the 41 year-old Alejandro Valverde.

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Still the top Spaniard

So has the 2021 season been dominated? In a way it has, but at no time has it been boring to watch. The Giro d’Italia was an open race with Bernal as a worthy winner, but we were never sure if the Colombian would win. The Tour de France and the Vuelta a España were won by the race favourite – The Slovenian couple Pogačar and Roglič, but both races were far from dull and kept us on the edge of our seats even though we had a fairly good idea who the final overall winner would be. The one-day Classics had the same names at the top of the results, but again there was never a dull moment and Tour riders were mixing it with the Classics men. Like the World championships, the action was from the gun. Then there was the battle of the sprinters: The rejuvenated Cavendish, Démare, Merlier, Philipsen, Bennett, Jakobsen, Viviani and to a lesser degree, Groenewegen, all had big wins.

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Colbrelli had a top season

If the 2022 season is as good, we won’t have any complaints.

# Thanks to WielerFlits and ProCyclingStats for all the info. #

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