2019 cycling team strengths

It’s the beginning of January, which means it’s time for some serious cycling soon! But before we start, let’s refresh our memory and look at the team changes. We won’t focus on the changes itself, for an overview you can take a look at the pages on Velon.cc or Cyclingnews. Instead, we will investigate how these changes impact the (relative) strenght of the teams. Before we start it’s good to explain how we deal with ‘merged’ teams. Riders that are with any of the merged teams in 2018 are not regarded as transfers if they stayed at the newly formed team. Take for example the merger of BMC Racing and CCC Sprandi Polkowice. Here Greg van Avermaet is considered to be not a transfer, Dylan Teuns is transferred out (from BMC Racing to Bahrain Merida) and Laurens ten Dam is transferred in (from Sunweb to CCC).

Let’s first look at the most notable transfers in terms of total UCI points scored during the 2018 season in Table 1. We see some very familiar names there, with Astana ‘scoring’ the Izagirre brothers, and Bahrain Merida picking up Dylan Teuns and Rohan Dennis from BMC. As a team Quickstep took quite some losses with the departure of Niki Terpstra, Max Schachmann and Fernanco Gaviria. The team with the strongest inflow appears to be Dimansion Data. They welcome not only Michael Valgren, but also Giacomo Nizzolo, Roman Kruziger and Enrico Gasparotto.

Now how do all these transfers add up at a team level? In Table 2 we look at the total ‘inflow’ and ‘outflow’ of the 2019 World Tour teams and the 4 strongest Continental teams. In the table you find the total number of UCI points the 2019 riders of the team scored in 2018. Furthermore, you find the total inflow of UCI points, and separately the UCI points for classics (single day races) and general classifications.

The strongest team based on total UCI points scored in 2018 is Bora, actually with an almost 2k point difference with Quick Step. The strongest GC squad belongs to Movistar, but the differences with Sky is minimal.

The total inflow of UCI points is highest for Bahrain Merida (2996), followed by Dimension Data (2720 points) and Astana (2593). So where are all these points coming from? Here we see a considereable outflow for CCC (these are also former BMC riders), followed by Bahrain Merida and Quick Step. Quick Step actually has no incoming UCI points to compensate for the more than 2k UCI points flowing out. Needless to say, it will be very tough to get close to last year’s 90 wins.

Finally, we tried to visualise the 2019 team strenghts with respect to general, points and mountain classifications as well as stage wins and classic wins. The results are shown for the 15 best scoring teams. Although we try hard to make the site as mobile friendly as possible, this figure is best viewed on a desktop.

Figure 1: Relative team strenghts in 2019