It is just two more days until the Tour Down Under will start. Let’s quickly review some historical cycling statistics. In Figure 1 you can find the number of stage wins per rider. The overall stage win leader is André Greipel (10 wins), but unfortunately ‘the Gorilla’ is not competing this year. Caleb Ewan is the runner-up with 6 stage wins and given his win in the Tour Down Under Classic he may come closer in the overall ranking. The figure also shows that in most years one rider manages to win multiple stages, except in 2015.
Besides the wins we also take a closer look at the top 10 classifications in Figure 2. Also here ‘the Gorilla’ is in the lead with 11 top 10 results, but he is closely followed by Richie Porte and Caleb Ewan (both ten top 10 classifications), and Simon Gerrans (9). Peter Sagan and Elia Viviani follow with about 5 top 10 results, but they obtained them all in 2018!
In our last analysis, shown in Figure 3, we take a look at how the GC winner moves within the GC as the race matures. The figure is a bit complex, so let’s walk through an example and focus on Rohan Dennis in 2015 (the yellow line). After the first stage Rohan lags by 13 seconds (you can hover over the yellow dot’s) compared to the leader Jack Bobridge. After stage 3 Dennis takes the lead with a gap of 7 seconds on Cadel Evans and 9 on Tom Dumoulin (again hover over the yellow dot) and will keep the Ochre jersey until the end, finishing 2 seconds ahead of Richie Porte. The figure gives a lot of insights, but we would still like to emphasize the following main points:
- Once the overall GC winner is in the leading position he generally keeps it. Only in 2014 Simon Gerrans lost his GC lead for a few stages.
- All overall winners are in the lead after Stage 5 (Willunga Hill). Note, in 2019 Willunga Hill is the final stage, so things may stay interesting until the very end.
- After the first stage the GC winner has at least 25 seconds to make up.
- Except for in 2017 (Richie Porte), the GC is a very close call.