A Quick Peek At The U25s

Waaaay back last December, Chris wrote a piece about the youngsters of the peloton, the U25s: a tip for hoi polloi (you and me) to keep an eye on these guys in 2008. While watching San Seb on Saturday I got it in my noodle to look in on these guys; see how they're doing.

Below the jump you'll see a table with the top 25 urchins ranked in two different ways:

- The top 25 VDS scorers and,

- The top 25 Cycling Quotient scorers.

What's the difference you ask? The VDS races are the cream of the crop. If you score points in those races, you are making quite a name for yourself as this is where the top competition is.  The CQ rankings contain not only the top VDS races but also the next couple tiers of races where the competition is less. Once you see the table, you'll see that several riders have a higher ranking in one system than the other. That's because the rider either may already be a major player on their team so they race only the big races (Andy Schleck for example) or the team may think of the rider as still developing so they have more 2nd tier races (JJ Rojas).  Let's look at the table:


Rank VDS VDS Points Rank Cycling Quotient CQ Points
1 Mark Cavendish 913 1 Mark Cavendish 917
2 Roman Kreuziger 716 2 Roman Kreuziger 781
3 Thomas Dekker 675 3 Greg Van Avermaet 710
4 Andy Schleck 660 4 LL Sanchez 693
5 Robert Gesink 517 5 Igor Anton 682
6 LL Sanchez 450 6 JJ Rojas 672
7 Thomas Lovkvist 430 7 Robert Gesink 661
8 Vincenzo Nibali 384 8 Thomas Dekker 591
9 Greg Van Avermaet 330 8 Matti Breschel 591
10 Igor Anton 214 10 Vincenzo Nibali 583
11 Wouter Weylandt 210 11 Gerald Ciolek 579
12 Gerald Ciolek 190 12 Thomas Lovkvist 568
13 Simon Spilak 185 13 Andy Schleck 512
14 Rigoberto Uran 180 14 Wouter Weylandt 396
15 Sebastian Langeveld 165 15 Yuri Trofimov 387
16 Romain Feillu 135 16 Clement Lhotellerie 377
17 Matti Breschel 115 17 Jurgen Roelandts 350
18 Yuri Trofimov 120 18 Niki Terpstra 342
19 JJ Rojas 110 19 Tony Martin 334
19 C A Sorensen 110 20 Pierre Rolland 331
19 Heinrich Haussler 110 21 Gianni Meersman 322
22 Pierre Rolland 95 22 C A Sorensen 321
23 Janez Brajkovic 85 23 Sebastian Langeveld 319
23 Clement Lhotellerie 85 24 Simon Spilak 301
25 Marcus Burghardt 80 25 Marcus Burghardt 283
26 Tony Martin 77 26 Trent Lowe 281

Random Notes:

- I looked at 45 riders (see below under ages).  I looked at everyone that was on Chris' post plus in the comments there plus (and this overlapped) I looked at the top 200 overall CQ riders. I did not include Ricco obviously- and be sure to look at the Chris thread and see that he omitted Ricco unintentionally! So one has to ask you Chris- do you get that funny feeling that other animals get before an earthquake?

- I do have Dekker cause the UCI has no problem with him racing.  Obviously he's done for the year though and so a few riders will overtake him by the end of the year.

- The difference in the top few VDS riders and the bottom 10 is that the top guys have scored in multiple races while the bottom guys have broken through in only one race.

-Simon Spilak is the biggest name here who was not mentioned in Chris' piece, or in the comments. Spilak was also not taken by anyone for their VDS team.  Boy are we dummies. He's got a 9th in Flanders, 7th in DD Panne, 12th overall in Paris-Nice (no VDS points there), and a 5th in the Slovenian Tour. And he's more than two years younger than LL Sanchez, Burghardt, Anton, Grivko, and Brajkovic.  That leads me to:

- IMO by far the biggest missing pieces to the above table are the rider's ages. When you are looking at U25s and you have two riders, both of whom accomplished about the same, but one rider is say two and a half years younger than the other, then in projecting their futures, the odds strongly suggest that the younger rider has the brighter future. So to put names on my hypothetical, LL Sanchez is 2 1/2 years older than Roman Kreuziger and Robert Gesink.  That's HUGE.

So when you see Rigoberto Uran ranked 14th on this list and you realize that he's one of two riders born in 1987 that I looked at (the other being E B Hagen) you need to sit up straighter. He and Hagen have practically four years on Anton, Sanchez, Burghardt, Brajkovic, and Grivko.  

Let me write down the years the riders I'm looking at were born, youngest first:

1987s- Uran, Hagen

1986s- Kreuziger, Gesink, Ciolek, Lhotellerie, Rolland, Spilak, Jacobs, Daniel Martin, Mollema.

1985s- Cavendish, Van Avermaet, Rojas, A Schleck, Roelandts, Tony Martin, Meersman, Langeveld, Bole, Fuglang, Ignatiev, Stannijder, Gatto, both Velits,

1984s- Dekker, Breschel, Nibali, Lovkvist, Weylandt, Trofimov, Terpstra, C A Soresnsen, Lowe, Roche, Sutton, Pardilla, Feillu, Haussler.

1983s- Sanchez, Anton, Burghardt, Brajkovic, Grivko.

- Obviously some of these riders are gonna pad their stats in the remaining races and so I'll revisit these kids again in the winter.


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