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|
- 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.