Thinking about the Post-PR thread and the what we learned on the cobbles thread, I worked up some historical stats from Paris-Roubaix for us to mull over. I grabbed the finishing places for certain favorites from 2000-2009. Then I calculated how many times they finished, their average finish (does not include dnf/dns), and a few other things.
The riders are ranked by order of their average finish, which I think sums things up quite well. This ranking probably slights Ballan and others who would have scored better for dropping out rather than finishing w/ the main group, but you can see the number of finishes and the number of podiums to help balance that out.
What I learned: Flecha deserves more props, Guesdon and Knaven were much more impressive than I gave them credit for, and Tom really does deserve a place in history with DeVlaeminck, Van Looey, Merckx, and Museeuw. Also, Hincapie has earned a place in history, if he were Belgian, he'd be a national hero.
Alternately, view it here:
The Spreadsheet is shared here. It would be cool if more info were added for riders such as Zabel, Wesseman, Hoffman, or anyone else that I'm neglecting. I mined the data from: http://www.the-sports.org/cycling-paris-roubaix-2009-results-men-s2-c0-b0-g22-t43-u255-m59190-v1.html.
*Edit: I've added another column for podiums-per-finish which is another useful way to rank PR success. Results:
- Johan Museeuw .6 podiums per finish
- (tie)Tom Boonen & Peter Van Petegem .5 podiums per finish
- Juan Antonio Flecha .4 podiums per finish
- Fabien Cancellara .33 podiums per finish