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Ten Things I Learned Today

Simply by reading the Cycling Quotient rankings:

  1. You don't have to be loved to rank high. You just have to win a lot of races. There are a lot of races in Spain worth winning. Right Alejandro Valverde? (Rank: #3)
  2. Winning a Grand Tour pretty much places you in the top ten. (DiLuca: #2; Contador: #6; Menchov: #7). Finishing only one grand tour won't get you to the top.
  3. Cycling is already an international sport, even without the benefit of McQuaid's planned Tour of the Magellan Straits or whatever he's working on. In the top 100 are 23 different nationalities. Sure, the usual suspects (Spain, Italy, Belgium, etc.) make up a disproportionate share, but what other sport boasts this kind of inclusiveness? Remember, this is only in the top 100; what other sport even has 23 nationalities? Besides soccer, obviously?
  4. Any guess as to how many former Marco Pantani teammates still crack the top 100? National teams don't count. [I just finished the Death of Pantani book, and the title sorta gives away the ending. Man, what a sad character, and I mean from day 1.]
  5. The anti-diversity element: Italy versus Spain. In the top 100, the score is Italy 21, Spain 19. It helps to have a quality, professional race in your home country every few hours. It might also help if your home federation isn't exactly a world leader in the law enforcement arena.
  6. Sprinters vs. Climbers: Of the top 10, it's 6-4 climbers, and that's counting Rebellin as the latter, a dubious proposition. Actually let's say 7-3 climbers. In the top 20 it's 15-5. But Cadel Evans tops the table at 1948 points. Boonen's best point total was 2559; Petacchi's 1986; Zabel's 2011. Think about that, VDS-types.
  7. Unexpected Point Total #1: Chris Horner #80, ahead of Marcus Burghardt, Jose Angel Gomez Marchante, David Millar, JJ Haedo, Paolo Savoldelli and a few other guys getting more coin than him.
  8. Unexpected Point Total #2: Leif Hoste 77th, Nick Nuyens 78th. Overpaid? Nope, just Flemish. You earn your salary in spring; what you do on your own time (May, June, July, August, etc.) is your business.
  9. Unexpected Point Total #3: Oscar Pereiro 172nd. Is he paid like a grand tour winner, or an overrated, self-dealing domestique? Just asking.
  10. There's no faster way out of the 2007 top 100 rankings than to win a Grand Tour in 2006.
If all goes as planned, nobody will get more free ink here than Cycling Quotient in 2008.