I do have a life. Honest. But I also have more numbers to drop on you cause if I don't I'll just keep thinking about them so it makes more sense for YOU to think about them now.
Anyway, while figuring out the average ages of the winners of the big bike races I also looked at just this past year in comparison. Its not as definitive but it is interesting. Specifically what I did was look at the VDS in two ways:
I computed the average ages of the a) top VDS points earners and 2) the average ages of the top ten places in all of the VDS races just to see if anything really odd came out. The results are on the flip.
VDS Top Point Winners' Average Ages
The top 16: 29.19
The top 26: 28.23
The top 42: 28.60
The top 16 all scored above 1000 VDS points last year. The top 26, over 750 points, and the top 42, over 500 points. In other words these were the top riders last year, either the leaders of their teams, or they were allowed to test themselves in less important races and did well (Kreuziger fro example).
The age with the most riders was (not surprisingly) 28 with 6 and the numbers fall off the further you get away from 28. The oldest rider is Tin Tin (37) with McEwen (36), Leipheimer (35), and Bruseghin (34) joining him in making up the Get Off My Lawn! Geezer Quartet.
On the other end Kreuziger and Gesink are the two youngest at 22 with Cavendish, Van Avermaet, and Andy Schleck being next at 23.
Top Ten in Each VDS Race Averages
So before I go on, I must say how different this list of riders is from the list just above of the top VDS point earners. For instance Cavendish is 19th highest VDS point earner last year but if you look for him in the top 10 of any VDS race well, good luck buddy! He did win Scheldeprijs, yes, but he makes no top ten list of ant other race. Similar dissing happens to most of the sprinters not named Tom Boonen or Robbie McEwen in fact as their points are made on individual stages and points competitions and prologues. So with that in mind,
The Top Ten VDS Average Age : 28.81
Some top ten subtotals:
Grand Tours- 29.87
Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a Espana
MSR, Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, LBL, Lombardia
Top Stage races- 28.08
Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Pais Vasco, Suisse, Deutchland, Catalunya, Dauphine
Amstel, Fleche Wallonne, LBL
Non-Monument Classics- 28.57
Olympics RR & TT, San Sebastian, E3, GP Plouay, Het Volk, Gent-Wevelgem, Worlds RR & TT, Paris-Tours
Best of the Rest- 28.76
Vattenfalls, DDP, Brabantse Pijl, Criterium International, Emilia, Dwaars door Vlaanderen, KBK, Scheldepris
Het Volk, Brabantse Pijl, Gent-Wevelgem, E3, DDP, Scheldepris, Dwaars door Vlaanderen, KBK, Flanders, Paris-Roubaix
"Oldest" race- Dwaars door Vlaanderen at 31.90 closely followed by San Sebastian at 31.80.
"Youngest" race- GP Plouay at 26.40 followed by Suisse Tour at 26.60 and Deutchland Tour at 26.90
So there's my available info. Sometime I'd like to track the VDS races back 10 years to see how they change and to get a better sample size. Are the Grand Tours normally the oldest set? And are the cobbles just for the geezer set- really old guys like Drew and Chris? Are the week long stage races normally attracting a younger crowd? We'll find out in the next installment....