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10 Years of Amstel Gold

Inspired by Koppenberg, I drew up a spreadsheet of Amstel Gold finishes for the past 10 years. I was looking for consistency as well as upper-tier results, and ended up with a list of 21 riders who have (A) finished in the top 20 at least 3 times in the past 10 years, and (B) with at least one finish being in the top 10.

I sorted them by number of top 10 results per attempt rather than by finish. Obviously, a DNF isn't always the rider's choice, but I do feel the guys who finish their races consistently should end up higher in the rankings than the ones who don't.

No surprise that the King of Amstel is Michael Boogerd, who in 9 attempts finished in the top 10 every single time, hitting the podium an amazing 78 percent of the time.

Who comes in second? Damn, what's his name? You know--that guy who never cared about any race except the Tour...

Of current riders, Rebellin and Di Luca are head and shoulders above the others--but see for yourself on the flip.

Here's the list, sorted by number of top 10s per attempt:

Michael Boogerd    1.00
Lance Armstrong    0.80
Davide Rebellin    0.70
Danilo Di Luca    0.67
Peter Van Petegem 0.67
Frank Schleck    0.50
Stefan Schumacher 0.50
Paolo Bettini    0.50
Oscar Freire 0.50
Matthias Kessler 0.43
Alejandro Valverde 0.40
Michele Bartoli    0.40
Serguei Ivanov    0.40
Erik Dekker    0.33
Markus Zberg     0.30
Thomas Dekker   0.25
Erik Zabel    0.22
Steffen Wesemann 0.14
Igor Astarloa    0.13

If you sort it by top 10s per finishes, it comes out like this:

Michael Boogerd    1.00
Danilo Di Luca    1.00
Lance Armstrong    0.80
Davide Rebellin    0.78
Peter Van Petegem 0.67
Frank Schleck    0.50
Stefan Schumacher  0.50
Alejandro Valverde 0.50
Erik Dekker    0.50
Paolo Bettini    0.50
Oscar Freire 0.50
Serguei Ivanov    0.44
Markus Zberg     0.43
Matthias Kessler 0.43
Michele Bartoli    0.40
Erik Zabel    0.25
Thomas Dekker  0.25
Igor Astarloa    0.17
Steffen Wesemann 0.14

Note that Di Luca is now equal with Boogerd, in that he had 4 top 10s in 4 finishes. But it took him 6 attempts to get those 4 finishes, so I think the first list is just that much more fair. But both are on the linked spreadsheet, so you can look and play with results as you please.

However you sort it, Lance Armstrong is right up there. Top 10s per attempt? He's second. Top 10s per finish? Third. Podium places per attempt? Third. Same for podium places per finish. Guy deserves credit where it's due.

The spreadsheet also includes podium finishes per attempt and per finish. I don't have a column for average placing, though, because I don't find it that useful (feel free to add it if you like). For instance, Frank Schleck's average placing in Amstel Gold is 46th, which completely obscures the fact that he won the race, came in 2nd, and has another top 10 result. He just had a pretty steep learning curve, finishing 100th, 66th, and 97th in his first 3 attempts.

All the data for the spreadsheet came from the cyclingnews archive. If a rider was on the start list for the race but not in the results, I counted him as a DNF--but recognize that CN may not have reported the full standings for every edition of the race.