Need help picking your VDS team? Numbers are fun!

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It's really cold out here today (-23, -38 with the wind) so what better activity than to look at VDS riders?

Now I won't tell you who you should pick (but I heard Breschel will be awesome this year), but here is some analysis from last season:

Biggest points increase from 2014 to 2015:
Fabio Aru (+1122)
Johan Chaves (+1036)
Edward Theuns (+1024)
Sergio Henao (+969)
Richie Porte (+951)

Biggest points decrease from 2014 to 2015
Simon Gerrans (-1247)
Arnaud Démare (-1132)
Fabian Cancellara (-1129)
Marcel Kittel (-1017)
Sylvain Chavanel (-910)
(many riders with injuries here)

Best teams in 2015
1- Etixx Quick-Step (12119) (1st in 2014)
2- Katusha (11211) (6th in 2014)
3- Sky (10423) (8th in 2014)

Not surprising to see EQS leading. They didn't have one big rider scoring 2000+ points, but they had amazing depth, with 6 riders above 1000 points, and only two riders out of 29 who scored no points. 2015 standins are much closer than 2014, where Etixx won with a 3000 points lead. In 2016 EQS is losing two riders who scored above 1000 (Uran and Kwiatkowski), so it'll be interesting to see if they can keep 1st position.

Suprisingly, Cofidis was the best ProConti team with 3245 points, barely beating MTN (3230). Thank you Nacer!
Team Marseille 13 KTM was the best Continental team with 700 points, barely beating Roubaix Lille Métropole (690).

Worst WT team: IAM, 3094 points
Worst ProConti team: Novo Nordisk, 70 points

Best nation
Belgium: 22882 (80 riders scored points)
Italy: 22547 (94 riders scored points)
France: 17085 (82 riders scored points)

Good fight to the finish, but Belgium keeps the lead. So when in doubt, pick a Belgian rider.

Biggest impact on his team:

Obviously, I removed all guys who scored 100% of their team total, as it usually was a single result. I also excluded teams who scored less than 1000 points (this being the cutoff for the top 30 teams).

Sonny Colbrelli: 645 points, 58.9% of Bardiani
Edward Theuns: 1120 points, 50.6% of Topsport Vlaanderen
Thibaut Pinot: 1774 points, 46.1% of FDJ
Rasmus Guldhammer: 535 points, 43.7% of Cult Energy
Nacer Bouhanni: 1205 points, 37.1% of Cofidis

Most points on fewest VDS teams (853 teams in total)

Joaquim Rodriguez: 2205 points, only 10 teams
Greg Van Avarmaet: 2057 points, only 14 teams
Tom Dumoulin: 1508 points, only 13 teams
Philippe Gilbert: 1455 points, only 8 teams
Jens Debusschere: 1000 points, only 7 teams

And after a lot of clicking on the VDS site (it would be very nice to have this info in the riders list after the submission deadline has passed), our highest scoring rider no one took: Davide Rebellin, 438 points.

Average return of points per cost (so you should expect a rider at that cost to score at least this to be worth the selection)

32+: 2640 points (only 3 riders, so not a very significant average, best: Valverde 3214)
24-30: 1357.44 points (16 riders, best Rodriguez 2205)
18-22: 920.63 points (27 riders, best Aru 2392)
12-16: 582.76 points (25 riders, best Pinot 1774)
8-10: 396.92 points (39 riders, best Alaphilippe 1005)
4-6: 226.77 points (109 riders, best Chaves 1283)
2: 144.10 points (138 riders, best Theuns 1120)
1: 36.24 points (886 riders, the large number of donuts really drags the number down, best Benoot 1095)

A new record!

Tiesj Benoot set the record for points scored by a rider costing 1 (1095), beating Van Asbroeck (2014, 1040 points), Porte (2010, 1010 points) and Kittel (2011, 923 points).

Good, but not great year

Valverde won VDS with 3214 points, which ranks 5th best all time. Gilbert 2011 (3986) still leads, followed by Valverde 2014 (3956), Rodriguez 2012 (3837) and Sagan 2013 (3580). Will someone break 4000 points this year?

Reliable guys

Since we're starting to have a nice sample of VDS years, we can now have a more global point of view from year to year. Here are the top 5 riders who rode more than 1 season who always bring in a decent number of points
Vincenzo Nibali: Maximum of 3003 points, never went below 1342
Joaquim Rodriguez: Maximum of 3837 points, never went below 1319
Philippe Gilbert: Maximum of 3986 points, never went below 995
Alberto Contador: Maximum of 2654 points, never went below 904
André Greipel: Maximum of 1565 points, never went below 797

VDS all-time greats:

Joaquim Rodriguez: Now at a career total of 14215 points
Peter Sagan: 13114 points
Alejandro Valverde: 11909 (that suspension year hurts his total)
Philippe Gilbert: 11675
Alberto Contador: 11661

Considering how young Sagan still is, he'll probably own the VDS record book for a very long time.

And finally, let's say goodbye and happy retirement to

Ivan Basso (2450 career VDS points)
Alessandro Petacchi (2212 points)
Alexandr Kolobnev (1870 points)
Jérôme Pineau (505 points)
Anthony Geslin (490 points)