With the ban for Peter Sagan and the injured Mark Cavendish, the Tour has lost again high ranked riders. In the first stage Alejandro Valverde and Ion Izagirre dropped out already and Luke Durbridge was DNF in stage 2.
We keep track of the quality of the starting field of races to compute a race ranking. The quality score of a race is computed as follows. For each rider on the startlist the position of the most recent PCS-ranking is taken. For a top-10 position 50 points are awarded, top-25 position 35 points and on according to this scheme (top10: 50, top25: 35, top50: 20, top100: 10, top200: 5, top500: 2, top1000: 1). The score for this years' Tour de France is 1775.
With the 5 dropouts so far (Valverde, Izagirre, Durbridge, Sagan, Cavendish) the Tour has lost 165 points in quality, or almost 10% of it's quality. Did this happen before in recent history so early in the race? What is the average loss in quality at the end of the Tour? We analyzed the editions since 2007 to answer these questions.
Table 1. Peloton quality in points after 4 days, 7 days, 14 days and at finish
|Edition||Startlist||After 4 days||%||After 7 days||%||After 14 days||%||Finish||%|
We see that with a loss of 9.3% the Tour has lost far more of quality than the average. In 2015 after 4 days of racing there was a 6% dropdown in quality, the Tour lost among others Fabian Cancellara and Tom Dumoulin in the first 4 days.
Graph 1. Tour with most and less dropout quality (Click on the year for an overview of dropouts)
The decrease of 9.3% is even the biggest in the last 10 years if we consider the first week of racing. The average quality loss after 1 week of racing is 3.8%, after 2 weeks of racing 12.7% and on average 19% of the startlist quality did not make it to Paris.