Profile score

The 'PCS ProfileScore' is mainly developed to assign points to riders for their climbing capabilities. Here we explain how it works.

After thorough data analysis we found that the number of vertical meters alone isn't at all a good indication how hard a stage is. For example, a 10k climb at 8% gradient followed by 100k of flat road could very well end up in a bunch sprint. The same 10k climb in the final 20k of the race is probably a typical climbers stage. Furthermore, a 5k climb at 8% seems to be much more suitable for climbers vs. sprinters than a 10k 4% climb.

So we included three variables into our PCS ProfileScore formula:

  • Position of climb from finish
  • Steepness
  • Length of the climb

First we compute the score for each individual climb in the stage by the following formula:

([Steepness] / 2)^2 * [Length in KM]

Then we multiply this score by a factor dependent of the distance from the finish line.

Within the last N kmFactor
before final 75k0.2


Case A: Flat stage with a 10k à 8% climb in the final 10k.
(8 / 2)^2 * 10 * 1 = 160

Case B: Flat stage with a 10k à 8% climb at 100k from the finish.
(8 / 2)^2 * 10 * 0.2 = 32

Case C: Stage with 2 climbs, a 10k à 10% climb at 40k from the finish and a 4k à 12% climb in the final 10k.
{(10 / 2)^2 * 10 * 0.6} + {(12 / 2)^2 * 4 * 1} = 294

ProfileScore final

Besides the profileScore for the complete race we also keep a profileScore on the final of the race. This is simply the same formula but then applied only to the last 25 kilometre of the race.


For climbs we use the same formula to compute the profileScore for a climb in itself. The distance to finish factor is excluded. Also, the minimum segment length for which the steepness is computed is 200 meter. This smoothes the score a bit in case of very short steep segments.

Profile icons

We make use of 5 different icons to give an indication of what kind of stage it is.
Hills, flat finish
Hills, uphill finish
Mountains, flat finish
Mountains, uphill finish

These icons are an indication of the type of stage within an event. Therefore it could be that a stage in one race with the same profile score is considered flat and in another race as hilly. If the ProfileScore is computed, this is often displayed behind the icon which is an absolute score of the stage difficulty.