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I’ve always thought that much more can be done than is currently available to visualise and analyse race results. As cyclists, looking through race results is probably the number one thing we like to do aside from riding our bikes.
Race results are not the be-all and end-all of a cyclist’s form. When looking at race results you need to keep things in context. What is the big picture? What was the rider’s role? What was his aim? Who was he working for? Pro cyclists don’t sprint for 50th place and quite often their job isn’t to get results. It’s to help their team achieve whatever their objective is. However, keeping all this in mind, it is fun to see who is going well and track rider’s results with a longterm view.
We’ve been working on all kinds of things to make race results better and more insightful. This is actually a lot more complicated than first meets the eye and Ben (my handy web developer) and I have been hard at work building the foundation for some great new features.
Stage 1 – Results Area
On the left side of the homepage there’s an area which links to Australian local race results as well as all the big UCI races. The moment I receive a set of results they’ll be posted and accessible from this area. The “+” means it’s part of a stage race or series of races (e.g. SKCC Summer Crits) and there’s more hidden inside. The “new” flag means there’s results that have been posted within the past 24hrs.
Stage 2 – Results Filtering
The first simple step that we took to slice and dice race results was to have a filtering mechanism where you can view results by country or by team. Whenever I look at results the first thing most of us do is hit ctrl-F and type “AUS” so we can find where all the Australian riders finished. Here’s an example of this with the Dauphine Prologue results from last night showing only the Australian riders. You can also easily access all stages of the race from the links above each set of results without having to go back to the homepage (not shown here since we’re only on the first stage).
Stage 3 – Stage Tracking
Now we’re getting into the fun stuff. During every stage race we’ll be tracking the progress of the rider’s GC and Stage results. Once the race starts to get underway some interesting patterns begin to appear. For example, look at how Phinney went from 1st place down to almost last in the course of one stage. Another great example is to see how consistant Ryder Hesjedal was throughout the entire Giro. You can also see when a rider took or lost a particular jersey.
Click here to see the patterns for every rider of the 2012 Giro.
We’re tracking the Dauphine which you can follow here. This is a small race which won’t provide too many insights, but I think it’s a fascinating way to look back on the Grand Tours.
Stage 4 and beyond…
There’s so many nerdy things that can be done with race results that my head is exploding with ideas. One step at a time and I’m very open to suggestions on ideas and improvements.
Why Not For Local Results?
Local results are a difficult one for many reasons. Every club submits their results in a different format and I have a hard enough time getting them to send me their results, never mind giving them to me in a standard format. Also, most local results only go down to the top 5 or 10 which is an incomplete dataset (which makes it useless for any type of analysis). The amount of work to input and maintain the results versus the amount of people looking doesn’t make the cost/benefit very attractive. For now, local results will be simple text which should suffice. Once again, thank you to everyone who diligently submits their club’s results on a weekly basis.