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082 - Tour de France mountain classification should be overhauled

19 July 2007

The current Mountain Classification of the Tour de France is based on a points system whereby the first one up the mountain gets the most points. This means that if less good climbers have a clear lead after the flat part before the climb they can steal points away from the real climbing specialists. This creates a misleading picture, in the opinion of Prof. Gerard Sierksman and Bertus Talsma, two econometrists from the University of Groningen.

Today’s digital technology means that it’s possible to register the exact times taken in the actual climbs. Sierksman and Talsma have worked out on the basis of estimates that the King of the Mountains in 2006 wasn’t Michael Rasmussen but the Spaniard Carlos Sastre. Sastre’s average climbing speed was 22.10 km per hour, whereas Rasmussen’s speed never rose above 21.67 km per hour, mainly due to the loss of10’ 51” on the Puerto de Beret in the Pyrenees.

A direct result of the introduction of this new mountain classification would be that more battles would be fought on the flanks of the mountain passes because then the seconds and the minutes would really count. A letter is on its way to the Tour organization suggesting that the current mountain classification be replaced by a more modern one based on the actual climbing times. The King of the Mountains would then be the fastest cyclist to climb all the mountains.

More information

Prof. Dr. Gerard Sierksma, +31 (0)50 525 05 33

Top 10 Mountain Classification Tour de France 2006*

Name

Time

Average speed

Mountain Classification

General Classification

1

SASTRE

9:29:46

22.10

4

4

2

EVANS

9:32:13

22.01

24

5

3

KLÖDEN

9:32:33

22.00

10

3

4

LANDIS

9:33:12

21.97

2

1

5

MOREAU

9:36:08

21.86

14

8

6

MENCHOV

9:37:41

21.80

21

6

7

BOOGERD

9:38:56

21.75

6

14

8

CAUCCHIOLI

9:39:48

21.72

34

16

9

DESSEL

9:39:53

21.72

8

7

10

RASMUSSEN

9:41:12

21,67

1

18

Top 10 Mountain Classification Tour de France 2007 after seven Alpencols

Name

Time

Behind

Average speed

General classification

1

RASMUSSEN

4:58:47

22.83

1

2

EVANS

5:03:34

0:04:47

22.47

4

3

CONTADOR

5:03:39

0:04:52

22.47

5

4

MAYO

5:04:18

0:05:31

22.42

3

5

MOREAU

5:04:29

0:05:42

22.41

6

6

VALVERDE

5:04:29

0:05:42

22.41

2

7

SASTRE

5:04:54

0:06:07

22.37

7

8

COBO

5:05:14

0:06:27

22.35

26

9

LEIPHEIMER

5:05:14

0:06:27

22.35

9

10

ASTARLOZE

5:05:19

0:06:32

22.33

11

*Op basis van

Col du Tourmalet 18,3 km, 7,7%

Col d’Aspin 13,0 km, 5,0%

Col de Peyresourde 9,7 km, 6,8%

Col de Portillon 7,9 km, 7,9%

Puerto de Beret 13,0 km, 5,5%

Alpe d'huez 13,8 km, 7,9%

Col du Galibier 42,8 km, 4,5%

Col de la Croix de Fer 22,7 km, 6,9%

Col du Mollard 5,8 km, 6,8%

La Toussuire 18,4 km, 6,0%

Col des Saisies 14,9 km, 6,4%

Col des Aravis 5,9 km, 7,1%

Col de la Colombière 11,8 km, 5,8%

Col de Joux-Plane 11,7 km, 8,5%

Update:  24 July

Tour Mountain ClassificationTop 10

University of Groningen  Top 10

Rasmussen

142

Rasmussen

8:59:25

Soler

140

Contador

9:04:17

0:04:52

Popovych

104

Evans

9:06:39

0:07:14

Contador

85

Sastre

9:07:00

0:07:35

Lefevre

79

Leipheimer

9:07:07

0:07:42

Garate

77

Kloden

9:08:39

0:09:14

Evans

64

Valverde

9:09:27

0:10:02

De La Fuente

54

Kasjetsjkin

9:09:50

0:10:25

Arroyo

52

Soler

9:10:33

0:11:08

Cobo

52

Astarloza

9:10:38

0:11:13

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.26 p.m.
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