The idea behind the plot is to visualize and analyze the career of a road bicycle racer as seen across all teams.
A young racer usually starts at the age of 24 as a helper. Later on he becomes either a time trials specialist / sprinter OR leader / top rider. An older racer contiunes as climber / stage points specialis and finishes his (approximately 10 year long) career around the age of 34. In order to do a better analysis one would have to have a multi-year dataset to follow the careers of individual racers.
The idea behind the plot is to group the riders by role in order to understand the adopted strategy by most teams.
Findings highlighted that the number of leaders or top riders is very high. Our hypothesis is that Lance Armstrong's dominance led other teams to increase their top riders roster in order to be competitive during the race. To do a better analysis it would be useful to compare the historical data of team composition.
The idea behind the plot is to provide user with a macro view of the distribution of roles for each team.
The analysis revealed the multi-role capability of several riders because team composition ranged from three to five roles, not every team brought a rider for each specialty, there was no unique leader for each team. It is interesting to emphasise that Discovery Channel team, the final winner, had a small number of helpers and did not have time trial specialist, deducing that its top riders were multi-role. To do a better analysis it would be useful to have more detail about the multi-role data of single riders.
The goal was to compare the performance of the leader with his teammates, in order to understand if there were some links.
To have an overview of helpers performances, it was decided to calculate the “average position” taking in account 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th riders of each team. Visualising the data with a line chart for the 3 top teams, it’s quite clear that at the end of the first half of the competition both Discovery Channel and CSC helpers decreased the performance, possibly to help their leaders (Amstrong and Basso) to stay at the top of the general standings. The T-Mobile comparison shows how the performance of the leader (Ullrich) and the helpers are related. Discarding race #4 (a team one) it seems that if helpers are racing to improve their personal average rank (from 37 to 25) the leader position is negatively impacted (from 3rd to 9th). On the other hand, while helpers started again to support the leader in order to help him reaching 3rd position at the end, their average rank decreased again to 31.