Tuesday 28 June 2011

IG Markets Pro Cycling Index

Team Sky sponsor IG Markets, an international financial derivatives company a world leader in deciphering data gathered from complex markets and arranging it into simple ranking systems, announced the launch of the IG Pro Cycling Index a while back which, using information supplied by sports data specialists Opta, provides an at-a-glance method of assessing team performance and achievements similar to the indices already in place for sports such as football, horse racing and tennis.

The index provides an at-a-glance method of assessing rider and team performance
Involving a panel of ex-professional riders and journalists chosen for the expert knowledge of cycling, the Index will be updated daily during Grand Tours - including the upcoming Tour de France which begins this Saturday - and at the beginning of each week during the cycling season. In addition to utilising data based on points scored during races and for stage/overall wins, the system awards bonus points to those riders who win several consecutive stages or races and recognises victories in Queen stages, thus forming what should prove to be a very accurate assessment of any rider's fitness, form and potential.

The system currently ranks French rider Philipe Gilbert in 1st place with 5889 points, Alberto Contador in 2nd (5115 points) and Fabian Cancellara 3rd (3189). British hopeful Bradley Wiggins ranks 29th with 1376 points.

Just how accurate the system proves to be will have to be shown - a rider who appears to be at the top of the game may perform badly in a race for no obvious reason or traditionally perform poorly in one race, even though he does well in others. However, Opta are the owners and curators of the world's most comprehensive sports historical database and the systems they already produce for other sports are widely used and respected, so the Pro Cycling Index stands a good chance of becoming a valuable resource.

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