The second part of the season has just ended. It?s time to make a summary, how cycling World Champions of the last decade performed. Let?s check, if the ?curse of rainbow jersey? exists or not.
Athletes in rainbow jersey have to deal with hundereds of issues: media coverage of their each step, improved visibility in the peloton and sometimes ?burn out? after succesfull previous season.
All those factors cause a syndrom called a ?curse?. A cursed champion struggles to get valuable results.
The last rider who truly overcame that curse was Tom Boonen. His season of 2006 was one of the best in his career.
Current champion, Michal Kwiatkowski aimed Ardennes this year and was succesful in Amstel Gold Race. That win makes him pass the spring test as a reigning champion. His next goal is Le Tour, especially its first week, where ?Kwiato? wants to get a stage win and a yellow jersey.
Let?s take a look at other champions of the last decade: how they arranged their race calendar and how they performed before the Tour de France.
The leader is Cadel Evans, who in 2010 focused on the first part of the season. He took the third place in Tirreno-Adriatico, won the Fleche Wallone and was able to finish fifth in Giro d?Italia. It gave him over 1400 points in CQ Ranking, that I take into concideration as the best marker of rider?s performance.
The rest of challengers raced with mixed fortune. Paolo Bettini was rather thinking about the end of his career and the German authorities who tired to ruin his reputation with doping allegations. Thor Hushovd found his form at the Tour de France and Philippe Gilbert was able to be in the head of the bunch but not in top3.
The one who, besides Kwiatkowski, was able to find his form as a world champion was Rui Costa. The Portuges had similar race program to the Pole and more less the same amount of pionts. As ?Kwiato? was able to win the Amstel Gold Race, one of the Classics, Costa was the best in Tour de Suisse, one of the most prestigeous stage races. For Costa June is one of the best periods every year. On the other hand Kwiatkowski treats June Stage Races sctictly as a workout.
If Kwiatkowski rides well in the Tour de France and later gets few more valuable results, he is still able to overtake Evans and maybe even Boonen.
Cycling World Champions Ranking before the Tour de France
|2014||Rui Costa||925 (III)|
|2010||Cadel Evans||1427 (II)|
|2006||Tom Boonen||1728 (I)|
Cover: cas_ks, flickr CC BY SA 2.0