2015 World Championships, Tabor. © Matthew Lasala / Cyclocross Magazine

2015 World Championships, Tabor. © Matthew Lasala / Cyclocross Magazine

We crunched the numbers and did some analysis of the Elite Men’s race lap times at the 2015 Cyclocross World Championships and it seems like many of you liked it. So we did a similar thing with the Elite Women’s race in Tabor.

We sorted, analyzed and averaged the data, wondering what we might see by looking at the numbers.

It’s fascinating for those of us who can’t get enough of top-level cyclocross racing, but probably as interesting as a stats class for many of you.

We have three tables below, just as we did with the men’s race, separated mostly due to width constraints, and also because of the limitations of our sorting functionality in displaying these tables.

It’s worth noting that these are just numbers. Numbers never lie, but conclusions about effort drawn from them can be inaccurate due to unknown mechanicals or crashes. A number can reveal a rider is inconsistent, but that doesn’t mean her output was inconsistent if she spent time riding a flat. Oh yeah, and there’s a chance we made an error. Let us know.

From the tables below, especially the final table, you can start to get more insight into how a rider’s race played out. Here are a few observations we wanted to share before offering the raw data:

What Could Have Been:

While Wout van Aert and his fans might wonder what could have been had his fortune been different in the Elite Men’s race on Sunday, it’s hard to argue that two chain drops, a dramatic crash and a flat tire means the young Belgian just had bad luck on the day.

Eva Lechner, however, might have a strong case for obsessing with the “what ifs.” After losing five minutes while running to the pits on lap one after her early crash, she then proceeded to turn out the fastest lap of the day on lap two, an impressive feat in itself after an exhausting half lap run. Her next laps were the third and second fastest, and her total time over the middle three laps was the fastest of everyone.

She slowed down a bit on the last lap, but by then, there was little at stake, and she was still flying by racers to finish 31st, only 34 seconds behind Katie Compton. Lechner can take some pride in the fact she had the legs to battle for the win in Tabor.

Ms. Consistency:

Consistency does pay off, at least in the women’s race. Three of the top four women were the most consistent racers of the day when looking at all five laps, with Brit racer Nikki Harris amazingly never straying more than four seconds from her average lap time. Bronze medalist Marianne Vos was the third most consistent racer, followed by silver medalist Sanne Cant. Second most consistent racer? That went to American Rachael Lloyd. She never strayed more than five seconds from her average lap time, and despite being disappointed with her race, gave a very consistent effort (her jersey at the finish appeared to reveal a crash). Honorable mentions to Dutch racer Sabrina Stultiens and Argentine Caro Gomez Villafañe.

The women raced five laps, as opposed to the men’s eight, and thus there’s a bit less data to analyze, and unlike with the men’s race, we included the first lap into our initial analysis. Removing the first chaotic first lap doesn’t change much, with Harris, Vos and Cant still high up on the list, but Belgian Loes Sels jumps up to lead the pack.

Ms. Inconsistency:

Looking at who had inconsistent lap times is a bit depressing for American fans, with three of the “top” six being Team USA racers (three of the top four ignoring lap one). Lechner leads the group with her disastrous first lap, which was a whopping 3:51 slower than her average lap, but she’s followed by Katie Compton who slowed down dramatically after lap two.

Italian Chiara Teocchi, American Elle Anderson, Czech Martina Mikulaskova and American Meredith Miller followed, in that order. Teocchi had a rough third and fourth lap, Anderson had a similar ride to Compton, struggling on the last three laps, Mikulaskova had a slow first lap, and Miller’s lap times were up and down.

Final Lap Struggles:

While American Zach McDonald spent some time in the superman position coming down the finish to have the (relative) slowest last lap in the men’s race, Compton wasn’t focused on putting on a show but still struggled to finish with a lap that was 52 seconds slower than her average (1:44 slower than her fastest). Miller finished up with a lap time that was 31 seconds slower than her average, followed by Japanese National Champion Ayako Toyooka (who just won Tokyo Cyclocross), and Anderson.

Frisky First-Lap Flyers:

You’re probably seeing a pattern by now, but Teocchi, Anderson and Compton all had fast first laps—much faster than their average lap times. France’s Lucie Chainel-Lefevre, who led much of the first lap, and holeshot winner, Brit Helen Wyman, also had fast first lap speed that wasn’t sustainable.

Something left in the tank: 

Unlike in the men’s race, where only four racers beat their average lap time on the last lap, ten women hit the afterburners on the last lap (mostly due to the shorter race).

It’s no surprise that Lechner led the pack, but winner Pauline Ferrand-Prevot showed her road racing endurance and turned in a final lap that was nine seconds faster than her average to take the jersey.

Stuck in Traffic

Besides Lechner and Mikulaskova’s awful first laps, many other women struggled behind the first-lap chaos, including Dutch Sanne van Paasen and Swede Asa Marian Erlandsson. Canadian Mical Dyck, who finished 12th after her back-row start, could argue her starting position cost her a top-ten finish, with a first lap that was more than 14 seconds slower than her pace for the four following laps.

See the raw data in the three tables below.

The first table is lap times per racer, listed in order of place. It’s not sortable.

Lap Times - Elite Women 2015 Cyclocross World Championships

1FERRAND PREVOT PaulineFRA0:49:10199:439:519:459:569:379:46
2CANT SanneBEL+00:01189:449:519:519:489:399:46
3VOS MarianneNED+00:15189:449:529:509:559:479:49
4HARRIS NikkiGBR+00:21199:489:479:519:559:519:50
5NASH KaterinaCZE+00:36189:499:479:509:5610:079:53
6CHAINEL-LEFEVRE LucieFRA+00:56189:379:5810:039:5810:129:57
7WYMAN HelenGBR+01:21189:4710:039:5810:1010:1610:02
8VAN LOY EllenBEL+01:351810:0110:049:4910:1210:2210:05
9MAJERUS ChristineLUX+01:541910:0010:0010:0210:2210:2210:09
10DE BOER SophieNED+01:561910:129:5910:0210:2010:1510:09
11MANI CarolineFRA+02:131910:3110:0410:0510:0910:1610:13
12DYCK MicalCAN+02:192010:2810:0610:0510:2110:0910:13
13ANTONNEAU KaitlinUSA+02:311910:0910:1310:1210:2710:2110:16
14ARZUFFI Alice MariaITA+02:402010:409:5910:0710:1810:2610:18
15STULTIENS SabrinaNED+02:511910:2810:2610:1710:2010:1210:20
16MIKULASKOVA MartinaCZE+03:011911:0510:0110:0810:3210:0710:22
17VAN PAASSEN SanneNED+03:071910:5210:0810:1410:1910:2610:23
18SELS LoesBEL+03:081910:3710:2010:2010:2010:2310:24
19HEIGL NadjaAUS+03:141910:1210:1710:3210:3010:3510:25
20LLOYD RachelUSA+03:142010:2810:2010:2210:2710:2810:25
21HAVLIKOVA PavlaCZE+03:191810:3810:3310:1810:2110:2110:26
22GARCIA MARTINEZ Rocio Del AlbaSPA+03:282010:1710:1010:3310:2910:5010:27
23VERSCHUEREN JolienBEL+03:521910:4810:3210:2010:2410:4010:32
24LAMBRACHT JessicaGER+04:082010:3410:2410:3510:3910:4610:35
25ANTHONY CrystalUSA+04:152010:5110:3410:2510:3710:3910:37
26KESEG STEVKOVA JankaSLO+04:212110:4810:3910:2610:3710:4010:38
27COMPTON KatherineUSA+04:331810:129:5710:3311:1011:3410:41
28MELLOR AmiraGBR+04:492010:3010:3910:4610:4910:5510:43
29HECKMANN LisaGER+04:491910:5110:3510:3510:4810:5210:44
30ERLANDSSON Asa MariaSWE+04:582011:1110:4410:4410:3310:3710:45
31LECHNER EvaITA+05:071814:399:319:509:5210:0710:47
32PETIT MarleneFRA+05:152011:0310:3610:4210:4211:0310:49
33NUNO AidaSPA+05:212010:5310:3710:5310:4910:5910:50
34PAYTON HannahGBR+05:382011:0710:3810:4710:5411:0310:53
35WASIUK OlgaPOL+05:452111:0210:3810:5611:0110:5810:55
36NOSKOVA NikolaCZE+05:482011:1510:4410:5210:5010:5710:55
37GORYCKA PaulaPOL+06:102210:4610:4610:5511:1311:1910:59
38MILLER MeredithUSA+06:282011:0610:3211:0411:0111:3511:03
39GOMEZ CarolinaARG+06:312011:0710:5910:5511:1011:1111:04
40ANDERSON ElleUSA+06:362010:3410:3811:0811:3611:3111:05
41TEOCCHI ChiaraITA+07:032010:2910:3511:5611:4211:1211:10
42TOYOOKA AyakoJPN+07:252011:0811:1111:0111:1311:4211:15
43STEPANOVA KarlaCZE+08:372011:2611:2811:1611:3111:4611:29
44GORRELL LindsayAUS+09:052011:2311:2211:3811:4411:4911:35
45HANESOVA LiviaSLO-1LAP2011:3912:1312:1412:02
DNFGAMONAL FERRERASPADNF2110:1610:1010:3110:4610:25

Looking at this table, you can see how the final podium was decided. It all came down to the final lap, and Czech Katerina Nash’s two crashes and Ferrand-Prevot’s strong sprint made up a thirty second spread, which dictated the medals.

The second table is the rider’s lap time ranking for each individual lap and is sortable. See how your favorite rider did each lap. See who had the best lap three. Sort until your eyes glaze over.

Lap Ranks - Elite Women 2015 Cyclocross World Championships

1FERRAND PREVOT PaulineFRA0:49:101234151
2CANT SanneBEL+00:01445712
3VOS MarianneNED+00:15626633
4HARRIS NikkiGBR+00:211072544
5NASH KaterinaCZE+00:36763465
16MIKULASKOVA MartinaCZE+03:0120361215246
31LECHNER EvaITA+05:078461327
12DYCK MicalCAN+02:1934161613168
15STULTIENS SabrinaNED+02:5113172518179
6CHAINEL-LEFEVRE LucieFRA+00:5611811710
10DE BOER SophieNED+01:5619129101311
11MANI CarolineFRA+02:1314211512812
7WYMAN HelenGBR+01:2125138913
13ANTONNEAU KaitlinUSA+02:31111020162014
21HAVLIKOVA PavlaCZE+03:1992528191515
8VAN LOY EllenBEL+01:35391421016
9MAJERUS ChristineLUX+01:541581191817
18SELS LoesBEL+03:08172423201418
17VAN PAASSEN SanneNED+03:07163217171219
14ARZUFFI Alice MariaITA+02:40262610141120
20LLOYD RachelUSA+03:14251822222121
19HEIGL NadjaAUS+03:14211121262322
30ERLANDSSON Asa MariaSWE+04:58364140322523
25ANTHONY CrystalUSA+04:15393029232724
23VERSCHUEREN JolienBEL+03:52222827211925
26KESEG STEVKOVA JankaSLO+04:21432938242626
24LAMBRACHT JessicaGER+04:08242324292827
22GARCIA MARTINEZ Rocio Del AlbaSPA+03:28421518282228
29HECKMANN LisaGER+04:49183131303129
28MELLOR AmiraGBR+04:49282037333230
36NOSKOVA NikolaCZE+05:48314239353431
35WASIUK OlgaPOL+05:45443435393732
33NUNO AidaSPA+05:21313333363333
32PETIT MarleneFRA+05:15333532312934
34PAYTON HannahGRE+05:38353736343535
39GOMEZ CarolinaARG+06:31383842383836
41TEOCCHI ChiaraITA+07:03271930454437
37GORYCKA PaulaPOL+06:10462741374038
40ANDERSON ElleUSA+06:36232234424339
27COMPTON KatherineUSA+04:335137273940
38MILLER MeredithUSA+06:28283926413641
42TOYOOKA AyakoJPN+07:25374043404142
43STEPANOVA KarlaCZE+08:37304445434243
44GORRELL LindsayAUS+09:05404344444544
45HANESOVA LiviaSLO-1LAP414546469999

The third table is an attempt to rank a rider’s consistency. There are different ways to view consistency, either from a standard deviation expressed as a percentage, or how much the rider deviated from their average lap time. We chose the former for the ranking, but talk about the latter.

We compiled this table differently than the men’s race. We have two consistency rankings, one that excludes the first lap (as we did with the men’s race), and then one that includes it. We also have four more columns that reveal riders who had slower first and last laps (compared to their average lap times), and then racers who had faster first and last laps.

Only riders finishing on the lead lap are listed. Sort the table by any field.

Consistency Ranks - Elite Women, 2015 Cyclocross World Championships

PlRiderCntryTimeAvgCnst Rnk (laps 2-5)Cnst Rnk (laps 1-5)1st lap +last lap +1st lap -last lap -
18SELS LoesBEL+03:0810:24170:130:01
3VOS MarianneNED+00:159:49330:050:02
12DYCK MicalCAN+02:1910:1316220:140:04
21HAVLIKOVA PavlaCZE+03:1910:2613150:110:05
2CANT SanneBEL+00:019:46940:020:07
15STULTIENS SabrinaNED+02:5110:20850:070:08
30ERLANDSSON Asa MariaSWE+04:5810:456330:250:08
1FERRAND PREVOT PaulineFRA0:49:109:4622100:030:09
16MIKULASKOVA MartinaCZE+03:0110:2235400:420:15
31LECHNER EvaITA+05:0710:4736443:510:40
24LAMBRACHT JessicaGER+04:0810:3525120:100:01
4HARRIS NikkiGBR+00:219:50210:000:02
43STEPANOVA KarlaCZE+08:3711:2931200:160:03
8VAN LOY EllenBEL+01:3510:0537310:160:04
5NASH KaterinaCZE+00:369:5326140:130:04
42TOYOOKA AyakoJPN+07:2511:1539350:270:07
13ANTONNEAU KaitlinUSA+02:3110:161580:040:07
9MAJERUS ChristineLUX+01:5410:0934290:120:09
22GARCIA MARTINEZ Rocio Del AlbaSPA+03:2810:2740360:220:10
44GORRELL LindsayAUS+09:0511:3530230:130:12
19HEIGL NadjaAUS+03:1410:2519210:090:13
37GORYCKA PaulaPOL+06:1010:5938340:190:13
28MELLOR AmiraGBR+04:4910:4312180:110:13
7WYMAN HelenGBR+01:2110:0220280:130:15
6CHAINEL-LEFEVRE LucieFRA+00:569:5714320:140:20
27COMPTON KatherineUSA+04:3310:4144430:520:29
40ANDERSON ElleUSA+06:3611:0542410:250:31
41TEOCCHI ChiaraITA+07:0311:1043420:010:41
36NOSKOVA NikolaCZE+05:4810:555240:190:01
25ANTHONY CrystalUSA+04:1510:3710170:130:01
26KESEG STEVKOVA JankaSLO+04:2110:381190:100:02
17VAN PAASSEN SanneNED+03:0710:2318380:280:02
20LLOYD RachelUSA+03:1410:25420:030:03
11MANI CarolineFRA+02:1310:137270:180:03
35WASIUK OlgaPOL+05:4510:5527190:070:03
10DE BOER SophieNED+01:5610:0929160:020:05
39GOMEZ CarolinaARG+06:3111:041760:020:06
23VERSCHUEREN JolienBEL+03:5210:3223260:150:07
29HECKMANN LisaGER+04:4910:4421130:060:07
14ARZUFFI Alice MariaITA+02:4010:1833370:220:08
33NUNO AidaSPA+05:2110:5024110:020:08
34PAYTON HannahGBR+05:3810:5328250:130:09
32PETIT MarleneFRA+05:1510:4932300:130:13
38MILLER MeredithUSA+06:2811:0341390:020:31

More Than Just Numbers:

If anything, for viewers limited by camera angles, or or live spectators limited by viewing only small portions of the course, the data can give better insight into what happened outside what was visible in the video coverage and covered by the announcers and media, ourselves included.

Thanks for reading this far. You’ve impressed us again. See our analysis of the men’s race here.