Plotting the 2022 Tour de France

The 109th edition of the Tour de France just wrapped up. It was the first edition in several years that felt almost normal—the 2020 edition had been delayed by COVID and 2021 edition moved to avoid the Olympics.

Like last year, let’s explore who the race unfolded with data.

The code that generated the plots can be found here (rendered on Github). The data is here.

The Race for Yellow

The yellow jersey, awarded to the rider with the lowest combined time across the 21 stages of the race, was won by Tadej Pogačar the past two years, so he was the favorite going into this tour.

Other favorites this year were:

After three weeks of racing, here is how the top five riders fared through the stages:

A line plot showing how far behind the leader each top-finishing rider was after each stage of the 2022 Tour de France.

Pogačar started strong, taking the yellow Jersey on stage 6 after beating out Vingegaard in the final sprint. He held it through the first few Alp stages before getting isolated on stage 11. Roglič and Vingegaard, both riding for team Jumbo-Visma, force Pogačar to chase them, pulling him away from his supporting teammates. The duo then threw attack after attack at the yellow jersey, forcing him to constantly accelerate. By the time they got to the final climb on the Col du Galibier, Pogačar was so tired that Vingegaard was able to drop him and gain nearly three minutes, taking the yellow jersey.

Pogačar and Thomas stayed neck-and-neck until stage 16 when Vingegaard and Pogačar attacked in the Pyrenees and dropped the other contenders.

The Green Jersey

The race for the green jersey, awarded to the rider with the most sprint points which are earned by winning intermediate sprints and stages, was relatively boring this year. Wout van Aert ran away with it, never losing the jersey after winning it on stage 2.

Here is how the sprint race turned out, with sprint stages shaded in grey:

A line plot showing how far behind the points leader the top five sprint sprinters were.

The Rest of the Race

176 riders started the race and just 136 finished, the lowest number to finish since 2000. Here is how each rider fared:

A line plot showing how far behind the leader every rider was for each stage.

Wout van Aert, the green jersey winner, paced himself well. He finished just above the middle of the pack. This is in contrast to last year’s winner, Mark Cavendish, who finished near the bottom that year, because he is a much weaker climber than van Aert. Van Aert is an amazing talent, able to climb and sprint!

Another sprinter, Caleb Ewan, got the lanterne rougue, a prize awarded to the last place rider. Normally a strong contender, he crashed hard on stage 13 and struggled to stay with the other riders, but still managed to cross the finish line in Paris.

Pre-race hopeful Primož Roglič crashed and dislocated his should on stage 5. He held on for 10 days—thankfully for Vingegaard who used Roglič to weaken Pogačar on stage 11—but dropped out during stage 15.