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Powered by Strava, the 2011 KOM Challenge was a climbing competition that was designed to be fun and highly rewarding. Over 8000 riders worldwide particpated, ranking up millions of feet (meters) of altitude (and attitude) over the 12 months. This individual, team and bike shop competition was brought to you by Studio Velo Cycling.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 KOM Challenge Stats

The Studio Velo 2011 KOM Challenge has concluded with some amazing results. We saw a tight battle the first half of the year between mtbr.com and Mission Cycling, road vs. mountain. Tecate made the big push the last quarter, nailing each of the months, but in the end mtbr.com amassed the greatest total feet climbed for year (23,756,826 feet - 7,241,080 meters). In the Shop category, it was Studio Velo and Mike’s Bikes, with Castro Valley a consistent third.

As we wait the final uploads and verification by Strava of the results, we’ll begin our look back with some number crunching. It would probably be safe to say that the majority of participants have a pretty strong data gene in their DNA – with that assumption this particular analysis looks at the numbers put up by the top teams, both in the club and shop categories. The basic criteria for this dissection was a minimum of 5 million feet per team climbed for the year (1,524,000 meters). With that as the criteria, 30 teams (24 Clubs and 6 Shops) made the cut.  The 5 million plus teams varied in size from 18 to 136 riders, quite a range, so we wanted to examine 2 salient stats for each of the top 30 teams as a way of leveling the field, to determine team depth and strength. So we computed the average total climb per rider and the median total climb per club. The average is computed by taking the totals for each rider on a team, adding them all up and dividing by the total number of riders. The median is the total for middle rider on a team; on a 21 person team it’s the number amassed by the rider in position 11, for a 22 member team it’s the average of riders 11 and 12.

The first chart below shows the overall elevation gain for 2011 for the top 30 teams. No surprises here, except perhaps having the shops included with the clubs. (Download the 2011 KOM Challenge 30 team sortable Excel file in feet & meters.)

This next chart lists the teams by the average feet or meters climbed per team rider, this changes the ordering substantially, with Marc Pro - Strava's 19 riders averaging a mighty 457K feet, but the overall numbers once again demonstrate that cycling is team sport. The Alabama riders, with overall men’s champ Brian Toone, chart at 15 for the clubs (19 overall), and in an interesting counterpoint, the Mornington Cycling Group (with women’s champ Patti Whyte) finished a place ahead at 14 with the same number of riders (24). But Patti's team makes this list, which suggests a better balance of riders.
This third chart lists the teams by the median (feet or meters) climbed per team, this changes the ordering minimally over the average but what's interesting to note here is that IronDataThirtyBear's average is nearly identical to their median.
Only one team, Tecate, made all three charts - should we declare them as the strongest and deepest team? That may be a conclusion that's debatable - perhaps we should all retire to our local pub and discuss it loudly, but amicably...and don't forget to sign up for your free 2011 KOM Commemorative Badge at our lead sponsor StudioVeloCycling.com.