Condition Monitoring/Predictive Maintenance

Team and individual performance in the Tour de France

Emerald | Team Performance Management | Table of Contents >> 

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of an athlete's body type, team characteristics, and pay on performance in the Tour de France (“the Tour”). Based on the concept of scaling and the concept of human capital, the paper aims to derive a set of hypotheses. Design/methodology/approach – Secondary data were collected about all riders that finished the Tour in the years from 2002 to 2005 leading to a total number of n=600 observations. Random effects regression models are estimated with rank as the dependent variable. Findings – The findings indicate that lighter riders perform better in the Tour than heavier cyclists. Better teammates were found to increase average riders' performances, whereas top riders did not benefit from top teammates. Experience (rider, teammates, coach) was a significant driver of performance. Research limitations/implications – Team managers should pay attention to the composition of the team. Having only one strong team captain and several good coworkers was more effective than having several star riders (i.e. potential captains) in a team. Practical implications – The findings with regard to team composition can be transferred to other sports and professions where teamwork plays an important role. Successful teams should consist of only one captain and several good coworkers. Originality/value – The paper extends previous work on the determinants of performance in the Tour by using a longitudinal dataset that covers more variables than previous research.

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