Here I am back with the “numbers” belonging to the second big event in the western Alps when the summer is almost at his end: the TOR DES GEANTS.
With his selection method, without qualifying points to the race and with random draw, it produces two effects: everybody can starts the race (even without needed experience) and a large number of withdrawals characterizes the end of the race.
Without interfering or commenting on the decisions by the organizers of the Tor des Geants (TdG), I told myself “why not looking to these numbers in details?”
Premise: since I read exaggerated “numbers” in general on newspapers, websites, or blog, I´d like to underline that the following analysis is based on the official numbers posted on the website of the Tor des Geants (http://live.tordesgeants.it/#/board).
Number of registrations: 894 (787 men; 107 women)
Number of starters: 831 (11 attendees and 52 who never really started. The “Live” information was a bit confusing since displayed in “race” also these 63, who never really started!
Number of finishers: 534 (26 finishers within 96 hours / 4 days; 127 within 120 hours / 5 days). Thus, the majority finished the race between 5 & 6 days. First hint: unless you are not a beginner in this event, in your plans, consider 6 nights on the tracks!
Number of withdrawals
Number of DNF: 297 (254 men; 43 women, including the only one disqualified this year). Therefore, the overall % of DNF is about 36%, a number slightly lower than other editions, probably due to the very favorable weather conditions this year (even if the warm and sunny hours in the first day created problems, especially to those who did not balance correctly the use of the energies). Second hint: it is a long week. Take your time!
Number of registered countries without a finisher: 5 (Brunei, Finland, Iceland, Thailand, Malaysia).
Number of withdrawals along or near the “Alta Via Numero 2” (Courmayeur to Donnas, included) is 170, while the number of withdrawals along or near the “Alta Via Numero 1” (after Donnas to Courayeur) is 127. This is a standard trend, with the majority of withdrawals happening within the first part of the TdG until Cogne (150 withdrawals until there).
Number of withdrawals in the first 28 km (Deffeyes): 31. Namely, this is the 4% of the starters. It would be interesting what the reasons are for a withdrawal only after less than 10% of a race of more than 330 km. Third hint: are you sure that you are prepared for this endurance race?
Number of withdrawals at Life Basis: 158. Namely, this is about 53% of the overall number of withdrawals; so this factor seems not to be relevant on the withdrawal: you stop when energies are over, independently where you are, Life Basis or Refreshment Points or any other location along the footpath.
“Preferred” Life Basis for the withdrawals: Valgrisanche (50 km), Cogne (106 km) and Gressoney (208 km) with 119 withdrawals among them.
Number of withdrawals between Gressoney and Courmayeur: 42. Namely, this is only 5% of the starters. A very low number (but, quite usual), considering that more than 2/3 of the race is already completed. However, at this part of the race, it becomes stronger the “motivation” factor, which pushes the runner to keep going and not giving up. Fourth hint: the “head” (and its strength) has the same importance of the body. Do not forget to train it properly.
Refreshment points or Life Basis without withdrawals: 2 (Rifugio Cuney at 256 km and Rifugio Bertone at 333 km).
Number of withdrawals per country
Among the 10 countries with the highest number of starters (more than 15), the highest percentage of withdrawals is for United States (45%), followed by Switzerland and Spain (both 39%), and then by Italy (37%), by Japan (34%) and France (33%). Good results for China and UK with the lowest percentage, respectively 22% and 24%.
Among the African countries (7 starters), there was any withdrawal! Clean sheet for Madagascar (1), Reunion (3) and South Africa (3).
Among the Asian countries (87 starters), the number of withdrawals was 29, so about 1 every 3 starters.
Among the European countries (685 starters), the number of withdrawals was 237, so about 35% of the respective starters.
Among the North American countries (29 starters), the number of withdrawals was 15, so slightly more than 50% of the respective starters.
Among the Central American countries (6 starters), there was just one withdrawal.
Among the South American countries (18 starters), the number of withdrawals was 10, so about 56% of the respective starters.
Among the Oceanic countries (10 starters), the number of withdrawals was 5, so 1 every 2 starters.
Italian withdrawals: 141. They consist of 121 men (about 37% of the Italian male starters) and 20 women (about 39% of the Italian female starters).
And that´s it about withdrawals at Tor des Geants in 2018.
Now I also retire, leaving open the following question: how many yellow flags have been eventually collected along the footpaths?
Andrea De Filippo
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Note: these data were originally posted on my personal Facebook page in September 2018.