We study the stats to give the definitive answer to the question of who was the fastest fastman of the 2015 season

Now that the 2015 professional road racing season has all but drawn to a close, we thought it was time to give the definitive answer to who was the best sprinter of the year.

Although the lines are sometimes a blurred as to who is a ‘pure’ sprinter or not, we’ve included all of the leading names who are in the mix in bunch sprints in one-day races and stages of longer events.

As you will see from our list, the days of the pure sprinter grabbing all of the victories look to be on the wane – our top-ranked riders are versatile, taking victories in bunch sprints, smaller groups and classics.

We’ve not just based our assessment on the pure number of wins, because some races are harder, more prestigious and have a tougher selection of rivals than others. To give a balanced assessment, we’re using a system of points based on the UCI’s classification for each of the races.

The riders we’ve included are: André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), Elia Viviani (Team Sky), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Andrea Guardini (Astana) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin).

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Do you agree with our list? Is there anyone we should have included? Let us know in the comment box below.

10. Marcel Kittel

Marcel Kittel wins stage one of the 2015 Tour of Poland

Marcel Kittel wins stage one of the 2015 Tour of Poland (Watson)

Team: Giant-Alpecin
Country: Germany
Age: 27
2015 wins: 2

Any follower of pro cycling will know that Kittel has had a bit of a poor season due to illness, but we include him here as a point of reference. He’s signed to Etixx-QuickStep for 2016, and we expect him to be back on form and occupying a much more elevated position in our list next season.

Victories
People’s Choice Classic – 10
Tour of Poland; stage one – 15

CW points total: 25

9. Andrea Guardini

Andrea Guardini wins stage one of the 2015 Tour of Oman

Andrea Guardini wins stage one of the 2015 Tour of Oman (Watson)

Team: Astana
Country: Italy
Age: 26
2015 wins: 8

Half of Guardini’s wins come from the Tour de Langkawi, and although his list of victories number eight they are all in lower-ranked races. No Grand Tour stage victories, and none in WorldTour races.

Victories (and points)
Tour of Oman; stage 1 – 10
Tour de Langkawi; stage 1 – 10
Tour de Langkawi; stage 2 – 10
Tour de Langkawi; stage 4 – 10
Tour de Langkawi; stage 8 – 10
Tour de Picardie; stage 2 – 5
World Ports Classics; stage 1 – 5
Abu Dhabi Tour; stage 1 – 5

CW points total: 65

8. Elia Viviani

Elia Viviani wins stage two of the 2015 Tour of Italy

Elia Viviani wins stage two of the 2015 Giro d’Italia (Watson)

Team: Sky
Country: Italy
Age: 26
2015 wins: 8

Viviani’s Giro stage win is the stand-out result for Sky’s Italian fastman, and his triple stage wins at the Tour of Britain in September and two at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour in October shows that his form came good at the end of the year. Sky’s Grand Tour ambitions often stifle Viviani’s chances in big stage races, and it’s not often that he benefits from a full lead-out train.

Victories
Dubai Tour; stage 2 – 10
Giro d’Italia; stage 2 – 30
Eneco Tour; stage 1 – 10
Tour of Britain; stage 1 – 10
Tour of Britain; stage 3 – 10
Tour of Britain; stage 8 – 10
Abu Dhabi Tour; stage 2 – 5
Abu Dhabi Tour; stage 4 – 5

CW points total: 90

7. Nacer Bouhanni

Nacer Bouhanni wins stage four of the 2015 Dauphine-LIbere

Nacer Bouhanni wins stage four of the 2015 Criterium du Dauphine (Watson)

Team: Cofidis
Country: France
Age: 25
2015 wins: 10

Bouhanni has been France’s top sprinter this year, although many of his victories have come in smaller races. His stand-out wins are two stages in the Critérium du Dauphiné, which led many to believe that he could claim at least one stage in the Tour de France – but that didn’t materialise as he was forced out of the race after crashing on stage five.

Victories
Circuit de la Sarthe; stage 1 – 5
Circuit de la Sarthe; stage 5 – 5
GP de Denain – 10
Critérium du Dauphiné; stage 2 – 20
Critérium du Dauphiné; stage 4 – 20
Halle-Ingooigem – 10
Circuit de Getxo – 10
Tour de l’Ain; stage 1 – 5
Tour de l’Ain; stage 2 – 5
GP d’Isbergues – 10

CW points total: 100

6. Caleb Ewan

Calen Ewan wins stage five of the 2015 Tour of Spain (Watson)

Calen Ewan wins stage five of the 2015 Vuelta a Espana (Watson)

Team: Orica-GreenEdge
Country: Australia
Age: 21
2015 wins: 11

The youngest rider on our list of top sprinters took what must be the first of many Grand Tour stage victories this season, winning stage five of the Vuelta a España. Prior to that, his total domination of the Tour de Korea – four stage wins and the overall – bumped up his tally of victories. Watch out for him in 2016.

Victories
Herald Sun Tour; stage 2 – 5
Herald Sun Tour; stage 3 – 5
Tour de Langkawi; stage 3 – 10
Tour de Langkawi; stage 6 – 10
Vuelta a La Rioja – 10
Tour de Korea; stage 2 – 5
Tour de Korea; stage 3 – 5
Tour de Korea; stage 5 – 5
Tour de Korea; stage 7 – 5
Tour de Korea; overall – 20
Vuelta a España; stage 5 – 30

CW points total: 110


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5. Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish celebrates his stage win (Watson)

Mark Cavendish celebrates his stage win (Watson)

Team: Etixx-QuickStep
Country: Great Britain
Age: 30
2015 wins: 14

Cav may not have enjoyed a vintage year by his incredibly high standards, but he’s still right up there with the best sprinters. Just one Grand Tour stage victory for the Manxman this season – stage seven of the Tour de France – but he steadily amassed stage wins in several races. What he was lacking this year, though, was top-level WorldTour wins – just the one at the Tour – which has affected his score in our points system. Cavendish will have a change of landscape at MTN-Qhubeka/Dimenson Data next year, where he will have a strong team built around him.

Victories
Tour de San Luis; stage 7 – 5
Dubai Tour; stage 1 – 10
Dubai Tour; stage 4 – 10
Dubai Tour; overall – 40
Clasica de Almeria – 10
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne – 10
Tour of Turkey; stage 1 – 10
Tour of Turkey; stage 2 – 10
Tour of Turkey; stage 7 – 10
Tour of California; stage 1 – 10
Tour of California; stage 2 – 10
Tour of California; stage 5 – 10
Tour of California; stage 8 – 10
Tour de France; stage 7 – 50

CW points total: 205

4. André Greipel

Andre Greipel wins stage fifteen of the 2015 Tour de France

Andre Greipel wins stage fifteen of the 2015 Tour de France (Watson)

Team: Lotto-Soudal
Country: Germany
Age: 33
2015 wins: 16

Greipel was the sprinter to beat at the Tour de France this season, claiming four stage victories. Outside of the big race, he’s performed all year long, racking up wins in a variety of events, including one of his biggest single-day race victories at the Vattenfall Cyclassics. At 33, Greipel is a full 12 years older than the youngest on our list, Caleb Ewan, yet ‘The Gorilla’ does not seem to be slowing down.

Victories
Volta ao Algarve; stage 5 – 5
Paris-Nice; stage 2 – 20
Tour of Turkey; stage 4 – 10
Giro d’Italia; stage 6 – 30
Tour de Luxembourg; stage 2 – 10
Tour de Luxembourg; stage 3 – 10
Ster ZLM Toer; stage 1 – 5
Ster ZLM Toer; stage 2 – 5
Ster ZLM Toer; overall – 10
Tour de France; stage 2 – 50
Tour de France; stage 5 – 50
Tour de France; stage 15 – 50
Tour de France; stage 21 – 50
Eneco Tour; stage 2 – 10
Vattenfall Cyclassics – 60
Tour of Britain; stage 7 – 10

CW points total: 385

3. Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan wins stage six of the 2015 Tour de Suisse (Watson)

Peter Sagan wins stage six of the 2015 Tour de Suisse (Watson)

Team: Tinkoff-Saxo
Country: Slovakia
Age: 25
2015 wins: 10

Such is newly-crowned world champion Peter Sagan’s versatility that it seems to be an injustice to call him a sprinter – and, in fact, some may say it is unfair that he is included here, particularly as two of his victories are actually from time trials. It’s hard to contest a bunch sprint in a time trial. With the rainbow jersey on his back next season, he may yet step up his game.

Victories
Tirreno-Adriatico; stage 6 – 15
Tour of California; stage 4 – 10
Tour of California; stage 6 – 10 (TT)
Tour of California; overall – 40
Tour de Suisse; stage 2 – 20
Tour de Suisse; stage 5 – 20
National champs time trial – 10 (TT)
National champs road race – 10
Tour de France; points classification – 50
Vuelta a Espana; stage 3 – 30
World Championships road race – 200

CW points total: 415

2. John Degenkolb

John Degenkolb wins stage twenty-one of the 2015 Tour of Spain (Watson)

John Degenkolb wins stage twenty-one of the 2015 Vuelta a Espana (Watson)

Team: Giant-Alpecin
Country: Germany
Age: 26
2015 wins: 6

Degenkolb enjoyed a stand-out spring campaign, claiming two of the biggest races on the calendar: Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. While Milan-San Remo is regarded as a ‘sprinters classic’, Paris-Roubaix is not. Degenkolb’s staying power in longer, tougher races, where some of the pure sprinters drop out means he can use his sprint power to win from a reduced bunch. His final stage win in the Vuelta a España also showed that he can still win from big bunches too.

Victories
Dubai Tour; stage 3 – 10
Milan-San Remo – 200
Paris-Roubaix – 200
Bayern-Rundfahrt; stage 2 – 10
Bayern-Rundfahrt; stage 5 – 10
Vuelta a España; stage 21 – 30

CW points total: 460

1. Alexander Kristoff

Alexander Kristoff wins the 2015 Tour of Aargau-Gippingen

Alexander Kristoff wins the 2015 Tour of Aargau-Gippingen (Watson)

Team: Katusha
Country: Norway
Age: 28
2015 wins: 20

Kristoff has been a dominant force for almost the entire season. He started strongly in the Middle East, taking stage wins in the Tours of Qatar and Oman, before transferring his victories to Europe. The biggest victory was the Tour of Flanders, putting him in the same bracket as Sagan and Degenkolb as riders who can not only win bunch sprints, but monuments too. Are we seeing a welcome resurgence of the all-rounder?

Victories
Tour of Qatar; stage 2 – 10
Tour of Qatar; stage 4 – 10
Tour of Qatar; stage 5 – 10
Tour of Oman; stage 3 – 10
Paris-Nice; stage 1 – 20
Three Days of De Panne; stage 1 – 10
Three Days of De Panne; stage 2 -10
Three Days of De Panne; stage 3A – 10
Three Days of De Panne; overall – 40
Tour of Flanders – 200
Scheldeprijs – 40
Tour of Norway; stage 1 – 10
Tour of Norway; stage 2 – 10
Tour des Fjords; stage 1 – 5
Tour des Fjords; stage 2 – 5
Tour des Fjords; stage 3 – 5
GP Kanton Aargau-Gippingen – 10
Tour de Suisse; stage 6 – 20
Arctic Race of Norway; stage 1 – 5
GP Ouest France-Plouay – 60

CW points total: 500 points

Sprinters of 2015: wins

Sprinters of 2015: wins

Sprinters of 2015: CW points

Sprinters of 2015: CW points

  • eminusx

    you surely have to take into account the level of competition during each race, Greipel consistently won those sprints against Sagan, Degenkolb, Bouhanni, Cav, Kristoff etc

    if its a question of who came out on top most when the top 5 went head-to-head then its hard to argue against the mighty Gorilla!

    Sagz and Degenkolb are undoubtedly better all rounders, but best sprinter? gotta be Greipel.

  • anonymousktvz

    or, you could say it was a 2km sprint in between Greg VA and Eddie BH and Sagan, with Sagan winning it

  • markholds

    It’s a bit random to include overall stage race wins and TT wins in a sprinters’ classification, isn’t it?
    Not to mention the fact that Sagan got 200 points from a breakaway, not a sprint at all!

  • anonymousktvz

    i would say stage 21 of the TDF is not really ever thatgood of a stage, and usually some big names have dropped out by then- so I think its at bare minimum worth the same as any other tdf stage, if not less

  • Denis O Leary

    sam bennett

  • Morgan king

    I love all these sprinters but I think kristoff has been the most successful, but being a Brit j think I will have to go with cav himself

  • blemcooper

    I understand that you’re deriving your points based on UCI’s points system, but counting Greipel’s win on the Champs Elysees the same as a win on some random Tour stage (and less than a non-monument classic) doesn’t seem right.

  • Toby Ablett

    You have to count podium placing a not just wins. Then I think Sagan wins hands down…

  • Toby

    Michael Matthews won quite a lot too.

  • Toby

    Greg Van Avermaet as well?

  • Toby

    Sacha Modolo won 3 races this year including 2 stages at the Giro d’Italia. Shouldn’t that put him higher up than Kittel and Guardini with 70 points?

  • phill

    Greipel no 1!