Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Validity Test: knowyourrival.com vs. crossresults.com

I just discovered knowyourrival.com from clicking on a banner ad on my blog.  I have been a huge fan of Colin Reuter's project, crossresults.com, as I feel that the comparisons are statistically accurate and are an useful snapshot of riders' standing in the discipline of cyclocross.

Cyclocross is largely an individual sport, while road racing, when done correctly, is a team sport.  One of my main "rivals" on knowyourrival.com is a teammate.   We spent the entire 2008 season working hard together.   Either he was working for me or I was working for him or we were both working for someone else in every race.  Even at the New England Track Championships, when we were in the top two spots, we blocked for each other in races that would have put one or the other of us in the gold while bumping the other to silver (I ended with Silver, Nick with Gold).  

Camnbridge is focused on team results at the expense of group standings.  We'd rather have one rider on the podium and 5 off the back than 6 in the top 20 and no one on the podium.  Our race tactics and results reflect this value system.  

Individual results mean little in a road race.  A leadout man's race results are not an accurate reflection of that rider's standing in a race or how well he played the game.  If a rider spent the whole race chasing down and sitting in on breaks in order to protect a teammate and then got dropped in the last 2 kilos because they were slain from putting huge efforts for the whole race, how is a comparison of that rider's results valid against another rider who just sat in and waited for the finish of the race?  

While I support efforts to provide a new service to competitive cyclists, I don't think that knowyourrival.com is particularly useful most of the time.  Obviously, with improvements, it could be made more useful.  The way that the information is presented could be cleaned up and refined as well.  

I am curious to see how my readers feel about this website.  

Are the comparisons valid?  

Do you find the information useful?  

Comments?


17 comments:

kevin said...

for someone who doesn't race on the road, knowyourrivals is crap. i've done 22 cross races in the last 2 years, and that site has results for 2 of them; both from 2007. the navigation is crap, and there are typos galore.

on the other hand, crossresults is doper than the salt on your everything bagel. and that's pretty dope.

RMM said...

Kevin:

Agreed on all counts.

Colin R said...

Oooooh it's on now, competing internet website!

Thanks for bringing this to my attention RMM, it's the missing motivation I needed to finish road-results.com :)

John Naegle said...

I think KnowYourRivals simply tells you who you should be getting rides to races with and who you should be recruiting for your team.

RMM said...

John:

That is a good point.

But don't you think that watching people in races is more of a valid method for figuring this stuff out?

Colin: Please find a way to control team results on your new venture.

zack said...

From knowyourrival.com I have learned that all my rivals have long since upgraded. I need to start racing again to find new rivals.

Dave said...

know your rivals has a long way to go, sorting by date sorts by Month, Day, THEN Year... pretty useless.

p.s. my captcha word was: colin

how appropriate

rosey said...

i stopped reading your post because yellow and green on a yellowish-greenish background hurts my eyes. is that the feedback you were looking for?

zack said...

And your polls are lame

solobreak said...

Rankings on the road shouldn't look past the top 20 at the most, unless it's a big stage race or something.

Like it or not, our races and rankings are based on individual results. We're much more like gangs than we are real teams. We have "colors" and reasons to work for common interests, and loyalty plays a big part in how well things work out. But there are (usually) no team prizes nor team penalties. And at our level, we generally don't have a team director who's not riding to call the shots.

RMM said...

Zack:

I am sorry that my polls are not up your alley. Since this a family blog, I can't really put polls that incorporates deviant porn, prostitutes and self photography.

You'll have to find my secret blog for that content.

Rosey:

I thought that you were color blind.

zack said...

Hey, besides buying that hooker for PVB, I've never had any prostitute interaction.

But I gotta agree, the color scheme makes it hard to see the links.

Cary said...

Personally, I think that website is shit.

RMM said...

i'll work on the link color.

Thanks for pointing it out.

RMM said...

Cary:

I assume that you are referring to knowyourrival?

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