Going in to the race, Froome’s imperial guard of Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Sergio Henao and Geraint Thomas had four mountain stage wins and seven top-ten general classification finishes in grand tours, as well as more than a dozen other victories in road cycling’s second tier of races. In almost any other team, any of these riders would be a team leader. Read more
English football has always loved its powerful forwards, hard-running fullbacks and no-nonsense centre-backs. Even a quick-footed winger or tricky attacking midfielder can get an English crowd on its feet.
But one role has yet to be embraced in the same way by a bulk of English football fans: that of the playmaker, often found — God forbid — moving the ball sideways or backwards, but capable of dissecting a defence with a pinpoint pass, releasing an onrushing teammate into space that moments earlier was nonexistent.
The Premier League has had countless examples of genius playmakers: Mesut Özil, David Silva, Cesc Fabregas at his peak to name just three of the most recent. But English names are conspicuous by their absence. Read more
The winners of the women’s and men’s singles tournaments at Wimbledon this year each receive £2m, making this the tenth successive year of equal prize money for the champions of each sex.
But although it might look like women’s and men’s tennis players now compete on a level financial playing field, true parity is still a long way off. In 2015 the top 100 men — as ranked by prize money — earned a total of $124.7m from singles tournaments, compared to $94.7m across the top 100 women.
So why the disparity? Read more
A week on from Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU, some of the most frequently asked questions have concerned turnout levels across different age groups.
Early cries that the young had been betrayed by older voters were countered with claims that it’s young people’s own fault for not voting in sufficient numbers. Some have asked how the UK’s age-structure itself impacted the vote: is the population so top-heavy in age-terms that the odds were always stacked against the younger generation? And then there is the question of whether David Cameron missed a trick in not giving the vote to 16- and 17-year-olds, who would have been expected to lean heavily towards Remain.
We have dug into the best available figures on turnout by age from the EU referendum, and combined them with various public datasets which allows us to answer these questions with the benefit of historical context, or even a glimpse into the future. Here’s what we found. Read more
The chain of events that led to Brexit will be examined in great detail — and much anguish on the Remain side — for years to come. Rapid changes in the UK’s political climate undoubtedly played a part, and global events including the Great Recession and recent European migrant crisis have left their mark.
But for now we can focus on what we know in the immediate aftermath of the vote: the distinguishing characteristics of the areas of Britain that voted for either side. Read more
Polling has dominated coverage of the UK’s EU referendum for the last month, with the focus shifting between the polls’ reliability following their 2015 misfire, the methodological challenges pollsters face, and the Remain vs Leave race itself. Read more
The way our model calculates the average from the remaining five polls in its basket after outliers are removed is completely unchanged, but the polls in that basket should be more representative of where the ‘true’ opinion of the electorate lies.
After this change, our poll-of-polls has Leave on 45, two points ahead of Remain. Read more
The European Football Championships are upon us, and with them an eclectic mix of prediction models from media organisations, financial institutions and independent statisticians. To assuage our FOMO (fear of missing out, for the non-Millennials), the FT has joined in with one of our own.
Spain are favourites to lift the trophy, narrowly ahead of Germany and hosts France, based on our method which uses Champions League appearances and players’ market values to determine each team’s strength. This trio of teams comes in well ahead of the other 21 countries taking part.
Read on for details of the model and how it compares to the betting markets. Read more
Two weeks out from from Britain’s historic EU referendum, opinion polls are dominating the debate. The question is: are they adding or removing clarity about the eventual outcome?
Today we published an overview of some of the challenges facing pollsters as they look to demonstrate that the 2015 general election mis-fire was a one-off. What follows here is a look at how some of these issues are affecting our own poll-of-polls — and how we might deal with them — as well as an exploration of some of the alternatives to pure polling when it comes to forecasting the result on June 23. Read more
Earlier this month Londoners voted in Sadiq Khan as mayor. The Labour candidate won 59 per cent of the vote and in so doing became the first Muslim mayor of a major European capital. But beyond the top-line figures, what do we know about how the election was won, and who voted for whom?
To answer these questions, we downloaded 140 datasets from the 2011 census, describing the demographic and socioeconomic composition of each of London’s 570 electoral wards: the same units over which the mayoral election vote was tallied. Read more
Leicester were bottom of the Premier League on April 10 2015, but a year later had climbed to the top, winning 91 points along the way. No team beginning at the foot of the top flight has ever won that many points* over the subsequent year since English league football began Read more
The 2015-16 El Niño episode has been either the most or one of the most intense on record, depending on which measure you use.
Going on sea surface temperatures alone, the latest El Niño narrowly edges out 1997-98, the previous strongest. Temperatures in the Niño 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean — the most commonly used of the regions scientists measure for signs of an developing El Niño or La Niña conditions — peaked at 2.37°C above the long term trend in November 2015, just ahead of the 2.33°C mark reached in 1997. Read more
PSG are so far ahead of their domestic rivals that manager Laurent Blanc has been able to field weakened sides ahead of big Champions League matches at a rate unmatched by any other quarter-finalist, ensuring that his strongest side has been as well-rested as possible. Read more
Hosts India squeezed into the semi-finals of the ongoing ICC Twenty20 World Cup largely thanks to a sensational innings from their star batsman Virat Kohli, who hit 82 off 51 balls, without losing his wicket, to take India past Australia and eliminate their opponents in the process.
In doing so he scored more than half of all India’s runs for the match — having almost managed the same two games earlier, scoring 46 per cent of the team’s total in another crucial win, this time against Pakistan. Read more
England’s Premier League is enjoying one of its most competitive seasons for years, but at the same time the league is without a club in Europe’s top 10 for the first time in 20 years.
The interplay between competitive balance and outright quality of football is a complex one, and depending on who you talk to, different levels of importance are placed on each when it comes to talk of which league is the best. Read more
The Premier League could lose its fourth Champions League berth within two years, and things will only get more difficult the year after that.
England’s top flight will be given four places in Europe’s elite club tournament next season whatever happens, but the different leagues’ rankings in Uefa’s member association coefficient rankings as they stand at the end of the current season will determine the number of berths each receives in the 2017-18 tournament. Read more
The Chinese Super League has cropped up in football conversations for several years now, but until recently it was in the context of it being one of the sport’s so called ‘retirement homes’: lesser leagues, where prominent Europe-based players only go for a final bulging pay packet and a relatively easy ride. This winter, that all changed, as several genuine global stars — many still in their prime — arrived on big money deals from major European clubs Read more