Pineau attacks the UCI’s point system

Thursday, 28 April 2011

It’s the UCI’s points system that’s ruining everything. Teams think about finishing sixth or ninth instead of playing to win but maybe finishing tenth. They say the race radios are killing off panache, but the points system does just that. You play it defensive.

Those are the words of Quick Step’s Frenchman Jérôme Pineau in an interview with Ouest France. He’s often ready with firm view and you could say he’s having a rant because he lost out… but I think he’s got a point. And he argues it in greater detail in the full interview.

Without wanting to stir up the radio debate too much again, I think it’s true that riders can bank on finishing in, say, seventh place rather than throwing caution to the wind in order to try and get a win. Many of us want to see riders trying “do or die” efforts but the rewards on offer for cracking the top-10 mean many hold back and are happy to take the greater chance placing instead of a rare win.

Pineau Giro

Pineau wants more champagne and fewer points

A final point to note is that he tends to advance bold views when he’s in form, look for him to perform in the Giro just as he did last year.

Starr April 29, 2011 at 4:08 am

To me, one single win is worth more than 50 top tens.
And anything that is going to keep teams from giving full efforts for victory, is just plain wrong.

Big Snoz Oz April 29, 2011 at 5:57 am

Again, our fearless leaders, Pat and the Rat Gang, have over-complicated something that was actually a pretty good idea. That said, I think Pineau is making a big leap on behalf of riders. Why do I race my bike? To win! I don’t care about second or third or ninth. Cyclists are Racers; they want to win more than anything. But the sport doesn’t allow many riders to win very often so winning is special.

Larry T. April 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

The rankings are problematic. Any yearly or season-long points competition often ends up in, as the NASCAR boyz call it, points racin’. The answer has usually been to jack up the points awarded for wins vs the other placings. Same method works with time bonuses in stage races, give the guy an incentive to win the stage rather than just follow the other guy and “gift” him the stage win for towing you up higher in the GC. As well as the radio ban, the UCI ought to consider changing their ranking system as well – to spice up the entertainment value of the televised events they claim the broadcasters say are not exciting enough.

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