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2020 World Tour Teams

Over the weekend the UCI announced 20 men’s teams had applied for a spot in the UCI World Tour. With the existing 18 teams and Cofidis as the 19th there’s been a small surprise with Arkéa-Samsic joining the applicants. Here’s a quick look at how the system works and some of the questions and issues around it.

First the UCI World Tour is a semi-closed system where teams get multi-year licences with certain entry into the top calendar of races. Teams with a World Tour licence, or “UCI WorldTeams” to use the official jargon, are guaranteed a start in the Tour de France, the golden ticket all teams and sponsors crave, by some measures the Tour counts for 70% team’s marketing exposure, ie more than the Giro, Vuelta and spring classics… and everything else combined. In return for this certainty they’re compelled to field teams in all the other UCI World Tour races, under threat of a fine and even putting their licence in jeopardy. In order to better provide for this, teams now have to have a minimum of 27 riders for 2020, up from 23 this year. WorldTeams get their licence by satisfying five criteria with the UCI:

  • sporting: based on UCI points, more of this in a minute
  • ethical: whether the team has followed the UCI rules, respects contracts, pays its taxes, files accounts and so on (and not the anti-doping record as could be assumed)
  • financial: teams are audited by accountants at Ernst and Young to evaluate their funding and financial security for the season ahead
  • admin: gathering all the required documents, assurances and filing them on time and coherently
  • organisational: this relates to how the team is run and cares for its riders, with sufficient support staff and planned rest periods. This is the newest criteria based on the ISSUL audit

Five sections but really two areas, as in teams must satisfy the UCI rules while the sporting criteria is a moving target. This sporting part is complicated though as for 2020 it’s based on a little-known “UCI world ranking for men UCI teams – 3 years” ranking. It’s tucked away in the UCI rulebook and the actual rankings are not made public. Here’s the relevant UCI rule:

It reads like it’s been poorly translated from another language… the French version on the UCI website is a little sharper. In short you add up the points scored by each team during 2017, 2018 and 2019 and then each team is rated on this basis. The top-18 ranked qualify for the World Tour for 2020-2022. Then there’s a special rule saying any current World Tour teams that sit in 19th and 20th place can still keep their licences, ie if Dimension Data and Katusha-Israel Academy meet this they’re ok. This was added after these teams discovered they could be relegated and argued they didn’t know they were facing relegation in these years so it was unfair to impose this on them.

Based on a home-made spreadsheet that’s a bit rough to publish in full, Cofidis qualifies as the 18th best team and so will get a World Tour spot for 2020. Wanty-Gobert are 19th but haven’t applied for promotion. Dimension Data are 20th and so would normally be relegated… but the rule mentioned above means repechage and they stay in meaning a UCI World Tour with 19 teams. Arkéa-Samsic don’t look to have made the cut based on the current rules, they’ve not scored enough points.

Some teams like Nippo-Vini Fantini are stopping

Let’s assume 19 teams in the World Tour…. this leads us to an important second order effect. New for 2020 is also a rule – 2.1.007 bis –  saying the best “UCI ProTeam”, the new name of the Pro Continental teams, at the end of this season gets an automatic invitation to the World Tour races, it’s elective as they can start but they can also decline which makes sense as they may not want to race everywhere nor have a roster to cope with this. It’s a nice spot given this elective position and currently Total Direct Energie sit in this spot although Wanty-Gobert are only 80 points behind meaning there’s a tight contest in the days ahead, for example fifth place in today’s Tre Valli Varesine lands 85 points while Wanty-Gobert race the upcoming Tour of Taihu Lake, presumably not to market Wanty’s tarmacking services around the Yangtze Delta but to poach precious points.

Given races can invite a maximum of 22 teams to a race we have 19 WorldTeams, plus the top ranked ProTeam… and so two wildcards left. In the past the winning team of the Coppa Italia series got an invitation to the Giro d’Italia but this has been dropped now meaning RCS can pick two teams. But another rule says one must go to an Italian team, or rather in event there’s no automatic invitation of a team from the host nation, and Italy has no WorldTeams, then one spare spot has to go to a ProTeam of the host nation, ie an Italian team. If somehow Arkéa-Samsic do get the spot they’ve applied for then there’s only one wildcard. The quick version is gone is the choice of a race organiser to pick four teams at leisure, now they’re probably choosing between two and nationality counts.

Outside the grand tours there’s room for up to four wildcards for other stage races. For the one day races the same new rule sees the best three ProTeams of 2019 get automatic invites (currently Total Direct Energie, Wanty-Gobert and Correndon-Circus) and up to two wildcards are left for race organisers to grant. The upshot is very slim pickings for ProTeams, especially teams hailing from countries where there’s a rival, for example Androni vs Bardiani-CSF, Caja Rural vs Fundacion Euskadi-Orbea.

Like plenty of other blog posts, writing this up helps work through the rules to better understand them. More than ever the World Tour is closed ecosystem. Rather than a league with relegation and promotion, the top teams enjoy a relegation protection rule at the moment and it creates an environment where the second tier teams are left chasing even fewer crumbs. This is an acceleration of a trend that has been the direction of travel for some time. We’ll see what happens come 2023, the plan is to shrink back down to 18 teams… but it was only a year or so ago the World Tour was going to have 16 squads and now it has space for 20.

Even assuming the paperwork and money are in order it’s hard to be sure which teams make the World Tour for 2020 as the rankings aren’t public. Homemade crude calcs say Cofidis will stay up, Dimension Data get saved but Arkéa-Samsic won’t make the cut. Meanwhile the top-ranked Pro Conti team is a valuable spot and there’s a tight battle between Total Direct Energie and Wanty-Gobert for this, the French team lead. Earlier this year Total Direct Energie boss Jean-Marie Bernaudeau explained his team’s lacklustre season by virtue of them chasing points rather than wins and whether this is an ex post excuse for poor results or a tactical masterstroke depends on the next coming weeks.

Ultimately we’ll see the same teams and riders in the same races and if this sounds like the status quo it’s more than that, it’s the entrenchment of this with fewer second tier teams getting a start in the big races.

Confused? Then ask away in the comments below and we’ll try and work through the questions.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Fred B Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 3:21 pm

    If there are twenty places and twenty applicants then is that not a place each? If you had a requirement to be top twenty then you are saying that if 21 apply the lowest ranked would fail, but there are no excess applicants to discard or is it a maximum of twenty?

    • The Inner Ring Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 3:23 pm

      Normally you’d be right… It’s the 18 best teams but with the provision that if any existing World Tour teams slip to 19th or 20th position then they stay in the World Tour. So in this case Cofidis look to be 18th and Dimension Data 2oth but get the repechage rule so we should have 19 teams.

  • Larry T Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 3:38 pm

    You skipped over how the sport got into the current mess with 20 teams (instead of 18, which was too damn many already) which effectively destroys the hopes of teams at the next level down getting into their home Grand Tour, which is a real shame and can’t in any way be said to be good for the long-term interests of the sport IMHO. ASO, RCS and the other race organizers should all oppose this idea as it infringes far too much on their ability to create the peloton they desire.

    • plurien Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 4:29 pm

      Agreed. So would it make sense to have a second tier WorldTour franchise where regional teams get to race in top level tours – and other teams are happy not to have to go to all events.
      I know this is how it was working over some of the past few years, but UCI could screw more out of a larger number of teams for whom a similar fee would be acceptable because they don’t have the expenses/team size to cover everything.

      • DaveRides Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 9:46 pm

        The ideal way to handle that would be to have 12-15 WT teams, and then 3-6 places reserved for ProTeams entering by merit (team managers to select their races using a ‘draft’ with the #1 ProTeam selecting first, the #2 selecting second and so on, rotating in order) plus a handful of wildcards for the organiser.

    • The Inner Ring Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 5:14 pm

      I was surprised ASO, RCS let this go through. We’ve seen teams get wildcards coincidentally when they sponsor the races concerned and now this avenue dries up. The 20 teams is sort of touched on in that it’s the best 18 teams plus if two current World Tour teams if they’re relegated. I didn’t touch on the extra rule that probably won’t be evoked which says if a WT team is relegated then they still get an automatic invite for next year’s WT races anyway, so as to make the drop less harmful.

      • DaveRides Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 9:34 pm

        Given that Cofidis (ASO sponsor team) was always going to be the only PCT moving up and that the only use of either the 19th licence or the demoted ex-WT team rule was going to be for Dimension Data (ASO sponsor team) I could see why ASO would be open to accepting this for the next three years. The big question is of what concession they will be demanding in return for that.

        RCS come out of it pretty badly. If the automatically invited ProTeams are set on racing the Giro (not guaranteed if the #1 ProTeam is Wanty) then I wouldn’t bet against RCS asking the UCI for an exemption to allow 23 teams like they have a couple of times in the past. The UCI should grant that request in the interests of keeping the peace.

        Have you seen the table under regulation 2.1.007bis in the upcoming amendments which details the way that automatic ProTeam invitations and wildcards will be handled according to the number of WT teams and demoted ex-WT teams? https://www.uci.org/docs/default-source/rules-and-regulations-right-column/part-ii-road/2-roa-20191023-e-amendments-on-23.10.2019—updated-25.09.19.pdf

        • astram Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 10:47 pm

          RCS is part of the Lega Ciclismo Professionistico that yesterday they made a complaint to European Commission against Uci similar to the one made by Velon a few days ago.
          Very interesting these details about number of wild cards depending on relegations.

  • jc Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 4:19 pm

    Apologies I know nothing to do with this topic but a thought for a future one. Sadly there has been yet another fatal racing accident (in a race in Italy), not the first this year plus there have been some very bad accidents which could have easily been more serious (Chris Froome, Rigobert Uran, maybe more). Not sure if any other sport would live with this level of risk. Motor racing used to be very dangerous but huge efforts have been put in to make it safer. Why should the riders be risking their lives for our entertainment?

    • The Inner Ring Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 4:25 pm

      It’s off-topic, a subject to return to but not knowing the circumstances here I suggest we leave it and return in due course. I’m reminded of the Antoine Demoitie scenario when many had ideas, as good as they were, but he hadn’t even been buried nor was the post mortem complete.

  • noel Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 5:46 pm

    so Italy and Spain – 2 of the absolute bedrocks of the sport – both struggling currently due to weak economies etc, could be left with maybe just one or two teams in their home GTs… it’s as if the UCI doesn’t want fans on the roadside, never mind nurturing the sport through tough times…

    if the TdF is the be all and end all, then have a different rule for that maybe…
    If the WT has to be foisted on the sport, then 12 teams should be the max. and it might help the peripheral/regional teams that can focus on their local races, and get spots in the Giro/Vuelta whatever as their season high points. 2nd tier Benelux teams can concentrate on the Cross season/Spring etc etc…

    • The Inner Ring Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 6:29 pm

      Which is why we get the “home” rule which ensures at least one ProTeam gets an invite. We could have 12 teams in the World Tour but the teams would push back hard on that as their weight in the system would be reduced a lot, a lot would depend on ASO inviting them and they prefer the current security. It’s a bit like waterbed where a push here makes something move over there etc.

    • Larry T Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 8:49 am

      +1 especially about the WT being foisted on the sport. I think ASO is the only group who could kill off “Heinie’s Folly”. I wonder what would happen if they announced different criteria (more sporting, less business) for the teams invited to LeTour? Lawsuits….but perhaps they could prevail over the UCI’s and Velon’s lawyers? If the whole thing is going to devolve into who has the biggest legal budget for court fights, ASO (and I write this with little love for the French, but they HAVE been the only adults in the room here, IMHO) would be the one I’d want to see win.

  • BC Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 7:11 pm

    I thought the original UCI idea had been to REDUCE the number of WT teams to allow for more wildcard entries in 3 week tours and the classics. It actually appears that the model is now totally flexible, depending on the number of potential WT teams with the where with all.
    The whole edifice is simply in place to allow the cash starved UCI to generate income and has little to do with the development of the sport. Not all teams are capable of contesting three week tours or the spring classics in a competitive sense. In addition the financial disparity between the teams, and therefore their potential to be competitive is staggering.
    The current model is totally unhealthy and unrealistic for the sport. Someone needs to get their thinking hat on and come up with a better idea – like the organizers selecting who rides their event based on sporting criteria.

    • The Inner Ring Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 7:16 pm

      The UCI doesn’t make much money from this though. The registration fees are €85,000 per World Tour team which when you consider the cost of auditing, running the rankings etc probably isn’t very profitable. It’s the Worlds and Olympics that keep the money coming into the UCI, see past post http://inrng.com/2019/08/uci-financial-report-2018-accounts/ for more. If anything, given a World Tour licence = a Tour de France start, the market price could be a lot higher if the UCI auctioned off places, no?

      • Mendip5000 Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 11:19 pm

        I’m not sure that it would be 100% theirs to auction; ASOs cut should be 70%, no?

    • Larry T Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 8:51 am

      I too thought that was the idea but then the deep-pocketed teams and their high-priced legal beagles started threatening action and the UCI caved, just like with that salbutamol caper not too long ago. What say you Mr. Inrng?

      • Tom Friday, 11 October 2019, 10:07 am

        Larry, what’s your obsession with high-priced lawyers? Even the best lawyer can’t sustain a hopeless proceeding. There are bigger factors at play.

  • BC Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 9:23 pm

    85.000 pounds per WT team x 20 is 1.7 million pounds. I wouldn’t call that just an admin fee for a fairly small national body. The auditing side is a fairly private affair, where the UCI keeps it’s deliberations close to its chest. A simple spreadsheet and a part time office junior could quiet easily deal with rankings.
    The point I was really trying to make is that many find the idea of the WT essentially a closed shop and an additional expense for teams. It also has a secretive touch of both elasticity and ‘dead mans shoes’ to suit who exactly ? It offers little to advancing the sport, competition or giving teams and sponsors not in the inner circle the chance of developing and showing off their team or their riders.
    In my view the WT has been on life support for most of its existence, only kept going by self interest.

  • DaveRides Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 9:50 pm

    Inrng, is there anything to confirm whether the automatic invitation for the #1 ProTeam will exist in 2020, given that the #1 ProTeam from the 2019 season (i.e. Cofidis) will already be entered in every race of the 2020 WT season as a WorldTeam?

    • astram Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 10:39 pm

      At the moment Cofidis is #3 in ProTeam ranking, with TDE 1st and WGG 2nd, but things can change.

      • DaveRides Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 11:50 pm

        There was an ‘if’ missing from that post of mine!

        There’s only a handful of points in it and they’ve been trading places all year, so it’s still quite possible that Cofidis could simultaneously be WT #18 and PT #1 next year.

        This could provide the UCI with a way out of their wildcard mess, but doing that would surely draw legal action from whichever of Total or Wanty finishes this season higher.

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 9:04 am

      The rule reads as “the best UCI ProTeams on the UCI World Team Ranking”, ie not this year’s UCI Pro Continental teams but the best of next year’s teams based on this year’s rankings. So if Cofidis moves up it’s still the best of whichever teams are left… the rules imply this anyway.

      • Nick Thursday, 10 October 2019, 12:28 am

        That must be right, because in 2020 Cofidis wont be a ProTeam at all, so “the best ProTeam on the UCI World Team Ranking on the last day of the previous season” should be somebody else.

  • astram Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 10:51 pm

    Any idea of how the points will be calculated for Katusha&I.C.A.?
    Based on the roster of the new team at the end of october?

    • DaveRides Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 11:47 pm

      It is the Katusha team which will be continuing under new sponsorship, so it will be based on the performance of Katusha over 2017-19.

      The old system of calculating the value of a team’s roster has been done away with in favour of promoting/relegating teams on the merit of their own performance like every other sport with merit-based promotion/relegation does.

  • Anonymous Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 12:52 am

    Why should we care that bad or flaky teams from the second tier get thrown a lifeline by their ‘home’ Grand Tour?

    More teams and more riders per team on the World Tour should mean that in general more of the peloton gets a good wage on teams that are more organised, better structured and sensibly planned. See the ethical, organisational and financial criteria in the OP.

    If a team like Wanty or Cofidis or Total have the money and the organisation and the results in the second tier then let them be rewarded for those merits.

    Propping up dodgy garbage no matter what and come what may isn’t healthy for either the sport or its fans.

    • Kevin Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 3:16 am

      Today’s math equation = dodgy second division teams in France, Italy and Spain > Team Dimention Data, Katusha and EF1 lol

      • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 9:07 am

        The likes of Cofidis aren’t dodgy, they’re well funded and by most measures have scored more UCI points than Dimension Data and Katusha this year. At the same time Dimension Data aren’t “dodgy garbage” either, they’ve been unlucky with illness and injury this year but also have to take responsibility for their results too, they deliberately recruited riders and raced to score points this year and it hasn’t worked out.

  • Anonymous Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 8:19 am

    Will all World Tour teams be obliged to participate in all WT races from 2020? Or is the opt-out from some added more recently to the calendar (Guangxi, Turkey, Cadel Evans, RideLondon etc) still available?

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 9:16 am

      They’re “voluntary” still.

      • Anonymous Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 9:25 am


  • DJW Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 8:49 am

    Given the importance of UCI points in selection of new WT teams more care seems necessary in defining race category and UCI points to be awarded. To take the example of two recent 2.1 stage races both giving the winner 125 UCI points.

    CRO race: Adam Yates gained 125 points for MTS in a field with 4 WT and 5PCT teams
    Tour of Iran: Savva Novikov of Loksphinx gained 125 points in a field without a single WT or PCT rider, and where I, a devoted student of procycling, fail to identify a single rider.

    It’s maybe an extreme case but it surely indicates that a team wanting to game the system for “cheap” UCI points could do so.

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 9:21 am

      For sure and we’ve seen this taken to extreme levels in the past with the likes of Lotto-Soudal, Ag2r La Mondiale and Euskaltel-Euskadi in the past making weird recruitment choices purely on the basis of points, the first two hiring Iranians purely for their points, they barely raced for the team; the other signing non-Basques for their points and trashing the identity of the team.

      More recently Wanty-Gobert arguably sent some of their best riders to the Tour of Austria… during the Tour de France which they were riding as well because they knew they weren’t going to win much in the Tour but could score points in Austria. So we have a team keeping some of its best riders out of the very race it wants to race in in order to be able to race it next year.

  • Richard S Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 10:31 am

    I cant help but think that this is removing the whole purpose of what I presume the World Tour was for in the first place, i.e. having the best cyclists and teams at the best races. Now 20 teams with 27 riders at a seemingly infinite number of races… there’s going to be an awful lot of filler. All the Quick Step and Ineos teams at the Tour of Turkey or whatever province of China will have in common with their actual counterparts taking part in the Tour or the Spring Classics is the name, certainly not the riders. So what I am saying is its all pointless!

    • Larry T Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 11:51 am

      “I cant help but think that this is removing the whole purpose of what I presume the World Tour was for in the first place, i.e. having the best cyclists and teams at the best races.” was certainly what “Heinie’s Folly” was sold as, but the results have been a) massive increase in expenses for teams b) teams showing up to races they haven’t the slightest chance of winning. c) teams of local/regional interest who actually have a rider capable of winning being excluded.
      As this UCI money-grab/globalization project gets larger, the negative effects simply increase. Is anyone surprised by this?

  • plurien Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 10:47 am

    Hang on. Are people really going to object to the idea of ‘gaming the system’, when it’s a sport we’re talking about….?
    Looking at what some teams have done to score points in out of the way places serves to show how UCI has helped to bolster those events. Isn’t that a key part of its remit?
    Locking down the entire composition of every GT team list is what I’m seeing as the problem.

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 11:44 am

      The “gaming” aspect is niche, the sort of thing this blog can explore but not a big topic to the millions tuning in for the Tour, Giro, Ronde etc, the sort of thing you can spot in tactics and recruitment choices at times.

      As you say the GT team list is locked down and in turn this means the smaller teams can’t score many points because they’re racing fewer races with smaller rosters… so they can’t get promoted.

    • Larry T Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 11:56 am

      “Are people really going to object to the idea of ‘gaming the system’, when it’s a sport we’re talking about….?”
      Yes Plurien (are you really Dave Brailsford?) yes we are! At least if the idea is SPORT rather than merely a game, IMHO.

  • IanPa Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 11:31 am

    Hang on…. i need a second coffee..

    • The Inner Ring Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 11:44 am

      Worked for me yesterday, writing it all down helped to try and understand this.

  • Rooto Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 1:11 pm

    InRng has done a good job of explaining the what, who and how of the situation, so thanks very much for that. Accepting that most of the conversation took place here yesterday, I still have a question for anyone hanging around today:
    To clarify, I have read here many times that the UCI is a low-budget regulatory operation, run from a small industrial estate in the Swiss Rhône valley. They manage much larger entities (national associations, teams and race organisers) in a sport which – considering how little of it can be monetised – has successfully existed for over a century. So, why are they acting so proprietorially towards these larger entities? To me, there seems a real disconnect between the vision proposed and the reality. Acting big, but in reality quite small and defenceless – it’s a bit like the Wizard of Oz! Layers of complications to make things appear more complicated than they are.
    Is the UCI greedy for money?
    Are they power-mad? Is there a possibility of future World Tour race organisation going in-house, as happened briefly in China?
    Is this just what happens to all sports administrators, that they eventually think they are more important than the ‘stars’?
    Or, is it to forestall a potential schism from Velon teams leaving the fold completely, if they aren’t tied in quickly?
    Sorry for being long-winded – do people think the UCI has delusions of grandeur or is it just an ever-more-delicate balancing act between increasing numbers of stakeholders?

    • Larry T Thursday, 10 October 2019, 12:49 pm

      I consider UCI to be a sanctioning body responsible for creating and enforcing the rules that keep pro cycling a SPORT rather than merely an entertainment business. They are part of the Olympic family (unlike the NFL for example) so they must also follow their rules (WADA’s for example) in administering the sport. Yes, they DO get into competition in a way with the race organizers when it comes to the World’s (which provides a good chunk of their operating revenue) and in some ways this sets up more than the usual governing body vs cheats situation. Many times they’ve been tone-deaf (Hein Verbruggen might be the best example?) to what the riders, sponsors and teams would like, but at the same time all three of those groups too often act in the old “give ’em an inch and they take a mile” way so the UCI appears even more draconian than reality.
      Who has more money or who is bigger should have NOTHING to do with their administering of the sport and enforcing of the rules ALL of the stakeholders agree to before they pedal a bike, write a check, or sign up a rider, mechanic or soigneur.
      In many ways they ARE more important than the “stars” as those come and go, cheat, get caught and (sometimes) sanctioned while the sport’s administrators need to take the long-term vs short-term view. Lots of conflicts result when the powerful and well-moneyed decide they don’t like the current rules and try to get ’em changed or fight in court to ignore them. IMHO way too often those people are acting on business interests rather than SPORT and it’s the UCI’s mandate to keep it a sport and protect the “primacy of man over machine” despite all the pressure to thwart it.

      • The Inner Ring Thursday, 10 October 2019, 3:23 pm

        Each time one side strays too far from the traditional role it sets up a dispute leading to threats etc, we’ve seen this a lot. It can’t help sponsors, if you ran a big brand and were thinking of cycling and learned the teams were suing the governing body you might prefer tennis, sailing etc

        • Larry T Thursday, 10 October 2019, 6:20 pm

          I’m not claiming this type of conflict is good for the sport, but SOMEONE has to control things or we’ll end up with WWE on 2-wheels if the wizard MBA’s at Velon somehow get control of the sport.
          If I were a “big brand thinking of cycling” I’d (like it seems most are) stay out of it until the constant drip of doping scandals is gone and the economic prospects of the viewers of the sport improve enough to buy my product. This assumes my brand HAS the advertising budget in the current world economy to start with – when you take the corrupt governments, gambling interests, bike industry and rich chamois-sniffer sponsors out of the WT how many of those “big brands” are left?

          • Rooto Thursday, 10 October 2019, 9:40 pm

            Thanks for the replies. Your point about how important sanctioning bodies are is a good one. I just think the UCI’s vision of being able to juggle all the balls at the same time and thereby retain control and increase finances is increasingly difficult. Every new system created just means even more balls to juggle.

  • astram Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 7:20 pm

    As I’m a reader since long time but never wrote before yesterday, I want to thank You mr. INRNG for this blog wich I found very interesting and full of useful informations.
    In topic i must confess that i hope DDD/NTT to come 21st in the three year ranking, just to void the rule made solely for them, relegate one team and stay at 18 for next year. It’s not easy, my excel sheet says Androni must score 300 points or Direct Energie 400 to overcome them, but i’m deeply rooting for a Masnada making top 5 saturday in Como or a Terspstra winning in Tours sunday.
    Anybody made an excel to confirm or deny my hopes?

    • Nick Thursday, 10 October 2019, 12:05 am

      My own spreadsheet has Dimension Data some way clear of those other teams. Primarily because their 2017 season was quite a bit better. (And for all the criticism of Katusha now, their 2017 season was definitely mid table – in the vicinity of UAE and Lotto-Jumbo – so they’re in no real danger of falling outside the top 18 this year.)

      Although I am a little worried because I have Dimension Data in 19th place, whereas you and Inrng seem to have them in 20th. I wonder what the difference is?

      • astram Thursday, 10 October 2019, 12:49 pm

        I can tell you what is in my sheet for every team: 2019 points as for Uci website + sum of 2018 and 2017 points scored by the best 10 riders. Results are like this:
        17* Katusha 15800; 18* Cofidis 14100;
        19* Wanty 13700; 20* DimensionD 11700;
        21* Androni 11400; 22* Total DE 11300;
        Arkea is far down with 7571.

        • DaveRides Thursday, 10 October 2019, 5:55 pm

          You have made a mistake in using the current rankings as shown on the UCI website. These are 52 week rolling rankings, so you will have double-counted results from the last three weeks of the 2018 season.

          If you go through and subtract those points, the actual numbers are
          17th Katusha-Alpecin 15144.06 (7857 in 2017, 3487.01 in 2018, 3800.05 in 2019 to date)
          18th Cofidis 13967 (4348, 5050, 4569)
          19th Wanty-Gobert 13533 (3896, 4990, 4647)
          20th Dimension Data 11697.01 (4112, 3292, 4293.01)
          21st Total Direct Energie 11288.67 (3415, 2987, 4886.67)
          22nd Androni-Sidermec 10985.5 (4001.5, 3527, 3457)

          As you can see by this correction dropping Androni behind Total, there is still enough to play for in the last few weeks of the season that it can make a difference.

          A strong run by Wanty-Gobert and a weak run by Cofidis could see Wanty-Gobert move up to 18th, bumping Cofidis down to 19th and possibly outside the WorldTour positions.

          A strong run by Total Direct Energie could still bump Dimension Data down to 21st, which would see Dimension Data demoted to ProTeam.

          This is, of course, all based on the assumption that the individual rankings on the UCI website are now fully correct and will not be subject to any further corrections.

          • DaveRides Thursday, 10 October 2019, 6:07 pm

            I think you’ve also included the points of trainees (e.g. Strakhov for Katusha-Alpecin in 2018) which are not permitted to count for the host team.

          • The Inner Ring Thursday, 10 October 2019, 7:04 pm

            Very close at the moment with some high scoring races still to count.

          • astram Thursday, 10 October 2019, 8:03 pm

            Thanks for pointing out the error on 2019 points.
            I didn’t count stagiaires so the scores for 2017 and 2018 were equal to the cents.

          • Nick Thursday, 10 October 2019, 11:23 pm

            I’m not convinced the UCI rankings are correct. Certainly they miss out some races that PCS have. For instance, take Merhawi Kudus. In 2017, he came 4th in GC in the Tour of Oman – this appears in his 2018 ranking, but the points aren’t counted towards either that year or to 2017. His national championship performance in 2017 counts, but not in 2018.

            Hopefully, (a) the rankings they use to determine promotion are more accurate than the ones on their website, or (b) the gaps between teams are larger than their errors.

          • DaveRides Friday, 11 October 2019, 5:32 pm

            I have suspected that there are still errors on the website, but haven’t been actively looking for them.

            That the website published rankings have errors is no secret, and teams should be responding accordingly by independently tracking their own points and the points of other teams close to them. They only have themselves to blame if they ignore it and an error goes undetected.

          • Nick Friday, 11 October 2019, 7:33 pm

            Agree with that. I only noticed those specific errors when I went to check the differences between my scores and yours.

            My own errors was to delete Wanty-Gobert from my spreadsheet when they announced that they wouldn’t be seeking promotion (because I couldn’t be bothered to track a team that wouldn’t be promoted), which explains why I have Dimension Data too high!

        • Maik Saturday, 12 October 2019, 2:30 pm

          But what happens when NTT falls to 21st place and a team that doesn’t even apply for a license like Wanty or Direct Energy is ahead of them? They fall down to Pro Team level anyways?

  • Maik Saturday, 12 October 2019, 2:25 pm

    But what happens when NTT falls to 21st place and a team that doesn’t even apply for a license like Wanty or Direct Energy is ahead of them? They fall down to Pro Team level anyways?

    • DaveRides Saturday, 12 October 2019, 3:21 pm

      Total Direct Energie did take the step of formally expressing their interest in a WT licence, but didn’t follow through with the full application once it became clear they were too far down on the points. So far as considering their position relative to TDD/NTT, they should still be considered to be a team which did apply.

      I’d hope that TDD/NTT would go to ProTeam level if they finish 21st. They would be *three* places outside the 18 team WT cutoff, and that’s getting a little beyond credibility.

      Further to that, it must be remembered that they were supposed to be dropped at the end of 2016 but got special treatment that time too – Oliver Cookson proved to be a far more important signing for them than any rider. Rather than improving after that, their performance only got worse and they have thrown out their identity as the African team (only 2 Africans of colour on the team this year) which had earned them so much goodwill previously.

      If they finish with a position of 21st on the three year ranking, I reckon their only hope would be to sign a good enough roster that they could make it into the top 18 on the old sporting criteria (sum of best five riders on the roster) and convince the UCI to make an exemption based on the sporting criteria changing during the licence period.

      • Nick Sunday, 13 October 2019, 5:51 pm

        This may well be tested next year, as NTT/DiDa and Israel-Katusha will start the 3 year rankings in 20th and 21st place.

  • astram Sunday, 13 October 2019, 10:26 pm

    Today Uci updated their team ranking just a couple of hours after Corendon-Circus got nearly 300 points in Memorial Van Steenbergen. Now they stand some 60 points ahead of Wanty in the chase for the “wild card Pro bundle 2020”.

    • Anonymous Sunday, 13 October 2019, 10:33 pm

      …but Wanty is going to race the Tour of Guanxi and will easily overcome Corendon.

    • SYH Sunday, 13 October 2019, 10:37 pm

      Isn’t there a question of whether or not Correndon will exist next year due to them coming under the same parent company as Sunweb?

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