Tim Merlier wins his first Giro stage and weeks later he’d take a Tour stage as well. As well as satisfaction, media coverage and big lines on his palmarès, these wins brought him the sum of 220 UCI points… but in winning the Koksijde Classic and Elfstedenronde he got 325 points.
With 2022 shaping up to be a season where points matter for some, here are all the points tables for the season ahead on one handy page.
First, the table below is for the World Tour races, if it’s a stage race then it’s for the final GC.
Next comes the points per stage the World Tour and as you can see, there are not less on offer each day, it’s all about the overall, which explains the point about Tim Merlier at the top.
Now you can see points on offer for final place in the secondary competitions of the grand tour, the mountains and points competition:
Next comes a daily award for leading a World Tour stage race, a nice bonus but surely worth more in media attention than points.
Now comes arguably the most important table here because it lists the points on offer in a range of races outside the World Tour. Riders and teams who struggle to win big can find opportunities and points galore in the table below. Winning a stage race overall or winning a one day brings the same points haul, which makes one day races very important. The season-opening Challenge Majorca races are a good case study, they are each Class 1 races and so win one and a rider banks 125 points, but if it was a stage race only the final overall would bring this many points.
Next two tables below shows the points on offer for stages in non-World Tour races and the daily points for leading the race too.
Next comes the national championships, split into A and B groups, where A is defined as a nation that started at least one rider in the previous Men’s Elite world championship road race. These points matter because often when we look at the teams with few wins and placings in the year, several of their best results can be from national championships in smaller nations, the kind with only a few pros. Sometimes we’ve seen big name riders skip their national championships but smaller teams hunting points ought be paying business class return for their lesser riders to go and grab the jersey and points.
Now comes the Continental Championships, think the European championships for the best example. Other regions are supposed to have them but they can be thin on the ground. 2022 has Asia, Oceania and Europe in the calendar for now. If these championships have a team time trial and/or a mixed relay time trial event, the small table below also applies.
Now for the Worlds and Olympics, obviously big events but the UCI is keen to big them up even more with the points on offer. 200 points for the U23 race can help explain why some teams are happy to see their riders drop down to the U23 ranks for a day as they can hoover up points.
For the last of the tables, here’s the mixed relay race at the worlds which the UCI is keen on promoting and it’s worth a lot… in points terms anyway.
How to forfeit points
As well as winning points by results, riders can lose them. The UCI rules include various penalties for bad behaviour, including points deductions. They concern cheating like taking short-cut, to using sidewalks, ignoring level-crossing red lights, littering and other misdemeanours, right down to failing to sign on for the day’s racing or show up for the post-race press conference if invited. Any team manager worried about scoring points should remind riders of all of these.
Rankings and points don’t matter!
That’s what every team manager says outwardly… but oddly have the points for a seventh in a 2.Pro stage race at the fingertips, or can recall the precise tally each of their leading riders scored last year.
But if rankings did matter then they’d be easy to understand and readily available. One reason for this blog post is so I can have all this season’s points tables on one ready page rather than having to the UCI website, scroll for the regulations page, look up the rulebooks, download Chapter 2 on road races, open the PDF and scroll past 76 pages of text to get the tables. As ever the allocation of these points often tells us more about the committee awarding them than the races themselves.
Team rankings explainer
You take the ten best scorers of UCI points this season on the team, add up the total and this gives you the team’s score, then they are ranked in order. This allows a team to rely on a few riders for points while letting others work as domestiques to help deliver the results and points needed.
If teams wants to stay in or join the World Tour, where can they find the easy points. Obviously winning the Tour de France helps but realistically that’s probably something reserved for the handful of teams who are big enough not to worry about the drop zone.
A win in a one day race is often as valuable as the GC in a short stage race, and given most one day races often end in a sprint then having a strong house sprinter helps a lot. Aim for smaller races where the big name sprinters can’t be bothered and where many World Tour teams won’t even start and there’s points galore. This part explains why Alpecin-Fenix sit so high in the rankings, a win in the Elfenstedronde, Paris-Chauny or the GP Monséré brings 125 points… more than the 120 points for a Tour de France stage.
Things to look for in 2022
- To undermining the whole post above, please enjoy the season’s sport and drama rather than worrying too much about points, it’s only a background story among many
- Still there’s the relegation and promotion drama this year, as explained in the 2022 Points Race
- There’s also the contest among the second-tier UCI ProTeams to finish as high as they can because if the World Tour has 18 or 17 teams next season then the best ranked Pro Teams get automatic invites, if there are only 16 in the World Tour in 2016 then the best three teams get picked by default