UCI World Tour Promotion and Relegation Weekly

The weekly update. Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico have made it a bonanza week for points and the big budget teams have thrived, while BikeExchange, Arkéa-Samsic and DSM have scored well too.

What’s changed since last week?

  • Cofidis and Lotto-Soudal are still in the relegation zone but Cofidis have climbed above Lotto thanks to Guillaume Martin and Ion Izagirre in Paris-Nice, plus Ben Thomas and Victor Lafay in Paris-Nice
  • Jumbo-Visma scored the most points, ahead of Ineos, UAE and Bahrain. The return of World Tour racing seems to have suited the big budget squads…
  • …but Bike Exchange, Arkéa-Samsic and DSM come next. Simon Yates’s successful Paris-Nice allows the Aussie team some comfort as they climb above Intermarché; in the same race Nairo Quintana’s helped his team rise above Movistar something he might savour for a second; relief too for DSM scored more points last week than the rest of the season combined thanks in part to Thymen Arensman’s solid sixth place in Tirreno-Adriatico
  • Last week Israel had a 563 buffer ahead of Lotto-Soudal, now it’s down to 383 over Cofidis
  • Hugo Houle made it to Nice and got a helpful 50 points for his Israel team
  • Illness has prevented some teams from scoring, some in Tirreno-Adriatico and plenty in Paris-Nice. EF Education have had a rough time with only 15 points last week, in part explained by Mark Padun, Neilson Powless, Ruben Guerreiro getting ill, plus Magnus Cort cracking his collarbone
  • Enric Mas is a key rider for Movistar but crashed out of Tirreno-Adriatico when he was on course to hit the UCI points jackpot with a possible podium finish
  • Arkéa-Samsic management has said aloud it wants promotion, and we can assume Alpecin-Fenix will apply as it would be so risky not to. Currently, and there’s seven months to go, the two top teams eligible for certain invites to the grand tours next year are Lotto-Soudal and Cofidis as they’re below the relegation line but they’ve scored more than any second tier ProTeam
  • Nul points for Uno-X this week. They’re an exciting team but have to compete for invites

Animated bar chart

Press “play” to see the points race as a bar chart race, it’ll be more meaningful as the season progresses.

Background info
If this is all new to you, then at the end of the season in October the top-18 teams based on the three year rankings meet the sporting criteria for WorldTeam status. Teams outside of the top-18 risk being relegated down to UCI ProTeam status which means they are not guaranteed to start in the biggest races like the Tour de France.

The UCI publishes rankings overnight between Monday and Tuesday. The rankings are compiled from the sum of UCI points won by each team’s 10 highest scoring riders for each season, 2020, 2021 and now 2022, as shown in red on the chart above. You can see the points available in different races in the UCI Points and Rankings Tables Explainer post from January.

38 thoughts on “UCI World Tour Promotion and Relegation Weekly”

  1. Long time lurker & admirer. These weekly updates are really fascinating. If I ran UCI (heaven forbid) I’d have this stuff published & promoted just like football leagues. It adds a whole new interest in this relegation battle. Israel near the drop zone confirms my puzzlement as to where their wins are going to come from post Dan Martin & Froome not back to best. Some good riders but not so obvious route to many big wins. And with lofty aims maybe not the right make up or attitude for a grab-any-points-you-can relegation battle.

    • It is an interesting story… but it’s also a worrying one for some teams who can face losing sponsors, or struggle to sign riders if it looks like they might drop down so it seems the UCI and some teams don’t want much noise around it. That said you’d think a sponsor doing their research and a rider and their agent would know about all of this anyway.

    • Agreed for IPT. The team seems unbalanced with all the top-ranked riders “getting on” (Woods 35, Nizzolo 33, Hermans 35, Fuglsang 36, De Marchi 35, Van Asbroeck 31, Clarke 35, Vanmarcke 33)
      That’s the 8 top-ranked riders mostly well over thirty, then Froome, Dowsett, Impey… It’s been a strange recruitment policy.

      • Splashing their ample cash around without much knowledge of what they are doing. Hence, signing big names who are mostly past their best.

        • It does seem that way so far.
          But, by the same token, if the worst was to befall them (relegation), their sponsor is not going anywhere and they’ll presumably spend again to resume WT status.

          • Looking a bit closer at IPT:
            – 18/31 riders aged 30 or over
            – only 6 riders under 27 (of whom few appear to have star potential)
            How and why did they end up with such an odd age distribution?

    • Hummm, yeeeeah, but that’s the three-year sum, pretty much irrelevant for them (or anyone in the top four – or eight, even! – positions of the chart.

      What can be relevant to them is how they’re faring this season so far, and that’s not a huge success story, until now. No doubt they’re still among the 5-6 best season-scorers (would anyone expect less?), but the rest of mammoth teams (JV, Ineos, UAE) have done better… and Arkea too! 0__0
      They were on par with Bahrain, whose streak of form is well-known and have money, too, yet they should be no match for QS.

      And here we have a further lesson about points and why it’s a narrative which doesn’t always work great with cycling: QS scored a good deal of their points in a couple of race which can be seen as a failure of sort, that is, Valencia, where Remco was beat by Vlasov, and Strade Bianche, where Asgreen barely saves the day but the points *and* opportunities lost because of Alaph’s crash do set the actual global feeling they brought back home.
      Same goes with Quintana cracking Alaph in Provence.
      Jakobsen is the only clear success story besides Algarve, and good for them in term of points given that Kuurne, as several other one-day races, pays better in points than in actual sportive value (as does Algarve, in a sense).

      Of course, here they come their races, the cobbles.
      But the main narrative about QS *right now* is precisely their (historical) inability to make the most of potential talent in stage racing, even when we’re speaking of short stage races where some of their best athletes could indeed thrive. Or at least do better.

      • Have to be worried about QS right now, no? Outside of Jakobsen, they look lost relative to their normal selves. JA has underwhelmed. The classics squad looks weak outside maybe Asgreen. No wins or GC from Almeida to look towards. Stybar looking old. Cav can’t be relied on. And with DeClerq out they are missing an important cog. PL may be hitting the press soon. Can’t wait for that blow up.

  2. “Teams outside of the top-18 risk being relegated down to UCI ProTeam status.”
    I won’t be holding my breath in October waiting to see if this really happens as a) It’s a long ways off b) Who knows what might happen by then…X number of teams fighting over X+? spots in the so-called big league as we’ve seen before?
    Meanwhile, I assume Mr. Inrng will wait until after Milano-Torino to post his MSR preview?

  3. I was dead against the whole points situation, but thus far (early days) it hasn’t led to riders racing conservatively in order not to risk their points, and I’m quite enjoying the Arkea mass charge to the line. Most of all, these weekly updates create the relegation intrigue for me, whereas without them I probably wouldn’t be following it at all. Thanks.

  4. Think I spotted a change in sprint stage finishes, with lead-out riders trying not to drop places when their work is done. Some finishes at T-A seemed to be more congested, at least, or is that just because T-A finishes are so stupidly confusing.

    Hmm, when I picked Uno-X as one of my riders to watch I have to say I didn’t think they’d find it so hard to get invitations.
    …and Vingegaard isn’t quite there yet either.
    -You really do make a knowledgeable host Mr INRNG.

    • It shouldn’t make too much difference on stage finishes (as opposed to one day races), because only the top 3 finishers score (whereas it’s the top 25 for a 1.1 race).

      It may become interesting later on if tactics are influenced by the fact that only the top 10 riders count for each team. For instance, if Rider 10 has 200 points, and Rider 11 has 180, then Rider 11 scoring 25 points in a race only gains the team 5 points. So you can easily see a situation towards the end of the season in which any rider outside the team’s top 10 is better deployed as a domestique than trying to get a good result for themselves, even if they’d get a better result than their top 10 teammate.

  5. I can’t say I find the animated graph informational even if it’s a nice gimmick. May I suggest to use a line chart of points vs time similar to the one you’ve used to display time differences over the course of a GT? Getting enough colors and linestyles may be difficult of coarse but some can be double since they will never cross…

  6. I don’t understand the top 10 riders only thing. Its logical that any rider should be able to score points and have them count no matter how few.
    Imagine a situation where a non top 10 rider is in a break but has to drop out because it may reduce the points of a top 10 rider finishing in a bunch behind. Nuts.
    I can’t conceive of any reason for it.

    • It’s so a team can have some top riders but not everyone has to score, riders can earn a living free from having to score points. In the past UCI points have been a currency on the jobs market as teams hired riders with points, to the detriment of riders who’d work earlier in the race but rarely score.

      There are bound to be problems at the margin as you suggest as teams work out who their 10th/11th rider is but most often it’s the top-3 or top-5 who score the big haul of points so hopefully it’s not too awkward.

      • This is why the next rankings cycle should have the system changed to have the team awarded the points earned by their highest placed rider in each race or stage, regardless of that rider’s position in the individual world ranking.

        Individual points rankings would become largely irrelevant (potentially a consideration for recruitment of a secondary team leader) and domestiques could be valued for the team results they contribute to.

        • That’s pretty much my feeling. Although i wouldn’t just award points to the highest rider of each team in a race. If you get 1,2 3rd you get all those points because its a pretty hard thing to achieve.
          Points go to the team and stay with the team regardless of whether a rider moves.. It shouldn’t matter who gets it.

          • Yep, I agree with the winning team getting additional points if they also score one/both of the other podium positions.

            ITTs also need a different rule to road stages, allowing all riders to have their points count for the team in lieu of being able to work for the leader.

            Points already do stay with the team they were scored with, that was one of the first major regulatory changes of the Lappartient administration.

    • It’s a busy time for those wanting points with several 1.Pro level races, 200, 150, 125 points for the podium and plenty for the rest of the top-10, GP Denain on Thursday, Koksijde on Friday etc and more of these level one day races in the coming weeks.

      • The 1.Pro and 1.1 races should definitely be the targets for the likes of Israel, Lotto and Cofidis. More points in this week’s semi-classics than in the monument. And far more points for winning a 1 day race than placing in a stage of even a Grand Tour.

      • It’s not so obvious as Walscheid scores big, but he wasn’t on the Cofidis top-10 before so he bumps Davide Villella from the Cofidis ten and his 38 points go. Plus there’s the chance of riders being fined by the commissaires etc

          • Yes, I’ve got a spreadsheet to copy the weekly UCI numbers into and it throws out all the rankings and tables automatically but it’s too much to try and do it in real time for each set of race results.

          • Yeah … but not everything is so complicated. eg., you don’t show up, you don’t score. IPT, BikeExchange, EF, DSM, Lotto didn’t show up for Denain; EF and BikeExchange didn’t show up for Nokere Koerse either and aren’t signed up for Bredene Koksijde. Walscheid will be at Bredene Koksijde, however — though after his 2nd place yesterday and win today maybe we shouldn’t demand too much of him.

        • Since the season started I tried to keep a spreadsheet up to date. It didn’t survive Mallorca. 😀
          Your weekly updates are great, thank You!

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