UCI World Tour Promotion and Relegation Weekly

The chart shows the latest version of the three year rankings 2020-2022 used to determine which teams qualify for UCI WorldTeam licences for the next three years.

What’s changed since last week?

  • No change for Cofidis and Lotto-Soudal, both remain in the relegation zone in 19th and 20th places. They have kept scoring to narrow the gap to Israel but as the chart shows they’ve just overtaken Israel’s 2020+2021 score
  • Away from the rankings Lotto-Soudal’s got a replacement sponsor in Destiny, a Belgian telecoms company which is a great help to secure the team’s future whatever points they score
  • Promotion candidate Arkéa-Samsic continues a strong start and so does Intermarché, the pair have overtaken Bike Exchange, with the Australian team slipping to 17th place
  • Alpecin-Fenix have yet to score much. Despite Jasper Philipsen’s sprint wins in the UAE (as stages don’t pay as well as one day wins). With Philipsen and Tim Merlier for the classics they should correct this even if Mathieu van der Poel’s on the sidelines. But if this continues and they don’t apply for a World Tour licence then they wouldn’t qualify for the automatic invites to the big races like the Tour de France. Instead, as of today (obviously there’s a long way to go) Cofidis and Lotto-Soudal stand to get these spots. This alone suggests they’ll be after the security of a World Tour spot for 2023

Background info
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. Riders can also forfeit points for mistakes like littering, ignoring level crossing lights or taking a short cut on the course and so on.

At the end of the season in October the top-18 teams meet the sporting criteria for WorldTeam status but are subject to the financial, admin and ethical reviews. Teams outside of the top-18 risk being relegated to UCI ProTeam status which means they are not guaranteed to start in the biggest races like the Tour de France. But the two best scoring teams in 2022 will get these invites to the grand tours.

You can see the points available in different races in the UCI Points and Rankings Tables Explainer post from January.

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

  1. »But if this continues and they don’t apply for a World Tour licence then they wouldn’t qualify for the automatic invites to the big races like the Tour de France. Instead, as of today (obviously there’s a long way to go) Cofidis and Lotto-Soudal stand to get these spots.«

    If they don’t apply for a WT licence, surely one of Cofidis and Lotto-Soudal become WT instead. Thus only one of those two teams would take one of the automatic invites, leaving a spot for Alpecin. In that case the battle is between Alpecin and Total (and Uno-X).

      • Agreed, especially since it’s a three years licence.

        But when you explore a hypothetical scenario where Alpecin doesn’t apply for a WT licence, you should not assume that neither Cofidis nor Lotto-Soudal would do that and instead take the two spots of automatic invitations.

    • Indeed but I wanted to use the old name so people might know it.

      This blog abolished vowels too in the title but it was back in the day when your Twitter username counted in conversations limited to 140 characters, so typing, say, @theinnerringblog would eat up a lot of the message and reduce the scope of conversations. I’ve thought of renaming/rebranding things here but advice is “don’t” and not got time either for it really too.

      • Please don’t rebrand – my web browser autocorrects to “inrng” now and I can’t retrain it to add the vowels back

        Plus, you aren’t Inner Ring, you are Inrng.

  2. Perhaps looking too far ahead given this is all a bit new to us…but if the rankings are based on a rolling 3 year total, then it looks like DSM are gonna need a very good season this year and/or next, to escape relegation…

    • Yes, I can see them getting sucked into this. They had a great 2020 season but had a stronger squad then with the likes of Benoot, Hindley (2nd in the Giro), Hirschi and Matthews, plus in 2021 Storer delivered a lot. They’re all gone. They have Bardet who is still top quality but does he have to grind out a top-5 in a grand tour when he probably wants to hunt for stages or a mountains jersey?

      • Is it a rolling total? I read the regulations to mean that the teams which qualify for the WT this season will get 3 year licences.

        So while next season’s total will matter, it won’t be taken into account until 2025, when the 2023-25 rankings will be used to decide the qualifiers for 2026-8.

        There shouldn’t be a situation where a team gets relegated because its 2021-23 total, for instance, is too low.

  3. Arkéa-Samsic continuing their strong season with yet another second place in the Samyn today, and that’s without much yet from star (and expensive) sprinter Bouhanni. Can they keep it up?

    Things look quite tricky for BikeExchange who must largely depend on Mathews, Yates and Groenewegen for points. They certainly can’t afford much in the way of illness or injury for the three big names.

    The same applies to Lotto-Soudal who don’t have much beyond Ewan and Wellens, and maybe Vermeersch too though almost all his 2021 points came on a single day.

    • 3rd, 4th, and 7th in KBK must have got Arkéa some really decent points. Not much glory but think INRNG highlighted before that’s were the best points are, in one day races over stages in longer races.

      • It’s an interesting strategy, I remember Wanty doing this in the Tour de France and you’d first think they’d be better using two riders to lead out their best sprinter so they can try to win, but their rivals are better so it’s not going to happen. Wanty though would place three riders in the top-10 and so win the team prize that day, a small reward but a podium ceremony and all that. Now Arkéa are doing something similar, there’s no way they’d Hofstetter would beat Jakobsen and Ewan but a podium plus extra points is a very good result for a Pro Conti team.

        normally uyou

    • Bike Exchange tend to race World Tour events and not much in between and so they’re missing points that others take. Hiring Groenewegen should help them, Matthews can score plenty too but they’re reliant on a handful of riders, Yates needs to have a good Giro.

        • Yeah, he won’t get a better course for him again soon – or I hope so, at least (I often root for climbers, yet a GT frankly needs a decent amount of ITT kms. Same goes with a certain excess of uphill finishes which do reduce strategical factors and favour strong finishers: I love an uphill battle and I’m not so fond of superteams, but lack of variety isn’t great all the same and that’s a weak point of the 2022 Giro… these course “flaws” could work great for S. Yates, who, on top of that, should perform well also in the – actually very well designed – hilly stages).

          However, let’s also say that S. Yates could retire today and still have had a more than decent career, albeit not the one many would expect. To me, perhaps, the weakest point of his present palmarés is the lack of good results in great Classics. On the contrary of what was expected of him, he still doesn’t look as good a one-day racer as his physical qualities would suggest.

      • It will interesting if BikeExchange send anyone to the Oceania Championships next month. I don’t know if any of their riders are still in Australia but say if Durbo, Kell O’Brien and Jack Bauer were available it would some easy points to gather.

  4. Good point on Yates but, he has only ridden the monuments that would suit him (LBL and Lombardy) twice each. It’s surely down to the team that often require two GTs of him, plus P-N, Catalunya, Romandie, Pologne… It would be interesting if he really targeted both monuments with a lighter tour programme.

    • Good point. He’s sure doing a lot of short stage races, which, on turn, also tilts his racing skills.

      I wasn’t thinking just about the Monuments, but also, say, San Sebastián, which he raced several times, or Emilia, or the Canadian races…
      San Sebastián apart, the point you make still stands: he raced a good deal of Classics, but rarely more than twice or so, which is a problem in one-day races where course experience is paramount.

      At the end of the day, it’s quite shocking that in his whole pro career until now he just won two minor one-day races, among which only GP Indurain (the Estella race much beloved by Movistar for obvious reason) has a relevance of sort – the Vilafranca-Ordizia is historical, but a further step below.
      Even more shocking, out of 50 pro level one-day races or so *he finished*, he just podiumed 5 times, including the above mentioned victories, always in minor races. 42 times he didn’t even make a *top-10*. I hadn’t noticed, and I’d never had imagined, until I actually checked.
      Which wouldn’t mean anything for a rider with lesser athletic skills, but it’s sort of a surprise when thinking of S. Yates qualities. In many hilly Classics the physical selection is such that you come across among the best 10-20 riders just out of pure fitness – although winning is a whole different matter, of course. But, hey, placing?

      Perhaps the team just knows better and they’re aware of some serious limits in the set of skills required to have a real shot at the Classics, be them top or smaller ones. Positioning (you’d better *not* spend all that time on the back of the leading group), tactics, racing intensity, dunno, whatever (just conjecturing).

      I compared the above figures with another rider who’s not winning big, surely not as big as expected: Ulissi. No doubt that the latter is going harder for Classics, because he isn’t very much interested in GC, or isn’t anymore: as a consequence, he finished some 178 of them. Albeit not a prolific winner (a dozen of victories), and while he’s collecting those victories mainly in minor races, he’s still got some 33 podia and nearly 70 top-10s across all sorts of Classics, including bigger ones. That is, something is clearly not working for him, so to say (some say distance, some say racing away from home etc.), and yet if you don’t focus on winning alone, the expected consequences of physical qualities end up surfacing all the same. The point isn’t obviously absolute figures: it’s rating which are interesting.
      That is, Ulissi is podiuming nearly 20% of the one-day race he finishes and 40% of the times it’s a top ten, while for S. Yates it’s a 10% podium rating and an even more shocking 16% top-ten rating or so.
      (As I already said, there are obvious reasons for that difference, and S. Yates – again, obviously enough – is by a very long way a more accomplished rider than Ulissi, it’s just a term of comparison to highlight the usual consequences of notable athletic skills even when some winning factor is lacking).

  5. Interesting stuff Gabriele. I wonder how much influence the rider has on his programme and how much is decided by the team’s needs. Yates must have the qualities needed for LBL and Lombardy but would surely need team support to protect until the key phases and place at key moments. Does BikeExchange have the depth and talent to provide that? He’s 30 in August, if the Giro doesn’t come off again, maybe he could drop GT GC ambitions and have a real attack at the two monuments before he fades – or maybe he’ll win the Giro in 2022 and it will all have been worth it.

  6. Re: relegation game. Trofeo Lagueglia was interesting. A .Pro race, but only 8 WT squads out of 25, not including Lotto, Israel, BikeExchange, or extremely slow starters DSM. Surely this would have been a good opportunity to pick up points? As it was Intermarche came out with intent and Rota fought hard, only to get worked over by a hungry UAE squad that’s looking increasingly predatory every race.

    • Exactly, Rota might have been the strongest rider in the race and at times did seem to be working to help keep the two UAE riders with him so at worst he’d get a podium. In the end he could “only” finish 4th but this got him 100 points… as much if he’d won a stage of the Giro d’Italia. It all adds up.

  7. If there is a fine and a loss of points, does this apply to an individual rider or the whole team? IE, if a rider not in the top ten on the team is fined and loses points does this have any impact on the team’s standing?

Comments are closed.