UCI World Tour Promotion and Relegation Weekly

Another look at the UCI team rankings over three years. This week’s update doesn’t see any big changes, instead established trends continue.

What’s Changed Since Last Week?

  • No change in the relegation candidates, it’s still Israel and Lotto-Soudal in 19th and 20th place, only they’re now more embedded there
  • Ineos (970 points), Jumbo-Visma (810 points) and Ag2r Citroën (681 points) were the top three scorers
  • Among those in the promotion-relegation hustle, Cofidis did well with 481 points. Alpecin-Fenix 443 points and Arkéa-Samsic got 273 points although part of this includes Barguil’s 200 points from the GP Indurain two weeks ago
  • Low scorers were Astana and Uno-X with no points. B&B managed to finish the week on -1 points and they’re struggling to score even in the French calendar, they’ll find wildcards even harder to get next year
  • Assuming Arkéa-Samsic and Alpecin-Fenix get promoted, wildcard invites for the grand tours stand to go to Total Energies and Lotto-Soudal

Embed from Getty Images

If a picture says a thousand words, the image of Ion Izagirre winning for Cofidis ahead of Bora-hansgrohe, UAE and Ineos tells us something. He got 370 points, 50 for the stage win and 320 for second overall on GC and it’s a boon for Cofidis all round. The sponsor has business interests in Spain so that helps, but hired on a one year deal he’s a points scorer in shorter stage races and helps ease the pressure on Guillaume Martin too.

Lotto-Soudal’s top scorer is Arnaud De Lie. A great signing from their development team and a bright future but this shows their struggles when a neo-pro is banking more than Caleb Ewan, Victor Campenaerts and Tim Wellens. Ewan is world class but illness means he’s missed some vital one day races, picking up stages isn’t as lucrative. However team’s big challenge is these named riders are actually the ones scoring, their 10th rider, Cedric Beullens, has just 32 points compared when the 10th man at say, Cofidis or Arkéa-Samsic has over 100 points.

EF were the fourth lowest scoring team but they’re on 842 points for the whole season so far, the lowest score of the World Tour. Some teams are collecting this each week. Now they’ve still got a buffer of about 1,500 points, as long as Israel and Lotto-Soudal don’t score much they’re ok. Astana are low scorers this year too but have a bigger cushion from previous years, their risk is probably internal and how to keep the cash flowing from Kazakhstan.

A lot still depends on whether Alpecin-Fenix apply for promotion. They’ve not said anything and it makes sense to apply. If they don’t apply then only one team would be relegated. But one intriguing aspect is the wording surrounding the timing of any application has changed in the UCI rulebook. Teams were supposed to have applied by this time last year but the deadline was moved back to the start of this year, and the wording says that a team need not really have applied by then either. It’s almost as if one of the promotion candidates didn’t get their file in before the deadline.

Another little change to the rules is the littering fines, they keep moving. Now “don’t litter” is the simple message but the penalty rate goes up from 15 to 25 points in World Tour races and 10 to 15 points in other pro races; in a stage race being caught three times goes from 15 points to 75.

Cycling Weekly spoke to some about the promotion relegation issue. Alessandro De Marchi’s quote stood out, “It’s bulls**t because it’s really way too early to start thinking about this. it’s early April – we have so many races in front of us.” Now we can see what he means but remember this is a three year process and by now already plenty of this year’s races are done. We’re 80% of the way there now.

Animated bar chart race

Background info
If you’re new to the story of promotion and relegation this year and want it explained then click here.

To see how many points are available in each race or category, click here.

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

  1. With Arkea going WT, Cofidis likely staying WT, Total Energies on course for automatic GT invitation and B&B struggling to do anything meaningful this season, I wonder if someone in France is thinking about starting a new Pro Team (or upgrading from Continental) – a Tour de France participation for next year seems likely.

    • There’s no news of anything in the pipeline, but the Conti-level Go Sport team has ambitions, it’s backed by large French retailer and could try to move up and launch a women’s team.

      But with only two wildcards left to allocate it’s not an easy place, see http://inrng.com/2022/02/bb-team-invites-trouble/ from February for some thinking on this.

      If you really want to be invited – and this holds true for Italy, Spain, Belgium etc then you need to be a “must have” team rather than a “maybe” outfit.

      • The place seems to be as easy as possible. The last time there were less than 3 French wildcard teams in the Tour was 2014. And it happened only because that year there were only two French teams with a Pro Conti licence existing (Cofidis and Bretagne-Seche). With only two wildcards completely at their disposal, I don’t think ASO is going to leave a French team out as long as they can invite it.

          • Yes, Wanty got in 3 times, and some of those were at a cost of a French team, but every time they got a wildcard, the other 3 went to French teams. And additionally Wanty are as French as you can without being fully registered in France (they are based in French-speaking part of Belgium and their biggest star at that time was Guillaume Martin)

  2. I don’t understand why Total Energies will get an invite to grand tours as things stand. Surely Israel will get one of the places if they are relegated (along with Lotto).

  3. One thing this all highlights is how poorly ISN have been doing, with the exception of Michael Woods I cant remember seeing any of their riders competing in a race (they must have been but are completely anonymous). They dont even seem to (supposedly) liven up the race by getting in breakaways. Is there any other point in the team than to give Chris Froome a platform to rail against disk brakes?

    Ineos have done surprisingly well in the last couple of weeks, Adam Yates even managed a reasonable TT in Pays Basque. Not sure who they are going to send to the Giro but if they keep up the level we have seen they must have a reasonable chance of making it three in a row.

    • I have seen Giacomo Nizzolo and Simon Clarke and on Sunday I couldn’t help noticing that Jakob Fuglsang was at least being anonymous in Amstel Gold Race. And, of course, I’ve seen Mads Würtz wearing the Danish champion’s jersey.
      But I must admit that I am not wise enough to comprehend the team’s method or their strategy of signing riders. And if there’s a grand plan of what kind of team they want to be in, say, three years and what type of races they want to excel in or what goals they hope to achieve, it’s not readily apparent to me.
      /Then again, Israel – Premier Tech is not alone with this, but their lack of young and upcoming riders kind of combined with the near total lack, so far, of success by the older and established riders throws it limelight…)

  4. Is it possible to include ranking numbers (1 to 23) on the left side of the animated bar chart race? The numbers would stay in a fixed position, which would quickly let you see how many places a team has lost/gained vs the start of the year. Even better would be to have another column to show the change in position (e.g. + or -) to the left of each team’s name.

  5. Arkea-Samsic are looking home and dry, and even if key riders are out through injury (Bouhanni currently) they have sufficient depth to maintain a safe position. In comparison Israel-PT and Lotto-Sudal look shallow – even without illness or injury.

    • As a Belgian I root for Lotto-Soudal, but it’s not going to be easy.

      There was an interview with Gilbert, that Tim Wellens in the newspaper today, that he is starting in France (Besancon) only 2 days after Brabantse Pijl for the points. And that he is riding Roubaix with the hope of finishing in 1-2 minutes (and I assume taking some points).

      He said there’s a lot of pressure in the team to score points and they only look at the short term.

      For me, Cofidis will probably make it, with Coquard and all the French 1.1-races.

      Lotto really needs to close the gap with BikeExchange, Education First and Movistar very soon. I hope EF and ISN relegate,…

  6. Surely Ion Izagirre’s celebration had far more to do with winning the stage and coming 2nd overall in his local race than some – largely arbitrary – points.

    • The picture that said more than a thousand words was surely the image of “Ion Izagirre winning for Cofidis” and not of “Ion Izagirre celebrating” 🙂
      I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a rider this season who has won a race and had a thought to spare about the UCI points his win will bring to his team.
      Arkea – Samsic has for some reason been blamed for racing for points instead of wins, but I don’t think Anthony Delaplace was told by his DS not to go all out for the win in Paris – Camembert yesterday because it would be safer not to. And I don’t think Matis Louvel who won the sprint of the peloton thought yes, great, 6th place means 40 ponts for the team…

  7. I’m just waiting for the UCI announcement that the promotion/relegation race is being abandoned and instead applications are being taken for an expanded World Tour.

  8. Slightly off topic, but Quickstep is having a brutal (by their standards) season. They normally get virtually all of their points in the Classics season, yet right now they aren’t even close to the top team.

    Is it just me, or is every race that Remco in, the Quickstep start list looks like they should be winning it. But, Remco rides like a junior every single race. Brabantse-Pjill, the boy is attacking multiple times, leaving his teammates solo throughout the race, burning his own matches with zero chance to convert his efforts into a win.

    Please, how does this playout?

  9. Not that it’s important for the relegation, but just a quick question out of curiosity:
    Caruso winning Giro di Sicilia in Italian National Team jersey, will this points still go to B-M’s acount?

  10. Im not a fan of the fact that Alpecin can opt-out of the WT and still be eligible for the automatic Wildcards… If you’re fully WT-level, be WT. If you don’t want to play, then also don’t get rewarded.

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