UCI World Tour Promotion and Relegation Weekly

A quick update from a week when few points were on offer.

What’s Changed Since Last Week?

  • Less than half the teams involved actually scored points last week, in part down to the calendar in a week where there was more women’s racing than men’s, a sign of the increasing depth of the women’s peloton with stage races in Spain and France alike. How long until they have their own points-based promotion and relegation scenarios?
  • Lotto-Soudal topped the standings with 250 points, a lot of which was down to Philippe Gilbert winning a stage of the 4 Days of Dunkerque and, crucially, the overall. A good week but they’ll rue the crash of Arnaud De Lie who could have helped land more. They’re still in 20th place but can hope to overhaul Israel soon
  • Arkéa-Samsic move up to 12th place in the three year rankings, this time they overtake DSM

19th vs 20th
Given we know Arkéa-Samsic want promotion but we don’t know if Alpecin-Fenix do, 19th place is below the relegation line but could still be safe if Alpecin-Fenix don’t apply to move up. So while Lotto-Soudal and Israel look stuck below the red line, perhaps there’s still value in battling for 19th place instead of 20th. Or if not, having a chat with the Alpecin management to ask what their plans are.

Giro gains
Note any points from the Giro only go through once the Giro is over. It’s the same for any stage race, points are only added up once the race has finished.

Plusses and minuses
We can see the riders and teams winning points but they can often be deducted too for breaking the rules. Only the fines are often hidden. It’s not deliberately so, more the race commissaires will file their post-race report and any fines and points deductions get fed into the UCI database, this is not the sort of thing that flashes up on TV once a race is over like the top-10. But it could be handy to make all these deductions public, or at least available to us nerds.

The Giro actually does this in a way with its “Fair play” prize. The race has a confusing amount of daily prizes and podium ceremonies and this one is for the team in the race with the fewest in-race penalties, be it littering or having a rider ejected for doping. There’s a sliding scale proportionate to the level of rule-breaking and it doesn’t mirror the UCI rulebook exactly. But doing this for all the UCI races across the season could be a useful bit of data transparency, both because teams constantly being fined would be incentivised to back off if it was causing them public embarrassment but also because everyone could keep a tab on the deductions, you’d know why and when a rider had lost points rather than fretting about whether there was a data entry mistake.

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.

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

  1. It seems strange that we don’t know if a team has / is going to apply. There must be enough people in and around the team that know. I would be amazed if the other teams don’t know.

    Those teams around relegation must have given strict instructions to the riders not to get penalised. Imagine the team bus when you team doesn’t score any points but receives a fine instead.

    • It’s odd with Alpecin, there’s been one hint they’ll apply but no more, an interview along the lines of they didn’t want to buy their way into the World Tour with the old Qhubeka licence but to ride their way into the top tier.

      As said here before, it’s surely worth applying. There are most costs but they’re not so big and it’s insurance against the rules changing over the next few years or van der Poel having injury issues etc.

      • He doesn’t even need an injury, I expect him to have a very short road season in 2024, as this is likely his final chance to become Olympic MTB champion so he is likely to approach this in a lot more serious way than Tokyo, now that Pidcock has shown that this is his strongest discipline, so he needs to win also against him, not only the specialists.

        • Interesting, has he talked about this? He could well go for it but the Paris course for the road is likely to suit him as well (unlike Tokyo where the road course was too mountainous)… maybe he aims for both even?

    • I expect that Alpecin would have made the pre-registration deadline of January 1, but they are holding off on announcing their intentions with regards to completing the full application due in August for one of two reasons:
      1. There are still conditions they see as necessary which are yet to be met, e.g. signing/renewing sponsors.
      2. They have committed, but are choosing to pick the time to make the announcement.

      January 1 was only a pre-registration deadline and not the actual deadline for the full applications, so it would be inappropriate for the UCI to comment on which teams registered to be part of the application process later in the year.

    • They’ve got a big cushion. I do wonder about Astana for the next cycle though, team manager Vino says he’s assured the funding is in place but the budget is not what it was and riders signing do risk unpaid wages so how can they rack up points next year?

    • Astana are also still being investigated for financial fraud by the UCI (and law enforcement, of course), so they could be denied a license because of that too (depending on the results of the investigation).

      • And independently of their previous actions which may result in the team facing disciplinary processes, they will also have to show they have the funding for 2023-25 secured as part of the licence renewal process.

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