This week’s tables are very tight with Lotto-Soudal and BikeExchange-Jayco practically tied on points, spelling trouble for the Aussie team as their relegation rivals all had strong rides.
What’s Changed Since Last Week?
- Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic remain set for promotion to the World Tour
- Israel-PremierTech and Lotto-Soudal face relegation… just
- …BikeExchange-Jayco and Lotto-Soudal are practically tied on 12,629 points, just 0.33 points (yes, one third of a point, they can be divided up between riders in a team time trial) separates the two teams so the Australian team must be toey as
- Thanks to the Tour de Suisse and the Route d’Occitanie Bora-hansgrohe were the week’s top scorers with 693 points, ahead of Israel on 546 and EF Education-Easypost on 534. Lotto-Soudal got 320 points, mostly from their home Belgium tour and Tim Wellens’ second place
- The lowest scorer was Jumbo-Visma on zero after the team quit the Tour de Suisse. Arkéa-Samsic were the 4th lowest on 63, BikeExchange got 90.
The chart above shows the three year points haul of several teams scrapping to avoid relegation and just how tight things are getting with the Tour de France looming, watch those lines converge.
That’s for the weekly changes. Looking ahead this week BikeExchange might be relieved that the 1.1 Belgian one day race Halle-Ingooigem due for tomorrow is cancelled in case it’s another Arnaud De Lie points festival. In early July Lotto-Soudal, Israel and Cofidis are starting Romania’s Sibiu Tour, BikeExchange are not.
Taking a slightly longer view, Arkéa-Samsic got 4,000 points between the start of the season and April, but from May to now then they’ve taken about a thousand points. They’re ok for now but if they carry on stalling they risk being caught up again in the points battle and would not be promoted, one to keep an eye on.
Wider still, Pierre Carrey wrote an interesting piece for Le Temps (paywall), a Swiss newspaper which a reader kindly shared. As well as the points/relegation battle now featuring in the pages of a newspaper, it explores the pressure on teams and riders to score points. You might have watched post-race inteviews on TV and openly heard riders talking about getting points, something nobody talked about openly earlier this year. Le Temps suggests the pressure is intense, one rider says “now you can’t overlook a sprint for 60th place” (there are 3 points in a one day World Tour race for 60th place). The article explains things are not as wild as before when UCI points where a virtual currency, a rider’s wage could be heavily influenced by their haul. This was problematic, an issue raised by the UCI’s ISSUL audit which looked at the incentives behind doping. Today teams can’t hire in riders for their points, today’s promotion/relegation system is about results obtained while a rider is racing for their current team.
Animated bar chart race
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.