BikeExchange-Jayco have had a good week and climb from 18th to 17th, with Movistar slipping to 18th having begun the season in 15th. There’s a close four-way battle to avoid 18th place but four teams involved here have a buffer on Lotto-Soudal and Israel-PremierTech who are struggling to score.
What’s Changed Since Last Week?
- No change: Alpecin-Deceuninck and Arkea-Samsic are set for promotion, Lotto-Soudal and Israel-PremierTech for relegation
- Trek-Segafredo were the top scorers with 545 points, Quick-Step got 433, Intermarché 309 and BikeExchange 287
- An odd week for the low scorers with negative ratings, Groupama-FDJ on -29, B&B on -20 and Arkéa-Samsic on -17, presumably more UCI fines than results. Israel got 39 points, Lotto-Soudal 110.
- Grand tour invites for 2023 would go to Lotto-Soudal and TotalEnergies
Thanks to another bumper week from Simon Yates, BikeExchange move up from 18th to 17th. Movistar slip to 18th place in a contest where, everything else being equal, 19th or below means relegation. While the team was rightly jubilant at Annemiek van Vleuten’s win atop the Markstein and the Planche des Belles Filles, a search party was being sent to look for their men in the Clasica San Sebastian, practically the team’s home classic but they had only two finishers with Antonio Pedrero best in 19th; they fared better the next day in the Circuito de Getxo with Aranburu and Valverde in the top-10. 18th is still safe so it’s not disastrous, plus if Movistar are 18th it’s only because they’re 68 points behind 17th place.
We now have four teams sitting above the red line with just 180 points between them, it’s very tight to the point where one result here or there, or, say, a puncture, will move a team up or down. Management of these teams will all be a tense as a drive-side spoke. DSM and promotion candidates Arkéa-Samsic ought to be bothered too. DSM are only 500 points clear of EF, Arkéa 700.
But their relief so far for any teams feeling the heat and worried about falling to 19th place is that neither Lotto-Soudal and Israel are closing in, Israel are a thousand points adrift of Movistar, Lotto-Soudal 763.
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.
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Really starting to wonder what Total Energies were doing, spending on Sagan and his entourage when there must have been plenty of mid range points scoring riders available to gel into a solid team with a francophone bias. They could have done so much better for so much £€$$.
The season end is going to be a real choker for Lotto going down with so much history.
Lotto-Dstny will be here, there and everywhere and especially in the three GTs next year – and I have no doubt that they will be back at WT-level in 2026 (and if not, one of the teams with a GT invite and a welcome into all the spring classics).
Although I must say that at this point that it looks like the competiton will certainly not be any less tough, what with B&B Hotels and Uno-X being both seriously willing and budgetwise able to aim for a spot at the highest level.
I’m inclined to think that Total Energies has gotten its money’s worth back from hiring Sagan et co. Had the motive for spending all that money been to ensure that the team will earn a promotion, it would’ve been a fairly gigantic fail, but unless I’m mistaken it was not the team’s objecive, at least not this year?
The game seems to be over for Israel – Premier Tech. I can no longr entertain any hopes that the other teams will suddenly start doing so poorly that Israel simply kind of floats on top. Others may see the team as mainly a collection of old guys, has-beens and should-have-retired-alreadys, but to me it has always been a pleasure to see their rider enjoying a rather rare win – and a relegation without GT invites would seem almost like an unnecessarily hard double blow.
The saddest thing about Israel – Premier Tech’s position is that if this was based on two years rather than three they would be safe. It’s the 2020 points that are really coming back to haunt them. Meanwhile Astana is safe only because of 2020 points and riders they no longer have.
But they and everyone knew it was three years. Using a big share of the team budget to hire older riders, particularly Chris Froome, has brought them publicity and status but obviously few points.
See comment of inrng: Israel could still get the automatic invites if they score 430 more points than Total for the rest of the season.
If Israel doesnt get the automatic start, they won’t always get wildcards…
For Belgian races, the first two wildcards always go to Bingoal Wallonia and Topsport Vlaanderen. For the third spot, Israel will compete with Uno-X and Belgian continental teams such as Tarteletto-Isorex and Baloise-Trek. The fact they have 4 belgians, with Ben Hermans and mainly Sep Vanmarcke, might help them.
Giro and Vuelta are always italian/spanish teams. Three teams for 2 spots even I think?
For Tour de France, they only had 2 wildcards this season. One will go to B&B Hotels for sure. If Total gets the guaranteed spot, Israel and Uno-X will probably compete for the last Tour Wildcard. If Bingoal or Topsport Vlaanderen have an excellent season they could be outsiders. If french teams Super U or Go Sport do well, they also might get the wildcard. And I wouldnt rule out a spanish team like Euskaltel Euskaldi, with the Tour starting in Spain/Basque Country next year.
Euskatel would be a good shout given the start in Euskadi.
Sagan gets you a wildcard invite to whichever race you want, even if his results aren’t what they used to be he’s still a big celebrity.
Building a solid team is hard, takes effort, and doesn’t necessarily get you the invites you want.
Sagan+entourage is largely Specialized’s money though, I’m led to believe. And apparently they’ve been happy with the bikes & technical support that came with that too.
Yes, the whole team is very happy with Sagan’s arrival and the new bikes. But they were also delighted with Terpstra and the way he helped the team with advice and experience, even if he’s struggled personally to get results. However, it’s an expensive way to bring on young riders. But so far it gives them options, but it’s getting close they’re only 400 points ahead of Israel so there’s all to play for when it comes to the battle for the invites.
Wow, that would be a suprise if Israel closes the gap with total.
My hope is decreasing Lotto can still save themselves, but they need to keep on scoring in any case to stay ahead of Total or Israel to get the automatic invites.
Maybe it’s good to also start focussing more on that ranking as of next weeks update?
Add a graph of season points of Lotto, Israel and Total for next week’s update?
Small mistake – it’s surely Alpecin and Arkea who are set for promotion (and not Alpecin and Intermarche as stated in this blog post).
Fixed, of course. As I typed it the first time I was just thinking how IWG are doing well, they’re even winning World Tour level bunch sprints with Gerben Thijssen.
The transfer season has started slowly no? Kristoff, Theunissen and a few others? I know there are rumors for bigger things but a little disappointing so far.
It’s partly because there are not many big name riders on the market right now. Carapaz to EF seems the biggest move. Quintana might stay put. Teuns could be a good signing wherever he goes.
Arkéa-Samsic and Alpecin-Deceuninck ought to be in the market some more quality riders but not seeing anything big.
How Cav has fallen.
It’s less a fall and more a drift. He’s not one of the key sprinters today but there’s still a shot at some good wins.
Cav will find a place next season. If it’s not with a world tour team, then with an outsider that hopes to get the wildcard as he can beat the record of Eddy Merckx for most stage wins in the Tour de France.
Education First does not have really good sprinters, so it could be a good fit. Also Bahrain, Astana and Movistar could use a good sprinter.
Bingoal will probably want to hire him also, in the hopes of getting that Tour spot.
Israel might do well to hire him also, but they have Nizzolo also and probably maximum 1 Grand Tour.
That’s a lot of teams! But why not take a flyer on Cav? He’s always in the news, plus he’s able to sneak in a win or two even without a perfect leadout (although he sure did well with one in the 2021 Tour). I don’t think he’s able to demand a ridiculous salary, so could be good value for money.
The problem with saying “why not take a flyer on Cav” is that he would really be wanting the question to be “are you prepared to commit in August to building next July’s Tour squad around Cav” which would be a far harder question for most teams.
As DaveRides suggests, a lot of teams already have a house sprinter on their books or will go to the Tour with GC ambitions. So which other teams remain? Plus the opportunities for sprinters are shrinking in the Tour, it’s no longer 8-9 bunch sprints but 5-6. Some teams will still like the opportunity though.
meanwhile Teuns makes an immediate mid-season change to Israel to collect points in Vuelta and Italian races !
“Alpecin-Deceuninck and Intermarché are set for promotion” -> Arkea, right?
Correctamundo, see above as was blown away by the idea of IWG doing so well. They bought the old BMC team’s licence and did think they’d get squashed this year but have done very well. As said here before it looked very tough for them but I noted they’d got Aike Visbeek from DSM, a well-regarded coach and his arrival marked a change, an upgrade.
This entire situation must also affect the teams ability to hire a rider.
Do you sign for this team that may or may not be in the world tour. May or may not fold if the sponsors pull out.
And for the sponsors like for moviestar. Why would i put my eggs in this basket before i know what i will be getting.
ISN are about 400 points behind total energies for the yearly points total and the race invites. This might be a better goal for them and with a good vuelta they can probably do it.
So … Tour de Langkawi has Movistar, EF and Cofidis participating at the moment. Will BikeExchange jump in too and make it a proper 4 way fight? Will certainly add extra spice to the viewing.
Thank you for your regular updates with this. Now’s probably not the time, but maybe after the Vuelta it would be interesting to see what the beginning of next year will look like – a graph of just the 2021 and 2022 points
Next year it’s back to zero, the start of another three year cycle from 2023-2025.
Sorry, I guess I should have read that in one of your other posts. Thanks!
What the hell are movistar going to do when valverde retires? He’s scored over a third of their points this season.
If they’re smart, they’ll break open the piggy bank and try to entice Rodriguez från Ineos.
But what if there is no more than thirty euros (and a couple of buttons) in the piggy bank? The sponsorship deal with Telefónica ends in 2023 and the rumour has it that it might not be extended after that.
Okay, rumours are often entirely wrong and it would indeed be a shock to see the white M and the blue jerseys disappear – and if it would happen, there could well be a new sponsor eager to step in, especially if the 2023 season is more successful than this one has (so far) been.
But I’m not too sure that Valverde’s retirement will leave Movistar with a wad of cash large enough to lure Rodriguez. Besides, I believe he would prefer a team that can give him a promise he can believe in: that of a guaranteed role as an undisputed captain in a GT team…
This is what I was wondering. Surely Movistar won’t be too interested in sponsoring a second tier team?
As bad as it looks for Movistar, I see it unlikely they are relegated. They’ll throw everyone they have at the Vuelta and which likely yield a couple hundred UCI points, which will make it very difficult for LS to pass them. De Lie and Ewan are going to win like 8 races between now and end of year to offset that and the current lead.
I’m not thinking they’ll get relegated, but unless they do something to replace valverde they are going to really struggle in the next few years. Going to find it hard to attract talent if the main sponsor is likely to walk away at the end of 2023.
They’d need to sell their buses, houses and then some to entice Rodriguez. The young led is being shaped up as successor to Bernal at Ineos.
Valverde is a generational talent, and he’s always been really versatile. There aren’t many riders out there who can ride for GC (or at least stage victories) in nearly any race as well as win Monuments and classics. Rodriguez is good, but I don’t think even the most optimistic of Spanish fans think he’ll end up with a career like Valverde’s. Movistar might be better served by retooling their classics squad as well as going after a top tier sprinter rather than throwing all of their money at a GC prospect that may or may not work out.
Valverde has had an exceptional career and been a saviour for Movistar, but with his retirement things seem pretty bleak to be honest. Mas needs to be able to match Pogacar and Roglic/Vingegaard or Bernal but seems to be at a level below them. Maybe they need a “new broom” in the management side of racing to really get them up to Jumbo/UAE/Ineos standards.
With the mid-season transfer, what would happen to Tuens’ points? He’s points doesn’t count yet because he’s not yet the team’s top 10 scorer. However, if he did score the 172 needed to be the team’s top 10 scorer, would the rest of his 1000 or so points this season count form ISN?
His existing points stay with Bahrain. Only points scored from tomorrow onwards count for Israel-PremierTech.
Thanks. That makes sense. Admittedly ISN had a sub-par season so far. Hopefully they’d get some points in the Canadian races and Vuelta and get to be the top two scorers in continental.
The Guy Nagiv situation is odd though. No indication anywhere else he was looking for other opportunities or a career transition. I assume he just got paid off to be left off team for the rest of the year. But does this just circumvent team limits? At least at EF Howes and Morton weren’t really racing anymore.
Yes, it is a way to circumvent team roster limits and also to complete mid-season transfer rules outside of the August window (e.g. when Petacchi “retired” and re-entered the sport with another team the next day) which the UCI cannot effectively oppose without running into Restraint of Trade issues.