The regular look at which teams are sailing into the World Tour and which teams are taking on water in the battle to avoid relegation.
What’s Changed Over the Last Two Weeks?
…yes, two weeks as there wasn’t an update last week, the UCI didn’t publish the 16 August rankings until yesterday, by which time it wasn’t worth doing an update so here’s two weeks’ worth:
- No change to promotion and relegation, as things stand Alpecin-Deceuninck and Arkéa-Samsic are eligible for promotion, Lotto-Soudal and Israel-PremierTech face relegation
- Lotto-Soudal and TotalEnergies would be eligible for the automatic grand tour invites next year
- Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert top the tables for points scored over the past two weeks. The team just keep on winning and scoring. Astonishing for 2022, only Jumbo-Visma, Ineos, UAE and Bora-hansgrohe have scored more points, they’re kicking sand in the faces of Belgian rivals Quick-Step
- Among the low scorers, BikeExchange got 178 points and EF 142. The low scorer was Astana with zero points during the last two weeks
- A reminder that points from the Vuelta are only added up once the race reaches Madrid
Among the relegation candidates, the more things go on, the more things stay the same: Israel have waves lapping over the deck, Lotto-Soudal seem to score every time Arnaud De Lie races, but can’t close the gap. And it’s getting very tight among the teams above, Movistar, EF, Cofidis and BikeExchange are in choppy waters with 264 points between them, and fearful in case Lotto-Soudal get the wind in their sails should Captain Caleb Ewan finally set them on the right course as the Belgian team is only 625 points behind.
Arkéa-Samsic are about 500 points clear of the relegation scrap. For now Nairo Quintana’s 450 point haul from the Tour de France has not been deducted, pending the appeal following two tests for Tramadol. If he loses then the French team will be in the mix and their promotion at risk. Quintana’s appeal is obviously a big story right now, first because of the scandal and appeal, second because of the points at stake. But let’s step back a minute and ask a more structural question: where are the World Tour recruits for this team? So far there’s only been one signing, Clément Champoussin, a good one but that’s it so far. Whether his appeal succeeds or fails, Nairo Quintana won’t be suspended and is still capable of headline results next year and it could be that signing his contract was the big piece of the puzzle and now the team can make moves in the market. They ought to sign more, Warren Barguil can have his moments – his Tirreno-Adriatico stage win is the team’s only World Tour win this year and… and… the rest of the team doesn’t quite look like World Tour squad yet. Nacer Bouhanni’s on the mend from injury but before that hadn’t won a World Tour race since 2018. Connor Swift’s dependable to the point of being able to win for himself and Kévin Vauquelin’s been impressive, in an under-the-radar style. The team’s done well this year by picking up results outside the World Tour but if they’re promoted it’ll be much harder to score and thrive. Now they can always just carry on as they are, this time knowing they’re guaranteed a Tour start, but look out for news of any signings.
By contrast fellow promotion candidates – and also Canyon backed – Alpecin-Deceuninck look a stronger team to start with – 11 World Tour wins this year – and if they’re losing Tim Merlier to Quick-Step, they’ve signed Søren Kragh Andersen, Quinten Hermans and Kaden Groves who should all bring more results.
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.