UCI World Tour Promotion and Relegation Weekly

A quiet week on the points front but Israel-PremierTech are the top scorer so things get tighter for the relegation battle.

What’s Changed Since Last Week?

  • It’s been a quiet week with just 1,092 points scored between all the teams, in some weeks a single team can land this.
  • As of this week’s numbers, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Arkéa-Samsic are eligible for promotion, while Lotto-Soudal and Israel face relegation
    Automatic invites to the grand tours for next year would go to Lotto-Soudal and Total Energies
  • [Trumpet fanfare] Israel-PremierTech are the top scorers this week… [sad trombone] but only with 212 points, which must be the smallest weekly haul to top the table. It was thanks to Sep Vanmarcke’s Maryland Cycling Classic win and if he’s found winning ways it’ll help them with many one-day races to come. EF Education are second top scorers on 202 points so both teams get some help but they’ll want more. This makes the relegation battle even tighter, watch the lines converge tighter still and there’s now just 255 points between Lotto-Soudal and Movistar, relegation and safety:

It’s been a quiet week which suits your blogger while away on holiday. Just 212 points to top the table and ten squads didn’t win a point between them, partly down to a quiet calendar.

We’re all waiting to see how the Vuelta plays out, and not just for the battle for the podium and the maillot rojo but also the point and these are only added up once the race is over. Movistar management will be praying Enric Mas can stay in the race given the haul of points ahead and that they lost Miguel Angel Lopez a year ago, a fit of pique in the moment but costly longer term as they relinquished 575 points had he stayed to finish third overall.

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.

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

  1. Interesting to look at the Vuelta points that are not yet added:

    Stage / Team / Points
    1 / BEX / 3 (Yates & Groves)
    3 / Arkea / 20 (McLay)
    3/ Cofidis / 12 (Coquard)
    4 / Movistar / 20 (Mas)
    5 / Israel / 40 / Impey
    6 / Movistar / 20 / Mas
    7 / Cofidis / 100 / herrada
    11 / BEX / 100 / Groves
    13 / Cofidis / 40 / Coquard
    14 / Movistar / 40 / Mas

    And in the virtual GC of the top 25:
    Mas / Movistar / 3rd / 575 points
    Uran / Education / 12th / 100 points
    Valverde / Movistar / 15th / 60 points
    Carthy / Education / 24th / 32 points

    The top 60 scores so also Oliveira (33rd – 20 pts), Verona (39th – 20 pts), Rojas (49th – 16 pts) and Muhlberger (57th – 8 pts) are set to score points, although only Verona is currently in the teams top 10 of those racers (lowest score = 190).

    EducationFirst also has Padun in 36th (20 pts) and Chaves in 55th (8pts). But Padun is not im the teams top 10 (lowest score= 153)

    The other teams are set to score almost no points in GC:
    – Arkea only has Gesbert (44th for GC – 16 pts)
    – Lotto has nobody
    – BikeExchange also only Craddock in 51st place (12 pts) but not in top 10 (lowest=151 pts)
    – Israel has Hagen 40th (20 pts) and Goldstein 58th (8 pts). Goldstein not in team top 10 (lowest=176)
    – Cofidis has Fernandes (46th – 20 pts) and Villella (56th – 8 pts) but not in team top 10 (lowest=317)

    With potential of Valverde, Uran and Carthy up via break-aways or some dropping to help teammates Movistar and EducationFirst are set to do good business, while the rest barely gets points from GC.

    • If you include the virtual points of the Vuelta, BikeExchange, Cofidis and Arkea are the 3 teams above Lotto.

      Although BikeExchange still keeps a lead of 466 points and Cofidis and Arkea quite a lot more.

      • My bad, EducationFirst would still have a few points less than Cofidis.

        14th Movistar
        15th Arkea
        16th Cofidis
        17th EducationFirst
        18th BikeExchange
        19th Lotto

  2. I see that Arnaud de Lie has 6 races on his programme before the season is over. He almost scored 600 points in his last 6 races, so depending on how many points are at stake in these races, he really is a joker in this game.

  3. If some lucky rider wins both upcoming races in Canada(9th Sept in Quebec and 11th in Montreal), he’ll get 1,000 UCI points which is the same as winning the Tour (which does not seem quite right). As van Aert and Pogacar are down to start, the teams threatened with relegation will be riding for podium spots.

    • Winning those two races both is harder (in a statistical sense, not the physical effort) than winning the TdF is for a top GC rider like Vingegaard. There are only a small number of riders with a reasonable chance to win the TdF, but many more riders who can win the Canadian races, and then winning twice would be even more unlikely…

    • I’d like to see the team budgets for starters but there is bound to be a close link, although the big teams can score big from time to time and don’t have to hunt everywhere. But Intermarché would be big outliers here.

  4. Canadian WT races this weekend could prove to be monumental for relegation battle. Huge points on offer – too much for my taste. EF (Guerreiro, Bettiol, Powless, Cort, Piccolo), BikeExchange (Matthews), Movistar (Aranburu & Garcia Cortina) and Cofidis (Martin, Izagirre, Zingle & Lafay) appear to be sending their strongest non-Vuelta guns to Canada, whereas LTS does not appear to be sending its strongest non-Vuelta team (apart from Moniquet the entire team seems to be struggling), keeping De Lie, De Buyst, Campenaerts and Gilbert out of the selection. As Quebec is usually a sprint of the strong men and Montreal is usually a late break-away followed by a sprint of the strong men, this surprises me taking into account how well the aforementioned 4 Belgian riders did in Plouay – I assume that the race circumstances in both races will be similar with Plouay. LTS appears to point the aforementioned 4 riders + Ewan towards the Belgian and French races starting this weekend and later on & therefore not risk jetlag. By that time it might however already be too late.

    • LTS sends Wellens, who did win in 2015 and Moniquet,they can still grab some points…you’re right for the belgian and french races, at Fourmies they can grab a lot of points with Ewan and De Lie starting…

      • Does not make much sense to me to start Ewan and De Lie in the same races.

        They should have sent either Ewan or De Buyst to Canada in my view. And should have participated in Maryland.

        • Fully agree – the LTS team that performed very strongly in Plouay should have been able to compete for top-5 in both Quebec and Montreal. The peloton composition will be similar and both races either the same level of difficulty or lower difficulty than Plouay which they showed they can handle with 4 of their point scoring riders. Will be extremely difficult to fight for material points with this team. Wellens still appears to be struggling with health and does not appear that he made the trip. Vanhoucke appears to be nowhere with his conditioning – just got a baby and is leaving LTS in any case. So all of LTS hope on young Moniquet who, although he is having a decent season, will be outmatched by competition. LTS management just appears to be hoping that their relegation competitors don’t score big points in their absence and that the big teams will run away with the big points. Don’t think that’s necessarily going to be the case with this peloton composition.

    • Thanks for posting the link and an interesting read. Matt White from BEX I see made a similar point, “If there are 20 teams with the budget to join the WorldTour, why are we removing teams? If you look at the last 10 years, we’ve struggled to keep enough teams in the WorldTour, and for the first time that I can ever remember we’ve got 20 teams who have the budget to be a viable addition to the WorldTour. So why are we keeping teams out?” The points system gets a good going over too, “…the system needs an overhaul. It’s very heavily weighted on the one-day races.”

      • Presumably one would have to keep some teams out due to race capacity constraints although the argument would then be about the number of wt teams in a race and the number of Pro and Pro conti teams. Having more wt teams would make it harder for the next tier teams to survive by reducing access to their biggest local races and therefore making them less attractive to sponsors.

      • Plenty seem to have ideas on how to put lipstick on this pig. But it’s still gonna be a pig so why not scrap the whole thing? The guy who shoved it down pro cycling’s throat is dead, his sidekick’s long gone (thankfully) from the cycling scene, but this thing lives-on like a zombie. Why?

        • To follow your line Larry, from The Outer Line if I may: And, as several readers have pointed out to us, lost in all this discussion about improving the promotion/relegation system is the uphill (or basically impossible) battle faced by the bulk of the ProTeam level squads. We have discussed the need for a more standard set of races to be used for promotion purposes, and we have also decried the benefits enjoyed by the top two ProTeams – which was originally a legitimate effort by the UCI to help allow the strongest ProTeams to move up. But once one moves beyond those considerations, there is the quandary faced by all the rest of the ProTeams. Most of those teams rarely or never receive invites to the more important races (which tend to confer more points) and hence there is essentially no way to accumulate points and move up the rankings toward the WorldTour level. This is an argument to allow second-tier events to confer more points, but this very situation has already led to numerous problems this year – with top teams skipping higher level races to pile up points at secondary ones. As we’ve said before, there is no easy answer here, but by now its quite clear that the sport needs to carefully rethink the overall points system.
          It certainly is a mess.

      • Matt White says so because his team is clearly near the bottom of that 20, so he wants 20 spots to exist so that he has job safety.

        In my opinion there are clearly too many World Tour teams. A top level team should have riders capable of racing for results across various terrain, in multiple races, all year long. All teams involved in relegation battle are clearly not up to this standard, and I also have doubts about DSM, Astana and AG2R. There should be 10-12 teams with a WT license, leaving place for a healthy Pro Team level (which is currently simply not a viable long term place unless your team is from one of four countries with huge national calendar of high level races). Then we could have the top teams racing all top races, and good Pro Teams racing 30-60% of them, but being able to be meaningful when they do.

        • 10-12 WT teams would mean eliminating at least a third of the best jobs in cycling, unless you’re actually proposing increasing the sizes of squads by a third. I don’t see either as viable. Increasing the size of a squad would mean a massive increase in WT team budgets. Very few sponsors would be willing to bankroll a project of that size. Decreasing the number of teams while maintaining the size of the squads (thus eliminating jobs for riders and staff) would likely result in a stunting of the growth of the sport as a whole. Neither of these scenarios seems like a structural solution for the problems the WT has.

        • +1 I’ve written many times if (for some gawdforsaken reason) there had to be a WT, a dozen teams would be a good limit. Let the pluto/autocrats, etc. buy their way in, but leave more places for teams of regional interest to the race organizers. Non-pluto/autocrats might again bankroll teams if there was a better chance to get into a race benefitting their enterprise in a market they have interest in. The overall amount of money sloshing around might be less, but unless you count commerce more important than sport, where’s the problem?

          • The point I’m trying to make is simple. WT teams pay more than Pro / Continental level teams. Cutting the number of WT teams by a third is a big pay cut for a huge number of the riders (as well as team staff) in the peloton. Some riders on bigger teams make decent money. At a Pro / Continental level, most do not. That’s not a recipe for the long term health of the sport. I honestly think that the solution (especially for long term stability) is to move to a team ownership model rather than a sponsorship model. But that’s another discussion.

          • @RV – I agree with you about the importance of good jobs and decent pay for professional riders, which would dramatically decrease if the WT were slashed by a third. I think this is what is utterly (and selfishly) ignored by some of the nostalgia-driven complaints about modern cycling racing: it was a really crappy way to make a living, and to a large extent the sport depended upon the poverty within the classic hotbeds of cycling (along with the ease of entry into the sport and a now-extinct grassroots network of local races and clubs) to have a steady stream of talented riders to make the top races. The world has changed, and the sport has needed to change with it.

            I have my share of nostalgia. I’m charmed by the beauty and apparent innocence (I know the reality was far less innocent than we like to think) of professional cycling in the days of the giants, washing their own clothes in the sinks of bed-bug infested hotels, sleeping without air conditioning, sometimes showing up to races in their own car (the few who could actually afford their own car) with their bike in the trunk, following training regimens and nutritional advice that were based as much on superstition and tradition than actual empirical effectiveness, stopping at public fountains and cafes mid-race for water and food, and on and on. It was beautiful, it was poetic, and it’s wonderfully close to how I ride now (long rides on a vintage steel racing bike, stopping when I need to stop, racing to the extent I ‘race’ for my own personal goals). I can keep riding like it’s the 1980s. But it’s not the 1980s anymore, and people proposing reorganizing the sport to be more like it used to be, for no other reason than that fits their sensibilities, is selfish and pointless.

            And to the extent that someone wants to propose a “simple” change from, say, 18 to 12 WT teams, please show your work. Explain how that would make bike racing more popular, how it would increase revenues in the sport, how it would stimulate grassroots cycling and encourage the health of cycling as a sport. And if you don’t care about the sport getting healthier, at least show how it would maintain the current level of participation and fan interest and sponsorship in a sport that most people see as a quaint curiosity. I think it’s a perfectly valid thought experiment, to imagine where the second and third tier races and teams would be 5, 10, 20 years from such a change, and what the remaining WT teams and races would look like, but I haven’t seen anyone do even the most cursory speculative analysis.

  5. Unless I’m mistaken, although Sep VanMarke gained 200 points in the Maryland Ckassic, it only added 81 points for Israel. Sep is 8th in the team in points (excluding Dylan Teuns) on 283, so he was previously outside the top 10 on just 83. Moving to 8th he displaced Einhorn, who had 202 who dropped to 11th, so 283 gain and 202 lost.

  6. Indeed Van Marcke didbnot contribute a lot of points, but now both Van Marcke and Einhorn can focus on points. It helps having a few players just around 10th place, more cards to play.

    • Trouble is whenever a rider below 10th place gets a good result and moves up it displaces #10 and all of his points gets deducted. Better to have just your top 10 riders go for the UCI points. Maybe some of the other bottom teams are in this same situation, but I only noticed for Israel.

      • It’s happened with other teams. If you have someone of the top 10 starting and 2 who get into the top 10 with a good result, why wouldnt you play more than 1 card?

        • If and when the situation gets really tight, it’s still a bonus if your 11th or 12th rider finishes above a Top 10 rider of a team that is a direct threat to your position as a WorldTeam .-)

    • Don’t you have the wrong Yates? I thought Adam rode the Tour. A more conscientious poster would check before pressing ‘Publish’, but I’ll risk it.

      • There might be some other riders I’m missing, but it looks like Jorgensen goes from 40 points to 50 for Movistar and Powless and Uran move up from 105 to 125 and 30 to 40 respectively. So, +10 points for Movistar and +30 for EF. It probably won’t change anything, but if things stay really close, it could.

  7. If Lotto is only getting points in lower level races, even if it’s a lot of points, this should prove they need to relegate. If you can only be competitive at a 1.1 level your team is clearly a pro continental team and not WT.
    On the other hand.. Only the +/- top 10 is taking mondial level international cycling seriously. The rest are still national equipes with a lost “foreigner” here or there. Or a team like DSM who feel they need to run a Development program at WT level and not be concerned about results. Which frankly is kinda disrespectful to the race organisers if you think about it.

  8. Have to admit, I absolutely love INRNG and am very thankful for all the brilliant writing and information and conversations I’ve had here over the years – especially taking into account it is free!

    And I’m clearly a bad human being to complain but the promotion/relegation stuff is doing my nut.

    5 out of the last 10 posts have been about promotion/relegation.
    I wish those 5 had all been Vuelta thoughts.

    I’m desperate for the UCI to dump this system just so we don’t have another Autumn of racing dominated by this topic. If it suddenly becomes a true system where wildcards don’t get automatic entry to races and winning it actually means something I might take an interest but from a fan point of view it feels like just noise.

    • +1 I usually just skip ’em but like you decided to complain about the frequency. Seems a shame to waste this great blog on endless nerding-out over WT relegation issues but I realize I’m in the minority most likely so…

      • Frequency is once a week, inrng don’t “do” the Vuelta anyway. (And why should he? It’s a – the? – boring race. )

        And this is actualy interesting stuff, albeit not necesarily for all of us.

        • Once-a-week..but with nothing in-between. That says something about the readers when they’d rather nerd-out about relegation issues than pay attention to an actual RACE even if it is the 3rd of the GT’s in many ways. Probably that I shouldn’t bother looking here for awhile?

          • It says absolutely nothing about the readers. You don’t know squat about what they pay attention to and where their interest is.
            (We might be tempted to think that this comment tells quite a lot about you, but we know it tells us merely about one facet of you.)
            We could, of course, post a ton of comments about most stages of the Vuelta, but since our host hasn’t written about them, we don’t think it would be the proper thing to do. Do you seriously mean that we readers and comment writers should take over or hijack the blog for our purposes?
            The promotion/relegation thing is just one more thing that has been going on for some time and that is going to add colour and suspense to the remaining races. But it doesn’t take anything away it – and even when one is, if you like, nerdish enough to be fascinated by the whole thing, one can be just as excited by and appreciative of the actual racing as the next guy.
            IMHO the Inner Ring should be applauded for being one of the first, if not the very first, to bring the relegation battle into the limelight.

          • Larry T – what are you talking about? Honestly, comments like this take away from most of the positive you’ve brought on this site PLUS, you link your business site to your name… then why throw shade??? Very stupid.

            Inrng – I find these posts really interesting. Once again, this is the best cycling spot on the web. All of your analysis/commentary makes me look at the sport in another way. The years you’ve done this have added a lot to my love of the spot.

            Thank you

          • Hey CA, Fra, Eskerrick,

            I actually think you might have jumped unfairly on Larry here. I too have sometimes balked at Larry’s more abrasive comments and tone as it can be a little out if killer with the general blog and comments section, at the same time I fear we may need to look at ourselves a bit as Larry regularly gets ganged up on here when in reality we’re alll fans of the same thing and he’s allowed to think and speak a different way to us.

            His comments above don’t seem that bad to me and in all fairness mine are probably more deserving of antipathy. We all love INRNG and are aware it’s free and somebody is generously giving up time, at the same time it is a public forum and people are allowed to have opinions both positive and negative.

            It’s seems fair that Larry would query the Vuelta coverage over relegation updates (and I passionately disagree that it’s a boring race having regularly been the best grand tour of the year in the last decade) however matter of fact his tone.

            There’s been plenty of times I’ve seen Larry reply to a comment having half read it and got the wrong end of the stick or veer close to flippantly insulting another commenter – he’s definitely got a little bit of the boomer antagonism going on even if I’m not far off the same place – I’m just also aware he’s regularly been jumped on by us and maybe we can be a little bit more thoughtful of his place as a valued member if this community who it would be a shame to lose.


          • Quite honestly, oldDAVE, I now feel that I have been unfairly jumped on who has half read and got it all wrong.
            It’s no big thing, of course, happens to the best of us, but please reread what Larry wrote and what I wrote in reply and please tell me what in my comment was unfair or unreasonable.
            PS It is not “ganging up on someone” if more than one person feels obliged to comment or feels to a certain extent personally insulted or simply wises to make Larry’s obvious misunderstandings clear to him 🙂

          • Perhaps it says something about these readers, as you say. Perhaps they like drama (and this relegation battle generates drama indeed). But I can’t understand why you rage (probably not the best word, but I am not native speaker, so pardon my vocabulary) about it. We are all slightly different, while having a lot in common – but definitely we are not all the same, are we?

            I don’t personaly find this Vuelta that interesting, but many people does, and fair enough. For me, the story of the race is obviously Evenpoel, but this Vuelta is just a chapter of his story, probably – we won’t know how good he really is until he clashes with the big guys. I wonder what inrng’s take on this would be and expect / hope I’ll find out next week. 🙂

            And I pity Roglic, I thought he would deserve to be the firts rider to win Vuelta 4 times in a row.

        • I’m away on holiday and having started with the weekly updates, it’s easy to drop these in via my phone.

          I could go away in May, June or July but then there would be a break in the Giro or Tour coverage.

          “Normal service” from next week…

          • As one of those who encouraged you in your regular coverage of the relegation battle, I want to thank you for continuing the process even during your much deserved holiday. It may not take as much time as an original post analyzing a Vuelta stage or whatever, but it’s a non-trivial amount of time, and it’s as far as I can tell the best place to keep up to date.

            It’s always astonishing to me how some people seem unable to hold two distinct thoughts in their head at the same time (or at least to imagine that other people can hold two distinct thoughts in their head simultaneously). To the complainers, is it really so hard to imagine that some of us can be interested in the details of the relegation battle, AND be following the Vuelta, AND be actually riding our bikes, plus be engaged in a thousand other thoughts and activities each day?

    • A slightly outdated critique admittedly, but before your retirement I’d decided yours wasn’t a company I would want to give my custom to, based on my impression of you from tone of your comments here. Make of that what you will.

      • Apologies to everyone else for going off topic.
        I do think that as reading this blog is optional, posts are clearly titled, and none of us is even paying for content, there is no real reason to complain about the promotion/relegation posts. Commentators have started picking up on the nuances of the points race, many months after INRNG first mentioned it, and whilst I’m not sure the system itself is great, it’s certainly worthy of discussion in that it’s clearly influencing transfers, team selection and tactics in the races we watch.

      • I must be honest – I never posted here fishing for clients but unlike so many “keyboard lions” I don’t hide behind pseudonyms/avatars either. Make of that what you will and note what I posted at the end of the message that started this fauxtrage: Probably that I shouldn’t bother looking here for awhile? Thanks all of you for answering the question for me. Enjoy your seemingly endless discussion of the relegation soap opera. I’ll be paying attention to the actual RACING of the bikes rather than the polemics.

        • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: your hasty decision disappoints and saddens me – as much as
          your insistence on boasting how YOU – unlike those of us who find understanding and following the promotion/relegation thing adds to our understanding of the complete picture of the noble sport of road cycling – pay attention to the actual racing maddens me.
          I hate to preach, but a few moments of actually trying to understand what the “fauxrage” was all about would in my opinion to your good and perhaps even make you in one small respect a happier man.
          Good and safe cycling in wondefully warm Sicily! Welcome back when you feel like it!

  9. This is a blog ( a term I detest) not a forum so one would hope people would respect the writer views. I would not be linking to mine or other websites in posts as I think this is disrepectful.
    Continuing to degnigrate Hein Verbruggen when he’s dead is also not the way to win an argument. I didn’t like the World Tour concept and think changes need to be made but the Road Calendar needed coordination which the UCI provides. The expansion into new markets was certainly a mistake. Its interesting in the current relegation battle that the two Canadian races are due to the expansion plans and the promoter having deep pockets! I would change the way points are scored to be by team not rider as promotion has to be a viable option for ProContinental/ Continental teams. The growth in WT Team and WT Womens teams does seem to have grown the sport! Lastly I love all racing including the Vuelta but as Inrng doesn’t blog on it I wont comment!

Comments are closed.