UCI World Tour Promotion and Relegation Weekly

With two weeks of the season to go there’s a wide gap for Lotto-Soudal and Israel-PremierTech to close, but now feel like stragglers far behind the peloton.

What’s Changed Since Last Week?

  • Movistar (553 points) top the table ahead of Cofidis (426) and Alpecin-Deceuninck (403) in a week that includes yesterday’s Coppa Bernocchi and the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro
  • Movistar are having a late season run and climb past DSM to 13th
  • Low scorers were Ineos (10 points), then Lotto-Soudal (13), and DSM (26)
  • Alpecin-Deceuninck and Arkéa-Samsic meet the promotion criteria being 8th and 18th on the rankings
  • 19th place Lotto-Soudal and 20th place Israel-PremierTech face relegation
  • Automatic grand tour invites in 2023 would go to Lotto-Soudal and TotalEnergies, with the latter 853 points ahead of Israel

Looking more closely at the relegation battle we can see the clear gap between Lotto-Soudal and Israel and the rest, with Arkéa, BikeExchange, Cofidis and EF all grouped together in the chart above and now surely safe. We should note how Arkéa have slid down the rankings in the final part of the season and with the news of Connor Swift and Nairo Quintana leaving, their 2023 team for the World Tour looks weaker than the current one, although there’s still time to sign riders.

Zooming in on the relegation candidates this chart shows the gap to 18th place in points and how Lotto-Soudal and Israel have slipped away since September when they needed to close the gap, Lotto are now 1,130 points adrift, Israel 1,182

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.

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

  1. Is there a chance that Arkèa don’t take up the WT licence for example. I assume they have still scored enough points the get the auto invites? Don’t know if they have budget issues, but have been a little surprised they have strengthened the squad. Although I suppose Nairo going does free up some budget. Last minute grab of Israel riders on the cards?

    • Arkéa have said from the start they wanted WT status, long before Alpecin did. It’s been a big goal this year for them and the sponsors… but knowing this it’s odd they haven’t signed more riders so far.

      • PCS has Arkéa-Samsic with just fifteen contracted riders for next year with Bouhanni the only star name and Barguil not yet resigned (though I suppose he will). It’s hard to see where they will find ten or fifteen decent riders to make up a 2023 squad worthy of a WT place and calendar. They surely need a GT rider with Quintana’s points scoring potential but finding one at this stage won’t be easy. Louvel, Champoussin, Vauquelin and Capiot show promise, but don’t form a solid enough base for a decent WT campaign.

        • They might have (re)signed some riders but not yet announced them, of course.

          Anyone know if there is a list of riders over all the teams that have not announced a contract extension yet?

      • The battle between the protour teams could be intense. I think they will just take the world tour license.

        And I assume they could always find a deal to swap ownership, racers and sponsors with a protour team in the future?

      • I don’t remember last time for the signing of Quintana : were there any rumours long prior to the signing ? Maybe they work in the shadow… Apparently Dani Martinez is free, but maybe they are traumatised by Colombians now). But for sure I wouldn’t understand if they wouldn’t do some solid signings, it would be suicidal. Vauquelin can be a future big thing, but he can’t carry a team yet.

        • Among the climbers, Uran, Chavez and Pozzovivo appear available but none would be likely to match Quintana’s 2022 points score (even after his TdF losses and absence). Just how do Arkéa find the ten plus riders required for next year? Five or six young and promising riders are possible, but they also need some proven points-scoring talent. Could Bouhanni find his pre-2018 confidence and form again? It’s improbable at 32 and with a new generation of sprinters on the block.

          • Uran and Chaves supposedly have signed with Education First.

            If they are still on the market, Movistar wouldfir sure be interested for their south american marketing value.

      • Yes, very odd. And very unwise too. They will need serious depth in order to handle a WT schedule – losing a key experienced rider like Quintana will turn out to be a bad move – yes, yes, yes, I’m aware what he did this year. It was very stupid (and wrong), but all the same, they need a rider like Quintana. Plus, a better win/win solution would have been “reconciling” and pushing him to take a huge haircut on his salary. Quintana’s fair value will drop next year.

        Anyways, the lesson is clear – Israel slapped a team together, made up mostly of available old experienced pro’s… Arkea, please don’t follow this path.

    • Indeed, when I saw how they were racing a lot early season, trying to score everywhere, I thought their plan is to show the sponsors that the WT place is sure, make them commit additional funds so that they can be active on the market in the summer and build a stronger team. But they didn’t, and then they suddenly lost Quintana after his TdF disqualification, the team doesn’t look well, and possibly their best hope would be that Astana and DSM also fail to improve.

  2. Can we start to speculate about Astana? They’re in a safe spot in this ranking but have scored extremely weak this year and I saw something on twitter about them having only two riders so far for the season after next (’24). This team does not seem sustainable at WT level for the next three seasons. Is there a possibility they voluntarily relinquish their WT license or have it withdrawn for some admin reason in ’22 or ’23? And who would then be eligible to pick it up?

    • Things looked more bleak for the team during riots and turmoil in the country but that’s stopped but it’s very hard to tell how much political support the team enjoys today and where the money is coming from. The UCI is reviewing all this, we’ll see what happens between now and December. Given a choice I think WT status is not something they’ll want to give up on though.

      They’ve been dire this year. Looking ahead if they can keep riding then Lutsenko and Lopez should deliver the points they need, Battistella too and Moscon should re-emerge and Nibali’s retirement will free up some budget.

      But if they did want to sell the licence… then Israel could buy it. They got into the World Tour after buying the Katusha licence.

      • Well if Lutsenko, Moscon and Superman Lopez are your foundations for a sustainable future, good luck then. Very strong riders with big capabilities but barely paragons of consistence are they?

        • Only Lutsenko and a young prospect are under contract for 2024. It is a perfect situation to get some money from the licence.

          Next to Israel also “oil-teams” Total and Uno-X or some random billionaire could be buyers for the license.

        • They should start to score more at some point, Lutsenko and Moscon are capable of winning Monuments, Lopez of grand tour podiums. But up to them to deliver as it’ll keep them out of trouble in the next 3 year rankings and that’s the minimum they need.

    • Russia has been blocking Kazakhstan oil and gas exports a bit for politics related to the “special operation” but even so compared to most recent years the oil and gas revenues should have been high. So if the team had finances in previous years there no obvious reason why not in the future.
      Perhaps a bigger problem for astana is that a lot riders go there but don’t seem to have a big motivation for the team.

      • This is more of a geopolitical debate than a cycling debate.

        I believed the problem for Kazachstan (and the other Stan-countries like Turkmenistan and Tadjikistan) is that russia is their only customer. (Unless they export to China/India on the other borders)

        So it would be the russians who are taking advantage of the price increases, not the kazaks, then.

  3. Maybe Arkea and Cav would be a good joint venture for 2023 only using Quintana’s and Cav’s personal sponsors dosh..
    Probable invite to the TdF for Cav and lots of publicity for Arkea in a depleted team?

      • Do you see Quintana going to B&B?

        I read rumors Quintana would probably go to a French World Tour team that is not Cofidis (and probably Groupama FDJ, not AG2R).

      • Seems like Quintana’s agent is trying to pretend he’s got offers. No way Groupama-FDJ would hire him, they have a big development pipeline of young riders. Ag2r have also said that, despite reports, there are no talks.

        • As I read Quintana’s tweet he’s trying to pretend that he left of his own accord while Arkéa’s announcement suggests that they were behind contract termination. The second sounds probable as Arkéa with a contract for 2023 & 2024 could have insisted on him staying if they had wanted. They obviously don’t, and won’t be paying severance either.

          • The cyclism’actu site suggest that Astana are close to signing Quintana. That makes sense as I can’t imagine a French or MPCC team wanting him, while Jumbo, UAE, INEOS and several others don’t need another climber at the tail end of his career.

      • I read somewhere that Ineos are having a clear out of their staff (including having Sir Jim’s son as PR guru), so I wonder if they’ll follow Cav to pastures new? How B&B will get together a decent sprint train for TdF though will be a problem, unless someone comes up with some big bucks, otherwise we’ll back to, “Team Attack!” Also saw there’s a fire sale on with riders threatened with the relegation drop – sounds likely.

        • There is a sprint train available: Richeze, Walscheid, Kluge, Barbier, Van Rensburg, Gibbons, Molano, Laas and Biermans.

          And they already have a few racers they could use.

    • Any team hiring Cav, so he breaks the TDF record, needs to have a really good lead out team. Cav doesn’t need another Bahrain situation.

    • Maybe not. Both Bardet and Arensman are riding Lombardia. They don’t need to win to hoover up a lot of points. But yeah, at this point 18th or 14th doesn’t matter, they won’t be relegated.

    • The ranking spots really are not that relevant when you have select teams raiding the races for points (excluding the bottom two):

      DSM’s current program has 69 races this year.
      Contrast that with Cofidis @ 124, Intermache @ 116, Arkea @ 114, Lotto @ 112

      If IPT really wants to ensure a TDF spot (via a wildcard) in ’24 and ’25 – they should hire a select number of experienced French and Belgium ‘raiders’ since the home nation won over 70% of their .1 and .pro one-day races and the points really add up.

      (We all know that they will tweak the point system somewhat next year – but they surely won’t leave Belgium and French teams without a means to get points)

      • If they adjust the points per race, they should announce it soon, right?

        It already influenced the hiring of some teams, with Lotto hiring a sprinter (Milan Menten) with the task of getting points in the 1.1 races where De Lie and Ewan dont participate.

        If Lotto starts in Giro, Tour and Vuelta, I can imagine he gets a chance in one of them? Or joins to sprint when Ewan only wants to sprint the first week and then has a strategic OTL?

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