With the Tour of Langkawi done, for the sake of completion here’s the last of the weekly updates. We can now process all the rankings and now comes the admin part for the UCI. There are several parts here.
What’s Changed Since Last Week?
- EF Education-Easypost scored 623 points, ahead of UAE Emirates on 335, Movistar on 268 and Lotto-Soudal on 175
- Low scorers were Ineos on -75, B&B Hotels on -15 and then several teams did not race so they’re on zero including promotion pretenders Arkéa-Samsic and relegation-ready Israel-PremierTech
- Alpecin-Deceuninck finish eighth on the three year rankings and Arkéa-Samsic 18th on 15,864 points.
- Lotto-Soudal finish 19th, 995 points down on 18th place and Israel-PremierTech 20th, some 1,995 down and so both face relegation
- On the one year rankings for 2022, Lotto-Soudal finish 14th on 6,394 points and TotalEnergies 17th so these two teams are in line for the obligatory invitation to the grand tours. Israel miss out by 1,261 points
A last look at the relegation battle. As the chart shows things were close. For a three year contest, a lot came down to the final two months. However just as closing the final metres in a chase during a race can be hardest part, Israel and Lotto could see their rivals up the road but couldn’t close the gap.
So far, so certain…
First let’s address the validity of the three year promotion and relegation system. It’s not about whether you like it or not, just whether it’s going to be implemented in full. Everything points this, on the margins of the Wollongong Worlds UCI President David Lappartient said the points scale could be addressed in the future but otherwise the system stays. So the promotion-relegation concept is upheld, and so is the design with 18 teams in the World Tour, there’s nothing in public, nor the rumour mill, to suggest the system could instead fit 20 teams. Israel team owner Sylvan Adams has talked about lawsuits but he was probably letting off steam. It’s unclear on what grounds he’d have a case.
The other moving part is whether all the eligible 18 World Tour teams are awarded licences. Normally yes but there are admin and financial reviews and it’s possible a team has problems convincing the UCI that its funding for 2023 is secure. If one team fails here then this has a knock-on effect, for example if there are 17 World Teams next season then instead of the best two, it’s the best three other teams that get the automatic invite to the grand tours, a lifeline for the Israel team. All this is being decided now and in yesterday’s press release from the UCI we saw Lotto-DSTNY, Israel-PremierTech and Uno-X apply for a World Tour licence. This is presumably in case one of the other teams fails.
This is the final weekly update but the subject’s not finished…
- We’ll take a look back the struggles faced by Lotto-Soudal and Israel-PremierTech and how close other teams came to relegation
- A new three year cycle begins so what’s at stake for the existing teams, especially as several teams have their eye on promotion
- Also it should be helpful to explore the congestion in the ProTeam ranks because if 18 teams enjoy WorldTeam status, the others in the level just below are all competing for the remaining scraps
Animated bar chart race