A look at the promotion and relegation standings for the World Tour. It’s early for the three year system but still matters as we see teams recruiting to remedy things and there’s the pressing issue of automatic invitations for the major races next year.
The chart shows the teams ranked by UCI points scored so far this season, based on this morning’s weekly update from the UCI. The top-18 teams above the red line are set for World Tour licences but this is a three year contest over 2023, 2024 and 2025 and we’re not done with the first year yet. One big lesson from the last promotion/relegation cycle is that a surprise bonanza in the first year is very comforting for teams who might otherwise be stressing.
We can see it’s UAE and Jumbo-Visma vs. the rest and UAE are even pulling clear of their Dutch rivals.
Ineos are third and note their top points scorer is Filippo Ganna on 2146 points, followed by Tom Pidcock, the days of the team scoring big from the overall in the grand tours, well they’re not today even if Geraint Thomas helped in the Giro. Rivals UAE and Jumbo both have three riders each with significantly over 2,000 points each this season. Lidl-Trek ride high thanks to Mads Pedersen, with Mathias Skjelmose also in the 2,000 points club. Groupama-FDJ are perhaps surprising at 10th and it’s a parting gift from Thibaut Pinot, another 2,000 point rider.
Lotto-Dstny and Israel-PremierTech got relegated but are on course to rejoin the World Tour. Arnaud de Lie is still stampeding to victories and points in non-World Tour races and while he and the team will want to aim higher his success is very good for them. Israel are shopping and look to be rejuvenating the team with new hires which bodes well for more points however they’re in a race with other teams, DSM Firmenich have a budget boost and Fabio Jakobsen should score plenty next year while Ag2r Citroën have spent Citroën’s cash on older hires but they and the car maker are on the way out and the mooted move of Sam Bennett could be crucial as if the Irishman can feel settled he’ll give them sprint wins.
It’s all a contest with moving parts and Uno-X one to watch as they’re hiring Magnus Cort and Andreas Leknessund and building a team that could pick up pace for promotion too.
With all the caveats about a long way to go we can Arkéa-Samsic and Astana below the red relegation line. Astana look in a more worrying position but they’ve been active in the transfer market as they need some results and points. The French team has been quieter and if they’ve hired Arnaud Démare, out goes Warren Barguil and there’s nobody yet to fill Nairo Quintana’s shoes. In other words if 2023 isn’t a roaring success for either team, Astana look to be taking remedial action while so far Arkéa aren’t.
The more immediate race is for automatic invitations to the top races. The best two teams ProTeams can count on automatic invitations to the grand tours and the rest of the World Tour calendar, again invitations so they can opt out of the Giro or Vuelta if these prove too resource-intensive. There’s an extra automatic invite to the one day races like all the Monuments and more and here Uno-X are well ahead, they might as well start recon rides for the Poggio.
Meanwhile despite the oil major sponsor Total Energies are drifting into trouble. Even if Peter Sagan proved a flop in terms of results his status could help them get invitations to races but he’s stopping of course and the team don’t have a star rider to please organisers, they may get the nod for the final spot at the Tour but risk being caught in a vicious cycle where the risk of not being invited deters sponsors and signings, which heights the risk of not being invited.