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2025 Auto-Wildcard Race + 2026-2028 WT Race

You know the drill, the Pro Teams fight it out over the course of the year to get those precious invites in the following season. The top-two get invited to every single WT event and the third placed team gets the consolation of every one-day WT race and don't forget it's the top-20 scoring riders in each team which count.

You can follow the rankings on the UCI website (not always so accurate and fines etc can take a long time to filter though) or PCS/First or there a few guys on Twitter that keep on top of it. Raul Banqueri is one and this is his graph for the result for this season.

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The 2024 version in the end didn't prove so exciting with both Lotto and then IPT disappearing off into the distance to grab the two auto-wildcards to all WT events without too much competition.

Total and Uno-X had a bit of a battle over the third spot, but the Norwegians were pretty comfortable in the end.

Will 2025 be any different? Here are the runners and riders.

Lotto-Dstny - They had such a lead over the third placed team (~7500 points) that even if De Lie didn't race all year then they should still be okay. Ewan exited stage left and none of the incoming transfers are too exciting imo, but they have enough depth and young guys getting better for that not to matter so much.

Israel PremierTech - A much better 2023 for the team even with a few passengers (Nizzolo and Teuns spring to mind). The transfer focus has swung back to fast men. Vernon I'm excited about (he seems very hungry for success - almost too hungry/aggressive sometimes) whereas Ackers didn't impress me in the second half of the season.

Uno-X - Last year brought the big incoming transfer of Kristoff. This year it's the duo of Cort and Leknessund. THJ appears to be over his injury issues and things are looking rosy in the Norwegian garden. There's maybe just not the same depth (in the riders ranked 11-20) as the two teams above, but we'll see.

Those three are my picks to fight it out for the top-two spots. There are a few other teams that could impress and if one of that trio slip up could find themselves in third place.

Total - A lot of the old, dead(ish) wood has been removed. They may have been big names, but they weren't getting the results. The usual influx from Vendee U and a couple of interesting riders from French CT teams have come into replace them. On paper the team shouldn't be challenging, but if they can refocus on their bread and butter calendar of French and Belgian races and do well there then who knows.

Q36.5 - They snuck into fifth place last year (Moschetti picked up a fair few points) somehow. Strengthened their classics/sprint squad with a few canny signings. Maybe Ryder can get Nizzolo's mojo back.

Tudor - Finished behind Bardiani actually in 2023, but got their transfer business done early with the signings of Trentin/Storer/Dainese etc and maybe Brenner(?). I don't think they'll be behind the Green Machine in 2024.
 
We can also follow the battle for Pro Teams to get into the top-40 ranking this coming year to make sure that they're eligible for an invite to the GTs in 2025. Everybody apart from Novo Nordisk managed to get in the top-50 this year, but could we have a bigger casualty this coming season?
 
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I expect the same top-3 in the same order as this year with Tudor climbing all the way to fourth, but Uno-X bumping Israel out of second or Tudor sneaking into third would not surprise me.

The other thing to watch is the battle for the WT licenses for 2026-28. DSM and AG2R currently occupy the last two slots at 9100ish points each, almost 1000 down on the next group of teams starting with Israel. Lotto are up in 10th, so should easily win back their license this time round. Arkéa are the first team out, but already find themselves almost 2000 points down. However they had some bad luck with injuries this year and seem to have reinforced themselves well (as they should, given that their three biggest earners respectively were forced to leave, retired and moved to DSM in the past 12 months), so you'd expect them to at least get closer. Moreover, DSM and AG2R don't have the best lineups to really grind out the points if/when they come under pressure, would not be a surprise to see either or both in the market for some Hofstetter types come August due to being in trouble. Astana had a better second half of the season after a meme-tier start and are right behind Arkéa, but it's harder to see them closing the gap and they could well find themselves out of contention already by the end of the year. Uno-X are not far off Astana but this is probably one cycle too early for them. All other options seem impossible.
 
Astana had a better second half of the season after a meme-tier start and are right behind Arkéa

Because they took like 1700 points in championships, mainly the Kazack NC, Asian Champs and Games (they won't be able to get those free >500 points next year).
Even tho they will be a bit stronger next season, absolutely no chance they make it in the top 18 imo.

Lotto are up in 10th

Nitpicking here, they are in 9th even. In front of Bora who will obviously have a way better season next year with Roglic.

Arkéa are the first team out, but already find themselves almost 2000 points down. However they had some bad luck with injuries this year and seem to have reinforced themselves well (as they should, given that their three biggest earners respectively were forced to leave, retired and moved to DSM in the past 12 months), so you'd expect them to at least get closer.

Think in general Arkea could definitely still save themselves, as they are gonna focus again on points like in before this season. And they have the squad for it next year with Demare, Albanese & Venturini coming in. It's gonna look like a meme team again probably with them sometimes (if Demare isn't there) sprinting with 5 riders, but given DSM still hasn't learned to ride for points I actually expect them to catch them. Also because DSM's team simply isn't made to score points everywhere. Jakobsen and Barguil came, but they will be focussing on the bigger races (mostly stage races probably) and with Dainese, Welsford, Mayrhoffer and Leknessund a lot of points potential isn't there anymore.

AG2R hard to say, I think they have more potential. And they will probably focus on the Coupe de France races a bit more (they didn't seem to care about them this season) if they need it.
 
Because they took like 1700 points in championships, mainly the Kazack NC, Asian Champs and Games (they won't be able to get those free >500 points next year).
Even tho they will be a bit stronger next season, absolutely no chance they make it in the top 18 imo.
They got 9 of their 13 non-NC/CC wins on July 30th or later, including 2 of their 3 GCs and their only two one-day races, plus second at the .Pro Arctic Race. Even setting aside the free points, the latter stages of the season were clearly better than the earlier ones for them. Yes, they're still unlikely to make it, but two full seasons of their pace post-Tour would put them firmly in contention so I want to see at least part of next season before writing them off.
Also because DSM's team simply isn't made to score points everywhere. Jakobsen and Barguil came, but they will be focussing on the bigger races (mostly stage races probably) and with Dainese, Welsford, Mayrhoffer and Leknessund a lot of points potential isn't there anymore.
Would be hilarious if DSM doing everything in their power to both minimise the scoring by and scare off Dainese ends up deciding the relegation battle. And it isn't even a particularly unlikely scenario.
 
They got 9 of their 13 non-NC/CC wins on July 30th or later, including 2 of their 3 GCs and their only two one-day races, plus second at the .Pro Arctic Race. Even setting aside the free points, the latter stages of the season were clearly better than the earlier ones for them. Yes, they're still unlikely to make it, but two full seasons of their pace post-Tour would put them firmly in contention so I want to see at least part of next season before writing them off.

Would be hilarious if DSM doing everything in their power to both minimise the scoring by and scare off Dainese ends up deciding the relegation battle. And it isn't even a particularly unlikely scenario.
They still have guys like Poole, Onley, Vermaerke, Dinham, Lund, Van Uden... who could score a bunch of points in the future if they develop more. Outside of Bardet, Barguil and Jakobsen.

Frank Van Den Broek and Pavel Bittner are two riders to keep an eye on as well.

Up in the air what happens with Milesi, if he stays or not, but he is another one with potential.

They always seem to find a way to escape in the end and a couple of riders has a breakthrough.
 
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Yeah, they could be in trouble but as said... I wouldnt be surprised if they manage a great season again either if a few riders deliver and they escape again.
Always a rider or two comes from the woodworks there to surprise, but just poor roster management leaves them with a deserved relegation fight. Didn’t seem prepared for the last one due to 2020, so we’ll see how they adjust soon.
 
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I think it's the team with fewest race days.

Jumbo are right down towards the bottom of the table (17th WT team) for race days, but it's actually Bahrain who are bottom with 21 fewer days.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/sta...1&filter=Filter&p=teams&s=most-days-of-racing

UAE are very much towards the other end of the table with the usual suspects of Cofidis/Intermarche/Arkea. Looking back at previous years, IPT were nearly always the top "scoring" team, but even allowing for the fact that they only did two GTs this year and aren't WT anymore, they are definitely more mid-table in 2023. I noticed they were almost eschewing stage races in the second half of the season in favour of more one-day races.

Here's another set of stats which really shows the difference in race calendars between teams. It's the number of individual events started by the teams.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/sta...eamlevel=1&filter=Filter&p=teams&s=most-races

A few teams jump significantly up in position: Jayco (15th race days ---> 7th events) and Groupama (16th ---> 10th) while others drop away: Astana (6th ---> 13th). However it's the massive difference in numbers which are a bit of an eye opener. Arkea/Cofidis/Intermarche are all 115-120 events while Bahrain are down on 49!! If you didn't know better, you'd think Bahrain were sat at home twiddling their thumbs half the year.

If your name is Mohoric you probably don't mind so much, but if you're a lesser mortal at Bahrain and want a few chances at smaller one day races then your luck is probably out.
 
Raul had said that he no longer had time to do his ranking charts for these two competitions, but an update has appeared today. Huzzah!

View: https://twitter.com/raulbanqueri/status/1757298229253750810


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Lotto haven't had the greatest start, but still find themselves in second place. Sepulveda at the 2023 Pan-Am games plays a part in that and the Spanish duo of Burgos and Caja also picked up some useful points there too.

No wins yet for Tudor, but they're aggregating a lot of points from various different riders and have some early breathing space ahead of the fourth placed team.

The less said about Total the better. Early days though.
 
Arkea was already having a better season than 2023, using their original strategy of scoring points in smaller races, but with Mozzato's 2nd place today they are getting closer and closer to the 18th place on the 2023-2025 UCI ranking. DSM should be getting scared (gap from 2000 to 700 points in 3 months time), Cofidis is also on a free fall. They are by far - together with Astana ofcourse (they are already dead and burried) - the worst performing WT team this year. Their gap to Arkea went from 3300 points in januari to 1600 points now. They have scored less points in the WT this season than Mozzato on their own today alone. They have to step up (possibly with Izagirre's usual Itzulia monster performance) soon or they'll be in throuble real fast.
 

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