Battle for 2023-2025 WT licenses

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Why is Dylan Teuns not counted in the top ten riders or have PCS made a mistake?
He only scored 90 something points for ISR so far. The other 800 points he did this year were for Bahrain. I don't know what they were trying to do with signing him this late, perhaps just trying to have enough points done this year to secure wildcards to all WT races next year.
 
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Cycling is and always has been about winning races and getting publicity for the people that sponsor the teams. The relegation system does not match with those 2 things. The point system rewards bad teamwork, going for multiple top 10s instead of quality wins, just riding as much races as you can and valuing minor races over big races. Before you know it they'll add UCI points to intermediate sprints that noone actually cares about. Teams sign people based on results and based on PR value. It always has been like that because they only way teams get money is because of sponsors. As long as the UCI and the organizations don't make it possible for teams to get a piece of the big money cake it will be like that and you can't blame teams for signing over the top stars. Take De Gendt for example, he would be pushed out of cycling already if teams didn't pay for PR value over results sometimes. Do we really want that? Take Pinot, he's probably earning the same as riders who gets 1500 UCI points every year while he gets 500. You think FDJ cares? No, because he still gets them a massive amount of publicity. Hell, Nibali would've been out the sport for a while now if teams wouldn't care about PR cause no way someone would pay what he wants for his results.

Cycling isn't a normal sport, it isn't like the Premier League where teams get massive amount of money via TV rights every year, even teams in the 2nd devision. Cycling teams don't ride a fixed amount of races every year and they don't all ride against the same opponents all year long. Football teams don't lose (most of) their sponsors while relegating, and more importantly their players can't just all leave when relegated. That last thing is probably the worst thing about the whole relegation/promotion thing. You literally kill of a team if you make it possible for everyone of their riders to leave when relegated. Why would they even care about relegating in the first place if they can just leave? I would have less of a problem with the system if that clause wasn't a thing.
 
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Cycling is and always has been about winning races and getting publicity for the people that sponsor the teams. The relegation system does not match with those 2 things. The point system rewards bad teamwork, going for multiple top 10s instead of quality wins and just riding as much races as you can. Before you know it they'll add UCI points to intermediate sprints that noone actually cares about. Teams sign people based on results and based on PR value. It always has been like that because they only way teams get money is because of sponsors. As long as the UCI and the organizations don't make it possible for teams to get a piece of the big money cake it will be like that and you can't blame teams for signing over the top stars. Take De Gendt for example, he would be pushed out of cycling already if teams didn't pay for PR value over results sometimes. Do we really want that? Take Pinot, he's probably earning the same as riders who gets 1500 UCI points every year while he get 500. You think FDJ cares? No, because he still gets them a massive amount of publicity. Hell, Nibali would've been out the sport for a while now if teams wouldn't care about PR cause no way someone would pay what he wants for his results.
De Gendt would be pushed out of cycling if it was all about results? He won a Giro stage this year and is a valuable teammate most of the time. Yes, he didn‘t do much this year but it isn‘t like he‘s Froome who rides at the back all day and gets paid big money.
 
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I had the idea a while back of a "Great American Road Race" which would be bid on less by stage towns and more by regions, because a GT of North America is just not possible to do logistically without losing the character of a Grand Tour. The whole thing is that the Grand Tour format has kind of been developed around the geography of the countries that hold them. That's why I think that if the entire cycling calendar was removed tomorrow and a new one built from scratch, the three countries that host Grand Tours would be prime candidates to host them again. A Grand Tour that only tours a bit of a country (e.g. Tour of California) doesn't feel like a Grand Tour because the scope doesn't feel big enough (even if the geographic area is big enough), but then if you have a country so big that you can't reasonably cover a significant amount of it in three weeks of racing, it doesn't feel like a Grand Tour either because you haven't fully 'toured' that country. But if you take out the "Tour of the USA" type name and make it a sponsor concern, like the Coors Classic or the Tour Dupont (and to show this is not an anti-US thing, also events like the Clásico RCN, Clásico Banfoandes and in older times the Milk Race), it doesn't feel like a Grand Tour because of being more artificial, like, it can only exist so long as that sponsor is in on it. As a result, I think there's only a relatively small number of places that could viably host a 'new' GT that would feel right, with the geographical diversity and the ability to cover a large % of its territory, plus the infrastructure and so on to host the race, facilities to include mountaintop finishes and similar, and so on.

My idea was therefore that you could have a travelling carnival of a race that rotated around different parts of the US so it would always be quintessentially American but would vary in character from year to year. One year it could be in the East and North East, using the Appalachian mountains and the courses of the Philadelphia Criterium and the Richmond World Championships, one year it could be in the south and use Brasstown Bald and the mountains of the Carolinas and Tennessee, one year it could head down from the MidWest and finish in one of these mountain ranges (the problem is that very dull terrain in the centre of the US, remembering dour races like the Tour of Missouri), one year it could use the Pacific Northwest with Washington State, Oregon, Idaho and around there, one year it could start in Texas and work west through New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada to California, one year it could be in the central mountains like Utah, Colorado and Wyoming... but the problem would then be that it would be hard to establish the lore if you couldn't go back to particular places year upon year, especially given how cycling is nothing like as ingrained in the consciousness of the US as in France, Spain or Italy other than in particular cities and areas. And of course, certain areas that used to be iconic would not be as good designs when adapted to modern cycling even if I might be a sucker for tradition and feel the biggest problem with the USAPCC was the lack of the Morgul-Bismarck Loop and the Tour of the Moon.

Doing a regional type tour would enable them to include a few crits and the likes. I've always felt one of the biggest problems of all American stage races since the Armstrong era started was this determination to produce a facsimile of the Tour de France on American roads, rather than produce something that was characteristically an American race the way that the Coors Classic had been (whether its intentions may have been the same or not). It's why Utah always went down better with European audiences than the likes of California and USAPCC too - rather than try to force down your throat its own self-identity and promising things it could never deliver, the Tour of Utah just got on with putting forward the best bike race it could on the roads of Utah, and used the terrain - and scenery - that its home state had to offer - and it was all the better for that.

However, of course, it will never happen. They'd have to get special dispensation to run a race that long within UCI rules and if it was set up specifically as a rival to the UCI's WorldTour it would be opposed at every turn. If it went up against the Tour it would be a forgotten, irrelevant late-at-night sideshow for most of the biggest cycling fanbases, and if it didn't get UCI sanctioning then top riders would either not be able to enter or would have to get dispensation like Lance, Jason McCartney and Levi did to ride as Mellow Johnny's Cycle Shop Team - so not as their trade team, who would therefore have little interest in loaning out riders to enter races they couldn't get UCI points in if promotion/relegation stayed in force - in the Tour of the Gila in 2010.

As long as the Northeast had a MTF on Mt. Washington

 
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De Gendt would be pushed out of cycling if it was all about results? He won a Giro stage this year and is a valuable teammate most of the time. Yes, he didn‘t do much this year but it isn‘t like he‘s Froome who rides at the back all day and gets paid big money.
He has 100 UCI points, 100! That's my whole point. There is not a chance he would have gotten a 2 year extension with LTS (well atleast not at what he's probably earning) if teams wouldn't care about PR value and only cared about a fundamentally wrong UCI ranking.
 
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Call me European, but a relegation battle, in my eyes is never a bad thing. Closed leagues are.

What is the basic problem in cycling's financing? Its reputation. Go straight over to the clinic. Also, as a guy recently told me, cycling, for him, is full of people really using their ellbows and willing to do everything for a win and he's not into that. I know it's a personal milieu thing, but I also think that some people really are not into this old school hardmanship anymore.

The points system is indeed flawed and it brings out the worst: passive riding.

Another factor bringing problems is that it is a world tour, and we all want a world tour, but 90% of pro cycling is set in Europe. So how can interest and money on other continents be brought in? - North America has money, but no interest. Africa has interest, but no money, at least not in the countries interested. Australia has some interest and money and it shows. It's really far away from Europe, though and the flight times are always immense, whether you have a race there or riders from Australia half-living in Europe... Asia doesn't have too much interest and not much of a connection.

Vaughters might be an ***, but he's not entirely wrong with the direction he wants to go in, gravel, coolness, style, relaxed outdoor environment, adventure, publicity stunts, all those things...
Question is, how can the audience that he has in mind or that is close to that, be brought in the sport without ruining the old essence of the sport?

For me, cycling would be more attractive if it embraced the clean mobility stuff, if it did even more to tackle doping and was really open about these things, reputation things that is, feel good stuff.
And I'm sure its the same for sponsors.

Now over to the more specific relegation battle:
Do I think that any of the teams now in trouble or danger have done everything right and were just screwed by the system? No.
Israel has chosen the wrong riders, gambling with a lot of money on Froome, when everyone could see Froome was, sorry, over the hill. I guess they had hoped for this PR coup to attract other exciting riders, but so far they didn't show they are interested in young interesting riders or exciting outside bets, only other old riders - sorry, but usually a bad strategy in any sports.

Lotto went with Caleb Ewan first, but if you hope for one sprinter to collect all points it's always risky - that rider gets sick, crashes, and all you are left with in the big race you targeted are helpers. They do have some good, young riders, de Lie more than anyone, but I think the scheduling - who does which race - could have done a lot better.

Now, Movistar war saved by Mas' Vuelta, but I think I've expressed my nonsatisfaction with the team's approach often enough.

EF simply has a very small budget. Overall, they are doing things rather well, but they have chosen to target big races only and I'm not sure if they couldn't do any better in that department. But most likely at least this time they won't be the ones relegated but teams with bigger budgets than them, which tells me the budget question is not the biggest reason for the relegation.

In my eyes there are too many WT teams already. 16 would be enough for me. Most teams don't bring much to the table in bigger races but to make up the numbers, fill the road, lead to less attackers being successful or are just invisible in races. I don't need that.

The points system favours the 30th place or something too much, as no viewer cares about that. It also favours wins in big one day sprint races in comparison to what those races are worth for viewers.
Races like the Canadian ones on the other hands with some elevation gain on a safe city course are great and should be worth the points simply to attract the audience which is then more likely to sta with the sport than some bored "what shall we do today? well, isn't there this cyclin race in the city today, let's go there" and then they see Alexander Kristoff whooshing by in Hamburg for five times and have forgotten the race within 3 minutes on their way home.

It would also be nice to have more high profile races in other parts of the world, but they need to be scheduled and organized as sustainable as possible. It cannot, in my eyes, be justified to fly around the world like that has no price. On the other hand it's great for the viewers to have races which use the specific landscapes and topography of certain areas, to have races with a specific flair, and that's definitely a direction that needs to be thought about more.
(In short: Use the points system also to attract riders to certain races which are interesting for the (tv) viewer, but think of the image of the sport overall at the same time.
While I think the points are often distributed very weirdly, that is not the reason Israel especially but also Lotto is now in trouble.)
 
Lotto has 18 WWT wins in the cycle - Bike Exchange has 17, EF has 24, yet Arkea has two and Cofidis has 3 - It's obvious who is gaming the system - The current point system rewards mediocrity over quality.
I don't want to completely oppose this, but in my eyes it's much more a sign how for instance Lotto is going for sprint wins. I wouldn't call a sprint win in the Saudi Tour or Turkey really a quality win. Fights like Geschkes for the polka dots or G Martin's racing, Lafay fighting in break aways will be much more remembered and add more to cycling in my eyes even if it's not a win. (And I say that despite liking Ewan a lot.)
 
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Arkea and Cofidis are so much more active in races with breaks and aggressive racing than Bike Exchange in particular and Israel. Ranking of teams after how much they contribute to make races more fun to watch:

EF Education
Cofidis
Arkea/Movistar/Lotto (hard to differentiate but all three are ok)
Israel
Bike Exhange
 
Everybody knew the system three years back. Nobody did anything as everybody thought they had no issues. It was going to be somebody else's problem. ISN compounded their issues by banking on older climbers who cannot win or place strongly in one days where there are a significant majority of points. In stage races, it requires a considerable amount of consistency to place high on the GC. There will be unknowns w.r.t crashes, sickness especially covid. They put all their money in the Froome bucket and it simply vanished. Had they diversified in sprinters, punchers etc, they would not be in this position.
On the other hand, the system of relegation is probably not good if the intention is to spread cycling as a sport in different continents as the relegated teams will tend to be of nations/areas/continents who are relatively weaker
 
Tbh I don't see how UCI points in intermediate sprints would be a bad thing. Combativity is an important part of the sport and at least would be an incentive to have a fight for the breakaway in GT stages instead of having teams with 3rd tier sprinters focusing their efforts in finishing top-10 in the stage.

The problem would be to have the top10 riders of each team in the breakaway.

Overall I think the base of this system is good. Needs some fine tuning in certain parts, increase the importance of GT stages, diminish the importance of .1 races (be it by diminishing the number of points available or do like in cross and have only the x best results in that category count) but it's better than giving perpetuity through seniority.
 
I don't want to completely oppose this, but in my eyes it's much more a sign how for instance Lotto is going for sprint wins. I wouldn't call a sprint win in the Saudi Tour or Turkey really a quality win. Fights like Geschkes for the polka dots or G Martin's racing, Lafay fighting in break aways will be much more remembered and add more to cycling in my eyes even if it's not a win. (And I say that despite liking Ewan a lot.)
Relegation/promotion should be based on quality of wins - All WT teams must ride WT races so everyone is on a level playing field. Even the maligned ISN had nine WT wins in the cycle. Your example of Turkey and Saudi are not WT races so does not enter into my way of thinking.

Anyway the UCI has shot themselves in the foot with their points system - They have compromised their marquee race the World's with the men's elite RR lacking depth because teams have refused to release riders - Their is a saying that you reap what you sow.
 
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I think the main problem is that the WT-teams Are competing directly against PCT-teams. It should be separate.

Example:
The ranking of the WT teams should be based entirely on points scored in WT races. Then you have a ranking of the WT teams based only on WT races. The worst or the two worst of the WT teams gets relegated.

Then you have a ranking of the PCT-teams. Here every race counts. The best or the two best of the PCT-teams gets promoted.

It would solve the whole “prioritize results in small races over the big races”-problem.
 
I think the main problem is that the WT-teams Are competing directly against PCT-teams. It should be separate.

Example:
The ranking of the WT teams should be based entirely on points scored in WT races. Then you have a ranking of the WT teams based only on WT races. The worst or the two worst of the WT teams gets relegated.

Then you have a ranking of the PCT-teams. Here every race counts. The best or the two best of the PCT-teams gets promoted.

It would solve the whole “prioritize results in small races over the big races”-problem.
Or world tour teams get half points in smaller races.
 
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I think the main problem is that the WT-teams Are competing directly against PCT-teams. It should be separate.

Example:
The ranking of the WT teams should be based entirely on points scored in WT races. Then you have a ranking of the WT teams based only on WT races. The worst or the two worst of the WT teams gets relegated.

Then you have a ranking of the PCT-teams. Here every race counts. The best or the two best of the PCT-teams gets promoted.

It would solve the whole “prioritize results in small races over the big races”-problem.
I like it, perhaps with the exception of a minor modification that only a select set of results counts for PCT teams to avoid giving advantage to teams with larger squads/budget/more favorable geographic location capable of riding more races.
 
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You would just make it easier for the 2 best PCT teams. They can already choose their races and now they're also able to get more points for doing the same thing lol?
Seperate rankings and forced relegation will just make PCT teams that are worse than the worst WT teams go up at some point.
They can get a deduction too if it’s a small race with barely any WT or PCT teams. They can already ride at less races than WT. Teams like Movistar and Lotto are in trouble for their leaders getting injured while EF and Israel don’t belong as of now.
 
You would just make it easier for the 2 best PCT teams. They can already choose their races and now they're also able to get more points for doing the same thing lol?
Seperate rankings and forced relegation will just make PCT teams that are worse than the worst WT teams go up at some point.
deciding WT spots on the basis of how many riders a team can pack into a .1 race top-10 is also silly as I doubt that this is very translatable to WT level success
 
I think the main problem is that the WT-teams Are competing directly against PCT-teams. It should be separate.

Example:
The ranking of the WT teams should be based entirely on points scored in WT races. Then you have a ranking of the WT teams based only on WT races. The worst or the two worst of the WT teams gets relegated.

Then you have a ranking of the PCT-teams. Here every race counts. The best or the two best of the PCT-teams gets promoted.

It would solve the whole “prioritize results in small races over the big races”-problem.
You are 100% correct - Pro Conti teams have their points decided on .pro and 1.1 races.
 
As far as cycling's reputation is concerned @BR2, it's all about image management. Make sure too many big fishes don't get popped for doping offences, in which case the sponsors leave, but catch enough little fishes so the sponsors feel the public thinks (whether it actually does or not is irrevant) the sport is being "cleaned up." Cycling doesn't have the big time money, and hence power, of sports like World Cup Football and US Football, to prevent anti-doping from having any real power over its business interests. So it must resort to less straightforward means of manipulation.

At any rate, I'm finding this relegation on points system discussion stimulating and am learning some things. Perhaps it's not the points system itself that's bad, but its current format. On the other hand, what format would seem fairer and provide a sense of meritocracy that reflects true merit racing for wins, rather than placements? I certainly don't have the answer. Perhaps, in the absence of such a solution in the forseeable future, it would be best for title sponsors to be able to buy a World Tour liscence, which can be sold to a future replacement title sponsor. This way sponsorship knows if it puts up adequite funding it's gauranteed participation in the top tier events. If the quantity of liscences up for sale is adequite, say 20-22, then the number of sponsors wanting in should be satisfied. Sponsors still hoping to get in would either having the option of becoming secondary or tertiary team patron, for a team already in possession of one, or, if wanting primary sponsorship, waiting for a liscence to go up for sale on the market again.

This would both eliminate sponsorship hesitation in a world of potential relegation, while granting riders greater job security. Yet these World Tour teams would still contract the best talents, established and up and coming, with those poorly performing riders not being offered a new contract allowing others a crack at the premier level. So meritocracy is still gauranteed.

As far as Vaughters wanting to give cycling a fresh look is concerned, I'm fine with cool new
events, but the old European ones are still by far the coolest.
 
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