Battle for 2023-2025 WT licenses

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I think that the points system is great, just needs fine tuning which I'm hoping that UCI will do with time. For once, make it annual or biannual.

Why do I think it's great? Because it promotes racing for every point in every race, although I would with WT and PRO races only. One-day races tend to be valued more than perhaps they should, but the UCI points are a lot more generous for GTs than for instance the PCS points system.

I mean, isn't it great to see passive Mas sprinting for an intermediate sprint in Vuelta's last stage just to get the 3rd spot and 20 UCI points from the points classification? Or seeing everyone sprinting for every position in Wallonie when otherwise many riders might have just stopped peddling as soon as they were out of contention to win?
 
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Why do I think it's great? Because it promotes racing for every point in every race, although I would with WT and PRO races only. One-day races tend to be valued more than perhaps they should, but the UCI points are a lot more generous for GTs than for instance the PCS points system.
Absolutely no way that pro-conti teams would be able to compete for places with WT teams if that were the case: they don't get enough invites to these (unless they are one of the top two from the previous season who get the options) to be competitive.

The basic principle for competition is a level playing field for access to point scoring opportunities, and that simply does not exist. The UCI has tried to make up for this by giving what seems to be disproportionately large points hauls in 1.1 races, but that has not gone down well, and has led to WT teams targeting those races. Unless there is to be some way of rationing chances to ride in all events, which will never go down well with race organisers (Coupe de France events do not want Human Powered Health taking the startline places of B&B Hotels and Total Energies) and so geographical unfair advantage will persist.

So if there were to be an investor wanting to make a team based anywhere outside France and Belgium (and perhaps NL) with ambitions to reach WT level, but to do so without a super-budget from day one (such that they would sign riders who should be leaders at WT teams), is there a realistic route to do so now?

I would contend that such a route is possible for teams based in those 2 or 3 countries, but not elsewhere, and if the goal is promotion to a 'World Tour', that is not a happy state of affairs. Eddy Evenepoel's proposal about only WT points counting for WT teams might indeed make a more balanced relegation system, but a relegation system needs a robust and equitable promotion system to underpin it.
 
Absolutely no way that pro-conti teams would be able to compete for places with WT teams if that were the case: they don't get enough invites to these (unless they are one of the top two from the previous season who get the options) to be competitive.

The basic principle for competition is a level playing field for access to point scoring opportunities, and that simply does not exist. The UCI has tried to make up for this by giving what seems to be disproportionately large points hauls in 1.1 races, but that has not gone down well, and has led to WT teams targeting those races. Unless there is to be some way of rationing chances to ride in all events, which will never go down well with race organisers (Coupe de France events do not want Human Powered Health taking the startline places of B&B Hotels and Total Energies) and so geographical unfair advantage will persist.

So if there were to be an investor wanting to make a team based anywhere outside France and Belgium (and perhaps NL) with ambitions to reach WT level, but to do so without a super-budget from day one (such that they would sign riders who should be leaders at WT teams), is there a realistic route to do so now?

I would contend that such a route is possible for teams based in those 2 or 3 countries, but not elsewhere, and if the goal is promotion to a 'World Tour', that is not a happy state of affairs. Eddy Evenepoel's proposal about only WT points counting for WT teams might indeed make a more balanced relegation system, but a relegation system needs a robust and equitable promotion system to underpin it.
The equitable promotion system is Pro-Conti teams points are collected one pro and 1.1 races which are their level - Like WWT should be the level for WT teams.
 
Difference between Total and Israel is now 600ish points on the annual ranking. Definitely possible for Israel to somewhat save themselves by getting the guaranteed wildcards. Total isn't riding as much anymore and more importantly, they won't be able to get easier points anymore with 10 WT teams in every .1 race.
 
Difference between Total and Israel is now 600ish points on the annual ranking. Definitely possible for Israel to somewhat save themselves by getting the guaranteed wildcards. Total isn't riding as much anymore and more importantly, they won't be able to get easier points anymore with 10 WT teams in every .1 race.
Battle of the two biggest albatross contracts of 2022?
 
I don't think Teuns or Woods are attractive to race organizers, either. At least not for the biggest races. That team just has nothing going for it without auto bids.
Im not sure, I think Woods, Teuns and Fuglsang is still more atteactive than Kristoff, Halland Johannesson and Uno-X. As it seems now, with B&B rumoured to bolster up with Cavendish and some more quality riders, it should be between Uno-X or Israel for the last Wild Card.
Hopefully Sylvan Adams has managed to piss off ASO with his comments about going to war with ASO. Would love it to see Uno-X instead of the retirement home in the Tour next year.

However, 600points seems possible for Israel to catch up on Total for the automatic wild card and then Uno-X has no chance against Total.
 
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The equitable promotion system is Pro-Conti teams points are collected one pro and 1.1 races which are their level - Like WWT should be the level for WT teams.
Unless they are all invited to all n.PRO and n.1 races, or at least an equivalence in invitations is assured, that is not an equitable system. If race organisers issue invitations according to their own criteria and preferences, equal access to point scoring opportunities does not exist.
 
I would like all the UCI bigshots and the team principals to play 10-20 seasons of modded Pro Cycling Manager to see if the current system works or if there is a better system. Else just give funding to some university to determine that for them.
Everybody in science does simulation before they commit resources to a new concept to see if it would work. We have enough methods, expertise and tech to determine a near optimum system which would be reasonably fair.
 
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I suspect BEX will finish 18th or 19th because of their weakness in one day races - Of course it does not help that they've got riders in OZ for the World's which is unavoidable being an Australian team - For example, ideally it would be good to have Sobrero at Luxembourg with the 26km ITT, while Matthews could do well in the tougher Belgium one day races - My understanding is the only rider they've held back from the world's is Mezgec.
 
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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.
I'm sure it's not. German sponsors and TV stations were all happy during the EPO era and the Lance years. They left after (their) riders were getting busted and the old Telekom riders admitted they too used EPO. More sponsors left after Lance was busted and the practices of 00's were unveiled.

Sponsors are clearly not against doping. They are against doping scandals, and thus against any major efforts to bust dopers.

EDIT: and it's the same for the clean mobility and sustainability stuff. It's not about actual pollution and harms to the environment (in which case the value of reductions would be proportional to the harms avoided, not the visibility of the reduction), it's about signalling. And it's easier to signal being clean by hiding what is unclean rather than reducing it.
 
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I was thinking that having separate divisions (WT and PCT) to collect points rather than teams having differing abilities and obligations to attend races all in one division, as mentioned above would probably be a cool idea.

That way maybe you could have the top 2 PCT teams eligible to be promoted and the bottom 2 WT teams eligible to be relegated and do a head to head of 1st vs last and 2nd vs 2nd last of points earned in races where both teams have been racing to see whether they go up or down.
 
I would like all the UCI bigshots and the team principals to play 10-20 seasons of modded Pro Cycling Manager to see if the current system works or if there is a better system. Else just give funding to some university to determine that for them.
Everybody in science does simulation before they commit resources to a new concept to see if it would work. We have enough methods, expertise and tech to determine a near optimum system which would be reasonably fair.
Good luck trying to include in the simulation model the effect of alternative point distribution systems on the teams choice of race calendar and allocation of riders to races.
 
I think the other thing to check on here is the number of race days. As has been mentioned before, the skewing of points overvaluing a lot of smaller one-day races (and to be honest, awarding as many points for 1st in some non-Monument classics as 4th in the Giro or Vuelta is absurd too) compared to stage races disproportionately favours those teams in France and Belgium where they have an extensive calendar of 1.1 races. Lotto may have entered a staggering number of races compared to Movistar (just picking on the two established traditional teams who have been caught up in this relegation battle), but have they actually done that many more race days, given the paucity of one day races on the Spanish calendar (they may be better served reintegrating those one-day races that are attached to a stage race, like the Subida al Naranco adjacent to the Vuelta a Asturias, as a result)? Or have they done a similar amount of racing but chosen races with much more points available.

The other thing is that the system devalues smaller stage races if they are reasonably long. It has been this way for a long time, it was why I had concerns when the Volta a Portugal dropped from 2.HC (as it was then) to 2.1, because if you were a team pursuing points, why would you race an 11-day Volta a Portugal to finish at best near the bottom of the top 10, when you could take your chances in the French calendar doing a short stage race and three or four one dayers in the same timeframe?

I've favoured in the past a much more basic system that states, top 15 teams on UCI ranking for the previous year are World Tour; everybody ranked from 16 to 40 (subject to biopassport compliance) are Wildcard-Eligible for WT races; the problems at the moment are largely driven by the over-importance of WT status given the marginalisation of ProTeam status from the more competitive level it was at 15 years ago (and exploiting of this by teams such as Cervélo and BMC) and the number of WT teams being too prohibitive for race organisers, meaning frequently wildcards are just given to the local teams who provide break fodder. At the moment, the WT level is so overpowered and the PT level so neutered that riders who would have been leading ProConti teams 15 years ago are riding as domestiques for middling WT teams, and organisers have little to no flexibility in the teams invited, leading to accusations of either local bias resulting in weak wildcard teams (like at the Vuelta), or selling out the national character of the race by having too few of the local teams who would focus on the race (like at the Giro).
 
what exactly are you referring to? The points system has been the same since the introduction of the "World Ranking" in 2016, as far as I can see.
Most people seem to believe that n.1 races are over-rewarded compared to higher grade of races, that points can be harvested there more effectively than in the events that World Teams are expected to concentrate on, and that relegation threatened teams have skewed their season in favour of having their scoring riders in these events.

Maybe the balance between n.1 and higher grade races wasn't calculated directly for this competition, but it is UCI's attempt at making them comparable, and there is only a need to make them comparable if there is a determination to try to make comparison between teams who do not have equal access to comparable races (ie, integrate the relegation and promotion competitions rather than have them as separate tables).
 
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Maybe the balance between n.1 and higher grade races wasn't calculated directly for this competition, but it is UCI's attempt at making them comparable, and there is only a need to make them comparable if there is a determination to try to make comparison between teams who do not have equal access to comparable races (ie, integrate the relegation and promotion competitions rather than have them as separate tables).
okay, yeah, I thought you were referring to some kind of recent development.

It's not like this whole relegation thing is new, just the way it's handled has changed a bit - and I surely prefer this current system over teams buying riders with points like 10 years ago. And even back then there was talk about Cavendish's stage wins being worth basically nothing for HTC already.
 

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