Battle for 2023-2025 WT licenses

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Reactions: Sandisfan
Wellens definitely could've been co leader in certain countries in the last 2 years (not this year cause he hasn't been fit).
Wellens finished 9 minutes down at the 2020 Worlds, no way he gets a good result even if he rides for himself there given that Belgium weren't exactly making the race hard. Generally don't see how a rider who hasn't made the top-20 of a monument in these three years should be expected to top-10 or even -15 a WC.

And like I said it isn't just about worlds. But that's besides the point. It's not a team race, that's the point.
A rider gets invited to the Worlds (or Euros) on the basis of how he's performed for his team. Therefore the team should be rewarded for creating the environment for those performances. You wouldn't want the world champion dependent on wildcards because his team, who played their part in giving him the opportunity to take that title, didn't get any points for his performance and were relegated, would you?

And I've always said that the other thing is also a problem with the system, but you still race those races as a team and every team can participate in them (which you see now with Movistar for example getting a ton of points in them).
Obviously there are issues with the system, and obviously non-Belgian teams can score in Belgian races too, but surely you can see that a team of 7 Belgians will generally outperform a team of 7 Spaniards, or Italians, or Australians in a Belgian race, even if the overall quality is the same? Most Belgian races share a lot of the same characteristics and no rider has as much experience there as a Belgian, because they've literally grown up with them. So even with the same physical characteristics, you have the advantage as a Belgian. Not an insurmountable advantage, but an advantage nonetheless. And this applies more strongly to Belgium than to other countries, because Flanders simply produces less diverse races than say, France, on account of its much smaller size and thereby geographic diversity. Ergo, Lotto's home advantage is because of the nationality of its riders as much as the nationality of the team. That more than counterbalances any disadvantage related to the nationality of those riders at the championships.
 
'How do you justify no Tour de France to shareholders?' – Factor Bikes CEO speaks out on WorldTour relegation

Speaking exclusively to Cyclingnews, Gitelis described the current system as 'very half-baked', agreeing with EF Education-EasyPost manager Jonathan Vaughters' recent claim that it could spell the death of a team.
Factor Bikes CEO could always outbid other teams supplier to have the right to be on the Tour de France.

TDF has a limited number of spots available and there are three ways to gain a place there: a) be one of the 18 stronger teams during a 3-year period; b) not counting the 18 best teams in the world, be one of the 2 stronger teams in the previous year; c) have riders and sponsors who are attractive enough to be invited by the organizer.

If a team fails to comply to any of this 3 standards the ones to blame are the team, either by don't having the necessary resources that others have (funds, knowledge, riders) or by taking wrong strategic moves and failing to take notice in time of the requirements (the case that mostly applies to Israel Retirement Home).

Anything else reeks of protectionism.
 
It's not a team ranking, it's a ranking that reflects the individual values in each team. Of course the World Championships need to count. If a team has a rider strong enough to be a relevant rider in a World Championship, it needs to be rewarded for that. After all, the value the team pays monthly to that rider in his wage also reflects the achievements he makes riding for his country.
That's what you make from it tho. It was like that in the past, but back then the points of riders you have for the next season counted. If you want to decide WT licenses based on individual value in each team you should do that again. And let's be honest noone wants that cause everyone would try to buy their way out of it again. To me it's rewarding the 18 best teams of the past 3 years with a WT license. ultimately It's still a teamsport after all.

Let's travel back to 2010 and assume we have a system like this in place then. Shouldn't Hushovd points as World Champion be considered to determine Cervélo's ambitions to be a World Tour team back then if they would be fighting for a place in the top tier? Should we discard about one third of the points achieved by the then World Champion, who was part of a 2nd tier team, during the whole season?
I agree on this part, don't get me wrong, I think it should count in some way but that's also why I don't like a relegation system at all in cycling. UCI points simply aren't the way to decide if a TEAM is worthy of WT imo. The thing is that not only winner get points, not only the top 3 or top 10. In a WC the top 60 get points. Just getting selected and finishing gives you points. And in some countries is just way harder to get selected than others. Hell, not even the best 8 riders of a country get selected, theirs politics in every country and leaders often choose their teammates or friends. Teuns not being selected is a good example of this, utter BS. He would be a leader in a lot of countries, but doesn't get the chance now because he's Belgian. Should he (and his team) be punished for that? I would have less of a problem with it if only the top 10 got points for example, because I do agree that riders who would be able to get a top 10 at worlds normally (not Teuns obviously) would get selected.

Wellens finished 9 minutes down at the 2020 Worlds, no way he gets a good result even if he rides for himself there given that Belgium weren't exactly making the race hard. Generally don't see how a rider who hasn't made the top-20 of a monument in these three years should be expected to top-10 or even -15 a WC.
I think it's lame to use a results when he was a dom against him. And yes I'm convinced Wellens could've top 10'd last years WC if he was a leader somewhere knowing his form back then. That parcours was perfect for him. The thing is like I said above, it isn't just about top 10. You get points for a top 20, top 30. Having a lot of riders selected is just a major advantage, and yes being from a certain country has a lot to do with not being selected.

Most Belgian races share a lot of the same characteristics and no rider has as much experience there as a Belgian, because they've literally grown up with them.
Another thing I don't agree on. 85% of these Belgian races end in some sort of bunch sprint. Being able to win those has nothing to do with being Belgian. Movistar is proving it right now with Kanter. They're literally outscoring Belgian teams right now in those races (ok, with a bit of luck but still). Being able to win those has everything to do with having invested in a sprint team, not with being Belgian. Every single team can do that. They just choose not to.

Anyways let's agree to disagree. I need to get back to work.
Ultimately I have way more of a problem with points for this mixed relay thing than points for the actual road race. And in the end I don't think it mattered that much either. Lotto going down has nothing do with that.
 
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That's what you make from it tho. It was like that in the past, but back then the points of riders you have for the next season counted. If you want to decide WT licenses based on individual value in each team you should do that again. And let's be honest noone wants that cause everyone would try to buy their way out of it again. To me it's rewarding the 18 best teams of the past 3 years with a WT license. ultimately It's still a teamsport after all.
That's why I think this system is the way to go but needs some fine tuning in the scheme and in the points. As I said before, I think a fraction of the points obtained by the riders should stay with them to any new team they go and another fraction should stay with the team they were obtained in.

In 2012 or so the points always stayed with the rider and it made some teams like Lotto (Mehdi Sohrabi), Ag2r (Gazvoda, Zargari, Shpilevsky) and Euskaltel (Chaoufi, Kocjan, Mestre, Radochla, Schulze, Tamouridis, Vrecer) made absurd signings.

I'm in no way saying this system is perfect but is a good starting point to made the necessary changes to refine it for the future (and not like in 2012 scrap it altogether when it's flaws were perceived).
 
Reactions: BR2
'How do you justify no Tour de France to shareholders?' – Factor Bikes CEO speaks out on WorldTour relegation

Speaking exclusively to Cyclingnews, Gitelis described the current system as 'very half-baked', agreeing with EF Education-EasyPost manager Jonathan Vaughters' recent claim that it could spell the death of a team.
Honestly,
If a team is not performing well enough to keep WT-spot and not able to have riders that are attractive for race organizers and sponsors, there is no reason to cry if the team die. There are plenty of other teams willing and able to take their spots. Teams are always coming and going in cycling.
 
Pretty entitled to say "how do you justify it". Well, you messed up or your sponsors weren't generous enough. That's it. Do better, as a team, as sponsors, and you will do the TdF.
If you are not one of the top-20 teams, not even 18, what are you expecting? Agree that the system is perhaps half-baked, and that it could be annual or biannual, as it could create an incentive for a sponsor to stay around and turns things better, but a half-baked system is better than no system. The accumulated points could still be triannual, as it would give some safety for existing teams in case of a less performing year due to multiple crashes or illness at key moments. UCI could have also extended the relegation one more year, but then again, Alpecin and Arkea have been putting a strong effort, why wouldn't we be promoting merit, instead of inertia?
 
Reactions: postmanhat and BR2
If UCI are serious about this promotion/relegation thing than they should not be giving UCI points to this mixed relay thing. Samao got UCI points for losing 17 minutes
Each of Samoa's riders got 3.33 points for finishing 16 in the WCC mixed relay ITT. Lorenz van de Wynkele from Elevate got 3 points for finishing 25th in Gookese Pjil 2022 (a 1.1 race). How is the former a problem and not serious?
 
Come on I know everyone hates Israel but he says some logical things. For a lot of sponsors it is Tour or nothing. And cycling is indeed no football which people keep comparing it too.

That being said Israel simply wasn't good enough this year, covid or not. Like they have been underperforming hard the last few months, even while riding all the smaller races. Today they started with Nizzolo in Houtland and got beaten by Total with Van Gestel in a bunchsprint... I mean...


Each of Samoa's riders got 3.33 points for finishing 16 in the WCC mixed relay ITT. Lorenz van de Wynkele from Elevate got 3 points for finishing 25th in Gookese Pjil 2022 (a 1.1 race). How is the former a problem and not serious?
What's up with the whataboutism today?
Noone says the latter is great. It's BS too. Noone should get points for finishing outside of a top 10 in a .1 race, obviously.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Where did I say that? I said he's making some good points, others not that good.
It was mainly a response to the "for many sponsors it's the Tour or nothing" part I quoted.

My question "why does the sponsor of a underperforming team deserves Tour publicity for eternity over the sponsor of another team that have performed better in terms of point collection?" is not really directed to you I suppose, but to the lot connected to WT-teams today that give the impression that they deserve to keep WT status purely because they are WT teams right now.
 
Probably the most annoying thing imo about this system is the the whole "lets sprint with 3 different guys to get 7th, 10th and 14th in every single one day race" instead of actually trying to get someone on the podium (yk the Arkea/Cofidis classic). I'm really looking forward to when this stops. I hate that it's a valuable strat to have 6 C tier sprinters instead of 2 actual good ones. Points should be more top heavy in these smaller races, like 110-80-65-50-35-25-15-10-5 or something like that. No *** points for a 14th place in a .1 race. A winner can still get a lot imo because winning races isn't easy, not even in small Belgian or French races.
 
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I don't like the idea of comparing points between WT teams and non-WT teams. I can't think of any other promotion/relagation system that works this way. For me, promoting/relegating should be an annual process, and two WT teams that performed the worst in WT Races automatically get relagated. Meanwhile, two non-WT teams that performed best in a selected prestigious .pro race series get promoted. In this way, we can also bring in a protecting system where the relagated teams get one-year auto wildcard to WT Races. I just absolutely hate the idea of teams going below their status to farm points to avoid relegation, it makes no sense to me.
 
If your sponsor is a "Tour or nothing" sponsor, then your financial backing is not as strong as it would appear in terms of its numerical value. "Strong" financial backing also requires stability - it's easier to attract riders to a team which has a reliable backer.

This is why teams like HTC folded - they had coasted on the T-Mobile payoff for a while, but because they didn't have an identity to fall back on that could survive as a smaller sized team or without the guaranteed column inches of Cavendish, they couldn't find a sponsor. It's why Aqua Blue Sport's owner took his ball and went home in a huff because he got given more than most ProTeam owners do in year 1, and so wasn't prepared for it when he got fewer invites in year 2 than he had in year 1 due to more competition for wildcards.

The proposition of Adams' team seems to be predicated on being World Tour, it hasn't really got an identity in terms of the races it focuses on or the riders it takes on, and it's just sort of dropped into the same position that Dimension Data was in before it. If you look at the other teams that were in the relegation battle, they all had some kind of identity that can also help them survive at a lower level or attract sponsors who are prepared to weather the storm. Lotto are a Belgian classics team with a strong sprint lineup. Movistar are the Spanish team who focus on hilly and mountainous races. BikeExchange are Australia's team, with the more interesting Yates brother. EF are North America's WT team (I know Trek are registered in the US, but EF feels more North American and has more such riders) and have a strong Latin American contingent as well as a divisive but charismatic and vocal team owner - plus they've just signed Richard Carapaz.

There are a number of problems with the UCI's points system, definitely. Overvaluing small races is definitely one of them (Arnaud de Lie is worth more UCI points this season than Richard Carapaz, by the way). Giving points down to very low positions in races with reduced fields is another. Encouraging "pop-up" races like we used to see in the Women's calendar (.1-status races that would appear for a year pre-Olympics but only after the main teams had set up their race calendars, to enable other countries to qualify riders for the Worlds and Olympics) if a particular team in trouble had the ear of their national authority (for example, it would have been highly suspicious if there were suddenly a large number of .1 races with dubious fields appearing all over the mountains of northern Spain if Movistar were threatened and RFEC got scared about not having a Spanish team at the top level, and likewise if EF were in trouble and suddenly a large number of US one-dayers to coincide with the Baltimore one-day race appeared when teams had already set their calendars). And of course, the pandemic being treated differently in different countries has had a drastic effect as well, with some countries opening up sooner and others later, and riders being yanked from races mid-race for contacts or positive tests as well.

However, at the same time, it's hard to find a reasonable points system whereby, based on the results of the last three years, Israel isn't in the relegation zone of the existing WT teams, it just might be different teams scrapping at the bottom with them (e.g. Arkea and Cofidis if the smaller one-dayers weren't rated so highly given their successes in the smaller Coupe de France events). I think that is why they get a bit of stick for the sour grapes. Crashes and illnesses happen, as any team can tell you. Ewan's injuries and Mas' early season crashes are a large part of why Lotto and Movistar ended up where they did, but you have to accept that's part of bike racing. But if, for example, EF got relegated they could point to the drastic reduction of the American calendar they would have expected plenty of points from, with Utah, California and Colorado no longer running post-pandemic. If Movistar got relegated they could point out to the points lost by Supermán's tantrum in the 2021 Vuelta, the subsequent mess of trading out of his contract with Astana, and the poaching of Carapaz at the start of the three year period due to bad faith negotiating by Acquadro. What do Israel have to point to that would have made a decisive contribution to their survival? They're 20th out of 20 by a comprehensive margin. The teams that were down there with them either have better quality riders than Israel, or were proactive about the points hunt sooner.

And they tied too much of that "strong" financial backing up on ageing riders for their name value, gambling on what they had left in the tank.
 
The current system doesn't measure the value of team. It measures the results of riders who were on the team at that time. That's it. Any other interpretation has nothing to do with the current measurement.

If you want to measure the value of the riders on a team for the upcoming season, then you need to go to something similar to the old system of riders carrying points with them. EF is a much more valuable team with Carapaz on it. Movistar is much less valuable without Valverde, who brought in about a 3rd of their points. And what do 2020 results for riders who may or may not still be on the team tell about the value of a team heading into 2023? Nothing.

If you want a true relegation system, then you go by results of the team. And, really, it should be results only in WT races since that measures performance at the top level and against the same competition. In football, for example, teams are relegated based upon results in league matches. Cup matches aren't figured in and players transferring in and out don't bring partial points with them, either.
 
The problem is that a rider who finishes 6th in tour de France stage gets no points.
I honestly have no problem with that. A stage win or a stage podium should give more points but if we already have the weaker teams giving up on breakways because it's easier to achieve a lower top-10 position in a stage with a 3rd tier sprinter who can follow some wheels, if that position gave more safer points than a gamble for a stage win versus the peloton, it would be even less attractive to go on the attack.
 
I honestly have no problem with that. A stage win or a stage podium should give more points but if we already have the weaker teams giving up on breakways because it's easier to achieve a lower top-10 position in a stage with a 3rd tier sprinter who can follow some wheels, if that position gave more safer points than a gamble for a stage win versus the peloton, it would be even less attractive to go on the attack.
I accept your point, but are riders and teams really going to do that in the midst of the biggest race in the world, taking place in July.
 

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