OKBET CYCLING | The struggle for WorldTour survival will have an impact on racing in 2022
A number of men’s teams will compete for 18 spots in the 2023-2025 WorldTour, therefore the 2022 season will be marked by a race for ranking points and a struggle for survival.
Arkéa-Samsic is anticipated to compete with Cofidis, Lotto Soudal, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, and potentially Movistar for a golden ticket to the 2023-2025 WorldTour with Arkéa-Samsic.
Even EF Education-EasyPost, BikeExchange-Jayco, and Team DSM will undoubtedly be closely monitoring their point totals in 2022 to prevent relegation. Even one further victory in a small one-day event may be the difference between survival in the WorldTour and relegation.
Uno-X and TotalEnergies have said that they would pursue WorldTour qualification, but in reality, they would need a big points haul (a doubling of the points they have accumulated over the last three seasons) to compete for a spot. Peter Sagan may guarantee TotalEnergies invites to the Tour de France, the Classics, and other events in 2022, but even he cannot accumulate 5,000 points in a single season.
In recent years, Arkéa-chances Samsic’s of attaining WorldTour status have become much more feasible. If the French team finishes ahead of its competitors in the top 18 of the three-year ranking (2020, 2021, and 2022) and meets the other WorldTour registration requirements, one of the current teams will be demoted.
If sponsors and riders trigger release clauses in their contracts, the demoted teams might potentially withdraw from the sport. The majority of North American sports have a protected franchise system, but European race organizers have battled to safeguard athletic quality despite the fact that it hurts teams.
Many anticipate that Alpecin-Fenix will move up to WorldTour level in 2023, but Cyclingnews has learned that they may attempt to game the system and remain at ProTeam level beyond 2023.
Due to the efforts of Mathieu van der Poel, Jasper Philipsen, Tim Merlier, and other riders, the Belgian squad has led the ProTeam standings for the last two seasons and earned invites to all WorldTour events in 2022, including the three Grand Tours.
Despite Van der Poel’s back issues, Alpecin-Fenix appears confident that they can top the ProTeam rankings again in 2022 and be permitted to choose which 2023 WorldTour races they ride, without the obligation to ride the entire WorldTour calendar and without the need for a budget to cover the costs of WorldTour status. Oddly, the other teams have not attempted to prevent Alpecin-Fenix from playing the system, nor does the UCI seem inclined to use moral persuasion.
The original application date for the 2023 WorldTour was December 31, 2021. Only current WorldTour and ProTeams are eligible to apply. The UCI has not disclosed which teams have shown interest. Cyclingnews believes that the existing 18 teams, plus Arkéa-Samsic, Uno-X, and TotalEnergies, have all applied.
Alpecin-Fenix declined to confirm to Cyclingnews whether they had applied, hiding behind an October sponsor announcement.
“Together with Alpecin and our other reliable partners, we have shown that it is possible to operate a successful cycling team without a WorldTour licence. Our adventure together will continue for at least four years longer “Philip Roodhooft, the team’s manager, said.
In the future years, the team will continue its efforts in road cycling, mountain biking, and cyclocross, while also bolstering its recent debut into gravel and esports.
Understanding the ordering of points
The 18 spots in the 2023-2025 WorldTour are determined by ethical, financial, administrative, and organizational factors, but it is the sporting criterion, the three-year rating for 2020-2022, that opens the door to the sport’s elite for the years to come.
Despite the fact that the UCI does not disclose the three-year ranking, some experts and statisticians have attempted to compute the point totals. Teams get frequent updates from the UCI, and Cyclingnews has obtained the official point totals provided following Il Lombardia on October 12.
The rating is comprised of the points collected by each team’s ten best-ranked riders in 2020 and 2021 and indicates who is in the relegation zone and who is vying for promotion to ProTeam level.
With 25,367.37 points, QuickStep-AphaVinyl topped the official standings seen by Cyclingnews. Jumbo-Visma is in second place with 22,833.67 points, followed by Ineos Grenadiers in third place with 22,598.9 points.
In 2022, Arkéa-Samsic, Cofidis, Lotto Soudal, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert-Matériaux, and Movistar may anticipate a fierce battle for points in the WorldTour relegation zone, as seen by their much lower and considerably closer points totals.
Every team in danger of the bottom will be evaluating the point spread across the various race formats and plotting their strategy accordingly.
Overall race classifications in Grand Tours and WorldTour one-day events provide much more points than individual stages in races like the Tour de France.
There is a point system in the Tour de France, with the winner receiving 1,000 points and 16th place receiving 75. The top finishers in the most prestigious one-day and stage events on the WorldTour each get 85 points, with the champions receiving 500 points. In contrast, a stage victory in the Tour de France is worth 120 points.
Gains in the lesser ProSeries and 1.1 category events are significantly more valuable than stage victories.
Score 120 points for finishing in seventh position in the Bretagne Classic and the E3 Saxo Bank Classic. If you win a one-day ProSeries race, like the European opener the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, the Trofeo Laigueglia, the Tro Bro Leon, or the Arctic Race of Norway, you’ll get 200 points. You may get 125 by winning a race with a category of 1.1, such as the Challenge Mallorca events, Paris-Camembert, or the Coppa Agostoni.
The teams have constructed their 2022 lineups around the 10 riders who will earn them the most points, and they are well aware of the point system. They plan to race strategically to rack up as many points as possible. Maybe success will no longer be the primary goal.
Arkéa-Samsic has added the reliable point-scorer Hugo Hofstetter and has Nairo Quintana and Warren Barguil on their roster for their marketing push.
BikeExchange-Jayco hired Dylan Groenewegen from Jumbo-Visma, and the team is betting on him to win both WorldTour sprints and one-day events. AG2R Citroen is hopeful that Ben O’Connor can replicate his fourth-place Tour de France result in upcoming stage events, and that Greg Van Avermaet, Bob Jungels, and Oliver Naesen can go back to their usual dominant selves.
Giacomo Nizzolo’s transfer to Israel-Premier Tech is analogous to Intermarché-Wanty-pursuit Gobert’s of Alexander Kristoff: both teams want to improve their standing in the Classics and WorldTour sprints for 2022. The Italian finished second in Gent-Wevelgem in 2021 but won the European championship that year.
As Michael Storer, Jai Hindley, and Tiesj Benoot leave Team DSM, the young guns and Romain Bardet will have to carry the team in Grand Tours and stage events.
Both Elia Viviani and Christophe Laporte left Cofidis. They have points from 2020 and 2021, and they’ll need Bryan Coquard, Guillaume Martin, and the newly signed Ion Izaguirre to do well in 2022 if they want to stay in the league.
Despite team manager Cédric Vasseur’s denials, Cyclingnews has learned that Cofidis actively pursued points in 2021.
“I would rather not engage in a mathematical contest with you. I will not ask my cyclists to begin races just for the purpose of scoring points. So that there are no unanswered questions, I want them to ride to victory “He disclosed this information in a recent interview with l’Equipe.
The heat is on Lotto Soudal, and team manager John Lelangue has been more forthcoming about the team’s points plan since they know they have a tough road ahead of them in their fight to remain in the WorldTour.
Despite having Caleb Ewan, Victor Campenaerts, and Florian Vermeersch, Lotto Soudal will begin the 2022 season in last position. Additionally, in 2023, their sponsor Soudal will likely switch to that of Patrick Lefevere’s team.
“Every race we attend next year will be treated as if it were the last of the year. We need to win, “This is what Lelangue reportedly told Nieuwsblad.
We were very unfortunate with Caleb Ewan’s injuries and accidents at the Giro and the Tour last season, which was a special year because to Covid-19.
“No, I’m not scared. I’m certain that we’ll be able to make up for lost ground thanks to our bolstered numbers. If 2019 is anything like the previous year, with a “regular season,” everything should go off without a hitch. Not to worry.”
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