The battle to keep up, the opposite difficulty on the finish of the season

The battle to keep up, the opposite difficulty on the finish of the season

That is the opposite huge difficulty on the finish of the season and it tenses up a part of the peloton: a number of groups are preventing to remain within the World Tour, the primary division of biking.

A fancy and infrequently maligned system governs biking’s elite.

Some have been getting ready for it for months: the Street Worlds, from September 18 to 25 in Australia, are an unmissable occasion.

Nonetheless, a number of main riders won’t be there. Banned from touring by their skilled staff, which prefers to see them multiply one-day races and hunt for the UCI factors crucial to remain among the many eighteen elite groups.

On the finish of 2019, the Worldwide Biking Union arrange a basic classification based mostly on the buildup of factors gained in skilled races, from essentially the most prestigious to essentially the most modest.

On the time of the stability sheet, calculated during the last three seasons, the bottom ranked groups are demoted to the decrease stage, the ProSeries, for the following three years.

The stakes are excessive: being a member of the World Tour gives automated participation within the largest races. Taking place exposes you to shedding sponsor contracts in addition to riders.

At this stage, Lotto Soudal and Israel-Premier Tech are crusing within the crimson zone. Alpecin-Deceuninck and Arkéa Samsic, at the moment within the second division, are prepared to interchange them. Movistar, BikeExchange, EF Training and even Cofidis stay below risk.

‘Sheer insanity’

On the finish of October, the decision will fall. And the stress rises, in addition to the criticisms in relation to a classification which obscures the buildings involved by a potential descent.

Even when it means stopping their riders from going to the World Championships which actually distribute factors (600 for the winner, 475 for the second, and many others…) however mobilize the riders for a minimum of every week due to the journey and the time lag hourly.

Relatively than search their fortune in Australia, these formations favor to analyze the races, particularly in Europe, in entrance of a much less raised plateau more often than not.

That is this system that awaits, for instance, the chief of Cofidis, Guillaume Martin. ‘Cofidis is ready for me to be current to attain. A essentially lengthy journey to Australia, with the jet lag, dangers making my staff undergo, ”he informed the Bistro vélo podcast.

In the identical vein, the Belgian staff can be disadvantaged of riders from the Lotto staff on the World Championships and the Spanish coach regrets that solely two of the eight riders he had in thoughts can be found.

The venerable Alejandro Valverde, 42, may thus be disadvantaged of a closing try for the rainbow jersey, as a way to assist his Movistar staff to make sure upkeep.

Eusebio Unzué, the supervisor of Movistar, expressed his exasperation in June: “It is pure insanity, we have now to reform this technique”, he informed the specialised web site Cyclingnews.

On the coronary heart of the critics: the distribution of factors and the truth that second and even third stage races generally reward greater than a famend occasion.

Grocer’s calculations

If the Tour de France brings 1000 factors to the winner of the overall classification, a stage victory, as prestigious as it’s, thus brings ‘solely’ 120 factors and a sixth place nothing in any respect (solely the primary 5 of the stage are rewarded). To be in contrast with the Polynormande, a one-day race of the Coupe de France, the place a hit lets you pocket 125 factors and a sixth place one other 40 factors.

‘Attempt to clarify that to supporters of different sports activities, it is not sensible,’ denounces Unzué.

A number of runners don’t spare their criticism both, like Michael Woods who regrets that the burden given to small races ‘encourages a weird means of operating’ with grocer’s calculations that may border on the absurd.

Some runners additionally deplore that the three-year rating has been maintained regardless of the Covid pandemic. Beneath these circumstances “placing the way forward for decades-old groups in danger” is “merely not truthful”, castigated Tao Geoghegan Hart, winner of the Giro in 2020.

However not everybody shares these criticisms. And confer with the specter of a sclerotic closed league which discourages contenders for the rise and buyers.


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