The combat to take care of, the opposite concern on the finish of the season
That is the opposite massive concern on the finish of the season and it tenses up a part of the peloton: a number of groups are combating to remain within the World Tour, the primary division of biking.
A posh and sometimes maligned system governs biking’s elite.
Some have been making ready for it for months: the Highway Worlds, from September 18 to 25 in Australia, are an unmissable occasion.
Nonetheless, a number of main riders is not going to be there. Banned from touring by their skilled group, 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 primarily based on the buildup of factors received in skilled races, from essentially the most prestigious to essentially the most modest.
On the time of the steadiness sheet, calculated over the past three seasons, the bottom ranked groups are demoted to the decrease degree, the ProSeries, for the subsequent three years.
The stakes are excessive: being a member of the World Tour provides automated participation within the greatest races. Taking place exposes you to dropping 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 present within the second division, are prepared to switch them. Movistar, BikeExchange, EF Schooling and even Cofidis stay below risk.
On the finish of October, the decision will fall. And the strain rises, in addition to the criticisms in relation to a classification which obscures the constructions involved by a doable 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 so on…) however mobilize the riders for at the very least every week due to the journey and the time lag hourly.
Relatively than search their fortune in Australia, these formations choose 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 hurting my group,” he advised the Bistro vélo podcast.
In the identical vein, the Belgian group shall be disadvantaged of riders from the Lotto group 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, might thus be disadvantaged of a remaining try for the rainbow jersey, in an effort to assist his Movistar group to make sure upkeep.
Eusebio Unzué, the supervisor of Movistar, expressed his exasperation in June: “It is pure insanity, we’ve got to reform this method”, he advised the specialised website Cyclingnews.
On the coronary heart of the critics: the distribution of factors and the truth that second and even third degree races generally reward greater than a famend occasion.
If the Tour de France brings 1000 factors to the winner of the final 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 successful permits you to pocket 125 factors and a sixth place one other 40 factors.
“Attempt to clarify that to supporters of different sports activities, it does not make any sense,” complains Unzué.
A number of runners don’t spare their criticism both, like Michael Woods who regrets that the load given to small races “encourages a weird method 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 situations “jeopardizing the way forward for decades-old groups” is “merely not honest”, lambasted Tao Geoghegan Hart, winner of the Giro in 2020.
However not everybody shares these criticisms. And discuss with the specter of a sclerotic closed league which discourages contenders for the rise and buyers.
This text has been printed mechanically. Sources: ats / afp
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