The season of classics and one-week races has been dominated by a few players, as 19 out of 21 WorldTour races (90.5%) have been won by Jumbo, UAE, Alpecin or QuickStep. Despite this, teams such as Trek or EF Education-Easypost have surprised positively, while others such as Jayco-Alula and, above all, Astana continue to struggle to get results. In this article, we will analyse the teams’ main sources of points and how their performance has changed compared to last season.
The rankings continue to show the superiority of UAE and Jumbo-Visma over the rest. The battle to be the best team in the world remains fairly tight, although UAE has taken the lead after Adam Yates’ victory in Tour de Romandie. At the bottom, Jayco has dropped into the relegation zone, although there is a small margin between Ag2r, DSM, Israel, Arkéa and Jayco. Astana won the Giro di Sicilia with Lutsenko, but they still have a 1,500 point gap to the top18. However, Cofidis, Movistar, EF and Lotto, who suffered in 2022, have started the season far away from that red zone.
UAE has managed to keep its “minor” leaders (Yates, Almeida, Ayuso, Vine or Soler) motivated with opportunities in the WorldTour races where Pogacar has not participated. For its part, Jumbo-Visma leads in the number of victories in the season so far, with 24 (18 WorldTour). Last year before the Giro, the Dutch team had 13 victories (7 WorldTour).
This growing dominance of Jumbo and UAE has provoked a reaction from Marc Madiot, manager of Groupama-FDJ, calling for a salary cap, also supported by Uno-X manager Jens Haugland. In the graph below, we show in which race classes each of the world’s top 22 teams have earned their points.
The top-ranked teams score the vast majority of their points in the WorldTour, although UAE is also the team that has scored the most points in the ProSeries class. However, the lower-ranked teams are looking for results in smaller races, as the top teams take the top places in the WorldTour. Intermarché, Cofidis, Ag2r, Arkéa, TotalEnergies and Uno-X have scored less than half of their total points in the WorldTour.
The most notable exception is Jayco-Alula, which have scored 78% of its points in the WorldTour, but are 19th in the team rankings. Surely they should expand the depth of their squad or race calendar to score points in the smaller races. This spring Matthews fell ill with Covid just before Sanremo and has been unable to perform at his level, while Simon Yates has had to pull out of the Tour de Romandie, both costing them points. Although Matteo Sobrero has taken a step forward in the mid-mountain races, the team’s spring results are rather negative.
In the following graph, you can see the evolution of UCI points compared to last season before the Giro. With the change of the scoring system, the 22 best teams have accumulated 47.5% more points than in 2022 so far, a clear indication that the changes benefit the teams performing in the biggest races. As the continental circuit still distributes the same points as in 2022, it can be seen the trend that the teams more focused on that calendar (Intermarché, Cofidis, Ag2r, Arkéa, TotalEnergies or Uno-X) have increased their points less than the average of 47.5%.
The statistics also confirm the step forward of Jumbo (+65% points) and UAE (+75% points). Meanwhile, Ineos Grenadiers, the dominator of the past decade, has barely increased its points (+17%) compared to last spring, despite the new scoring system and the fact that the top 20 riders of the team now score points instead of the top 10 (which should in theory benefit big budget teams with a deeper roster of top riders).
Without a doubt, the most improved team compared to last season is EF Education – Easypost (+384% points), which had a very difficult 2022 with the threat of relegation. This season they already have 14 wins (5 more than in the whole of 2022) and have almost equalled the UCI points they scored in the full 2022 season. Neilson Powless and especially Ben Healy have been two of the revelations of the classics season, and that is with their star signing Richard Carapaz yet to shine. Right now, EF already enjoys a lead of almost 3,000 points over the relegation zone, which suggests that they will avoid the suffering of the past triennium.
In the interactive graph below, you can see the points of the riders of the 22 teams participating in the Tour de France. So far, Tadej Pogacar has scored more UCI points than Ag2r, Israel, DSM, Arkéa, Jayco, TotalEnergies, Uno-X or Astana.
In the fight for the automatic wildcards for 2023, Lotto Dstny already has a lead of more than 3000 points over TotalEnergies, so they have practically assured their presence in next season’s WorldTour races. This security will give them more strength to negotiate signings or renewals and build a long term project. Israel has a lead of more than 1000 points over TotalEnergies, but it is not definitive at this stage of the season.
Uno-X, Green Project and Bolton Equities are still chasing TotalEnergies for wildcards to the WorldTour classics, which would be a good prize for any of the 3 teams. Anyway, Uno-X is likely to be the only team capable of overtaking TotalEnergies as the season progresses but they are already falling behind in their ability to earn a WorldTour licence at the start of 2026.
With the new UCI regulations, as it stands Team Novo Nordisk would not be invited to the Grand Tours in 2024, as it is outside the top50 in the team ranking. However, Corratec has already entered the top 50 thanks to the 200 UCI points earned by Argentinean Nicolás Tivani with his 2nd place at the Pan American Championships. This new UCI requirement has forced the Spanish and Italian ProTeams to plan their season with points in mind. It should be noted that next season they will have to finish in the top 40 and from 2025 only the 30 best teams can be selected for the Grand Tours.
The 2023 nation rankings (up to the Tour of Guangxi) will be taken into account to allocate places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Only the top 5 nations will get the maximum of 4 quota places in the road race, so tactically it will be a considerable advantage in a very difficult race to control. The men’s and women’s Olympic races will have a peloton of only 90 riders.
In the men’s ranking, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain would now be limited to just three participants in Paris 2024. The fight promises to be tight until the end of the season against France, Denmark, Slovenia and Great Britain. On the other hand, Colombia would be left with only 2 riders, but it is not far behind Australia and USA in the ranking right now, who would have access to 3 places.
In the women’s ranking, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia and Belgium are on track to participate with 4 riders. Great Britain could also participate with 4 riders right now, but Switzerland, France, Germany or Poland could threaten their place during the season.
The month of May brings with it our first Grand Tour of the year, the Giro d’Italia, as the only WorldTour race until our next monthly update. It will be interesting to assess the points results of the Giro this time next month, with GrandTour stages having a massive increase in points after the UCI’s changes – read more here. On the ProSeries calendar there is the fan favourite Tro-Bro-Leon one-day race as well as four 2.Pro stage races in Hongrie (Egan Bernal to participate), Norway and two in France for the sprinters in Boucles de la Mayenne and Quatre Jours de Dunkerque.