The Giro Rewards Breakaways with Israel Securing 2024 Wildcards | UCI May Ranking Analysis

This Giro d’Italia has been the first Grand Tour after the change in the scoring system, which has increased the amount of UCI points distributed in Giro, Tour and Vuelta. While the podium was once again occupied by the three big teams (Jumbo, Ineos and UAE), other modest teams such as Jayco and Israel made the most of the race, benefitting from several successful breakaways. The points won by Israel are particularly important, as it gives them an almost unassailable lead of 2500 points over TotalEnergies in the fight for the 2024 WorldTour wildcards.

2023 Ranking

Ineos has been the highest scoring team of the Giro, with Thomas, Arensman and De Plus in the top10 of the GC, but Jumbo and UAE continue to stand out in their two-way competition to win the season ranking. The particularity of the Giro is that, as we said, several teams at the bottom of the standings have scored a large number of points, leaving Arkéa visibly slipping in the relegation zone. The situation is more worrying for Astana, 2325 UCI points behind the top 18, despite Cavendish’s stage win in Rome.

Analysing the Giro points by riders, we can see that sprinters like Milan, Matthews or Pedersen and combative men like Gee or Skujins have been the big beneficiaries of the change in the scoring system, which gave more weight to stages as opposed to the general classification. Derek Gee’s spectacular Giro was worth 990 UCI points, 700 more than it would have been under the old points scale. Another interesting case is that of Pedersen, who earned 580 points (the 8th most points in the race) riding only 12 stages. In terms of UCI points, it is a wise strategy to take a sprinter just for the sprints of the first part of the race and then abandon once the high mountains begin.

It depends on the situation and the route of each Grand Tour, but the new scoring system makes it more profitable to look for breakaways than to fight to maintain a place at the bottom of the top 10 of the GC, as Lennard Kamna choose to do this Giro. Despite this, if we analyse the points per team, we see that the teams that have been in podium positions in the GC have still scored the most points. However, Israel, Trek and EF are among the 9 teams with the most UCI points of the Giro without any man in the top20 of the GC. With 15 riders scoring per stage instead of 5 as previously, it is imperative to have a regular presence in the sprints and breakaways with a chance of victory.

The resignations of TotalEnergies and especially Lotto Dstny from the Giro were controversial, especially as Lotto’s decline of their wildcard invitation was prior to the announcement of the UCI scoring changes. Due to the change in the scoring system, the Giro has gone from distributing 9893 UCI points to 24557 points, while the scale has hardly changed in the continental calendar. Thus, in terms of UCI points, the Giro has had a much greater importance than the races of the alternative calendar, unlike last season. In the following graph, you can see the points obtained in the Giro and the races coinciding with the Giro (started between May 6 and May 28).

These last three weeks, Lotto Dstny has scored more points than 13 of the teams that have competed in the Giro, so they have made good use of the alternative calendar. Between De Lie, Ewan, Vermeersch, De Buyst, Moniquet, Van Moer and Menten they have scored over 1200 points. In a Giro without top sprinters and with many winning breakaways, it is possible that they could have scored that amount of points by riding the Giro with more media exposure, although the physical wear of the Giro is also much greater. On the other hand, TotalEnergies and Uno-X have not been able to score as many points as most of the teams that raced the Giro.

With the old scoring system, Lotto Dstny would have been richly rewarded for their success on the continental circuit, as the rest of the teams would have scored much less in the Giro d’Italia. For example, Lotto Dstny would have scored more points in the alternative calendar than Jumbo – Visma winning the Giro d’Italia. The experience of the Giro seems to indicate that the system is fairer now, although it hurts teams without a guaranteed WorldTour calendar, such as Uno-X.

At the end of the Giro, Roglic has become the second cyclist with the most UCI points of the season, only behind his compatriot Pogacar. In the interactive graph below, you can see the points of the riders of the top 22 teams.

2024 Wildcards

Israel’s 1400 points at the Giro d’Italia are of great strategic value to the team. They have increased their lead over TotalEnergies to almost 2500 points, which virtually assures them that they will have the wildcards to the entire WorldTour in 2024, along with Lotto Dstny. Both teams have improved their sporting level and planning after suffering relegation last season.

The points scored by Corratec Selle Italia were also very important for them to stay in the top 50 in the team ranking. The Italian squad had a Giro above expectations and came close to winning a stage with Karel Vacek. As a result, they are on track to finish among the top 50 teams and be eligible for next year’s Giro d’Italia. Most likely, only Team Novo Nordisk will be excluded from being eligible for Grand Tours in 2024.

Olympic Ranking

The 2023 nation rankings (up to the Tour of Guangxi) will be taken into account to allocate places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Right now, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Slovenia and Denmark would be the countries that could take the maximum of 4 cyclists to the men’s Olympic race. On the other hand, Spain is falling behind after Juan Ayuso and Carlos Rodriguez suffered injuries in the first part of the season. You can check your country’s position in the following chart.

In the women’s classification, it is almost certain that the Netherlands and Italy will be able to take 4 cyclists to Paris 2024. However, Australia, Belgium and Switzerland are just ahead of Great Britain, France and Poland. Having one more cyclist in the race will be a significant tactical advantage.

    1. I wonder if Lotto Dstny still would have denied the Giro invitation if they had known about the change in points.

      I expect Lotto Dstny to participate in the Giro next year, with a second-tier sprinter like Milan Menten as their main participant, also aiming for the points jersey.

      I dont think they have enough mountain guys right now to do staff the three grand tours, but they could always do some transfers in the offseason.

      The Bais-brothers would be great hires to participate in the Giro, although Lotto wouldnt be the only interested team.

      1. If Lotto accepts the invitation, Selle Italia probably wouldnt be invited, so then the effort to be top 50 would have been for nothing.

  1. Excelente información, gracias. Cuantos puntos UCI entrega la lucha por la camiseta de la montaña? O solo puntúa al final el ganador? Si los hay desconozco pero la verdad con lo importante que hoy día resulta los puntos UCI deberían darle más valor a estas luchas distintas a la general

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