The Tour of Guangxi marked the end of the 2023 season, with UAE Team Emirates winning the overall UCI ranking for the first time in its history. Although Jumbo-Visma’s season has been historic, winning all three Grand Tours and taking the full podium in La Vuelta, UAE has taken advantage of the depth of its squad and scored more points in smaller races. In addition, Lotto Dstny and Israel – Premier Tech have achieved invitations to the entire 2024 WorldTour calendar, while Uno-X will have the right to participate in all WorldTour classics, including the Monuments.
UAE has won the ranking with a lead of more than 1,000 points, securing victory in the Italian classics, even though Jumbo won the Tour of Guangxi. As a new scoring system has been introduced this season, it is difficult to make comparisons with last season. However, in the following graph you can see the points that each team would have obtained in the 2023 season under the old scoring system. Jumbo-Visma would have won the ranking with 20,403 points, while last year they won with 15,003 points and UAE was second with 13,323. Regardless of the scoring system changes, it is obvious that both teams have widened their gap to the rest of during this season.
Looking at the graph, the team most disadvantaged by the new scoring system was Uno-X, which would have finished in 19th position with the old system, less than 200 points behind DSM, which is the 18th team. In reality, Uno-X are more than 2,500 points behind DSM, which they will have to cut over the next two seasons if they want to move up to the WorldTour by the end of 2025.
Without the merger between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal-Quickstep, Uno-X, Astana and Arkéa are once again far from the top18, although they have time to recover. The Kazakh team has been the worst WorldTeam for the second year in a row, but at least they are already playing the UCI points game. This last month they have competed in the Tour de Langkawi, the Tour de Kyushu and the Tour of Türkiye, as well as obtaining 625 UCI points in the Asian Games, with almost no WorldTour rivals. In addition, Arkéa has also improved with the signing of Arnaud Démare, who has achieved 658 UCI points and two victories in just two months of racing with the team.
Jayco Alula, one of the teams that struggled the most last year to stay in the WorldTour, is still keeping a close eye on UCI points. They have extended their trip to China by an extra week to compete in the Hong Kong Challenge (1.1), which will count for the 2024 season, but is equally important for the triennial ranking. On the other hand, Israel – Premier Tech will have enjoyed their trainee Riley Sheehan’s surprise victory of the Paris – Tours, but cannot add the 316 points Sheehan has earned since August, as trainees do not score points for the team.
Being the end of the season, it is a good time to make an analysis of the correlation between racedays of a cyclist and the UCI points achieved this season. In the graph below, you can see that most of the riders competed between 51 and 70 race days. The number of riders starts to drop between 71 and 80 days and finally only 19 riders were able to compete in more than 80 days.
On average, the cyclists who have performed best are those who have raced between 61 and 70 days, although the few who have raced more than 80 days have also averaged more than 600 UCI points. This is explained by the fact that they are cyclists of high quality and experience, such as Landa, Caruso or Rui Costa, who focus on stage races.
In the interactive chart below, you can see the points of all the riders of the 22 teams aiming for WorldTour licenses.
Without any mergers or dissolving teams, next season there will still be two wildcards available to the entire WorldTour, for Lotto Dstny and Israel – Premier Tech, and one wildcard to all WorldTour classics, for Uno-X. The Norwegian team has resisted pressure from TotalEnergies, the latter of which will be left without automatic wildcards after having enjoyed them this season.
If Lotto and Israel do not withdraw from any Grand Tours, there will only be two discretionary wildcards in the hands of the organisers of the Giro, Tour and Vuelta. In the case of the Tour de France, TotalEnergies and Uno-X are the clear favourites, but in the Giro and Vuelta there will be many more candidates than places available. By UCI regulations, the Giro must invite at least one Italian team to ensure a national entry, which further complicates the entry of Tudor and Q36.5, two growing projects with links to Italy but registration in Switzerland. In the following image, you can see a summary of the situation.
On another note, all ProTeams, except Novo Nordisk, have finished in the top 50 of the UCI ranking and will be eligible for the Grand Tours in 2024. Also TDT-Unibet, which will be promoted to ProTeam, will be able to apply for wildcards to the Grand Tours despite finishing 51st this season. For the new ProTeams, the UCI points of their riders of the next season are considered and the TDT-Unibet signings will be enough to fulfil this requirement. It is worth remembering that in 2024, ProTeams will have to finish in the top40 of the UCI ranking and from 2025 in the top30 to be eligible for Grand Tours.
The Olympic rankings have also been finalised with the end of the season, and there has been excitement right up to the last races. Only 90 men and 90 women will be able to take part in the Paris 2024 road races and only the top5 countries in each gender will be able to take the maximum of 4 riders, which will be a tactical advantage in such an open race.
In the men’s ranking, Spain has not been able to complete the comeback against France due to the crashes of Mas and Landa in Lombardia, and will only be able to take 3 riders to Paris. In addition, Ecuador will only have one quota spot, so Richard Carapaz will defend the Olympic title without teammates. In the following image you can see the available places for your nation.
In the women’s ranking, Daria Pikulik’s final rush almost put Poland in the top 5, only 34 points behind Great Britain. In addition, in the Chinese WWT races, Belarus and Ireland have secured one quota at the last minute, with surprising performances by Hanna Tserakh and Mia Griffin. There is still confusion because in the final official UCI ranking they have forgotten to add some races, such as the Giro Donne or the Cuban National Championships. With those points, Cuba would get two quotas for Paris 2024 ahead of China. As the UCI revises its official ranking, in the following image you can see the ranking graph with those races added.