Hamburg - Germany - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Team Dimension Data   pictured during  the Euro Eyes Cyclassics Hamburg 2016 - photo HR/Cor Vos © 2016
  • jules

    5 Tour stage wins and still languishing in the WT points? that seems harsh. I forgot Lampre were even still in the WT. what have they done lately?

    • De Mac

      Very interesting – whether the UCI will reward a team which has done a LOT for African cycling and indeed has performed well this season, or head off to the $$$$$ of China and/or Bahrain. Sagan to Bora-Hansgrohe would almost guarantee their place…..would it not???

      • jules

        it doesn’t seem to be part of their criteria for the UCI to make discretional decisions on who to reward, based on ‘soft’ criteria like helping African cycling. although I’m guessing if there’s money in it for them, maybe it is? probably not in Africa though.

        The UCI has been spellbound a bit by the willingness of China and MEastern kleptocracies to throw cash at them.

        • Dave

          The UCI could use the “image of cycling” part of the ethical criterion to classify Bahrain-Merida as not qualifying for a WT licence.

          Unfortunately, that won’t be possible unless Cookson undergoes the surgical attachment of testes. Good luck finding a willing donor for that.

          • JoeBarnaby

            Call like it is the Qhubeka support was a good front for the first few years – not year 7, but they are hiding behind this as if was a big deal, in reality they are doing very little here.

            More importantly look at the team they have a 4 Etrieans, one Algerian, and one Rwandan rider, then a bunch of white guys from South Africa (besides one), most of the riders are like those from any other team.

            The real problem is that they could read the point system like everyone else, they knew there was going to be a reduction, but they constructed a team that wasn’t going to be go for GC, but instead for sprints, breakaways or one day wins. By all accounts, BH, Cummings, Cavendish, and Haas had better seasons than to be expected and they aren’t close. They took the risk on the team construction, they knew the rules. The get out jail car exists, which means signing riders to get enough points to have more than Bora/Bahrain.

            Furthermore, management could be sending the team that could generate points to the right WT races, but failed to do so. Luckily they still have a chance to make it.

            Perhaps this is a bell curve problem.

            • Dave

              I agree that they haven’t justified their place in the top division, they’ve approached this year like they are still a wildcard team that just pops up for a couple of big races. Targeting the non-WT Tour of Britain rather than the Vuelta or the Canadian races was a blunder.

              A PCT licence will suit DDD better than the WorldTour, both in terms of the team’s commercial needs (to pop up at a few big races) and the way they have been racing. So long as Dimension Data keeps both the team’s naming rights sponsorship and their deal as a sponsor-supplier for ASO, DDD will certainly get a wildcard entry to the Tour and at least a handful of the other big ASO races that pay the bills.

              Your ‘get out of jail card’ theory is close to impossible. There simply aren’t enough uncontracted riders on the market with the points needed for DDD to get either of their 2016 roster (283 points so far) or 2017 roster (265 points so far – Siutsou will be at BHM) to get over the top of Bora (2017 roster has 695 points so far just from Sagan and Majka, possibly a handful more from others too) or BHM (2017 roster has 504 points so far). Remember that it’s only the best five riders that count, not the whole total of the team.

              In theory they could get such spectacular results at the Eneco Tour and Il Lombardia that they leap into the top 16 teams and avoid the relegation zone. There’s only a slight problem there, in that both races will suit the current #16 team (Giant-Alpecin) better than DDD, so they really need to be aiming to overtake Ag2r who are further ahead in 15th place.

              The real get out of jail card for DDD will be if Bora decides to stick with a PCT licence, leaving DDD as the 17th team and having to fight for their place again at the end of next year when the WT goes down to 16 teams.

      • ivaneurope

        Other than $agan and Rafal Majka Bora doesn’t have any other big name draw and could remain PCT with invitations that won’t be an issue for them with big name like Sagan.

      • Dave

        Providing that Bora-hansgrohe tick all the other boxes (ethical, financial, administrative) then they will get a licence, courtesy of Peter Sagan currently being the 9th best team in the WorldTour team ranking.

        That all depends on them actually applying though.

        • Rahul Kumar

          Peter Sagan is currently the 9th best country in the WorldTour country ranking.

    • david

      It does seem very strange that they can win 5 stages of the tour + dauphine stages etc. and still only have marginally more points than Sergio Henao. Basically 5 tour stages = 2nd at Basque and 3rd at TDU, which makes me think GC results in lesser races are allocated too many points.

      Also have to remember all this is based on the premise that Bora-Hansgrohe actually want a world tour license – has that been established as a fact?

      • jules

        I’d hazard a guess that Sagan’s contract with them is conditional on their gaining WT status. He won’t want to be punting around in 2nd tier races, although with his popularity the team will probably do just fine as Pro-Conti.

        • Sean

          They’d still get invites.

          • jules

            except to French races, I suppose

            • For what it’s worth, when the TDU announced last week that Peter Sagan would be riding the 2017 edition, I asked the TDU team what that meant regarding Bora-Hansgrohe’s license. They said it didn’t matter – if the team doesn’t get a WorldTour license, they’ll invite them as a ProConti squad.

              • Dave

                Just like they did when BMC was on a PCT licence in 2010 (but with Cadel star power) and with Drapac every year since they got a PCT licence (to appease Cycling Australia).

            • ivaneurope

              There is no chance ASO will ignore Bora should they remain PCT for two main reasons:
              1. They have the reigning “maillot vert” Peter Sagan, who is a big name draw for them
              2. The Grand Départ for 2017 will be in Düsseldorf, Germany.

              ASO pretty much invites Bora on almost all of their races. But with this year the French teams were 4 (Direct Energie, Cofidis, Fortuneo and Delko) I feared that Bora would be overlooked in favor of Delko, but it appeared to be not the case. UCI also have plans to reduce the size of the team rosters in Grand Tours to 7 (though IMO it’d be 8) meaning that we could possibly have more PCT teams

        • Nick

          Just because a team isn’t World Tour, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re relegated to second tier races. I think David is implying that Bora might not want a World Tour license because that would free them from any of the UCI’s obligations that require them to field a team for every World Tour race. This way they could pick and choose what races they show up to and by having Sagan on their team, that pretty much guarantees them an invite to any event they would want to attend.

          • jules

            that’s what I meant, I agree

          • Crompensation

            Actually.

            • Edvid

              As terrible as *that* Vuelta stage was for them, riding all 3 GT is no more a burden for them than it is for the other big teams. They’ve still won a stage in this year’s Giro/Vuelta and the Giro KoM, after all.

          • Dave

            With the expanded WT calendar for next year, Bora-hansgrohe could well be leaning that way.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one other current WorldTour team will try approaching ASO to negotiate a race participation agreement which could allow them to go to a PCT licence without losing access to the big races.

      • Dave

        Bora said earlier this year that they would be looking at moving to the WorldTour for next year.

        Since then, the UCI’s ludicrous 37 race calendar has been announced, so the team would surely be reviewing their intentions.

    • Andy B

      Half way through reading these article I asked myself if Lampre still existed.. easy to forget

    • Sean

      yet c’dale with no wins since the dawn of time are ok. interesting.

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    • Dave

      They’d be even further down the rankings if riders who abandon stage races without good reason were not allowed to keep the points they earned from stage results earlier in the race.

  • JBS

    Anybody want to have a stab at how the points are calculated? Inner Ring published some points tables back in January, but they obviously haven’t been used as 1 Tour stage win = 120, so Cav alone from just the Tour should have more than 480 points under that system.

    While I feel for Dimension Data, I think this article is wildly overselling their season. Looking at ProCycling Stat’s rankings (which aren’t official, but tend to be a fairer reflection of performance), they are only 16th there. So its hard to argue that they don’t deserve to be at risk of relegation (whether or not there should be relegation is a different argument).

    • jules

      yeah but the points seem to favour a breadth of results across the season. 5 Tour stages is huge given the level of competition there. it’s much easier to win a few one day races e.g. the Tour of Kurnellofcoren in central Flanders in thick snow or similar. Cav was targetting his whole season at the Tour (and the Olympics, that didn’t work though). he wasn’t peaking early to snatch some early season races and points.

      • JBS

        But that is kind of the point of the World Tour, its points earned by the whole team over the season. Its designed to promote a high level competition in all WT races not just the Tour.

        • jules

          but is it achieving that? by rewarding teams winning B-level WT races, they now risk booting DData out of the WT.

          sure you’ve got good competition at a broad range of WT races, but you’ve now got a marquee sprinter (Cav) out of the WT. I doubt that’s what they intended. Cav and DData could have chosen not to focus so much on the Tour, but I wonder if that’s what the UCI intended either.

          • JBS

            But if its not Dimension Data and Cav, then you are looking at Cannondale (Uran), Lampre (Costa) or Giant-Alpecin (Degenkolb and Dumoulin). In the end a team with good riders is going to be relegated under this system. It just happens that Dimension Data gambled on just winning big races and they lost out.

          • Dave

            If DDD get relegated* they will be pretty well guaranteed an entry to the Tour de France and other ASO races next year for two reasons: the naming rights sponsor also being a major sponsor of ASO’s cycling races, and them having been one of ASO’s favourite teams even under the previous MTN-Qhubeka identity.

            Who gets the organisers’ discretionary invites is based on the overall value to the organisers, not on any objective qualification criteria.

            * that’s a big if, the ridiculous expanded WT calendar for 2017 might prompt Bora-hansgrohe to stay on a PCT licence and get race invites based on being the #1 ranked team for star power.

        • david

          From my “research” (i.e. wikipedia), 1 tour stage win = 20 points. Henao picked up 80 for coming 2nd at the Tour of Basque Country and 70 for coming 3rd at TDU. I think if you asked any rider (or director) to choose between 2nd at the Basque Country and 4 Tour de France stages, I know what they would choose.

          Having said that, your point is a good one, the UCI’s reason for world tour points is not to give an accurate gauge of who are the best riders and teams – it’s to get the best riders and teams to turn up across the whole season. I guess the problem with that is it then isn’t a good “sporting criterion”.

    • Edvid

      In addition to what david stated, 120 points per Tour stage refers to the World Ranking. (It’s 20 points in the WorldTour ranking.)

    • Dave

      Sum of the five best riders’ individual scores, but on the WorldTour rankings rather than the World Ranking.

      The UCI did propose to do away with the separate ranking system for the WorldTour, but this was rejected by a vote of the Professional Cycling Council.

  • H.E. Pennypacker

    Raise your hand if you think this decision will be made free of (additional) undue influence or corruption. Anyone? Anyone?

    • Andy B

      absurd

    • Sean

      I really doubt CT is unduly influencing the outcome. What an absurd thing to imply. :-P

      • H.E. Pennypacker

        Sarcasm..right? Is the tongue-out smiley the symbol for sarcasm now? I’m never able to keep up with these things.

        • Sean

          I’m serious.

          • H.E. Pennypacker

            Then the only absurd thing was the conclusion you drew from what I wrote. No worries. Happens to the best of us.

    • Dave

      Rubbish.

      In case you haven’t noticed, the points system is all out in the open and easy for anyone with a set of race results and a spreadsheet to reconstruct. If the decision was made incorrectly, it would be easily appealed and overturned.

      • H.E. Pennypacker

        I understand your point, but this is the UCI we’re talking about here. They follow their own rules about as well as a toddler being asked to set his own behavioral boundaries. Not to mention…you read the part about them changing the points requirements mid-stream, right?

        • Dave

          There hasn’t been any change, only a clarification that “top 16” means “top 16” rather than “top 16 once some teams in the top 16 have been taken out.”

          The end result will be the same – if the UCI get it wrong, they’ll get pistol whipped by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  • Dan

    How on earth has Cannondale-Drapac got more points than Dimension Data?! This system has to be flawed if a team with no world tour wins for over a year is doing better than a team as exciting as DD.

    • Sean

      No idea, that team is a complete waste of space.

    • Sebastian Diaz Zuleta

      The least possible way imagined: Alberto Bettiol is saving the team getting points in smaller events, 2nd in GP Ouest-France, 3rd in Tour of Pologne and now 4th in GP de Québec

    • Dave

      CDT gets better overall results, while DDD are just stage hunters.

    • Rahul Kumar

      Talansky’s 5th in the Vuelta will get them 80 points. Dimension Data does not know the meaning of GC.

      • MD

        Yes they do – the GC rider they’d developed for 3yrs was poached by a team with a bigger budget. With the way the team ranking system is structured, big $$$ will win every time. All the development effort the team put into the development of that GC rider is now worth zero points.

    • JoeBarnaby

      Just to put it out there again – the point system for races has been clear and published. It awards the most points for the TDF GC, and stages, in comparison to all other races. If you build a team that doesn’t compete in GC, you need to do well in one day races, stages matter but it takes a lot to add up to a one day race.

      The system isn’t flawed, the system is defined in advance – and for some of the world it is not only about France.

  • Crompensation

    Why would you want a world tour licence. Sign and star and only race the events they want to do. So much cheaper and same result.

    • Dave

      Because it’s much easier to pitch a sponsor with “we will be at the Tour” than “there’s a chance of us being at the Tour on a discretionary invite from the race organisers.”

      • Crompensation

        Sagan, Froome and co will be at the tour regardless on the team they are on. Easier to pitch we need $X instead of twice that.

        • Dave

          And once Sagan and Froome are signed?

          • Crompensation

            That would be the hard part. Bora has already done that bit

  • ivaneurope

    The brand new UCI World Ranking, which covers all races from the UCI calendar (WT, X.HC, X.1, X.2; X could be 2 for stage race or 1 for one-day races), IMO sould’ve been used for the WT license.

    • Edvid

      I suspect they’re sticking to the WorldTour Ranking for licence purposes partly because many races in the .1 category (and even some in .HC) don’t have many WT teams in their roster.

      • Dave

        It wouldn’t be hard to just filter points from WT races for licensing purposes.

    • Dave

      That was proposed by the UCI, but then rejected by the Professional Cycling Council.

  • Kramon

    Just in: Gasparotto to Bahrain-Merida…
    https://twitter.com/ProCyclingStats/status/774155158661894144

  • Blake

    The points system is so horribly wrong it’s painful, how does a team like Dimension Data with their Tour de France wins and strong showings in multiple week long stage races like ToC, du Dauphine, Qatar and Adriatico, have only 2/3’s of the points of Cannondale, with their constant lack of results?!

    • Dave

      It’s because DDD only win stages, while CDT gets points for overall placings.

      California and Qatar are not WT races, and therefore don’t count.

  • Edvid

    Here’s my unofficial tally of WT wins by WT teams this season before the Vuelta started (stage / one-day race (C) / stage race (GC)):

    ALM 1
    AST 5 / 2GC
    BMC 7 / 1GC
    CPT 0
    DDD 9
    EQS 13
    FDJ 3 / 1C
    IAM 3 / 1C
    LAM 3
    LTS 9 / 1GC
    MOV 7 / 1C / 2GC
    OBE 9 / 2C / 1GC
    TGA 4
    KAT 4
    TLJ 1
    SKY 7 / 2C / 3GC
    TNK 8 / 2C / 1GC
    TFS 3 / 1C

  • Kenny

    http://www.uci.ch/road/ranking/

    According the the UCI Points table Cav has 1042 points.

    • Edvid

      That’s from the World Ranking.

      It’s the team WorldTour Ranking that determines the UCI’s ‘sporting criterion’, from which Cav has won 80 points.

  • Sebastian Diaz Zuleta

    A silly question, why not all 18 teams can be part of the WT next year and start the relegation system in 2018? Is because ASO force the UCI to have 17 right next year?

    • Dave

      Yes, it was one of the concessions demanded by ASO to keep continue propping up the WorldTour project for 2017-18.

      If they wanted it to start in 2018, the UCI would have had to offer ASO something else to start in 2017.

      • Sebastian Diaz Zuleta

        Dave, don’t you think that a World Tour that only works for the UCI ans the race organizers and not for the team sponsors, managers and riders is a recipe for disaster? I guess that 2017 will be an experiment and we going to see the results at 2018.

        • Dave

          If the teams or riders want to do something different, they should do it. It won’t happen though, because the teams are happy enough with the current situation that they only ever argue for minor tweaks and the riders couldn’t organise a pissup in a brewery.

          I would personally rather see the UCI get out of the business of race promotion so they can focus their energy on properly governing the sport without conflicting interests getting in the way. It needs to be run as a business which means having it run by a business which knows how to reinvest for the future. The way to do it would be to sell off the promotional rights to ASO for a yearly licence fee and with a charter setting out the minimum number of races in various parts of the world, kind of like the FIA-ACO agreement for the World Endurance Championship.

          ASO are steering the sport in the right direction by demanding a greater level of competition to get a seat at the top table.

  • Dave

    A couple of interesting things I noticed when looking at the team point details found at http://www.uci.html.infostradasports.com/asp/xml/index.asp?SportID=102&PhaseID=1444778

    1. Peter Sagan is the 9th best team in the WorldTour, and he could overtake Trek-Segafredo to move into 8th by the end of the weekend.

    2. If you measure team depth by the quality of the 5th rider (team rankings are the sum of the five best riders’ individual rankings) then Sky and Orica are streets ahead of the rest, being the only teams to have five riders with individual rankings in excess of 100 points. Both of those teams also have their 6th and 7th riders (which don’t count towards the team ranking) sitting on individual scores comfortably higher than any other team’s 5th rider – Kwiatkowski (106) and Swift (92) for Sky, Albasini (106) and Hayman (100) for Orica.

  • Crompensation

    Wouldn’t want to be a france team trying to get a wildcard next year

    • Dave

      At least three of the four should get wildcards for the Tour next year, courtesy of the number of wildcards going up to five.

      It’s quite possible that there could be eight wildcards for the Tour, if the PCC approves ASO’s wish to have eight riders per team starting the race rather than the current nine.

      • Crompensation

        8 man teams will be bad. Its a massive advantage to teams with one focus (ie sky, dimension data) because they only lose 1 guy of 8 from the sky train. increasing team to 11 or 12 could be better. Having 2 extra guys in sky train might not make a difference. Look at the Vuelta this year. No sprinters makes exciting racing. By adding extra people in team allows more climbers to make the race exciting

        • sps12321

          the other issue with 8 man teams likely means they would add extra teams into the race to get the same number of riders which means a few extra team cars.

      • sps12321

        would be 5 wild cards since theres only 17WT not 18.

        • Dave

          Exactly as I wrote: “the number of wildcards going up to five.”

          Eight wildcards would be available if the Tour had eight rider teams rather than nine, just like they do for Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
          17 WT + 8 PCT = 25 total
          25 x 8 = 200 rider peloton

  • Dave

    CyclingNews has thrown an interesting possibility out there, speculating that Dimension Data and Bahrain-Merida might get into a bidding war for the signature of Joaquim Rodriguez despite his impending retirement. The theory is that he need not ride next year (there’s no minimum number of races for a WorldTour rider) but simply be on the books to secure his points (currently 211) to boost their team score and win a WT licence.

  • Edvid

    Should add my previous tally also included Cyclassics and Plouay.

    Anyhow, here’s an update now the Vuelta and both Canadian classics are done:

    ALM 2
    AST 5 / 2GC
    BMC 8 / 1C / 1GC
    CPT 0
    DDD 9
    EQS 17
    FDJ 4 / 1C
    IAM 5 / 1C
    LAM 4
    LTS 9 / 1GC
    MOV 8 / 1C / 3GC
    OGE 13 / 2C / 1GC
    TGA 4
    KAT 5
    TLJ 2
    SKY 10 / 2C / 3GC
    TNK 8 / 3C / 1GC
    TFS 3 / 1C

    • JoeBarnaby

      Thanks for sharing.

      However the rulebook was defined in advance. Just like how we are going to pay are taxes this year. Ryder might not like the outcome, but he is the one at fault. Think of it this way, on June 1st, DD had very few points – they basically had a dream TDF and Dauphine – and they still aren’t close. On August 1st, you know this so what do you do, sign riders, focus your good riders on points, or send them to TOB and Norway?

      • MD

        What’s best for the sport and spectators? Trying to win races that are important markets for sponsors and the charity, as well as the home riders, as well as supporting race organisers who have been supportive of the team over the years, or trying to pack riders in to places 10-15 in Canadian races? From a purely “what’s good for the sport ” it’s fairly obvious. In terms of what’s good for the rankings , sadly the later. Since when did fans, riders and even sponsors get in to racing in order to target minor placings? The system it’s has clear problems on that regard.

        • Dave

          Their making up the numbers at most of the big races and targeting minor events sounds like the perfect argument for DDD to switch back to a PCT licence and pick up wildcard invites for a handful of big races.

          The points system is specifically designed to punish teams that operate like that, and it has worked.

          • MD

            I disagree that they’re making up the numbers at big events. They haven’t necessarily won them but they have competed, animated and and often placed in events. As an example, the last two Canadian races, which others are saying they ignored – they got 5th and 6th in the races abd had as much chance to win them as anyone who wasn’t Sagan/GVA. If you’ve watched a lot of live racing this season you’ll see they’ve often been in breaks in WT events or one of the teams in the chase down – they’ve been very active, it just didn’t quite workout (Paris-Roubaix is another example – they could easily have won it). I must admit that I was surprised to see how poorly a WT stage win is rewarded compared to finishing 15th in a single day race or stage race. Most viewers would give more credit to winning stages of a race than to finishing an anonymous 13th or so. Much as I like the Canondale-Drapac team, I can’t honestly say as a cycling fan that they have contributed more to the spectacle of cycling this season than DDD, nor does it _feel_ like they’ve been more successful, and yet according to the points system, we should be admiring their achievements more than DDD this year. Strikes me that the points system is out of step with fans perception of what is a good team, and by extension, the selection of WT teams is therefore out of step with what fans would expect. I’m sure I’ll be rooting for Katusha, Bahrain and Astana and cheering every GC top 15 that Canondale gets next year ;)

            • Dave

              Again, that’s the perfect case for DDD to race with a PCT licence.

              The whole point in giving race organisers the discretion to select wildcard teams is to allow teams that are popular or exciting to be seen at the big races even if they haven’t managed to gain one of the qualified places.

  • gpop87

    Rather than cutting a team from the WT, would seem more sense to grandfather them out. Teams fold every year….

    • Dave

      That’s exactly what is happening.

      The top 16 teams are able to go through to next year just like they have in previous years, then any leftover spots are open to competition.

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