Taking measures to try to simplify the calculation of world ranking points, the UCI has announced that both the general UCI World Ranking and the UCI WorldTour rankings will use the same points scale from 2017 onwards.
The World Ranking was introduced this year and harks back to the pre ProTour/WorldTour system, where points from all races were included to determine the most successful riders.
The introduction of the ProTour/WorldTour in the mid 2000s upended this, with the riders and teams from that top division being considered and ranked separately.
The remaining riders and teams were broken into continental subdivisions, with points being totted up for each of these.
In a bid to simplify things, the UCI brought in an overall ranking for riders and nations this year. It includes results achieved at all events on the UCI International Road Calendar, namely those of the UCI WorldTour, UCI Continental Circuits, UCI World Championships, National and Continental Championships, Olympic Games and Continental Games. It is calculated in a rolling system over the previous 52 weeks, and is similar to the ATP system in tennis.
All riders who score points in those races are considered, irrespectively of their team level. Currently 2952 riders have collected points and are part of the rankings.
Peter Sagan took the 2016 UCI World Ranking, while France was best nation.
The simplification of the system announced on Friday will see the World Ranking and WorldTour use the same points scales.
The planned changes will see a continuation of the UCI WorldTour rankings in 2017 and beyond, but there will be changes to how points are calculated. Firstly, the current system of awarding points to the top 20 finishers in WorldTour races will shift to the top 60, thus rewarding more riders and giving an incentive to individual competitors and teams to keep racing to the line.
Secondly, for the WorldTour team classification, the previous practice of only considering the points of the top five riders on each squad will be changed. Now the points of every rider on each team will be included, again providing an incentive for riders to keep chasing points in events.
Thirdly, the UCI has decided to abandon the previous WorldTour nation ranking. In place of this, the best nations in the UCI World Ranking system will be recognised.
The UCI has added that the new WorldTour races which will be introduced in 2017 will have their own points scale.
Meanwhile the UCI has also announced a doubling of points for the Tour de l’Avenir, a move taken in order to boost the importance of the event. Regarded in the past as a Tour de France for young riders, it is the final event in the Under 23 Nations’ Cup and now assumes an even greater importance than before.