UCI releases sporting criterion ranking for 2013 WorldTour applications
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Monday, October 29, 2012

UCI releases sporting criterion ranking for 2013 WorldTour applications

by Ben Atkins at 1:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank’s place in danger with Alberto Contador’s points not counting

uci worldtourThe International Cycling Union (UCI) has released it assessment of the sporting criterion for the registration of teams in the 2013 WorldTour, which is the first stage in the decision-making over who will get to sit at the sport’s top table. The UCI ranking lists the top 15 teams, based on their 12 best riders signed for next year - in alphabetical order - with teams 16-20 listed in ranking order beneath them.

Teams ranked in the top 15 are deemed to have met the UCI’s sporting criterion and, subject to the ethical, financial and administrative criteria, will be awarded 2013 WorldTour status. Those ranked 16-20 will be assessed, according to those criteria, in order to award the final three places, while the teams ranked below 20th are not eligible to go further in the application process, but can apply for Professional Continental status next year.

The most notable absentee from the top 15 is the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team of Vuelta a España winner Alberto Contador. Unfortunately for the Danish team, the Spanish rider’s own WorldTour ranking points will not be counted towards the team’s sporting criterion for the first two years following his doping suspension [Contador returned to racing in August, having served a, mostly retrospective, two year ban - ed].

Even with Contador’s points included in the 2012 WorldTour ranking, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank only makes 15th in the 18 team classification; without them the team scores very poorly indeed.

Also missing out on the top-15 is Belgian team Lotto-Belisol, which only ranks 17th, despite finishing the season 11th in the WorldTour.

The big Professional Continental team gunning for 2013 WorldTour status is Argos-Shimano, which is ranked in 16th place. The Dutch team’s success has been built on the prolific victories of its young pair of German sprinters - John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel - with the former taking the Europe Tour title. Such a position will surely give the ambitious outfit the confidence to push one of the current crop of ProTeams down a level.

Despite finishing second-last in the WorldTour this year, AG2R La Mondiale has made it into the top-15 with a rash of judicious signings. There has been no such luck for compatriot FDJ-BigMat however, whose dead last position - despite taking two Tour de France stages - sees it 18th in the sporting ranking. With Team Europcar just one place below, the two teams could be vying to become the second French team in next year’s WorldTour.

With Europcar manager Jean-René Bernadeau proclaiming the WorldTour calendar too busy for his team however, both teams could miss out altogether, leaving just one team from the nation that puts on the World’s biggest race in the top division.

With the top-15 teams all-but qualified for next year’s WorldTour, the UCI will make the official announcement after the registration November 1st deadline. On that date the names of the teams that have successfully met its four criteria will be announced, along with those teams that have satisfactorily applied for second division Professional Continental status so far.

The first decisions of the UCI License Commission will be communicated on November 26th, with the final decisions announced on December 10th.

Top 15 teams (in alphabetical order)
AG2R La Mondiale
Astana Pro Team
BMC Racing Team
Cannondale (currently Liquigas-Cannondale)
Former Rabobank
Lampre-Merida (currently Lampre-ISD)
Movistar Team
Omega Pharma-Quick Step
Sky Procycling
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team

Teams ranked 16th-20th (in ranking order)
16. Team Argos-Shimano
17. Lotto-Belisol
18. FDJ-BigMat
19. Team Europcar
20. Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank


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