Velorooms - Cycling Forum

Professional Cycling => Men's Road Cycling => Topic started by: Leadbelly on March 05, 2020, 12:01

Title: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on March 05, 2020, 12:01
It's the same deal as last year, but this time round we know in advance how it should work.

As long as no WT team disappears at the end of the season then there is only one golden ticket to all WT events and one silver ticket for all 1-day WT races.

Handily the UCI no longer do the rolling points score, but have the actual year's tally. It makes it a lot easier.

PCT Ranking as of the start of this week:

 #arkea 1319
-----------------------------
 #cwg 639
-----------------------------
 #nippo 568
 #androni 534
 #total 467
 #vlaanderen 454
 #vinizabu 369
 #fundacion 337
 #bbhotels 292
 #cajarural 268
 #alpecin 215

With Cofidis and I-SUN both moving up last year, my thoughts beforehand were that it was going to be a three or four horse race, but who knows. Total and Alpecin especially are off to bad starts while others are doing a lot better than expected.

There is also the three-year ranking to determine the WT teams from 2023 onwards, but there's not much point looking too closely at this yet. However if ended today, both Jumbo and I-SUN would lose their spots.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on July 08, 2020, 15:05
Hopefully we'll get some racing soon, so I might as well update this to reflect the handful of points that were scored between the last post and lockdown starting.

 #arkea 1704
------------------------
 #cwg 990
------------------------
 #nippo 638
 #total 550
 #androni 534
 #vlaanderen 463
 #bbhotels 370
 #vinizabu 369
 #fundacion 337
 #cajarural 268
 #alpecin 250
 #wallonie 179

I say a handful, but both Arkea and Circus scored a fair whack.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on August 22, 2020, 20:42
Pre-TdF is a good point to update this. I guess I could have waited until after the national championships, but I might not have time then.

 #arkea 2108
 #cwg 1193
------------------------
 #alpecin 1151
------------------------
 #androni 854
 #nippo 772
 #total 631
 #vinizabu 558
 #bbhotels 531
 #vlaanderen 484
 #cajarural 364
 #fundacion 351
 #wallonie 263

The future looks bleak for CCC and therefore I've changed the number of qualifying spots to unofficially reflect this.

The big mover is of course Alpecin and that's despite MVDP not exactly living up the billing (so far). One race in particular was instrumental in this rise - Dwars door het Hageland where they picked up over 400 points.

Circus will need a great Autumn if they are to hold onto that coveted second place.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on September 21, 2020, 09:01
It should be an interesting update when it comes out later today (hopefully) and similarly to 2019 we might get a situation were literally every last race counts in the battle for the auto-wildcards. Will all three turn up at the Giro di Sardegna?
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on September 21, 2020, 10:03
Just checking and I see FirstCycling do a UCI ranking and it looks to be updated to include the Tour etc. It's probably got more chance to be correct than the official one tbh.

 #arkea 2857
 #alpecin 2540
------------------------
 #cwg 2304
------------------------
 #nippo 1367
 #unox 1131
 #androni 969
 #bbhotels 927
 #vlaanderen 887
 #vinizabu 866
 #total 785
 #wallonie 633
 #riwal 612

Big point gains for some teams since our last update.

Arkea will be disappointed with how their TdF went. A top-5 for Nairo-man and they could have booked their spots in the Tour next year. Bouhanni snaggled a win yesterday and him along with Barguil are their best chance of some more points in the rest of the year. Their lack of a big name for the cobbles could be their undoing.

Coming up fast behind them are Alpecin. If MVDP on his own has a decent classics season by his standards then it's difficult to see his team not being in the top-two. Add in his team mates and they're probably the favourites for the top spot.

Circus aren't out of it by any means. They've had a very good last week picking up lots of points all over the shop, but the 500+ points to Arkea is a lot to make up.

Elsewhere Nippo are the best of the rest, Uno-X are on a charge and B&B had a good tour and were unlucky not to pick up more points.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on September 30, 2020, 20:04
Big points today for Arkea. Couple that with yesterday's shock Circus news and the pressure is starting to build on MVDP to deliver at BinckBank and on the cobbles later in October.

Update on Monday.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: LukasCPH on September 30, 2020, 20:39
Big points today for Arkea. Couple that with yesterday's shock Circus news and the pressure is starting to build on MVDP to deliver at BinckBank and on the cobbles later in October.

Update on Monday.
With #circus out of the running for auto-wildcards (since they'll have a WT licence), isn't there now a massive gap (>1000 points) between #arkea #alpecin at the front and #delko #unox etc. behind?
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on September 30, 2020, 20:45
It will depend on what happens with NTT.

If they continue in some form then there will be 19 WT teams and only 1 auto-wildcard.

If they vanish and there are again only 18 teams, then of course neither Arkea or Alpecin have anything to worry about.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: LukasCPH on October 01, 2020, 09:42
If they continue in some form then there will be 19 WT teams and only 1 auto-wildcard.
Ah yes, I forgot about the 19 WT teams.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: mudplugger on October 01, 2020, 17:06
If Alpecin have an aim to finish top 2nd Div team, which I understand they do, then I am struggling with their approach. Circus 51 races to date,  Arkea 46, yet Alpecin only 33!
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on October 06, 2020, 20:15
Kaboom!

 #alpecin 3492
-------------------------
 #arkea 3419
-------------------------
 #cwg 2625 (but no longer part of this competition)
 #nippo 1438
 #unox 1198
 #bbhotels 1032

It was bound to happen. Despite Barguil's best efforts at FW and LBL, MVDP has dragged Alpecin ahead of Arkea and we haven't even reached the cobbled classics yet.

As pointed out a few posts back, a lot now will hinge on what happens with NTT. At the moment things look bleak for them and if they disappear then there will be two auto-wildcards for all WT events and Arkea can rest easy. However we all thought CCC was gonna go down the plughole, but lo and behold, Circus threw their hat (and money) into the ring. Could the same happen with NTT? Either by another PCT team or some random wealthy guy? Spending a few million and getting invites to all the big races sounds tempting.

That's the thought that will keep Arkea awake at night.

Cause we don't know what is happening with Quintana and co after the TDF raid, and will ASO look favourably on the team and give them a normal wildcard if the Colombian is guilty of something or other?
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: LukasCPH on October 06, 2020, 20:22
Could the same happen with NTT? Either by another PCT team or some random wealthy guy? Spending a few million and getting invites to all the big races sounds tempting.

That's the thought that will keep Arkea awake at night.
Maybe Arkea could be that PCT team themselves?
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on October 07, 2020, 21:03
Maybe Arkea could be that PCT team themselves?

They could do.

What does play in their favour is a couple of things.

Firstly there isn't much time for anybody to get stuff sorted. Isn't there usually a deadline of sorts in October for teams to have paperwork/money etc sorted for the next year? Secondly it's difficult to see which team could buy out NTT. In theory Rally and Uno-X might have the financial muscle, but even though Rally were linked with CCC, neither team to me seems to be the hasty sort that would jump into this. They each have other long term plans which they'll probably stick to.

Gazprom could be a likelier name, but it's a very weak squad currently. However if they managed to keep Nizzolo as part of the team, added Zakarin and a few spare Italians it could be a decent enough first XI.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: LukasCPH on October 07, 2020, 21:58
Firstly there isn't much time for anybody to get stuff sorted. Isn't there usually a deadline of sorts in October for teams to have paperwork/money etc sorted for the next year?
Yes.
There are some less important deadlines (1 August for some bank guarantee paperwork, 1 September for a first instalment of the registration fee) - 1 October for the final bank guarantee, the team budget, and at least 10 rider contracts. By 20 October, you have to have 15 riders on contract, and at least 27 by 1 December.

It is possible that the UCI may soften those requirements this year ... but I wouldn't count on it.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on November 17, 2020, 11:21
The competition is over and we know the winner, but there are still questions over the other prizes.

 #alpecin 4788
-------------------------
 #arkea 3697
-------------------------
 #nippo 1553
 #total 1418
 #unox 1346
 #bbhotels 1165

The future of NTT has been flip-flopping the past month or two and currently it is on a flip (ie. still existing) which would mean one Golden Ticket for Alpecin and the runners-up prize of invitations to all WT 1-day races would go to Arkea. Delko would miss out entirely.

I guess we'll know soon enough what is happening for sure.

If it does stay like that though it will mean the GTs will have two wildcards and only potentially one extra if Alpecin turn down the invite. Now obviously they'll be doing the Tour and normally you'd think they would skip one of the other two at least, but I'm not so sure. We're already seeing races in 2021 being cancelled in advance. Will Alpecin turn down one one of the races with most publicity and most chances of happening?

That would leave Vegni in particular with a massive headache. Things in Spain would appear a bit more straightforward as the Fundacion have lost their best rider and haven't impressed otherwise while Kern have a very young team and might be more content to wait until 2022.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: search on November 17, 2020, 11:58
#alpecin Modolo said that he would try his best to get a spot in the Tour team, without mentioning the Giro at all. So that could be an indication for them to skip it, I guess.

https://www.tuttobiciweb.it/article/2020/11/17/1605460779/sacha-modolo-alpecin-fenix-tempo-di-tornare-a-vincere
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on November 26, 2020, 08:39
There is also the three-year ranking to determine the WT teams from 2023 onwards, but there's not much point looking too closely at this yet.

One year in and we may as well have a quick look now.

(https://i.imgur.com/ZUWWAvH.png)

I haven't included the teams below I-SUN. The next in line in Nippo at ~1500. Even taking into account their transfer dealings for 2021, it's difficult to see any of the teams below this line making a big enough splash to worry the bigger teams[1]

CCC will cease to exist as of the 31st December. The question is, will Circus (2021-22) use the CCC points or their own results from 2020 when making the final calculation.

Either way Circus could have a tough couple of years ahead. Ditto for the emasculated NTT and they weren't very strong to begin with. I-Sun have signed some big names, but only Woods is a potential big scorer imo. Cofidis are very reliant on Martin. Lotto have a lot of new youngsters. Finally we don't know what is happening yet with Quintana and Arkea.
 1. However I will point out that Total scored over 5000 in 2019. If a team could repeat that x2 then they may have a shot at it
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: search on January 01, 2021, 08:23
#alpecin Alpecin now plans to make use of their wildcards for all three Grand Tours

https://www.wielerflits.be/nieuws/christoph-roodhooft-we-rijden-zowel-giro-tour-als-vuelta/?utm_campaign=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: Leadbelly on January 01, 2021, 09:20
I just thought they might. However I didn't know Fenix were Italian (and I still don't know what they do or sell!).

Surely Vegni now has to go with two Italian teams. I think Gazprom can kiss goodbye to any chances they had.

Bardiani have always been a favoured team by RCS and their transfers have both strengthened themselves somewhat and weakened their rivals - good chance for them to be there. At the other end of the spectrum Androni haven't always got on with RCS, their team is rather weakened in comparison with previous years and they don't have any Italian "names" on their team - I think they'll miss out this time.

So I think the second spot is between Eolo (I didn't like the majority of their dealings myself) and Vini Zabu (ie. Mareczko). Eolo are probably the more likely.
Title: Re: The 2021 Auto-Wildcard Race
Post by: LukasCPH on January 02, 2021, 18:16
I just thought they might. However I didn't know Fenix were Italian (and I still don't know what they do or sell!).
Fenix produce "innovative materials" (according to their logo) for interior furniture: https://www.fenixforinteriors.com/en (https://www.fenixforinteriors.com/en)
It's a brand of Arpa Industriale (me neither), and it's something-nano-something.

Why such a brand would sponsor a cycling team I don't know - my best guess is that the boss likes bikes. :slow


On the actual topic: With #alpecin taking all three wildcards there's next to no room for the 'home teams' - four choices for two remaining spots in each Grand Tour. We may well see one or several of these teams folding at the end of 2021. :(

With this auto-invite qualification system, the number of teams with a WorldTour licence needs to be brought down. One doesn't work without the other, and vice-versa.
The Women's WorldTour has a maximum number of 15 teams - why not have the same for the men? You wouldn't even have to relegate teams; just don't allow any new applications until you've reached 15-16. This is cycling, there are teams folding even at the highest level often enough. #israel and #wanty bought their way in by taking over the #katusha and #ccc licences - if they had stayed at ProTeam level, we'd now be down to 17 WT teams and have two more wildcard spots for every WT race.