With the 2019 UCI road racing season officially at an end*, it’s time to begin our review of this year’s road racing highlights.
First up, let’s take a look domestic team performances in the newly published end-of-season UCI World Rankings.
*The UCI’s quirky road racing season finished with the Tour of Guangxi on 22nd October. So Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes’ participation in the Tour of Fuzhou in November officially falls into the 2020 road season…
UCI World Rankings
The UCI World Rankings are now the UCI’s main rankings for men. The UCI awards
For teams, they are important not merely from a prestige perspective (the top-ranked team can lay claim to being the best team in the world).
Deceuninck – Quick-Step were crowned the best team in the world for the second year in a row, after another vintage season which produced a plethora of memorable victories in some of the most prestigious races on the calendar: https://t.co/Gos3n1G6uk pic.twitter.com/DSSulRJeRI— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) October 23, 2019
More crucially for many, race organisers will often use the rankings to help determine which teams get invites to races.
So how did the British Continental teams fare in 2019?
It’s perhaps no great surprise to see Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes at the top of the British Continental pile, finishing the season with 741 points. They had an incredibly strong season and a mightily impressive UCI race calendar to boot. Their top points scorers were Rory Townsend (250 points), Tom Stewart (126) and Ryan Christensen (124). But with 10 different riders scoring UCI points in total, they proved their strength in depth too.
Team Wiggins Le Col ran Canyon dhb a close second with 713 points. The lion’s share of their points were scored by Tom Pidcock (264) and James Fouché (178), the latter receiving a whopping 125 points for his New Zealand road race championships win alone. Like Canyon, they also had 10 riders contributing to their haul.
Ribble Pro Cycling may not have made the top 4 in the Tour of Britain qualification standings, but they comfortably finished ahead of SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother and Madison Genesis in the UCI World Rankings. John Archibald was in large part to thank for this. His marvellous performances in the British road race championships, together with mixed relay TTT bronze and 14th in the individual TT at the world championships, earned him 176.67 points. Dan Bigham (76.67) and Damien Clayton (40) also chipped in with important points.
The story for the other three teams was very similar: one rider scoring big, with only one or two other riders earning UCI points. For SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling, James Shaw (134) was the main points scorer. For Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother it was Scott Thwaites (137) and at Madison Genesis it was Matt Holmes (100).
Overall, this left Canyon
Finally, it’s worth noting that any rankings systems will have its own in-built subjectivity. Take a look at the ProCyclingStats season team rankings, for example, and Madison Genesis and Ribble Pro Cycling swap places.
Why? Well, ProCyclingStats allocates far fewer points to national road race championship placings. And they also don’t take into account world championship performances. This means John Archibald’s and Dan Bigham’s contributions are dramatically diminished compared with the UCI’s system. Meanwhile, with some other, more minor, differences in points allocations, Madison Genesis leapfrog up to 3rd.
Featured photo: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 24/07/2019. HSBC UK British Cycling National Circuit Series Road, Sheffield Grand Prix –
Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes take the team prize