how does it work and how are the Italians accommodated?

The world cycling rankings have existed since 1948, but have been radically reformed since 2016, with significant impacts on participation in the most prestigious races. Here’s how it works.

Distribution of world cycling ranking points

Let’s start from the beginning, by explaining exactly what UCI is. For those who know less about cycling, the International Cycling Union is a sort of FIFA of the world cycling movementIt oversees all international racing and is headquartered in Switzerland, in the mountain village of Aigle.

The first UCI ranking was called Challenge Desgrange-Colombo and was introduced in 1948 with the aim of increasing competitiveness among riders. Over time the rankings were greatly revamped and, until the definitive restructuring in 2016, the classification system was transformed on a continuous evaluation basis throughout the 52 weeks of racing. Rankings They are updated every Tuesday and a final prize is awarded to the annual winners of the various categories.

How does the UCI ranking work?

The UCI points system has a significant impact on the race as it determines which teams and which drivers can participate in the race. Take part in the Pro World Tour’s most prestigious racesLike the Tour de France, the great classics and the Giro d’Italia. The UCI cycling ranking mechanism is based on a points scale with different values ​​assigned according to the importance of different races: to give a practical example, a victory in the Tour de France is worth many more points than a victory in the Tour de France. Portugal Tour.

Points for both teams and riders accumulate throughout the season and have a very significant impact on the entire professional cycling world. You are invited to the most important competitions, but also for pure survival reasons. In fact, the higher a team is in the UCI rankings, the easier it is to attract the attention of sponsors and financiers.

World Tour races (e.g. Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Amstel Gold Race) award more points. Immediately He has Pro Series races behind him (Tour of Oman, Coppa Bernocchi, Gran Trittico Lombardo, etc.) and finally we have other races recognized by the UCI but less prestigious. One of the most important reasons why the UCI ranking is kept high is related to racing licenses. In professional road cycling, teams actually need to earn a certain number of points in order to maintain their World Tour license, and thus they can participate in all World Tour events.

UCI world rankings They also remain extremely important as they set quotas by country for the Road World Championships and UCI Olympic Games for both the Elite and Under-23 categories (men and women). Currently the regulation states:Top ranked in UCI ProTeam European rankings You are automatically guaranteed a place in all UCI WorldTour events, including the following year’s three Grand Tours: Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta di Spagna. This really makes a difference in terms of programming.

The UCI world rankings for both men and women consist of: Three separate rankings: individual, team and nation. To these should be added rankings divided by continents. Two of the three UCI world rankings – Nations and Individual – are updated continuously over a 52-week period as described above.

However, team classification is seasonal and brings together points accumulated for each teamis awarded to runners affiliated with a team during a season. In men’s team classification, the scores of the best twenty cyclists in the team are taken into account, while for women, the scores of the best fifteen cyclists are calculated.

Current standings: Pogačar and Vollering ahead

Tadej Pogačar and Demi Vollering lead the UCI Rankings updated as of November 14, 2023. The Slovenian cyclist suffered a serious injury in Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2023, but despite this, he managed to finish the Tour de France in second place. Dane Vingegaard) and three great classics: Tour of Flanders, Fleche Wallone and Amstel Gold Race. Although Vingegaard’s growth has so far deprived him of being the absolute ruler of world cycling, Pogačar remains the most complete cyclist on the market.

Vollering, on the other hand, had an extraordinary 2023Victory in the Tour de France, second place in the Vuelta and a long streak of success in single races, where Strade Bianche and Freccia Vallone stood out. The top Italian in the UCI international cycling rankings was twenty-six-year-old Silvia Persico from Alzano Lombardo, who won the Freccia del Bramante this season. Also in the top 20 among cycling girls are 22-year-old Gaia Realini in fourteenth place, the great hope of our movement Chiara Consonni in fifteenth place, the perfect Elisa Longhi Borghini in sixteenth place and finally Elisa Balsamo in twentieth place. place.

The situation among men is certainly less prosperous only Filippo Ganna, fifteenthAmong the teams, although it is necessary to wait a few more weeks for the decision regarding the calendar year to be made, UAE Team Emirates is leading among men and Netherlands Team SD Work is leading among women. Finally, Italy is currently eighth in the men’s team rankings, while it is a good second behind the Netherlands in the women’s cycling rankings.

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