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The UCI announced changes Friday to its sometimes-controversial points scale for men’s races for 2023, with grand tours and monuments being earning teams more than in previous seasons.
This year saw the first WorldTour promotion-relegation battle play out, with three seasons’ worth of points totted up to see which teams would make it into the top 18. Israel-Premier Tech and Lotto-Soudal lost out, and Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic earned spots in the top tier.
During the 2022 season, the distribution of points across races was brought sharply into focus after teams started sending their squads to low-ranked one-day races rather than some bigger events as they offered more points compared to the relative prestige of the race.
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The new scale introduced of 2023 will see the number of points on offer for top positions at grand tours and monuments upped.
Meanwhile, more riders will be able to score points on individual stages of WorldTour and ProSeries races with up to 15 finishers scoring points.
“These changes, which will serve to widen the gap between the points scored in the most prestigious races and those in lower categories, are aimed at encouraging teams to enter their best riders in the most important races and to ensure a better correlation between the points awarded and the sporting achievement involved, which is clearly at a higher level in UCI WorldTour races featuring all UCI WorldTeams,” a UCI statement said.
Another change will also see the number of riders contributing to a team’s total points score doubled. In past seasons, the top 10 riders within the team have counted toward the total tally but that has now been increased to 20.
The new scale will see the winner of the Tour de France earn a massive 1,300 points compared to the 1,000 that was on offer for this year’s winner. Meanwhile, the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España victors will take home 1,100 instead of the 850 that Jai Hindley and Remco Evenepoel got this year.
Jersey winners at each of the grand tours will also pocked more points than in previous years, as will the winners of prologues.
The five monuments now have their own points scale having previously being placed within a group of other races that included the Tour Down Under, the Critérium du Dauphine, and Gent-Wevelgem. Next year, the winners will get 300 points more than the 500 available this year.
— UCI_media (@UCI_media) December 23, 2022
Meanwhile, another small change sees Strade Bianche promoted into the second group of WorldTour races, alongside Flèche Wallonne, E3 Saxo Bank Classic, and Itzulia Basque Country.
The Olympic Games and world championships will also be worth more to teams, with an extra 300 points on offer for the road race world champion and 105 more for the time trial winner.
In addition to the changes to the points scale, there has been an amendment made to the rules around race invites.
It means that both Israel Premier-Tech and Lotto Soudal (now Lotto Dstny) will get automatic invites to WorldTour races during the 2023 season (except grand tours), even if they fail to meet the sporting criteria previously set out.
This will not be the case for the 2024 season.