Women’s WorldTour points fight: SD Worx dominates, Human Powered Health, Israel-Premier Tech in danger

Uno-X moves into safe spot in contest to retain WorldTour license, AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step continues to climb the rankings.

Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images

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SD Worx has turned its super spring classics into marvelous May madness, reconfirming its position as the dominant team in world cycling.

Meanwhile, the fight to stay in the WorldTour continues to tighten with Uno-X holding a tenuous position within the top-15 eligible teams, just over 100 points clear of Lifeplus-Wahoo.

At-risk WorldTour squads Israel-Premier Tech Roland and Human Powered Health are tantalizingly close to safety but still languish in the relegation zone.

With overall victories at Itzulia Women and the Vuelta a Burgos, plus a bunch of stage wins, Lotte Kopecky’s success at Veenendaal-Veenendall, and Demi Vollering’s second place at the Vuelta Femenina, SD Worx is sitting very comfortably at the top of the UCI’s rankings.

Having only just inched out Trek-Segafredo last year, the team is over 3,400 points ahead of the U.S.-registered squad already this year, though there’s plenty that can change across the remainder of the season.

“Danny Stam was singing ‘The winner takes it all’ in my earpiece for the last few meters. This was Team SD Worx’s perfect race. We were working hard every day for the best possible result and really did it as a team. So, we can be really proud of this,” Vollering said after the Vuelta a Burgos.

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It’s as if the team can hardly do any wrong at the moment, but there will be some sterner tests to come as spring turns into summer.

Trek-Segafredo has not raced much in the last month, but it has continued to be one of the few teams to really trouble SD Worx when it is on the start line. Shirin van Anrooij took second behind Vollering at the Vuelta a Burgos last week while Gaia Realini went onto the podium at the Vuelta Femenina at the start of the month.

Meanwhile, FDJ-Suez has enjoyed something of a revival of fortunes in the opening weeks of May thanks to Grace Brown. The Australian took wins on the team’s home soil at the GP de Morbihan and the five-day Bretagne Ladies Tour.

Evita Muzic is also continuing to grow with sixth at the Vuelta Femenina and Itzulia Women, something that bodes well for the summer.

Promotion and relegation fight

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio took her second win of the season at Durango-Durango
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio took her second win of the season at Durango-Durango (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

While the battle for domination at the top of the sport has been interesting to watch, it is the fight to remain in the WorldTour that has the highest stakes right now. Right from the beginning of the season, it has been a close fight with three WorldTeams sitting in the relegation zone with plenty to do to get safe.

Conversely, it meant that there were three Continental teams within a shout of promotion at the end of this season. The teams have had to think very tactically not just about how they race, but where they do it.

AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step hit the ground running in February and hasn’t stopped since. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio has really proved to be a star signing for the team and she recently took her second win of the season at Durango-Durango as well as a third overall at the Vuelta a Burgos. The up-and-coming 21-year-old Gaia Masetti has also been picking up some good results of late.

Ceratizit-WNT is the other Continental team that looks destined to climb into the WorldTour in 2024. While it hasn’t had the same big results as AG Insurance, the team has been very consistent and has claimed some wins along the way.

Though the issues with teams such as B&B Hotels and Zaaf have been tough for the riders involved, it has given a few of the teams around the key final spots an opportunity to snap up some top talent and help their chances of either remaining in the WorldTour or getting promotion to it.

Human Powered Health signed Audrey Cordon-Ragot last month amidst the dramatic collapse of the Zaaf team. The team also nabbed Marjolein van ‘t Geloof late last year when Lifeplus-Wahoo had to scramble to find a new sponsor when Le Col pulled out late in the day.

Anna Kiesenhofer has strengthened the Israel-Premier Tech Roland team for 2023
Anna Kiesenhofer has strengthened the Israel-Premier Tech Roland team for 2023 (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Israel-Premier Tech Roland has arguably made the most of the other teams’ troubles. The squad secured Olympic Champion Anna Kiesenhofer from the demise of the fledgling B&B Hotels team. Lizzie Stannard and Maggie Coles-Lyster have both come over from Zaaf in recent weeks.

These late signings have paid some dividends for both WorldTour squads with Cordon-Ragot earning some valuable points for Human Powered Health this month. Israel-Premier Tech Roland’s new riders haven’t been the major points scorers, but they have strengthened the back-up for the team’s leaders such as Tamara Dronova.

Both teams have trimmed down the gap to the final promotion spot with Israel making the biggest gains recently — after a very slow start to the season — and has jumped Human Powered Health in the two-year rankings, but neither has been able to manage to reach safety just yet.

Uno-X had the biggest mountain to climb at the start of the year after finishing 2022 as the lowest-ranked WorldTour squad but it has become the first of the at-risk top-tier teams to make it to the top-15 eligible teams — UAE Development is not eligible for promotion.

The Norwegian squad has not joined the clamor for new signings and has relied on its pre-existing line-up to pull it through so far. Off-season signing Amalie Dideriksen has really delivered for the team this month with a victory and a win in the opening week.

Uno-X and Human Powered Health have both been relying on some smaller races to pick up points with the latter not racing a single WorldTour event in May while Uno-X has done just one with the RideLondon Classique on the cards later this week.

Israel-Premier Tech Roland has been reticent to refuse its WorldTour invitations and will ride all top-tier events in May. It remains to be seen which approach will deliver the goods at the end of the year.

Ranking Team 2022 points 2023 points Total
1 SD Worx 11,629.01 9936.44 21,628.45
2 Trek-Segafredo 11,277.65 6587.87 17,865.52
3 FDJ Suez 9,838.33 4371.71 14,210.04
4 Movistar 9,378.98 4237.42 13,616.40
5 Team DSM 10,671.33 2915.7 13,587.03
6 Canyon-SRAM 7,111.67 4832.55 11,944.22
7 UAE Team ADQ 6,027.00 4409.56 10,436.56
8 Jumbo-Visma 4,815.36 2599.84 7,415.20
9 Jayco-AlUla 5,298.69 1561.15 6,859.84
10 Valcar-Travel & Service/UAE Development* 5,975.00 534.65 6,509.65
11 EF Education-TIBCO-SVB 3,016.01 2159 5,175.01
12 Fenix-Deceuninck 2,884.33 1988 4,872.33
13 Ceratizit-WNT 2,401.33 1871 4,272.33
14 Liv Racing TeqFind 2,575.00 1420.16 3,995.16
15 AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step 1,360.00 2552 3,912.00
16 Uno-X Pro Cycling 995.66 2172 3,167.66
17 Lifeplus-Wahoo 2,327.00 718 3,045.00
18 Israel-Premier Tech Roland 1,380.80 1334 2,714.80
19 Human Powered Health 914.00 1698 2,612.00
20 Parkhotel Valkenburg 2,157.00 447.68 2,604.68
21 Tashhkent City Women 1,052.00 1150.32 2,202.32
22 Cofidis 860.00 1155 2,015.00
23 Mat Atom Deweloper Wroclaw 1,564.00 295 1,859.00
24 St Michel-Mavic-Auber 93 1,000.33 767 1,767.33
25 Team Coop-Hitech Products 1,247.00 493 1,740.00
26 Canyon-SRAM Generation* 978.00 526.32 1,504.32

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