The problem with UCI’s results inevitably goes to be heard in the Australian Cycling World Cup, and Spain, like other nations, has to deal with World Tour teams needing to allow their riders to race to avoid relegation. In October, results lines will be drawn for the 2020-2022 triennium to understand which teams will be part of the World Tour next season.
This system may seem harsh in some ways, but in fact it has been backed by many of those teams that today risk falling out of the first category. In Spain, fans are complaining that in the Australian World Cup they will not be able to support Alejandro Valverde or Enrique Mas, and the Spanish Cycling Federation, which has to suffer from the decisions of those teams that have to chase points, complain. Pasquale Mombarler, Spain’s technical commissioner, had already understood at the Tour de France that things were not going to go well and in a moment found himself being blackmailed by the teams, which initially decided to sell some riders for the world championship and then – seeing that other teams had pulled out – decided backing down. This, for example, is the case of Cofidis and Movistar, who decided not to give their riders to the Spanish national team.
The World Cup will award the winner 600 points, but between now and October 18, the last day to accumulate points and avoid relegation, there will still be 52 races on the calendar in Japan, Malaysia, Romania, Czech Republic, Taiwan, Azerbaijan, Canada and other countries.
Jose Luis López Cerrón, president of the Spanish Cycling Federation, feels trapped by this system, and if on the one hand he understands the Movistar problem, on the other hand, he finds himself compelled to answer the fans’ pressing questions. “This situation can penalize the jockeys who refuse to wear the national team jersey – Cerrone said – because the rule is that if an athlete gives up a call for the national team, it could be because of injury or illness and that’s why he can’t run anywhere. The other party will not. I’m punishing anyone, I don’t want them to say it’s the federation’s fault if the only Spanish team on the World Tour stays out.” To defend the colors of Spain, with the exception of Emirati riders Ayuso and Soler, who were awarded without problems (even if the UAE team bans Ulissi), it will not be There are important names such as Mas and Valverde. Paradoxically, it is the big races that suffer from this situation, which see the absence of many riders, while the small races suddenly find important teams, arriving to score points. Thus this system favored the small organizers, who could guarantee Their races are for World Tour teams that are having a hard time on those essential points of their survival.
Just to give a few obvious examples, on the Queen stage in the Vuelta, Mas finished second and earned 40 points. BikeExchange Jayco’s Palmer finished 9th at the Maryland Classic in Baltimore with the same 40 points. In the Tour de France, a stage win yields 120 points, while if you win the Getxo circuit you get 125 points and also if you win the Clásica Jaén Paraíso Interior, the Spanish race often compared to many distances of dirt road Stride Pianche. The system is certainly complex, but when the UCI proposed it, it was the teams that wanted it out loud.
The problem with the World Cup is not only in the results, but in the fact that Australia is far away, that country’s Covid regulations are strict and flights are expensive: this has put many federations in difficulty. In addition, there are very short times to close flights, get visas and then the costs of transporting used bikes to the Vuelta or to Canada at the Grand Prix in Quebec and Montreal, which caused another problem.