The Tour de France and Vuelta a España winner says Greg Van Avermaet deserved to win WorldTour despite questioning the weighting of points to races
Chris Froome considers the WorldTour points distribution uneven given one can gain more points for two one-day race wins than he can for a Grand Tour.
Team Sky’s leader finished the 2017 season second in the WorldTour behind Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), 3452 points to 3582.
“Greg Van Avermaet deserved to win,” Froome told Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.
“For me the ranking has never been a goal. To try and overtake him I would’ve had to race and be a protagonist in Lombardy and Guangxi, but I didn’t have the energy to do it.”
Froome gained most of his points with overall wins in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, worth 1000 and 850 respectively. Stage wins and placings also yield points. He gained another 200 for his Cumbre del Sol stage win and Logroño time trial win in Spain.
“The fact remains that the points are not equally divided. Those who win two Classics gain more points than the Vuelta winner, and to win a race like the Spanish Grand Tour, I assure you that you need three weeks of total commitment,” Froome added.
“Van Avermaet, for example, by winning Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix he won 500 points each, while I took 850 for the Vuelta.”
The UCI governing body overhauled the WorldTour ahead of 2017 to adopt the World Ranking system and give points when wearing the leader’s jersey or winning the points and mountains classifications. However the two rankings remain separate, with only points picked up in WorldTour races counting towards the WorldTour classification, while points accrued in all races (WorldTour and lower level) count towards the World Ranking.
Some criticised the new “chaotic” system and the addition of new races in China and Turkey.
“The WorldTour and the different rankings are a chaos,” German time trial champion Tony Martin said. “The point system can be much more transparent. No one knows what points you get at any race, so few riders are interested.”
The overall victories in the Tour and Vuelta interested Froome this year, not his rankings. In the past, Joaquím Rodríguez and Alejandro Valverde ruled the WorldTour.
Froome’s schedule will exclude the 2018 Paris-Roubaix, even if he could use it to prepare for the Tour’s cobbled stage or to chase for points in the rankings.
“The risk of a fall in the Classics is too great, so I will not race Roubaix,” he explained. “Maybe I will try again at the end of my career, but now I’m concentrated on the Tour de France.”
If Froome wins the Tour again he will tie the record five titles held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.