UCI revises points system to give more weighting to Grand Tours and Monuments

Cycling's governing body publishes major changes to its points scale for the coming three-year cycle

Arc de Triomphe with riders cycling in front of it
(Image credit: Getty)

The UCI has announced major changes to its race points system and will give greater weighting to Grand Tours and Monuments from 2023. 

The modifications, which will come into effect on 1 January, come after discussions with various stakeholders involved in professional men’s road racing, who wanted to “attach more value to the most prestigious UCI WorldTour races”. 

As a result, the value of UCI points attributed to the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España will increase next season. This will apply to the classification leaders as well as stage results.

The UCI has also created a “special category” for the five Monuments, with riders gaining more points in those races compared to other one-day WorldTour events.

Previously, winning the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix would land a rider 500 points, the same amount awarded for a victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec or the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. It is unknown, at this stage, what the new points allocations are. 

Furthermore, there will be an increase in the number of points attributed in WorldTour and ProSeries stage races. “In future, points will be awarded for finishes lower than third place (all the way down to fifth, tenth or 15th, depending on the competition),” the UCI wrote in a statement shared today

The final competitions that will see a points increase are the Olympic Games and the Road World Championships, but only the road races and time trials in the elite categories. 

In the same statement, the UCI said: “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.”

Until now, the UCI World Ranking for teams has been calculated by combining the points obtained by each team’s 10 highest scoring riders. From 2023, this will stretch down to each team’s top 20. 

Expanding on this decision, the UCI said: “This increase in the number of riders is designed not only to better reflect the competitive strength of the teams, but also to reduce the downside of their best riders being unavailable for any reason.”

The UCI points system was criticised by a number of cycling teams in 2022, with EF Education-EasyPost manager Jonathan Vaughters telling Cycling Weekly it gave way to a “really absurd way of racing”. 

The new changes only apply to men's professional road cycling, which has a three-year cycle. The UCI issued the last of its team licences earlier this month, confirming the relegation of Lotto-Soudal and Israel-Premier Tech from WorldTeam to ProTeam status.  

Both teams, however, will automatically receive invitations to all WorldTour stage and one-day races in 2023, except the Grand Tours, as part of a "transition year". 

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