AG2R CITROEN: 3/10
Despite stringing together a series of high finishes in the early season stage races, last year’s breakout star Ben O’Connor failed to mount a Grand Tour GC bid to match his fourth-place from last year’s Tour de France.
Instead, a Bob Jungels stage win at that race was their season highlight, while what little success they had elsewhere in the World Tour often came from Benoît Cosnfroy, who won GP de Québec and podiumed at Amstel Gold and Brabantse Pijl.
ASTANA QAZAQSTAN: 1/10
With fewer wins than any other World Tour team, and only two of those managed outside of Asia, Astana’s miserable downward trajectory of recent years continues.
Fourth overall at the Vuelta and Giro Miguel Ángel López and Vincenzo Nibali respectively were their only real performances of note, and with the latter retiring, they can only hope newly-crowned under-23 world champion Yevgeniy Fedorov helps spark life into this struggling team.
At the start of the season, Bahrain-Victorious picked up where they left off from 2021, winning another monument though Matej Mohoric at Milan-San Remo, picking up another Grand Tour podium finish with Mikel Landa at the Giro, and many other big wins including Dylan Teuns at Flèche Wallonne.
Things did tail off during the second half of the year results wise but Fred Wright's continued grit and determination in the face of a string of near misses served to endear the team to the fans and make him one of the squads best best performers.
Despite having the threat of World Tour relegation hanging over them for much of the season until Michael Matthews landed them a haul of points with bronze at the World Championships, BikeExchange-Jayco enjoyed their most prolific season since 2019.
New signing Dylan Groenewegen proved to be a success in the sprints and Simon Yates was his usual self, and each contributed to the team winning stages in all three Grand Tours, although illness prevented Yates from doing well on GC in any of them.
Jai Hindley’s overall victory at the Giro d’Italia (the team’s first ever Grand Tour) was perhaps the greatest ever achievement for the German squad, and a landmark moment confirming that they are now one of the top stage race forces.
They also again managed to exceed 30 wins despite the departure of long-standing talisman Peter Sagan, largely thanks to the prolificity of Aleksandr Vlasov and Sergio Higuita in stage races, who respectively won the Tour de Romandie and Volta a Catalunya.
Nineteen wins is a significant improvement on recent years for Cofidis, even if the vast majority did come in small French races. This was their first third season competing at World Tour level, but they still struggle to make an impact in it, with Jesus Herrada’s stage at the Vuelta and Ion Izagirre’s at Itzulia Basque Country their own victories in top-ranked races.
The constant struggle to develop new talent in time to replace their trademark steady stream of riders heading for the exit continued to hinder DSM, who managed just ten wins.
This year’s top new discovery Thymen Arensman won a stage and finished sixth at the Vuelta España, having earlier made the podium at the Tour of Poland and Tour of the Alps, but he’s already moving on to Ineos Grenadiers; aside from his results, a Giro stage win for Alberto Dainese and Romain Bardet’s sixth overall at the Tour de France were the modest season highlights.
EF EDUCATION-EASYPOST: 2/10
Managing less than ten wins this was the American team’s most disappointing season for a while. Of those wins, Magnus Cort’s at the Tour and Rigoberto Uran’s at the Vuelta were the highlights, but they also failed to feature prominently in the Grand Tour GC battles, with Uran and Carthy’s ninth-places at the Vuelta and Giro respectively the highest.
Their bonkers Tour de France kit did some heavily lifting on the entertainment front though.
Falling short of 20 wins for the first time since 2015, Groupama-FDJ weren’t quite as prolific as normal, though that total did include three stage wins at the Giro d’Italia by a resurgent Arnaud Demare.
Only fine margins prevented them from celebrating a stellar season, with Stefan Küng taking silver at the Worlds time trial and third at Paris-Roubaix, Valentin Madouas third at the Tour of Flanders, and David Gaudu finishing one spot short of a Tour de France podium.
INEOS GRENADIERS: 5/10
Despite the best efforts of Geraint Thomas (third at the Tour de France) and Richard Carapaz (second at the Giro d’Italia), Ineos Grenadiers failed to win a Grand Tour for the first time since 2014.
Despite that the wins kept coming (only three teams managed more, in fact), with Dylan van Baarle’s at Paris-Roubaix and Tom Pidcock on Alpe d'Huez the highlights, but even titles like Itzulia Basque Country (Dani Martínez), the Tour de Suisse (Thomas) and Amstel Gold (Michał Kwiatkowski) aren’t enough for a team with as high expectations as Ineos.
The recent shuffling on the staff side of the team would seem to indicate not everyone is happy inside either.
INTERMARCHE-WANTY-GOBERT MATERIAUX: 8/10
Surely the most improved team of the year, the Belgian squad’s sophomore season in the World Tour saw them fully adapt to the elite level. They have a real star in Biniam Girmay, whose Gent Wevelgem win and Giro stage were their season highlights, but there were contributions throughout the team, from veteran Alexander Kristoff’s steady stream of wins and Quinten Herman’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège’s runner-up finish to Jan Hirt and Louis Meintjes’ Grand Tour top seven finishes.
ISRAEL-PREMIER TECH: 2/10
Victims of the dreaded relegation under the new UCI system, Israel-Premier Tech suffered as age caught up to veterans Jakob Fuglsang, Michael Woods and Chris Froome. With new signing Giacomo Nizzolo also falling short of his normal sprinting form, even an excellent Tour de France (where Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle each landed surprise stage wins) was not enough to save them.
The image of Christophe Laporte, Primož Roglič and Wout van Aert crossing the line together at the opening stage of Paris-Nice epitomised the dominance Jumbo-Visma enjoyed in 2022.
Those three riders were responsible for many of the team’s near-half century of victories, a haul that eclipses even last year’s tally of 43; and, most importantly of all, included the one they’ve wanted for years but that has always eluded them — the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, courtesy of Jonas Vingegaard.
Hampered by Caleb Ewan’s crashes and injury problems, Lotto-Soudal were up against the threat of World Tour relegation all year. And despite the best efforts of young sprinter Araud De Lie, who was prolific in the minor classics, a lack of strength in depth and inability to get results in the big races saw them fail to avoid that fate.
A total of 18 wins was the team’s highest since 2019, but were confined mostly to small races; in fact, Carlos Verona’s stage win at Critérium du Dauphiné was the only one at World Tour level. There were several notable near misses though, with Enric Mas taking laudable runner-up finishes at both the Vuelta a España and Il Lombardia, and the retiring Alejandro Valverde podiuming at Strade Bianche and Flèche Wallonne as a reminder of how much the team will miss him.
Even if they weren’t quite as prolific as in recent seasons, the success of Fabio Jakobsen and Remco Evenepoel was still enough for Quick Step to once again finish the season with more wins than any other team. Evenepoel was the star, landing the team the World Championships road race, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and, most impressively of all, the Vuelta a España — the team’s first ever Grand Tour title, and the heralding of a new era.
Trek-Segafredo are indebted to Mads Pedersen for his contribution this year, with his stage wins at the Vuelta a España, Tour de France and Paris-Nice, plus his strong showings during the spring classics, the highlights of their season. There was little to shout about from the other riders, but the Giro d’Italia was a success thanks to Giulio Ciconne’s stage win and Juan Pedro López’s run in the pink jersey.
UAE TEAM EMIRATES: 9/10
Any team blessed with Tadej Pogačar isn’t going to be left wanting for success, and this year the Slovenian delivered Il Lombardia, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico among many more victories.
It wasn’t just about Pogačar, though, and the team provided ample support for their superstar, while also enjoying success in his absence, with Alessandro Covi winning a stage at the Giro and both Marc Soler and Juan Sebastian Molano at the Vuelta, where Juan Ayuso also announced himself as another youthful prodigy with third overall.
BEST OF THE REST
Once again, Alpecin-Deceuninck were by far the standouts of the non-World Tour teams. Only five teams managed more than their total of 30, a list that included multiple stage wins at each of the Grand Tours, and a monument courtesy of Mathieu van der Poel at the Tour of Flanders.
Despite the controversy surrounding Nairo Quintana’s positive tramadol test, it was also a successful season for Arkéa–Samsic, who are now poised to enter the World Tour thanks partly to the Colombian’s successes, and the smart way they targeted UCI points throughout the season.
Norwegian team Uno-X were a breath of fresh air and some bright young talents in Tobias Johannessen and Rasmus Tiller, while TotalEnergies managed to win 15 races despite star man Peter Sagan seeming to be past his best.
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