Points cost... coins: dsm-firmenich PostNL in danger zone, transfer market goes wild amid WT cycle Cycling

Points cost... coins: dsm-firmenich PostNL in danger zone, transfer market goes wild amid WT cycle

Points cost... coins: dsm-firmenich PostNL in danger zone, transfer market goes wild amid WT cycle

We are now in the sixth month of 2024, which means we are almost halfway through this WorldTour cycle. At the top, teams like UAE-Team Emirates and Visma | Lease a Bike are fairly stable, as are mid-tier teams like Alpecin-Deceuninck, Soudal Quick-Step and Lidl-Trek. However, at the bottom, the tension is beginning to show, and it's affecting the teams' behaviors. IDLProCycling.com gives you an overview.

The points to be earned are important in two ways. Firstly, there's the annual reckoning, where the two teams that perform best from the procontinental circuit get rights to participate in all WorldTour races the following season. The third team on the list gets a ticket to all one-day races, as Uno-X has this year. Lotto-Dstny and Israel-Premier Tech were able to register for all the top-tier races.

Then there's the triennial reckoning, or the promotion-relegation system. Lotto-Dstny and Israel-Premier Tech dropped out of the WorldTour at the end of 2022, but the spots will be redistributed at the end of 2025. Now that we are almost halfway through that cycle, more and more teams are starting to feel the need to keep a closer eye on the rankings.

Points cost... coins: dsm-firmenich PostNL in danger zone, transfer market goes wild amid WT cycle

How are the teams that are fighting for promotion and relegation doing?

Teams suddenly sent their best riders all over the world, salaries adjusted based on points earned, complaints about the system here and there: we saw it all at the end of 2022, but by mid-2024, more and more teams are also making decisions in which points are beginning to become an important factor.

10. Lotto-Dstny (ProTeam) - 20.255 points

Lotto-Dstny seems well on its way to reclaiming its spot in the WorldTour. The Belgian team is tenth in the ranking, even keeping top-level teams like Decathlon AG2R and EF Education-EasyPost behind. This is mainly thanks to significant victories by Arnaud De Lie, Maxim Van Gils and Lennert Van Eetvelt, both at the highest level and just below.

maxim van gils

In the background, there is the will-we-or-won't-we desire of sponsor Dstny, but the team thought ahead with extended contracts for golden boys like De Lie, Van Gils and Van Eetvelt. All three are contracted until the end of 2026, but a tier below that, riders like Florian Vermeersch and Andreas Kron seem to be looking elsewhere.

13. Movistar (WorldTeam) - 15.756 points

In between Lotto-Dstny (tenth) and Movistar (thirteenth), we find Decathlon AG2R and EF Education-EasyPost, but the gap to those two teams is already quite large for the Spanish team. The team, led by Eusebio Unzué, faces the problem that its strongest riders are being targeted, while it doesn't seem financially powerful enough to counteract.

Alex Aranburu doesn't win often, but he guarantees a fair amount of certainty in terms of placements (and therefore points). For this reason, the Basque rider is moving to Arkéa - B&B Hotels, which offered him a generous contract to earn those points for them, starting from next season. Additionally, spring revelation Oier Lazkano is moving to BORA-hansgrohe, so Unzué and co will hope that Enric Mas can keep them safe in the Tour and Vuelta.

14. Jayco AlUla (WorldTeam) - 15.500 points

The standings at the bottom of the WorldTour are quite close together, meaning that injuries to major riders can have a significant impact. This is also the case for Jayco AlUla, where intended point earners like Simon Yates, Eddie Dunbar and Mauro Schmid have not yet shown their best this season. Also, the demotion of Michael Matthews in the Tour of Flanders has been felt.

dylan groenewegen 4

The Australian team, like Movistar, is hoping for a few better months, with leaders Yates, Matthews and Dylan Groenewegen being deployed in the Tour de France and other important autumn races. Yates is also running out of a contract, which is several other teams like Israel-Premier Tech are aware of.

15. Israel-Premier Tech (ProTeam) - 15.383 points

Israel-Premier Tech, with Chris Froome as its absolute top earner surrounded by several older guys, faced some ridicule at the end of 2022 after being relegated. A team with such a budget failing to maintain its WorldTour status, with all those big contracts... that brought a slight smile to the competition's faces.

Mid-2024, the team is virtually up for promotion, and they are doing everything they can to achieve it. For instance, Rick Zabel's contract was sacrificed at the end of May for the early transfer of point earner Joe Blackmore, the team races just about all over the world, and often opts to sprint with multiple sprinters in many races. Credit where credit is due: they've already won the Tour Down Under, Flèche Wallonne, stages in the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour of Catalonia, as well as races in Rwanda and Taiwan.

16. Intermarché-Wanty (WorldTeam) - 15.245 points

Intermarché-Wanty was one of the first teams aware of the UCI ranking in early 2022, ending that crucial season fifth in the rankings. Two years later, the situation is a bit different: only Cofidis and Astana Qazaqstan Team are doing worse in the current calendar year, partly due to several crashes involving team leader Biniam Girmay.

Points cost... coins: dsm-firmenich PostNL in danger zone, transfer market goes wild amid WT cycle

The rider from Eritrea still managed to earn some points in several semi-classics after his Giro withdrawal, but it's clear that things haven't gone smoothly for Intermarché-Wanty: Taco van der Hoorn is still dealing with a concussion, and Arne Marit and Gerben Thijssen both broke their ankles in the Scheldeprijs, forcing the team to shuffle their tried and tested recipe of three sprinters.

17. Cofidis (ProTeam) - 14.752 points

It took until early May, but the victory counter at Cofidis finally has started running. The French team had a rough start to the season and because of this doesn't stand well in the 2024 rankings, but the Giro stage win by Benjamin Thomas has changed some things. Meanwhile, Axel Zingle is also raking in higher finishes again.

For how long? The Frenchman's contract is expiring and teams like Visma | Lease a Bike have expressed their interest, while Cofidis can count on a capital injection from the main sponsor in the coming years. Names like Emanuel Buchmann and Kasper Asgreen have been circulating around the team, which must be aware of the need to maintain its top-tier status.

18. dsm-firmenich PostNL (WorldTeam) - 13.832 points

Dsm-firmenich PostNL must also be aware of the risk of relegation. The Dutch team is almost on the brink, with Romain Bardet doing a good job with his second place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and ninth place in the Giro. However, the Frenchman's contract is expiring and he has often considered retirement, while several French teams are interested in him...

Points cost... coins: dsm-firmenich PostNL in danger zone, transfer market goes wild amid WT cycle

We hope that Iwan Spekenbrink and his team will watch their strategy of multiple sprinters continue to bear fruit, as it is gradually starting to do with Casper van Uden, because the gap (just under 900 points) to the investing Arkéa - B&B Hotels is not that big...

19. Arkéa - B&B Hotels (WorldTeam) - 12.701 points

At the time of writing, Arkéa - B&B Hotels is facing relegation and the team is determined to change this at any cost. Last season, the team already purchased point earners like Arnaud Démare, Vincenzo Albanese, Clément Venturini and Florian Sénéchal in hopes of doing so, while the contracts of Kévin Vauquelin, Amaury Capiot and Luca Mozzato also run until 2025.

The team is thus committed to ensuring its survival, which is also evident from its recruitment tactics. Alex Aranburu, 31st in the 2024 rankings, has already been signed for a significant amount and will also bring Sergio Samitier with him. This tactic seems to work, as the team, which finished nineteenth last year, now stands twelfth in the 2024 list.

20. Uno-X (ProTeam) - 10.877 points

Uno-X is one of the teams generating buzz in recent weeks, and not without reason: the Scandinavian outfit knows all too well that there are many points to be scored in May and June and aims to maximize its score, with the goal of eventually joining the WorldTour. Alexander Kristoff has won four times, while Magnus Cort and Tobias Halland Johannessen, who have been struggling with injuries this spring, are gradually starting to contribute.


Currently, the team of Thor Hushovd holds the same position it has this year: that of an automatic wildcard for all WorldTour classics. If it wants more, it is of course bound by the geographic limitations it has maintained so far: riders from Denmark or Norway.

21. Astana Qazaqstan Team (WorldTeam) - 10.082 points

Among the WorldTour teams, Astana Qazaqstan Team currently stands at the bottom. The gap to the safe spot eighteen is almost four thousand points, and several emergency measures – like sending Alexey Lutsenko to the Giro – did not pay off directly. In the eyes of the public, the Mark Cavendish story of aiming for 35 stage victories is certainly nice, but it doesn't buy points for Alexander Vinokourov and his team...

In the background, there have also been some budgetary issues in recent years, making the story of the once successful Astana in the WorldTour seem to be coming to an end. According to L'Equipe, a lifeline is on the way, as a Chinese investor has shown interest in the team's license and wants to double the budget. They have their work cut out for them, as 18 of the 29 contracts are expiring...

22. TotalEnergies (ProTeam) - 8151 points

Based on the current list, it seems almost impossible for TotalEnergies to enter the WorldTour in the short term, but we still include this team. Why? Because of the presence of Peter Sagan, the team could rely on invitations to all major races in recent years, but now that that catalyst is gone, the team was suddenly without an invitation to some classics this spring.

Points cost... coins: dsm-firmenich PostNL in danger zone, transfer market goes wild amid WT cycle

Anthony Turgis has already complained about this, so they need to get to work. The team has been openly flirting with Julian Alaphilippe for some time, someone who would naturally open many doors in France and globally. It seems to be the desperate move the team needs.

23. Tudor (ProTeam) - 5659 points

Tudor also has far too few points to join the WorldTour by the end of 2025, but the team led by Fabian Cancellara is also steadily building. Year after year, the foundation is expanded, which recently led to an invitation to the Giro d'Italia. There, they finished with Michael Storer in the top ten, a good starting point.

In the background, there is strong interest in Marc Hirschi, the current UAE-Team Emirates rider who stands eighth on the world rankings. Other big names like Julian Alaphilippe have also been mentioned, indicating the long-term financial strength of the Swiss watch brand.

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