Monday, October 24, 2011

Tentative ranking leave Euskaltel on the fringes

After all 27 WorldTour-races were done and dusted with in Lombardia a week or so ago, Euskaltel were placed 14th in the UCI's WorldTour-rankings - i. e. just inside the coveted top 15. A tentative ranking calculated by trustworthy Spanish website VeloFutur has it that Euskaltel will wind up 18th though, meaning Euskaltel are not guaranteed a WorldTour-licence for next year after all.

Taking into account all the coming and goings prior to the 20th of October (the day all transfers would have to have been submitted to the UCI if the arriving riders' points would count towards the rankings), VeloFutur deems it highly likely Euskaltel will finish 18th with only Europcar and Skil-Shimano behind them. Per the UCI's own guidelines, that means Euskaltel will fight it out with the aforementioned duo and Ag2r (16th) and FDJ (17th) for the remaining three spots. (Full rankings here)

The silver lining is that Euskaltel have got a WorldTour-licence in place for 2012. What's that? According to the UCI, Euskaltel are - incredibly - in possession of a valid licence. But where does that leave the team? "What do you need a ranking system for if you can buy yourself a place in the top league?", I hear you say. Well that's anyone's guess. I don't think anyone knows. The UCI surely don't. "But aren't they the ones making the rules?" Well that's the UCI for you I guess.

One of Euskaltel's competitors for one of those WorldTour-berths (if it really is a competition that is), are Ag2r. Or not. They've also got a licence for 2012 in place. So that practically leaves only FDJ, Europcar and Skil left. I'm guessing those three are not overly pleased with the UCI right now.

So on one side Euskaltel are in. On another they're everything but. Dependable sources has it that Euskaltel are as good as set for the 2012 WorldTour though. Let's hope those sources prove to be more trustworthy than the UCI.

Mind you: the numbers and rankings are all tentative. The UCI will release its full and final rankings on the first of November. Until then it's all mere speculation.


arnout said...

Its bullshit that sponsors have to invest so much money and the UCI can, without punishment, make things so incredibly complicated and non-transparent that no-one knows what's going on and essentially the UCI can decide themselves who they give a spot and who they won't.

Stephen said...

Samu seems quite pessimistic that the team will continue after 2012 and this kind of uncertaintity clearly does not help if you are looking for sponsors.

arnout said...

Maybe Samu just wants to attract some attention, you never know.

It's not uncommon to hear about Euskaltel and money troubles, this is not the first time and they still exist.


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