Thor Hushovd has criticised the International Cycling Union's points systems, saying it is confusing for riders, teams and nations alike. He appreciated that it makes it easier for new teams to form and non-European riders to join the peloton, but overall it causes too many problems.
“It is absolutely wrong that the UCI suddenly gives a race like the Tour of Beijing WorldTour status,” he told procycling.no. “You get as many points there as the big, traditional and hard races in Europe. It is a completely wrong program.”
While points are awarded in most races, the WorldTour races are the ones with the most points. “I think in general the system is completely wrong. There should have been points in many more races.
“Teams should have known by now at what level they are going to ride next year. It goes beyond the riders as it is now. There are many people waiting and waiting, but they don't get a contract anywhere.”
The system could work against some riders in the long run. For example, Iranian riders who have done well in the Asia Tour have been hot on the transfer market, with, for example, Mahdi Sohrabi joining Lotto-Belisol for the coming season. The Belgian team has said it signed him because of his points.
“It could go both ways. It's exciting that they can get a chance, but it is also completely wrong that they can only be purchased with credits. It's not certain they are good,” the former world champion said. “They may have the opportunity for one or two years until they lose points. The teams are buying a value there and then, after you have no use for the rider buying. I think it is good that these riders can get a chance, but it is on the wrong basis.”