Is the UCI’s points system destabilising the sport?

The UCI's new sporting criteria combined with its transfer regulations is having an adverse affect on the stability of teams, according to Garmin-Cervélo boss Jonathan Vaughters.

The UCI’s rules allow for a fixed transfer period from August 1 to 20 October, with teams only able to recruit during that period although they are allowed to privately talk to riders throughout the year.

However, under the new ranking system all of a rider’s points transfer with him, creating an environment in which teams could be in a position of developing riders for opposing squads and see their talent leave at the end of the year. Such a scenario could see a team stripped of its points and without a ProTeam licence the following year.

“It’s not a problem caused by me or Aussie riders on the teams, it’s the due to the current sporting criteria weighting system and the fact that 100 per cent of a rider's points are transferable. Those three things are horrible. They’re pulling the thread work of teamwork apart.

"Now, I have been informed that the teams are misunderstanding the way this sporting value system works, but from what I can see in the rules, if you buy enough points to be in the top 15 teams, you'll most likely have a license. That type of system totally discourages a team manager, like myself, from ever sending a rider who I think may transfer to another team to any good race because you’re basically giving points to another team.

"I have no interest in not selecting riders to races based on rumors and the like. It upsets me that this even crosses my mind."

"Right now, if you're a rider on the market, those incentives favor not working for your current team and riding for 9th place instead. That is horrible."

Added Vaughters: "I am lucky that both Jack and Cam are honorable guys that like winning, either for the team or themselves. And I know they won't race selfishly, no matter what they are doing next year. But why tempt them?"

Points system is killing 'panache'

"Or maybe just split the points, 50/50, teams and riders. Keep teamwork and fairness in the highest possible regard. Winning races and winning the ranking should be the goal of every team, not selfishly chasing around points at the cost of teamwork and unity.

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.