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UAE Team Emirates leads early-season victory count

UAE Team Emirates
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

UAE Team Emirates has come out the strongest in the first six weeks of the 2020 season, taking home 10 victories on three continents with four different riders and look on course to climb up the UCI team rankings this season.

Last season UAE Team Emirates finished the year fourth behind Deceuninck-Quickstep, Bora-Hansgrohe and Jumbo-Visma in the UCI World Team Rankings, but were sixth in the victory count, with Astana and Mitchelton-Scott taking the top step more often.

So far this year Deceuninck-Quickstep, last year's dominant team, was next best with seven wins just ahead of EF Pro Cycling with six.

UAE Team Emirates' success included three stages at the Vuelta a San Juan by sprinter Fernando Gaviria and three by Sebastian Molano at Tour Colombia 2.1. The team's sprint lead-out in both cases enlivened by new recruit Max Richeze from Deceuninck-Quickstep. Both riders outstripped Deceuninck's designated sprinter Alvaro Hodeg, who landed five of the team's podium placings but hasn't found the speed yet to take a win.

Over in Europe, Tadej Pogacar was impeccable at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, winning two stages and the overall, while Rui Costa claimed a stage win in the Saudi Tour.

Deceuninck-Quickstep's bright spot was Remco Evenepoel's overall win in Vuelta a San Juan, while EF Pro Cycling dominated the Tour Colombia 2.1, taking the top three spots overall with Sergio Higuita, Dani Martinez and Jonathan Caicedo and three stage wins.

In the WorldTour races, Lotto Soudal have had the highest hit rate, taking three wins - two by Caleb Ewan and one by Matt Holmes at the Tour Down Under. Deceuninck-Quickstep  took out two wins - the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race with Dries Devenyns and a stage in the Tour Down Under by Sam Bennett. Trek-Segafredo also won two WorldTour races - Richie Porte's stage and overall win at the TDU.

The biggest turnaround has come from NTT Pro Cycling who, as Dimension Data had the misfortune of being the lowest ranked surviving WorldTour squad, just ahead of Katusha-Alpecin who folded into the Israel Start-Up Nation organisation in 2020. 

NTT has scored one WorldTour win already this season - Giacomo Nizzolo's stage in TDU - and three others, with Ben O'Connor taking a stage in Etoile de Besseges and Max Walscheid two stages in Tour de Langkawi, with seven podium placings to boot.

The addition of Walscheid and new management in Bjarne Riis seems to have paid off so far.

Trek-Segafredo also have four wins to date with Matteo Moschetti's two victories in the Challenge Mallorca, as do Team Sunweb - all in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour - and Arkea-Samsic thanks to Nacer Bouhanni's three wins and Nairo Quintana's overall victory in Tour de la Provence.

Of the WorldTour teams, only the CCC Team have gone without a win so far, taking seven podium placings. Last year's second-lowest WorldTeam in the rankings, CCC may have fallen shy of the top podium step so far this year, but have taken home seven podium spots.

Groupama-FDJ were the least represented on the podiums of the WorldTour teams, taking only one each podium placing and are nearly last of the WorldTeams in the UCI rankings with only Jumbo-Visma - also off to a slow start - the only top division team behind them.

Cofidis, the newest WorldTour team, has similarly struggled, taking a win in the Tropicale Amissa Bongo with Elia Viviani's brother Attilio, but the European champion's crash in Tour Down Under hampered his chances.

Podium placings as of February 16, 2020*
TeamDivision1sts2nds3rds
UAE Team EmiratesWT1044
Deceuninck-QuickstepWT766
EF Pro CyclingWT655
NTT Pro CyclingWT452
Team Arkea-SamsicPT423
Trek-SegafredoWT41
Team SunwebWT401
Bahrain McLarenWT332
Nippo Delko One ProvencePT322
Lotto SoudalWT31
Mitchelton-ScottWT253
Bora-HansgroheWT243
AstanaWT234
Androni Giocattoli-SidermecPT221
Total Direct EnergiePT22
AG2R la MondialeWT211
Team Jumbo-VismaWT21
Circus-Wanty GobertPT23
Terengganu TSGCT23
AlgeriaNT14
Israel Start-Up NationWT133
Team IneosWT124
Movistar TeamWT121
ItalyNT12
Vino-Astana MotorsCT12
CofidisWT116
SapuraCT112
Groupama-FDJWT111
EritreaNT111
Natura4ever-RLMCT11
AraCT12
Fenix-AlpecinPT1
CameroonNT1
CCC TeamWT34
St GeorgeCT21
Team MedellinCT12
Bardiani-CSF Faizane'PT12
Agrupacion Virgen De FatimaCT1
Rally CyclingPT1
Thailand CCCT1
RwandaNT1
Caja Rural-Seguros RGAPT1
Municipalidad de PocitoCT1
Nero ContinentalCT1
Riwal ReadynezPT1
Sport Vlaanderen-BaloisePT1
B&B Hotels-Vital ConceptPT1
MoroccoNT1

* National championships, criteriums excluded. Wins taken while racing on national teams included with national team.

UCI Team Ranking

The UCI teams rankings tell a different story, with the classification favouring depth over podiums and WorldTour points over smaller races.

The UCI resets its teams classification at the start of the season, then takes the points of the best 10 riders on each team to form the ranking.

Mitchelton-Scott lead the teams classification by 110 points over Team Ineos, with UAE Team Emirates in third, closely followed by Trek-Segafredo.

The UCI teams classification will be critical for teams wishing to continue in the sport's top tier. The UCI will use the three-year team rankings to determine which squads will remain in the WorldTour when it is limited to 18 teams in 2022.

Mitchelton-Scott's points tally was led by Daryl Impey and Simon Yates, while Ineos' second place was the result of top finishes by Dylan van Baarle, Rohan Dennis, Pavel Sivakov and Egan Bernal.

UCI Team classification as of February 16, 2020
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mitchelton-Scott 1646
2Team Ineos 1536
3UAE Team Emirates 1272
4Trek-Segafredo 1247
5Deceuninck-Quick-Step 1169
6EF Pro Cycling 1094
7Bora-Hansgrohe 1032
8Team Sapura Cycling 894
9Team Arkea-Samsic 856
10Cofidis 714
11AG2R la Mondiale 688
12Bahrain McLaren 683
13Astana Pro Team 610
14Terengganu inc. TSG 592
15Circus-Wanty Gobert 585
16Movistar Team 579
17NTT Pro Cycling 554
18Lotto Soudal 550
19CCC Team 542
20Team Sunweb 532
21Groupama-FDJ 469
22Nippo Delko Provence 461
23Team Jumbo-Visma 403
24Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 385
25St George Continental 358
26Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 333
27Israel Start-Up Nation 320
28B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 279
29Vino-Astana Motors 271
30Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy 267
31Ningxia Sports Lottery Continental Team 264
32Fundacion-Orbea 262
33Total Direct Energie 232
34Vini Zabu' KTM 231
35NTT Continental 210
36Team Medellin 206
37Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 168
38Gazprom-Rusvelo 167
39Minsk Cycling Club 153
40Team Bridgelane 141
41Natura4ever-Roubaix-Lille Metropole 139
42Bai Sicasal Petro de Luanda 125
43Aisan Racing Team 113
44Protouch 110
45Kern Pharma 104
46Riwal Readynez 104
47Utsunomiya Blitzen 93
48Kometa Xstra 89
49Mazowsze Serce Polski 85
50Thailand Continental Cycling Team 84
51Rally Cycling 81
52Dukla Banska Bystrica 81
53PGN Road 80
54Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels 78
55Hagens Berman Axeon 73
56Hksi Pro 72
57Hengxiang 70
58Bardiani CSF Faizane' 70
59Memil Pro Cycling 66
60Burgos-BH 62
61Team Ukyo 61
62Colombia Tierra de Atletas GW Bicicletas 61
63Shenzhen Xidesheng Cycling Team 60
64EPM-Scott 60
65Nero Continental 59
66Ferei-CCN 59
67Amore e Vita-Prodir 55
68BIG 55
69Ssois Miogee 53
70Canel's Pro Cycling 52
71Canyon dhb p/b Soreen 50
72Kinan 48
73Spor Toto 48
74Biesse Arvedi 45
75Agrupación Virgen de Fatima-Saddledrunk 45
76Alpecin-Fenix 42
77Go for Gold Philippines 41
78Akros-Excelsior-Thömus 40
79ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 38
80Groupement Sportif des Petroliers 38
81Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling 36
82Sindicato de Empleados Publicos de san Juan 35
83Municipalidad de Pocito 35
84Wallonie Bruxelles 33
85Equipo Continental Supergiros 32
86Jumbo-Visma Development Team 31
87Wibatech Merx 30
88SEG Racing Academy 26
89Israel Start-Up Nation 25
90Uno-X Norwegian Development Team 25
91A Bloc CT 22
92Team Bridgestone Cycling 20
93St Michel-Auber 93 20
94Apple Team 18
95Swiss Racing Academy 14
96Sidi Ali Pro Cycling Team 13
97Aevolo 13
987Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines 11
99Work Service-Dinatek-Vega 11
100General Store-Essegibi-f.lli Curia 10
101Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan 7
102KFC Cycling Team 7
103Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling 6
104Atum General/Tavira/Maria Nova Hotel 6
105Oliver's Real Food Racing 5
106Aviludo-Louletano 5
107Gios-Kiwi Atlantico 5
108 Friuli Asd 5
109Transporte Puertas de Cuyo 5
110Cambodia Cycling Academy 5
111Lokosphinx 5
112Orgullo Paisa 5
113Eurocyclingtrips-CMI Pro Cycling 3
114Shimano Racing Team 3
115Bike Aid 3
116D'Amico um Tools 3
117San Luis 3
118Beltrami TSA Marchiol 3
119Tianyoude Hotel 1