After posting about the most disappointing teams of the 2021 season, here is part 2 of the discussion about the UCI World Tour Team Rankings of 2021. This time we take a look at the most successful teams of the season. The ones that will look back fondly at 2021. I published the full article on the Podium Cafe – an excellent blog about cycling with an engaged and knowledgeable community along with informative and interesting articles. To follow here is a brief analysis of the UCI Ranking 2021 Teams, now focusing on the top of the table.
UCI Ranking 2021 (Teams)
|1||DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP (DQT)||BEL||15641.21|
|2||INEOS GRENADIERS (IGD)||GBR||14998.66|
|4||UAE TEAM EMIRATES (UAD)||UAE||12355.66|
|5||BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS (TBV)||BRN||10429|
|6||BORA – HANSGROHE (BOH)||GER||8222|
|7||AG2R CITROEN TEAM (ACT)||FRA||7151|
|8||GROUPAMA – FDJ (GFC)||FRA||6715|
|9||ISRAEL START-UP NATION (ISN)||ISR||6704.66|
|10||MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV)||ESP||6656|
|11||TREK – SEGAFREDO (TFS)||USA||6593.66|
|12||ASTANA – PREMIER TECH (APT)||KAZ||6469|
|13||INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX (IWG)||BEL||5571|
|15||EF EDUCATION – NIPPO (EFN)||USA||5362.33|
|16||LOTTO SOUDAL (LTS)||BEL||4704|
|17||TEAM BIKEEXCHANGE (BEX)||AUS||4686.33|
|18||TEAM QHUBEKA NEXTHASH (TQA)||RSA||4368.66|
|19||TEAM DSM (DSM)||GER||3887|
Source for the table: UCI website. Note: Alpecin-Fenix (AFC) and Team Arkea – Samsic (ARK) were removed because they’re not World Tour (WT) teams.
After pointing out how inconsistent I thought the UCI rankings were in part 1 of this article, I have to say I have no problem at the top of the ranking. Granted, the teams ranked at the top were so obviously superior that it would take a huge effort to design a points system that didn’t have them at the top.
Given how much more money Ineos Grenadiers has than the rest of the teams, their second place is not that impressive to me. However, a Giro and several other high level World Tour wins make for a decent season for the British team. I’m the first to point out the importance of the Tour in the cycling calendar but there’s more to it than that. And it’s not like Ineos was anonymous there anyway. A hard fought 3rd place by Richard Carapaz is nothing to scoff at, even if it wasn’t what the team wanted going into the race.
Other than that I think the first six teams listed above are pretty spot on. The ranking from 2-5 is pretty interchangeable, in my opinion, but again, Ineos’ budget means that the sheer amount of quality riders they have to get important results is just much bigger than the other teams.
Deceuninck – Quick Step is just a winning machine. Not much more to say. They’re a factor in every race they start, from the smallest Belgian races to the biggest Tour in the world. And they win in the smallest Belgian races and in the biggest Tour in the world. Even though they will lose Giro standout João Almeida next season, Remco Evenepoel, Mauri Vansevenant, Andrea Bagioli and Mikkel Frølich Honoré are just some of the young riders that this team will be able to rely on for years to come. Not to mention that Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen and Fabio Jakobsen are 29, 26 and 25 years old, respectively. The future is bright as always for Quick Step.
Bahrain-Victorious take the title of most surprising team of the season. I’m very curious to see if they’re going to be able to maintain this standard in the future or if 2021 was a fluke for the team.
Jumbo-Visma had a very successful season, in my opinion, and will look to 2022 to try to finally win the Tour that has eluded them for the past 4 seasons.
And UAE had a sensational season on the back of the best rider in the world, Tadej Pogacar. The team didn’t perform particularly well as a team during the season, nor were they particularly consistent. But when you have Pogacar, tactics and team cohesion don’t matter.
Follow this link (Podium Cafe) for the full piece.