Why have no British Continental teams been confirmed for the 2018 Tour of Britain? That was the question some fans were asking following the race route announcement.
The answer is while 14 teams – including World Tour Team Sky, Dimension Data and BMC – have already accepted an invitation to Britain’s longest stage race, UK-based Continental teams must fight for their spot, in a season-long points scoring competition.
WHY DO TEAMS NEED TO QUALIFY
There are seven British UCI Continental teams and only four places available for them at the Tour of Britain.
In 2016 race organisers Sweetspot introduced a qualification criteria for British UCI Continental teams.
This process was introduced after the 2015 Tour of Britain; national governing body British Cycling and SweetSpot felt that a qualification criteria was the fairest way to make this selection, which at the same time encourages the competing teams to support the domestic racing calendar.
HOW YOU QUALIFY
Nine races form the qualification process:
Tour de Yorkshire
Lincoln Grand Prix
The Tour Series (team ranking)
Tour of the Reservoir - 24 June
Bristol GP - 8 July
Stockton GP - 15 July
Results from these races translate into Tour of Britain qualification points.
HOW POINTS ARE SCORED
Points are divided by team, scoring 7-6-5-4-3-2-1, from first to last.
At the Tour Series the top seven teams in the final ranking are awarded points.
At the stage races of the Tour de Yorkshire and Tour of the Reservoir, the highest placed single rider on general classification from each team scores.
At every other race – all one day – the highest placed single rider from each team scores.
HOW QUALIFICATION IS DECIDED
After all nine races, teams count their best scores from eight out of nine events.
Teams drop their lowest score from the qualification process and the four teams with the highest scores qualify to race for the 2018 Tour of Britain.
In the event of a tie between one or more teams, the higher position will be awarded using countback to the team with the most maximum scores. If teams still remain level countback will go to the most second place scores, third place scores and so on down to seventh place scores.
THE CURRENT SITUATION
Following the conclusion of the Tour Series, the standings in the points table have taken shape.
With just three of the nine qualification races remaining, both Vitus and Holdsworth are out of contention.
Taking into account their dropped round, Madison Genesis, JLT Condor, One Pro Cycling, Canyon Eisberg and Team Wiggins are all separated by two points.
Results from the Tour of the Reservoir, Bristol GP and ultimately the Stockton GP on Sunday 15 July will decide the final four teams that will race the Tour of Britain in September.