Grading the 2022 season of Women’s WorldTour teams

With the 2022 season over and the off-season underway, now is a good time to look back across 2022 at how the Women’s WorldTour teams fared. Some teams pulled off plenty of big wins thanks to star riders, whereas some accumulated more minor points hauls regularly. The big difference between those at the top of the ranking and those near the bottom is the depth of points scorers. A team like FDJ has 3 individual riders who scored more than 1,000 points. The contrast is Roland Cogeas who had a star rider in Tamara Dronova scoring nearly 1,000 points and then only 2 others scoring more than 100 points.

2022 Women’s WorldTour Teams

Soraya Paladin
Soraya Paladin

Canyon SRAM

Ranking: 6th – 7111.67 points
Wins: 1
Grade: C

The lowest amount of wins on this list just about sums up Canyon SRAM’s season. Remarkably, they still finished 6th thanks to plenty of hard racing for podium spots. It’s almost like they don’t roll the dice enough and be prepared to lose in order to win. So often we see them sitting in as the move goes up the road. The introduction of Magnus Backstedt as head DS next season may shake things up in this area.

It’s not a truly bad season, just it feels like a safe one. All of the riders scored points, even Chloe Dygert who did a solid Omloop het Nieuwsblad before not being able to race the rest of the year. Pauliena Rooijakkers took the team’s only win at Durango-Durango after an impressive May. Young talent like Neve Bradbury and Shari Bossuyt has come through and impressed. The big monkey on the back is Kasia Niewiadoma’s winless streak, which now stretches back over 3 years. She consistently finishes on the podium, like at the Tour de France Femmes but hasn’t been able to nail down a win when the opportunity arises.

Top 3 Riders:
Kasia Niewiadoma, Elise Chabbey, Pauliene Rooijakkers

Krista Doebel-Hickok
Krista Doebel-Hickok

EF Education-TIBCO-SVB

Ranking: 11th – 3,016.01 points
Wins: 13
Grade: B

The first Women’s WorldTour season has gone pretty well for EF Education-TIBCO-SVB. Despite losing the likes of Kristen Faulkner, Sarah Gigante and Eri Yonamine in the off-season, they’ve managed to improve and finish 2 places higher in the rankings. The standout rider for the team is Veronica Ewers who has really broken through in 2022. She’s now a top-25 ranked rider after only joining the pro peloton halfway through last season. The team has always been strong at scouting talent and appears to have hit another home run with the American.

She’s been well supported by Krista Doebel-Hickok who has moved up a level this year and won CIC-Tour Féminin Pyrénées. Emma Langley excelled mostly in the American races, winning the Tour of the Gila and becoming the national champion. Top-10s in the Tour de l’Ardeche and CIC-Tour Féminin Pyrénées also showed that she’s quietly had a good year too. The hugely hyped Zoe Backstedt is a great signing for the team and already put together some decent road results for the team near the end of the year.

Maybe the only negative is the lack of a Women’s WorldTour victory in 2022.

Top 3 Riders:
Veronica Ewers, Krista Doebel-Hickok, Emma Langley

Evita Muzic
Evita Muzic

FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope

Ranking: 4th – 9,838.33 points
Wins: 18
Grade: A

FDJ continues to improve year on year, this year improving to 4th from 8th in 2021. The signing of Grace Brown has been a big part of that, adding a third string to the bow behind Uttrup Ludwig and Cavalli. The latter really pushed on this year too, taking big wins at Flèche Wallonne and Amstel Gold Race before finishing 2nd at the Giro Donne. The crash that effectively ended her season (although she did come back to race in October) at the Tour de France Femmes robbed us of another challenge to Van Vleuten. The popular Dane Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig had a career year with 4 wins, her first year with multiple wins since 2017. 3 of the 4 were WWT wins too – at the Tour de France Femmes and a Stage + GC at the Tour of Scandinavia.

Where the team excelled was in the depth of riders taking wins and points. 8 different riders took wins and the entire squad all scored more than 100 points. Whilst only the top 8 count to the rankings, that is an impressive stat. The loss of Brodie Chapman will be felt in 2023 but the likes of Gladys Verhulst and Loes Adegeest add some fun attacking options.

Top 3 Riders:
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Marta Cavalli, Grace Brown

Human Powered Health

Ranking: 27th – 914 points
Wins: 3
Grade: F

2022 was a backwards step for Human Powered Health, going from 22nd in 2021 to 27th in 2022. We saw the team regularly making attacks in races but it didn’t translate into wins or many results of note. Cypriot Antri Christoforou was the team’s highest-ranked rider but she scored the majority of her points whilst still at Farto BTC before her mid-season move. One of the few positives was the performance of Eri Yonamine at the CIC-Tour Féminin Pyrénées with a 2nd place in GC and Nina Buijsman put together a decently solid season.

The team is missing a rider of genuine high class, like when they had Clara Koppenburg in 2021. Some of their transfer business will help, with the likes of Alice Barnes and Daria Pikulik giving them some race finishers that they didn’t really have this year. However, their Women’s WorldTour status looks like a massive longshot at the end of 2023.

Top 3 Riders:
Antri Christoforou, Nina Buijsman, Eri Yonamine

Jumbo Visma

Ranking: 10th – 4,815.36 points
Wins: 12
Grade: B+

Jumbo-Visma is sort of in a good place. Obviously, Marianne Vos is the figurehead and she continues to deliver success – 8 Women’s WorldTour victories this season no less. Behind her, wins are tougher to come by but Riejanne Markus’ perfectly timed attack at the Simac Ladies Tour showed it was possible. Naturally becoming national champion in the TT helps when Van Dijk isn’t around. Anna Henderson won the prologue at the Festival Elsy Jacobs and Noemi Rüegg the Swiss U23 TT nationals.

Compared to many other teams, Jumbo-Visma is a little bit of an ageing line-up. Aside from Rüegg and Riedmann, the majority of the team is approaching 30. As such, they should be near their peak but mishaps like Van den Bos’ ongoing concussion struggles prevent the team from fully maxing out its potential. They’re not in danger of missing out on staying in the WWT at the end of 2023, but I do have reservations for the next cycle without some strong recruitment, especially if Vos calls it a day at any point.

Top 3 Riders:
Marianne Vos, Karlijn Swinkels, Riejanne Markus

Liv Racing Xstra

Ranking: 13th – 2,575 points
Wins: 3
Grade: C

Liv Racing Xstra has got to be careful next year after a so-so year in 2022. With only 3 wins all year, 2 by new signing Rachele Barbieri, they haven’t acquired enough points to not have to look over their shoulder in 2023. Signing Mavi Garcia should help out with that though. Alison Jackson continues to be one of their most consistent riders and fun to watch race too but behind her, there’s maybe a dearth of high-quality point scorers. Part of that is down to the season that Amber van der Hulst had, where she came back down to earth a bit after such a strong 2021. She should rebound in 2023.

The team is certainly strongest at one-day races, barely making an impact on any of the 3 biggest tours. With the likes of Alison Jackson, Rachele Barbieri and Tereza Neumanova they’ve got some strong finishers. Supporting Barbieri to the hilt feels like their most obvious pathway to success.

Top 3 Riders:
Rachele Barbieri, Alison Jackson, Valerie Demey

Movistar

Ranking: 5th – 9378.98 points
Wins: 26
Grade: A

It’s tough to overlook the fact that Movistar had the clear number 1 rider of the season in Annemiek van Vleuten. She scored almost half of the team’s points alone. Understandably there’s a bit of a gulf between her and the rest of the team but Emma Norsgaard and Arlenis Sierra also did well with 3 wins and 5 wins between them. Jelena Eric and Sheyla Gutierrez both won twice each and there was a popular first European win for Sarah Gigante who endured another tough season thanks to injuries.

Paula Patino did a great underrated job, often being the last climbing help for Van Vleuten with Barbara Guarischi another solid sprinter in the line-up. They’ve technically fallen back 2 spaces in the rankings this year but thanks to Van Vleuten, they’ve absolutely knocked the results out of the park and hit all their major goals.

Top 3 Riders:
Annemiek van Vleuten, Emma Norsgaard, Arlenis SIerra

Olga Zabelinskaya
Olga Zabelinskaya

Roland Cogeas Edelweiss

Ranking: 18th – 1,380.80 points
Wins: 2
Grade: E

They were the whipping boys (girls?) of the women’s peloton for so much of 2022 but thanks to Tamara Dronova, Roland Cogeas find themselves in a reasonable position. The Russian scored 70% of the team’s points, comfortably the highest single rider percentage this year. Caroline Baur won the Swiss national championships and Olga Zabelinskaya won the Islamic Solidarity Games TT apparently. Petra Stiasny delivered a ride I’d been waiting for at the Tour de Romandie, which turned out to pretty much be her last for the team.

Much of the supporting cast hasn’t been of WWT standard, which often led Dronova to usually be alone. With at least one more rider in support, she could have converted a couple of those many many top-10 finishes into a win. Their recruitment for 2023 looks better but they’re still definitely missing some star quality. They’ve done just about the bare minimum to give themselves a chance to stay a WWT team after next year.

Top 3 Riders:
Tamara Dronova, Caroline Baur, Petra Stiasny

Demi Vollering
Demi Vollering

SD Worx

Ranking: 1st – 11,629.01 points points
Wins: 19
Grade: A-

It’s kinda tough to argue that the number 1 ranked team didn’t always deliver this season. The dominance of Annemiek van Vleuten in the major stage races left SD Worx chasing, It’s sort of been a mixed year for Demi Vollering. Not bad by any stretch but seemingly always behind her Dutch rival in key races, including famously Omloop het NIeuwsblad. The highs of a dominant 3-stage win + GC at Itzulia Women were tempered slightly by crashes at Burgos and Scandinavia. Lotte Kopecky won Flanders in the Belgian colours and her Strade Bianche win was a rare loss for Van Vleuten in 2022. On a similar note, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio delivered another one in the Tour de Romandie.

Niamh Fisher-Black continues to impress and looks a sure bet for the future and Marlen Reusser took the Euros TT and that stage win at the Tour de France Femmes. It’s probably worth remembering that SD Worx was affected by the crash Amy Pieters suffered heading into the season. Not only a rider down, but the emotional toll was also visible at several points in the season, especially when chasing that first win of the year.

Top 3 Riders:
Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio

Ruby Roseman-Gannon
Ruby Roseman-Gannon

Team BikeExchange-Jayco

Ranking: 9th – 5,298.69 points
Wins: 14
Grade: B+

The biggest improvement from Team BikeExchange-Jayco this season has been in time trials. Kristen Faulkner managed to win both the Tour de Suisse time trial stage and the opening prologue at the Giro Donne. The results went deeper than that though, with the team having a 1-2-3 in Switzerland and a 1-2 in Cagliari. Even at the Simac Ladies Tour, the team was able to get Amanda Spratt to 3rd and Ruby Roseman-Gannon to 6th in a time trial. The team is sort of in a renewal phase. Amanda Spratt’s early season surgery for iliac artery endofibrosis meant that she spent a lot of the season on the comeback trail before delivering some results. She moves on at the end of this year after being the team’s figurehead for a long time.

Kristen Faulkner should take up that mantle and was particularly impressive at the Giro Donne, winning solo on Stage 9 and finishing 11thin GC. That could’ve been higher with a clearer picture of where Spratt was at, with Faulkner losing time supporting her then-leader. 3rd at Itzulia Women and 7th in Women’s Tour, it was the 2nd place in the Tour de Suisse where she clawed back Lucinda Brand’s break only to fall on the last corner that really sparked things. Another star was Alex Manly who came back to the road after a couple of seasons doing track for the Olympics and had a big breakout year. Her first UCI win and then added 5 more too, including a maiden WWT win in Scandinavia too. Winning the Thüringen Ladies Tour and then 4th at the Women’s Tour shows she’s a great allrounder.

The team’s points tally suffers without an Australian part to the season and they’re still some way off recreating the high placings they had with Van Vleuten. But 9th this year after 10th last year is an improvement and the return of the Tour Down Under and others can only give them more chances.

Top 3 Riders:
Alex Manly, Kristen Faulkner, Ane Santesteban

Lorena Wiebes
Lorena Wiebes

Team DSM

Ranking: 3rd – 10,671.33 points
Wins: 28
Grade: A

2022 is the end of a cycle for Team DSM. The culmination of some strong recruitment saw the team reap the rewards with Lorena Wiebes, Liane Lippert and Juliette Labous. Wiebes took 23 victories herself as the well-drilled sprint train delivered her to victory time and time again. She’s comfortably the best sprinter in the women’s peloton in recent years. Juliette Labous won her first WWT stage race at Vuelta a Burgos where she had a strong week. Her solo ride to a stage win at the Giro Donne was also particularly impressive. Liane Lippert became German champion again and wasn’t far off from adding a whole load more wins too.

The issue for DSM now is how do they replicate this success? Wiebes, Lippert and Mackaij are moving on and Labous will lead a young team with masses of potential. Charlotte Kool looks ready to step up into Wiebes’ shoes but 2023 could be a bump back to earth.

Top 3 Riders:
Lorena Wiebes, Liane Lippert, Juliette Labous

Elisa Longo Borghini
Elisa Longo Borghini

Trek-Segafredo

Ranking: 2nd – 11,277.65 points
Wins: 28
Grade: A

Trek-Segafredo started the season as the 2nd best team and finished it as 2nd best. What that hides though is the sheer amount of distance they’ve closed on SD Worx. A 3,000 gap at the end of 2021 has been closed to around 350 points at the end of this season. In a year where they lost Lizzie Deignan to maternity leave and Tayler Wiles to Iliac artery endofibrosis, Trek has still managed to rack up the wins. The signing of Elisa Balsamo paid off handsomely as she proved there isn’t a world champion curse in women’s cycling at least. She took a joint team-high amount of wins, with Ellen van Dijk. Winning 6 of the 7 times trials she raced certainly helped out.

Similar to FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope, the amount of winners is impressive at Trek-Segafredo – 7 of them in 2022. Shirin van Anrooij won 3 and she was one of the shining stars of the season, winning the WWT young rider standings. It wasn’t too much of a surprise for those of us who follow cyclocross but she looks set to be a great foil and future heir to the role Lucinda Brand does on the team now. The team has made some big big signings for 2023, they will be gunning for that top spot they last held in 2020.

Top 3 Riders:
Elisa Longo Borghini, Elisa Balsamo, Ellen van Dijk

Mavi Garcia
Mavi Garcia

UAE Team ADQ

Ranking: 7th – 6,027 points
Wins: 17
Grade: B+

It was very much a season of 2 halves for UAE Team ADQ. Marta Bastianelli won 7 times by the start of May, albeit none of them at WWT level, and that was enough to convince her to go back on her retirement call. Maaike Boogaard became a race winner for the first time by winning Omloop van Borsele and Alena Ivanchenko took her own maiden win at the Bretagne Ladies Tour. Sofia Bertizzolo was another rider scoring over 1,000 points, largely through consistently as she only won once at the Trofeo Oro in Euro in early March.

The second half of the season saw Mavi Garcia come to the fore. She took her first WWT victory at the Vuelta a Burgos and then a very impressive win at Classic Lorient Agglomération. She was strong at the Giro Donne, eventually just fading behind Marta Cavalli and finishing 3rd. It’s somewhat a shame then that Garcia is moving on as UAE Team ADQ has a very Valcar-looking makeover in 2023. This season feels like they got the best out of their line-up and it’s hard to really pick out many negatives. The lack of a WWT win early in the year was offset nicely by the number of races won. It will be interesting to see if the new recruits next year propel them further up the rankings.

Top 3 Riders:
Mavi Garcia, Marta Bastianelli, Sofia Bertizzolo

Julie Leth
Julie Leth

Uno-X

Ranking: 24th – 995.66 points
Wins: 3
Grade: E

2022 was Uno-X’s first year in the pro peloton, let alone the Women’s WorldTour. That particular loophole was closed behind them, so we won’t see another team instantly join the WWT ranks. The team has had an injury-ridden year. The team’s main rider Susanne Andersen started the year well with 4th at Vuelta CF Feminas and had a solid classics campaign too. She only raced once between the end of May and mid-August, failing to finish the Norwegian national champs. She could easily have scored more points in that timeframe. Her season ended in early September with another collarbone break.

Mie Bjørndal Ottestad suffered a brutal crash in the Tour of Scandinavia that ended her season. Rebecca Koerner crashed out of the RideLondon Classique and plenty more. The team struggled for UCI points, with one of my breakout picks, Wilma Olausson scoring 0 along with road captain Hannah Barnes. Some of the new signings for 2023 will solve that but they’ve given themselves a big uphill battle to retain their WWT status.

One bright spark was Anniina Ahtosalo who was the team’s second-highest scorer at just 19 years old. The Finn will be one to watch next year.

Top 3 Riders:
Susanne Andersen, Anniina Ahtosalo, Joss Lowden