The importance of accruing WorldTour points will not be lost on the British.
In Rod Ellingworth’s Project Rainbow – the story behind Mark Cavendish’s World Championship win – Ellingworth reveals how he kept the 2011 team well-briefed with what they had to do in order to take a full squad of riders to Copenhagen.
So far this year, five riders have succeeded in grabbing points on the WorldTour stage, while the likes of Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky) – thanks to his Coppi e Bartali win – and Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing) – at Tour Mediterranèen – have picked up what could be vital points on the UCI Europe Tour, too.
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), consistent at the Tour Down Under and desperately unlucky not to follow it up at Paris-Nice, leads the way for the Brits on 75 points – his E3 Harelbeke third place accounting for 50 of those.
Success at Milan-San Remo has also boosted the British cause, with Ben Swift (Team Sky) scooping 70 points for finishing third and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 50 for finishing fifth.
Cav was hopeful of picking up more at Gent-Wevelgem but illness – which has also now ruled him out of the Three Days of De Panne – put paid to those hopes and will see his race programme restructured going forward to the Tour de France Grand Depart. Meanwhile, Chris Froome’s (Team Sky) sixth place at the Volta a Catalunya added 40 to his tally.
Stage placings also have a bearing on proceedings, allowing Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) to pick up two points on the final stage of the Tour Down Under and Sir Bradley Wiggins to time trial his way to two of his own at Tirreno-Adriatico.
Though there are various sub-clauses involving UCI Europe Tour points, the simplest way to have nine riders on the start line for the World Championships is to finish in the top ten of the nation’s rankings and have nine riders pick up WorldTour points.
One month in, Great Britain are on course to achieve target one and already have six riders in the points, while Kennaugh, Cummings, Ian Stannard (Team Sky) and Adam and Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) having all enjoyed success below WorldTour level, too.
UCI WorldTour 2014: British riders
1) Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) – 75 points
2) Ben Swift (Team Sky) – 70
3) Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) – 56
4) Chris Froome (Team Sky) – 40
=5) Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) – 2
=5) Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) – 2
Ian Stannard (Team Sky) – Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner
Pete Kennaugh (Team Sky) – Coppi e Bartali winner
Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing) – Tour Mediterranèen winner, Dubai Tour runner-up
Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) – Tour de San Luis best young rider
Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) – GP di Lugano combativity award