The start in a cyclo-cross is of prime importance, a bad start can relegate a racer to the back of the field and forced to expand energy in the chase. At every UCI 'cross race, riders are positioned in a grid, eight-riders wide, in the start area. Each rider is called up to assume his/her position by officials using the UCI ranking which are published on a regular basis throughout the season, as there were today. These rankings will be used for the start grid at the 2013 UCI World Elite Cyclo-cross Championships powered by Exergy in Louisville.
The UCI rankings are calculated on a rolling 12-month calendar (except for juniors), as specified by UCI rule 5.2.003 as follows:
Men Elite/U23 and Women
The UCI cyclo-cross classification is drawn up over a period of one year by adding the points won since the preceding ranking was drawn up. At the same time the remaining points obtained up to the same day of the previous year by each rider in international cyclo-cross events are deducted. The new ranking comes into force on the day of publication and stands until the publication of the subsequent ranking.
The UCI cyclo-cross classification for men juniors is drawn up by summing the points won by each rider in international cyclo-cross events in the period from 1 September to 28 or 29 February.
The UCI ranking is 12 times per season; on the Tuesday after each of the eight World Cup rounds, the National Championships mandatory date, the Continental Championships, the World Championships and at the end of the season.
Points gained by a rider depend on the class of an event. There are now 16 categories in this calendar year offering points, listed in decreasing order
- UCI world championships men elite and UCI world championships women
- UCI world championships men under 23
- UCI world championships men juniors
- UCI world cup events men elite and women
- UCI world cup events men under 23
- UCI world cup events men juniors
- continental championships men elite (except Europe), women
- continental championships men under 23
- continental championships men juniors
- national championships men elite and women
- national championships men under 23
- national championships men juniors
- events in class 1 men elite and women
- events in class 2 men elite and women
- events in the class men under 23 (where there is a separate event for men elite)
- events in the class men juniors
But a rider does not accumulate all the points throughout the rolling calendar. Though all the World Cup and Championship points are used, only the best six results from Class 1 (C1) events, the best five results from Class 2 (C2) events are part of the calculation. For men junior's class, the best 6 results are used.
Starting at 200 points, a World Cup for elite men and women offers up points 50-deep, while a C1 starts at 80 points and goes 15 deep and a C2 starts at 40 points and goes 10 deep. Which means that a rider can have at the most 480 points from C1 races and 200 points from C2s during the year.
Leader. As an example, let's take a look at the latest standings of Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) who leads with 2,363 points. His win at the first World Cup, in Tabor, was added while his second place at the first World Cup, in Plzen, was removed from the calculation. All his World Cups from the past 12 months amassed 1,440 points, and he is has 420 points for his best six results from C1 races out of 19 events. He also accumulated 180 points of his five C1 races, 320 points from his third place at the 2012 World Championships.