There were big ambitions for WorldTour men's teams going into the 2023 season – some fulfilled and some which have been left unachieved. It's a year that has provided us with some expected outcomes from race winners to team performance, but it certainly hasn't been a season lacking in twists and turns. Above all, however, it is safe to say that there is one team that stood out throughout the entire season, and that was Jumbo-Visma, who secured themselves a massive 69 wins.
We take a look back over the 2023 racing season to see which teams will be happy with how they performed overall and who will be ruefully looking back, hoping for better results next year.
AG2R Citroën Team 3/10
As marquee names Ben O’Connor and Benoît Cosnefroy struggled for form, others were obliged to step up. Wins were rare (their total of nine was the lowest of all the World Tour teams), but Felix Gall built upon a breakthrough ride at the Tour de Suisse to win a stage and nearly win the King of the Mountains at the Tour de France, while Aurélien Paret Peintre delivered another priceless Grand Tour stage win at the Giro.
WorldTour debutants Alpecin-Deceuninck have built the best lead-out train in the peloton, and with that comes lots of wins — 36 of them this year, a total that only four teams bettered. A sizable chunk of them came from star sprinter Jasper Philipsen, including four stages plus the green jersey at the Tour de France. But the best came courtesy of Mathieu van der Poel’s brilliant Milan-Sanremo/Paris-Roubaix/World Championships treble.
Team Arkéa Samsic 2/10
Competing as part of the WorldTour for the first time following their promotion last year, Arkéa Samsic do not quite look comfortable at this level yet. The absence of Nairo Quintana left a big hole in the squad, and they only managed ten wins all year and none in WorldTour races; the mid-season signing of Arnaud Démare could pay dividends next season, though.
Astana Qazaqstan 2/10
From the depths of their annus horribilis last year, Astana rebranded as the team to help Mark Cavenish break the Tour de France stage win record. Though Cav did deliver a stage win at the Giro d’Italia, his and the team’s Tour dreams went up in smoke when he crashed out the Tour. That Giro victory was ultimately the team’s only one at WorldTour level, as they, instead, padded out their season total in the autumn via minor Asian races.
Falling just short of a Grand Tour podium and a Monument victory for the first time since 2020, Bahrain-Victorious didn’t quite hit the heights of recent years but still excelled in difficult circumstances following the tragic death of Gino Mäder in June. Their strength in depth was evident by the fact that five different riders contributed to their total of six Grand Tours wins, and 18 victories in total throughout the season was a healthy number.
It’s easy to understand Bora-Hansgrohe’s eagerness to sign Primož Roglič for 2024, given that their highest finishes at Grand Tours this year were a seventh place for Aleksandr Vlasov at the Vuelta a España and Jai Hindley at the Tour, despite the latter’s breakthrough Giro victory the year before. Still, the wins kept coming with regularity — 23 in total, including stages in all three Grand Tours.
The season highlight undoubtedly came at the Tour de France, where the team at last ended a fifteen-year drought by winning not one but two stages courtesy of Victor Lafay and Ion Izagirre. That wasn’t their only success, either, as the team’s total number of victories amounted to a decent fourteen.
Team DSM-Firmenich 3/10
Unlike in previous seasons, no major new talent broke through this year at DSM-Firmenich, though the likes of Andreas Leknessund and Max Poole showed lots of promise. Instead, it was largely up to Alberto Dainese (who won a couple of Grand Tour sprints) and Romain Bardet (who was a regular in the top 10 of WorldTour stage races) to deliver results, as the total numbers of wins floundered at a disappointing eleven.
EF Education-EasyPost 5/10
What was supposed to be EF Education-EasyPost’s return to competing for Grand Tour victories following the major signing of Richard Carapaz instead ended up being the first year in the team’s fifteen-year WorldTour history that they failed to make the top ten in any of the Grand Tours, as the Ecuadorian spent most of the season out of form. On the plus side, they did manage a very respectable 26 wins and were competitive in the major Classics thanks to Neilson Powless and a revelatory Ben Healy.
It’s the end of an era at Groupama-FDJ, as the team’s iconic rider Thibaut Pinot retired (not quite landing a longed-for final victory) and frustrated star sprinter Arnaud Démare left mid-season. Though wins did come in their absence, only two of their total of nineteen came at WorldTour level, as the likes of Stefan Küng and Valentin Madouas couldn’t quite land them any major Classics wins, and David Gaudu tailed away after a promising start in the early season stage races.
Ineos Grenadiers 6/10
Geraint Thomas’ narrow defeat to Primož Roglič at the Giro d’Italia meant that Ineos missed out on a Grand Tour overall victory for a second successive year; and, worse still, this time, they didn't even manage any WorldTour stage race title. Neither did any Monuments account for any of their 36 victories, though Filippo Ganna and Tom Pidcock did come close with runner-up finishes at Milan-Sanremo and Liège–Bastogne–Liège respectively, while the latter landed the team’s biggest win at Strade Bianche.
The standards set by their superb 2022 season meant that even a year that saw 20 wins felt a little disappointing for the Belgian squad. Biniam Girmay, in particular, failed to hit his previous highs aside from one stage win at the Tour de Suisse, while only three other WorldTour wins were achieved, and no repeat of their two Grand Tour top tens from last year.
Team Jayco-Alula 4/10
Having safely secured WorldTour status last year, Jayco-Alula continued to be competitive without quite landing a major result. Simon Yates enjoyed a strong season, peaking with fourth overall at the Tour de France, while several sprint victories from Dylan Groenewegen helped bring the team’s season total to fifteen by the end of July before tailing away with just two since then.
Not only was 2023 the best season in the 39-year history of Jumbo-Visma, it was one of the all-time greatest campaigns enjoyed by any team ever. The crowning achievement was, of course, becoming the first to win all three Grand Tours in the same year (courtesy of Primož Roglič, Jonas Vingegaard, and Sepp Kuss), but among their huge total of 69 wins were many of the other top WorldTour stage race titles (Tirreno-Adriatico, Itzulia Basque Country, the Dauphine), they were also the top team of the spring Classics (winning Gent-Wevelgem, E3 Saxo Classic, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad).
In the final season before a new wave of stars arrived following investment from their new title sponsor, Lidl-Trek’s current roster proved to already be in good shape by winning 27 races between them. Mads Pedersen delivered stage wins at the Tour and Giro as well as success at the Classics, including a Tour of Flanders podium. Breakthrough talent Mattias Skjelmose broke the Jumbo-Visma/UAE Team Emirates stronghold in stage races by winning the Tour de Suisse.
Competing without the retired Alejandro Valverde for the first time since 2004, it was clear Movistar missed their long-standing talisman. Enric Mas made the top six of multiple stage races without threatening the podium, while young riders like Matteo Jorgenson and Oier Lazkano impressed without quite delivering top-tier results, meaning Einer Rubio’s stage win at the Giro was the biggest of their modest season total of sixteen wins.
Despite no longer dominating in either the spring Classics or the sprints, Soudal–Quick-Step’s strength in depth still saw them amass 55 wins last year, a total that fourteen different riders contributed to. Though his unsuccessful GC bids at the Giro and the Vuelta prevented the team from competing for top honours in any of the Grand Tours, Remco Evenepoel was again the star man, winning the team another Monument at Liège–Bastogne–Liège in addition to multiple Classics and Grand Tour stage wins.
UAE Team Emirates 9/10
Tadej Pogačar was once again prolific, winning the Tour of Flanders and Il Lombardia plus a host of other Classics and stage races, but these days the team is far more than just its star rider, as demonstrated by WorldTour stage race victories from Tim Wellens, Jay Vine and Adam Yates, plus Grand Tour podium finishes from Yates and João Almeida. All that was missing was a Grand Tour victory.