The 2005 cycling season has already begun in America, Asia and Oceania, and the International Cycling Union has published the first leaders of the individual rankings on these Continental Circuits. The jerseys of these rankings, which mark the beginning of a new era for cycling, will be worn from the February 1-28 2005 by the following riders:
UCI America Tour: Nilceu Dos Santos (Bra)
UCI Asia Tour: Shimichi Fukushima (Jpn)
UCI Oceania Tour: Robert McLachlan (Aus)
Although riders like Luis Sanchez, Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros) and Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) performed well in races that are part of the Oceania Tour, they ride for ProTour teams and therefore can only score points in ProTour races.
The Continental rankings are calculated by the UCI on the 25th of each month. The respective leaders will wear the jersey in races particular to that Continental Tour from the beginning of the next month. Somewhat paradoxically, if McLachlan is still leading after the Trust House Cycle Classic (Tour of Wellington), he will not be able to wear the jersey until September at the earliest (World Championships), as there are no more races on the Oceania Tour in between.
More information on the Continental Circuits can be found at www.uci.ch.