Gilbert closes on Sanchez in UCI world rankings

Omega Pharma-Lotto keen to secure Amstel winner until 2012

Philippe Gilbert's victory at Amstel Gold Race has boosted the Belgian to third in the International Cycling Union's (UCI) latest world rankings, released on Monday. Reports have also emerged that the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider is on the verge of signing a new two-year deal with his current team.

Gilbert, 27, indicated immediately after his victory on Sunday that top spot in the UCI rankings is an objective for him this season. He moves up from sixth place on the list and now sits just 12 points shy of Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne), who retained his number one status despite missing Amstel as a result of the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökul volcano.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) retained his second-placed position in the rankings, but Gilbert's ascension pushed Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) down one spot each.

Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) were the most significant movers. The Czech leapt from 24th to 13th after a fifth placed finish at Amstel and Hesjedal, who finished second to Gilbert on Sunday, moved from 39th to 16th.

Omega Pharma-Lotto move to retain their talisman

Gilbert's upward movement in the individual rankings was mirrored by his team, with Omega Pharma-Lotto now third behind Caisse d'Epargne and Katusha in the UCI's list of team rankings.

The Belgian squad was the final member of the ProTour to secure its maiden 2010 victory, but according to a report in the La Dernière Heure newspaper on Monday they are expected to confirm a contract extension with the man that broke their eight month win-less streak.

"Philippe is ready to sign a two-year extension with the team that will last until December 31, 2012," Gilbert's agent, Eddy Billen, told the French language paper.

When Gilbert joined the team in 2008, he signed a two-year contract with an option for a further year. La Dernière Heure said that negotiations on a further two-season deal began during Paris-Nice in March. In order to help him target the big one-day Classics, the team is also said to be prepared to reinforce the Omega Pharma-Lotto for 2011 and beyond.

Business booming for Belgium

The UCI's nation rankings remained largely unchanged, although Belgium's second-place position was consolidated by Gilbert's Amstel triumph. Spain remains the most prolific nation, while Italy and Australia still sit in third and fourth, respectively.

The Czech Republic (now 11th) and Canada (now 13th) shifted five spots each, on the back of Kreuziger and Hesjedal's performances in the Netherlands.

UCI Individual Rankings
1Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne222pts
2Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step216 
3Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto210 
4Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha208 
5Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne201 
6Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank200 
7Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo TestTeam120 
8André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC-Columbia119 
9Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team116 
10Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana116 
11Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank112 
12Christopher Horner (USA) Team RadioShack110 
13Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo110 
14Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone109 
15Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana107 
16Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions101 
17Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne100 
18Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team100 
19Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Cervelo TestTeam92 
20Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo TestTeam90 
21Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli86 
22Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team85 
23Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi85 
24Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team HTC-Columbia83 
25George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team80 
26Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini78 
27Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi72 
28Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Professional Cycling Team71 
29Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Team Katusha68 
30Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank63 
31Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox62 
32Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator60 
33Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto60 
34Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo58 
35Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions57 
36Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana56 
37Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R La Mondiale55 
38Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram54 
39Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank52 
40Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto44 
41Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC-Columbia41 
42Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet40 
43Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team HTC-Columbia40 
44Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions34 
45Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux32 
46Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo30 
47Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha30 
48Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha30 
49Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli30 
50Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox30 
51Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini22 
52Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo21 
53Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo21 
54Leif Hoste (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto20 
55Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank14 
56Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank12 
57Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini12 
58Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions11 
59Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank11 
60Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team10 
61Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini10 
62Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale10 
63Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-Farnese Vini10 
64Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioShack10 
65William Bonnet (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom10 
66Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram8 
67Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone7 
68Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Footon-Servetto7 
69Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne7 
70Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team6 
71Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team6 
72Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank6 
73Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team RadioShack6 
74Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step6 
75Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha6 
76Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team RadioShack6 
77Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne6 
78Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram6 
79Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC-Columbia6 
80Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team6 
81Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux5 
82Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini5 
83Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom5 
84Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank5 
85Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team RadioShack5 
86Hayden Roulston (NZl) Team HTC-Columbia4 
87Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step4 
88Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Française Des Jeux4 
89Markus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram4 
90Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun4 
91Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank4 
92Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne4 
93Robert Förster (Ger) Team Milram4 
94Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini4 
95Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi3 
96Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha2 
97David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini2 
98Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC-Columbia2 
99Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC-Columbia2 
100Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française Des Jeux2 
101Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli2 
102Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur-Sojasun2 
103Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC-Columbia1 
104Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC-Columbia1 
105Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo1 
106Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux1 
107Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française Des Jeux1 
108Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team1 
109Dominik Nerz (Ger) Team Milram1 
110Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha1 
111Davide Vigano (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team1 
112Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne1 
113Jan Bakelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto1 
114Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank1 
115Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne1 
116Mattia Gavazzi (Ita) Colnago-CSF Inox1 
UCI Team Rankings
1Caisse d'Epargne429pts
2Team Katusha342 
3Omega Pharma-Lotto335 
4Cervelo TestTeam302 
5Team Saxo Bank289 
6Team HTC-Columbia289 
9Quick Step226 
10BMC Racing Team203 
13Sky Professional Cycling Team169 
15Team RadioShack137 
16Lampre-Farnese Vini132 
17Androni Giocattoli118 
18Acqua & Sapone116 
19Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne113 
20Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team110 
21Colnago-CSF Inox93 
22Team Milram76 
23Ag2R La Mondiale65 
24Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator60 
25Française Des Jeux44 
27Bbox Bouygues Telecom15 
UCI Nation Rankings
5United States253 
11Czech Republic110 
15Great Britain96 
16New Zealand89 
25South Africa11 

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