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It has been three weeks since the last update to the IG Pro Cycling Index and there have been many changes. It has been a busy three week racing period with no less than six races in the Index taking place, including the Olympic road race and time trial and the Eneco Tour.
Bradley Wiggins enjoyed a healthy lead at the top of the standing after the Tour de France. The Olympic Time Trial was his change to win his fourth Olympic gold medal. Before that test Wiggins rode the Olympic road race in support of Mark Cavendish. He managed to recover well from the huge effort and dominated the time trial beating Tony Martin by 42 seconds. Wiggins’ lead at the top of the rankings is almost insurmountable before the end of the season.
Tony Martin’s second place saw him return to the top ten and take the title of the highest placed German rider away from Andre Greipel. Chris Froome rounded off the podium in the time trial and as a result moved up two spots to seventh overall. The road race saw Alexandre Vinokourov end his career on a high. Having done little this year he was outside the top 200 but now stands at 78th place. He edged out Rigoberto Uran from Columbia who is now 32nd in the Index.
Due to the Olympics this year’s race calendar has slight differences to the normal calendar. The Tour of Poland and the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian are taking place at different times than normal. This has had a pronounced effect on the current standings. Peter Sagan has dropped a place to third as he has only now lost his points from the 2011 Tour of Poland. While the delay on the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian till this week. This has meant riders like Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert have not been able to defend their points from last year. They have both dropped out of the top 20; if Gilbert’s case this is the first time he has been this low in the Index.
The highest ranked stage race that has taken place in the last three weeks is the Eneco Tour which is in Tier two of the Index alongside races like the Tour of Romandie and California. Lars Boom emerged victorious adding this race to his past wins at the Tour of Britain and the Tour of Belguim. The Dutchman now sits in 20th spot overall.
Luis Leon Sanchez has not assumed the mantle of the most impressive about of racing in the last 12 months. In that time he has raced 16,103km and 104 days.
This weekend sees the start of the Vuelta aEspana the third and final grand Tour of the year. The race is in the third tier of the Pro Cycling Index. This means the points a rider receives are 60% of the value they would receive for the Tour de France. The favourites for the race are Alberto Contador and Chris Froome. They arrive at the start line in contrasting fashion.
For Contador the race will be just his second since his return from his doping suspension while for Froome this will be his second Grand Tour of the year. Other riders to look out for are Joaquim Rodriquez (4th in the Index), last year’s winner Juan Jose Cobo (35th), Igor Anton (180th), Robert Gesink (33rd), Alejandro Valverde (28th), Bauke Mollema (18th) and Thomas De Gendt (63rd).
About the IG Markets Index
The IG Pro Cycling Index is a 12-month rolling ranking system designed answer the question “Who is the best cyclist in the world?” We teamed up with sports data experts Opta to create a comprehensive cycling ranking system that was based on an entirely new formula. We source results from the 120 top international road races throughout the season. Races are ranked by our expert panel, based on their prestige and their importance to cycling fans and put into four tiers in three different categories.
The IG Pro Cycling Index has a number of features that make it unique: Races are tiered depending on history, importance and calibre of field rather than UCI Class. So winning the Tour of Beijing will not give you the same points as winning Paris-Nice or the Dauphiné. Wins carry much greater weight and are rewarded more than placings. Bonus points are awarded for multiple victories in the top races, winning the most prestigious stages at the Grand Tours or winning multiple classics.