With the changes to the cycling calendar due to the Olympics there were two big one day races taking place last week. The Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian and Vattenfall Cyclassics are both WorldTour races. In the IG Index they are in different tiers with San Sebastian in tier two alongside such races as Strade Bianche and Gent-Wevelgem. Vattenfall Cyclassics is a tier three race alongside races like Paris-Bruxelles and Giro del Piemonte.
The Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian normally takes place the weekend after the Tour de France finishes. This year it was pushed back in the calendar due to the Olympic Games. Luis Leon Sanchez still managed to retain his form from the Tour de France to take the win. The Spaniard attacked out of a group of twenty riders to in the closing stages. It was a bold and daring move and he now stands in 23rd spot in the Index. It should be noted that Sanchez still retains both titles of the greatest distance and days raced in the last 12 months. In total he has raced 16,409 kilometres and 105 days.
In the sprint behind Sanchez Simon Gerrans led home the group followed by Gianni Meersman. Gerrans is now in 12th place in the Index and is the highest placed Australian and Orica Greenedge rider. Meersman was one of the week’s biggest movers in the top 200 with the points his third place gave him. He jumped up 76 positions to 96th in the Index. The Belgium rider is now racing the Vuelta a España where he will be aiming to win his first ever grand tour stage win.
The Vattenfall Cyclassics is one of the few one day races in the calendar that is favourable to the sprinters. The past winners include sprinters such as Zabel, McEwen and Freire. This year’s race was decided in a sprint once again after lots of attacking racing from 60km to go. It was young Frenchman Arnaud Demare who won the sprint by a clear distance. Demare won the under 23 world championships last year but this is his most impressive win in 2012. He is now 46th overall in the Index which is a very high position for a first year professional. He is also the top ranked rider in the FDJ-Big Mat team above riders like Hutarovich (58th) and Fedrigo (61st). Clearly Demare has a bright future ahead of him and will be a key rider for his team next year.
Andre Greipel came second behind Demare in Vattenfall and as a results moved up two places and back into the top ten in 9th spot. The defending champion, Edvald Boasson Hagen, could only manage 5th place and as a result lost much of his points total from the race. He dropped six places in the Index to 18th spot.
There were some new entries further down the top 200 in the form of Jeremy Roy (146th) and Yukiya Arashiro (148th). Both had impressive rides at the Tour de Limousin (Tier 4). Roy won the decsive final stage from Arashiro but the Japanese rider took the overall win as Roy lost time on stage 2.
This week is action packed full of racing. The third and final grand tour, the Vuelta a Espana, dominates the week. There two other stage races going on; the US Pro Cycling Challenge (Tier 3) in America and the Tour of Denmark (Tier 4). Then on Sunday the Tier two one day race the GP Ouest France-Plouay takes place.
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.