Joaquim Rodriguez has started the Vuelta a España with a bang and has moved himself back up to third place in the Index. The Spaniard has held the leader’s jersey for seven days already, won a stage and come second in another three.
In last year’s Vuelta a España Rodriguez won two stages but only came 19th overall. The signs so far are pointing towards a performance similar to this year’s Giro d’Italia where he came second. Tom Boonen and Bradley Wiggins remain in the two spots above him in the Index. It remains to be seen if he will be able to win his first Grand Tour as he faces tough pressure from Chris Froome, Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador.
Alejandro Valverde, John Degenkolb and Simon Clarke are three of the other big movers due to their performances in the Vuelta so far. Clarke has had a quiet year with the majority of hi points coming from his second place at the Tour of Norway. But stage 4 of the Vuelta saw him get his biggest win of his career when he was the strongest of the days break and outsprinted Tony Martin (9th) in the final metres. Clarke moved up 36 places to 126th.
Valverde has won two stage of the Vuelta so far and has climbed seven spots and is now back in the top 20 in 18th place. John Degenkolb has been far and away the fastest sprinter in the peloton picking up four stages in the race so far. He is on the cusp on the top 20 in 22nd spot and is the highest ranked Argos Shimano rider by some way. Marcel Kittel is the next highest in 61st place.
The largest one day race that took place last week was the GP Ouest France – Plouay (Tier Two). Won by Grega Bole last year the race is often a close fight between sprinters and attacking riders. This year Edvald Boasson Hagen. The results propels Boasson Hagen back up to 11th spot.
The biggest stage race was the Tour of Denmark which sits in Tier four of the Index alongside races like the Tour of Utah and Beijing. This year’s winner was Lieuwe Westra who must be happy to finally win a stage race after coming second this year in Paris-Nice (Tier 1), KBC-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (Tier 3) and the Tour of Belgium (Tier 3). The Dutchman moved up 11 places to 29th and is still Vacansoleil’s top ranked rider. He beat Ramunas Navardauskas and Manuele Boaro to second and third place respectively.
Highest mover of the week: Nacer Bouhanni from 160th to 118th. The French national champion has placed in the top ten seven times already in the Vuelta a España.
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.