Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) in the rainbow jersey after what has been an difficult year on the bike
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Wiggins still leads
A thrilling race in Holland saw Philippe Gilbert power to his best win of the season. Gilbert’s impressive attack on the final ascent of the Cauberg could not be matched by any of the other Worlds elite. The 2011 IG Pro Cycling Index winner has had a tough year trying to replicate his superb shape from 2011. He has spent the majority of the year sliding down the rankings. Before the Worlds Gilbert was 51st overall but his result in Valkenburg has lifted him to 21st overall.
One rank below Gilbert on the podium in Holland was Edvald Boasson Hagen of Team Sky. Boasson Hagen has had a varied season. He failed to live up to expectations in the Classics season with a fifth in Gent-Wevelgem his best result. Since that, the disappointed Norwegian went onto win his local race; the Tour of Norway. He then helped Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France and enjoyed a win in the GP Ouest-France – Plouay and a fifth place in GP de Montreal. These results have seen him yo-yoing up and down the top 20 in the rankings. After his result at the worlds he is back up to 10th.
Completing the podium was Spaniard Alejandro Valverde in third place. The controversial rider returned to the professional peloton this year at the Tour Down Under after a doping ban. He had a strong start to the season with second overall at the Tour Down Under, winning the Vuelta a Andalucía and finishing third overall at Paris-Nice. He rode the Tour de France picking up a stage win and then impressed many at the Vuelta a España where he focused on general classification and came second overall. His ranking position has steadily risen throughout the year and after his worlds performance he is now in fifth spot.
With many riders moving up in the index there will always be others going the opposite direction. The big fallers this week were the riders who excelled in the 2011 World championships. Mark Cavendish, the 2011 champion, has dropped to the lowest position of the year: seventh. The Manxman has not had a stellar season but still picked up 15 wins throughout the season including six Grand Tour stages.
Matthew Goss narrowly lost out to Cavendish in the 2011 Worlds and has spent much of this year finishing runner-up. The Australian has come in second place eight times this year and only notched up two victories. Despite this, Goss has still maintained a high position in the Pro Cycling Index due to consistent high placings on sprint stages especially in Grand Tours where he had 11 top ten finishes. Goss dropped 15 places to 36th after his point’s loss from the 2011 World Road Race.
Further down the Index, a big mover was the American Taylor Phinney. The BMC rider climbed 31 places to 54th after his second place in the Worlds time trial. This is another great achievement for the young rider who wore the Pink Jersey at the Giro d’Italia this year and has pain of finishing in fourth place in the Olympic road race and time trial.
Johan Van Summeren remains the rider in the top 200 who has raced the most days and total distance. In his 94 days of racing, the Belgian rider has notched up an impressive 16,034km. He must be looking forward to the end of the season.
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.
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