Iranian Sohrabi leads in UCI race wins

Asia Tour leader has 10 victories this season

With the year almost a third of the way through, it may come a surprise to some to hear that the number one ranked UCI race winner of the 2011 season to date is Iranian rider Mehdi Sohrabi of the Tabriz Petrochemical Team.

Sohrabi has scored 10 victories so far this season: five stages and the overall at the Kerman Tour, two stages and the GC at the Jelajah Malaysia and a stage of the Tour de Taiwan, leaving him three notches ahead of the likes of Philippe Gilbert and young Italian sprinter Andrea Guardini (Farnese Vini).

The 29-year old Sohrabi has ridden for the Tabriz Petrochemical Team since it was founded by his teammates Hossein Askari, Ahad Kazemi (recently retired) and Ghader Mizbani in 2007.

The team is backed by a major petroleum company from their home town in the mountainous north of Iran and has 16 elite riders including former Pro Tour riders Markus Eibegger and Boris Shpilevsky, (both ex Fuji-Servetto), as well as more than 30 younger riders on its roster. It is one of four Iranian UCI Continental registered teams in 2011.

Known as a powerful all-rounder, the bulky Sohrabi is a double Asian Road Race Champion (2006, 2010) and won the overall 2010 UCI Asia Tour title, which he also leads so far in 2011.

Following a busy early season, where the Tabriz Petrochemical Team won the UCI Asia Tour's Tour of Thailand, Tour of Taiwan and Jelajah Malaysia the squad will line up for a May double billing on home turf; The International Tour of Azerbaijan and the International Presidency Tour, both UCI Asia Tour 2.2-ranked stage races.

In Asia the Iranian riders are highly respected, and pretty hard to beat, even when they come up against serious European, US and Australian opposition. But, unfortunately political situations make it hard for them to obtain visas to travel outside of 'friendly' fellow Asian countries, even for sporting purposes. Needless to say this also restricts any greater ambitions they may harbour within cycling. Some Iranian riders have even been offered World Tour team contracts in the past, but have been unable to follow through with visas.

Asia Tour ranking as of April 25, 2011

1Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Team188 pts
2Andrea Guardini (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli167 
3Jonathan Monsalve (Ven) Androni Giocattoli145 
4Libardo Nino Corredor (Col) Letua Cycling Team128 
5Markus Eibegger (Aut) Tabriz Petrochemical Team123 
6Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Skil - Shimano119 
7Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar116 
8Rahim Ememi (IRI) IAU107 
9Takashi Miyazawa (Jpn) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli104 
10Sergey Kudentsov (Rus)90.66 
11Tobias Erler (Ger) Tabriz Petrochemical Team86 
12Muradjan Khalmuratov (Uzb)82 
13Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice81 
14Johnnie Walker (Aus)78 
15Alexei Markov (Rus)77 
16David Mccann (Irl) Giant Kenda Cycling Team75 
17Ki Ho Choi (HKg)74 
18Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team74 
19Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team73 
20Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn) Terengganu Cycling Team71 
21Gyung Gu Jang (Kor)70 
22Peter Mcdonald (Aus) V Australia70 
23Anuar Manan (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team66 
24Hossein Askari (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Team63 
25Boris Shpilevsky (Rus) Tabriz Petrochemical Team60 
25Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling60 
27Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team59 
28Miyataka Shimizu (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor  
29Herwin Jaya (Ina)58.66 
30Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr)56 
31Samad Poor Seiedi (IRI) IAU51 
32Hassan Maleki Mizan (IRI) Suren Cycling Team50 
33Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli48 
34Junya Sano (Jpn) d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo46 
35Vidal Celis Zabala (Spa) Letua Cycling Team46 
36Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli45 
37Shinri Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team43 
38Hamid Shirisisan (IRI) Suren Cycling Team42 
39Fatahilah Abdullah (Ina)42 
40David Kemp (Aus) Veranda's Willems - Accent40 
41Tyler Day (RSA) Team Bonitas40 
42Amir Zargari (IRI) IAU40 
43Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Endura Racing40 
44Charles Bradley Huff (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda40 
45Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz)39 
46Hossein Nateghi (IRI) Vali Asr Kerman39 
47Kenji Itami (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor38 
48Jonathan Mcevoy (GBr) Motorpoint37 
49Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA) MTN Qhubeka37 
50Sung Baek Park (Kor) KSPO37 
51André Schulze (Ger) CCC Polsat Polkowice37 
52Takeaki Ayabe (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team36 
53Farshad Salehian (IRI) IAU35 
54Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice35 
55Dene Rogers (NZl) Giant Kenda Cycling Team33 
55Chan Jae Jang (Kor)33 
57Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano32 
58Jing Yang (Chn)30 
59Kiel Reijnen (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis30 
60Ivan Kovalev (Rus)30 
61Masahiro Shinagawa (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team28 
62Hariff Salleh (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team28 
63Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Champion System27 
64Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre) SP Tableware26 
65David Kopp (Ger) Team Eddy Merckx - Indeland26 
66Malcolm Lange (RSA)24 
67Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac24 
68Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Chipotle Development Team24 
69Ahmad Fahrullah Alias (Mas)24 
69Ho-Sung Cho (Kor) Seoul Cycling Team24 
71Barati Rasoul (IRI)23 
72Ghader Mizbani Iranagh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Team23 
73Enrique Mata (Spa)23 
74William Dugan (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis21 
75Bradeley Hall (Aus)21 
76Hyo Suk Gong (Kor) Geumsan Ginseng Asia21 
77Eugen Wacker (Kgz) Letua Cycling Team20 
78Kazuo Inoue (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor20 
79Ian Bibby (GBr) Motorpoint20 
80Matthias Bertling (Ger) Team Eddy Merckx - Indeland20 
81Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz)20 
82Michele Merlo (Ita) De Rosa - Ceramica Flaminia19 
83Hari Fitrianto (Ina)18.66 
84Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil - Shimano18 
85Ying Hon Yeung (HKg)17 
86Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox17 
87Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Amore & Vita  
88Sam Davis (Aus)16.66 
89Edmunds John Hollands (Aus)  
90Ramin Mehrabani Azar (IRI) Suren Cycling Team16 
91Serhy Hrechyn (Ukr) Amore & Vita16 
92Dias Omirzakov (Kaz)16 
93Roger Kluge (Ger) Skil - Shimano16 
93Adam Semple (Aus) Drapac16 
95Alireza Haghi (IRI) IAU15 
96Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Skil - Shimano15 
97Kam-Po Wong (HKg)15 
98Christoff Van Heerden (RSA) MTN Qhubeka15 
98Edward Clancy (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp15 
98Jonathan Cantwell (Aus)15 
101Jai Crawford (Aus) Giant Kenda Cycling Team14 
102Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar14 
103Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis13 
104Ken Hanson (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda13 
105Ali Ahmad Fallanie (Mas)12 
106Jonathan Tiernan-Lock (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp12 
107Eric Sheppard (Aus)12 
108Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac12 
109Seyed Moezeddin Seyed Rezaei Khormizi (IRI) Vali Asr Kerman12 
110Jong Gyun Choi (Kor)12 
111Rongxi Zou (Chn)12 
112Mart Ojavee (Est) Champion System12 
112Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac12 
114Projo Waseso (Ina)11 
115Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Marzuki (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team10 
116Jonas Pedersen (Den)10 
117Siros Hashemzadeh (IRI)10 
118Iwan Setiawan (Ina)10 
119Ting Deng (Chn) Max Success Sports10 
120Aurélien Passeron (Fra) Geumsan Ginseng Asia10 
121Roman Krasilnikov (Rus)10 
122Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil - Shimano10 
123Chi Ho Yuen (HKg)10 
124Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ10 
124Muhamad Adiq Husainie Othman (Mas) Drapac10 
124Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Nutrixxion Sparkasse10 
124René Weissinger (Ger) Team Vorarlberg10 
124Mohd Zamri Saleh (Mas)10 
129Alexander Schmitt (Ger) Team Eddy Merckx - Indeland9 
130José Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) CCC Polsat Polkowice9 
131Alex Howes (USA) Chipotle Development Team9 
132Dean Downing (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp9 
132Cyrille Heymans (Lux) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de9 
134Azman Zulkifli Mohd (Mas)8 
135Lloyd Lucien Reynante (Phi)8 
136Ho Ting Kwok (HKg)8 
137Hayato Yoshida (Jpn)8 
138Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Team Vorarlberg8 
139Van Duan Le (Vie)8 
140Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Drapac8 
140Ki Hong Yoo (Kor) Geumsan Ginseng Asia8 
140Gang Xu (Chn) Max Success Sports8 
140Muhammad Taufik (Ina)8 
140Patria Rastra (Ina)8 
140Nanto Ferry (Ina)  
146Roger Nathan Dahlberg (NZl)7.66 
147Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli7 
148Johann Rabie (RSA) Team Bonitas7 
149Ablay Shugaipov (Kaz)7 
150Robert Retschke (Ger) Team Netapp7 
151Hossein Alizadeh (IRI) Tabriz Petrochemical Team7 
151Mohd Shahrul Mat Amin (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team7 
151Baptiste Plackaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet7 
151Thomas Bonnin (Fra) Skil - Shimano7 
151Luca Barla (Ita) Androni Giocattoli7 
151Ericson Obosa (Phi)7 
157Mohd Fauzan Ahmad Lutfi (Mas)6 
158Roger Beuchat (Swi) Champion System6 
159Alex Coutts (GBr) Giant Kenda Cycling Team6 
160Soren Petersen (Den)6 
161Dan Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth6 
162Deon Locke (Aus) Champion System6 
163Dirk Müller (Ger) Nutrixxion Sparkasse6 
164Bo Liu (Chn) Gammax6 
165Yasuharu Nakajima (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team6 
166Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis6 
167Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar6 
168Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling6 
168Omar Lombardi (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox6 
168Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil - Shimano6 
168Joeri Stallaert (Bel) Landbouwkrediet  
172Matnur Matnur (Ina)5.66 
173Yong Li Ng (Mas) Letua Cycling Team5 
174Alexey Shmidt (Rus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis5 
175Chris Joven (Phi)5 
175Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet5 
175Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) Geox-TMC5 
175Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac5 
175Bernardo Riccio (Ita) d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo5 
175Seon Ho Park (Kor) Seoul Cycling Team5 
175Wei Cheng Lee (Tpe) Action Cycling Team5 
175Joon Yong Seo (Kor) Seoul Cycling Team5 
175Martin Müller (Swi)5 
175Nunung Burhanudin (Ina)5 
185Minh Thuy Bul (Vie)4 
186Tots Oledan (Phi)4 
187Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice4 
187Feng Han (Chn) Skil - Shimano4 
187Hilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling4 
187Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli4 
187Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano4 
192Irish Valenzuela (Phi)3 
193Logan Calder (Aus)3 
194Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) Shimano Racing Team3 
195Meiyin Wang (Chn) Hengxiang Cycling Team3 
196Lukasz Bodnar (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice3 
197Gregor Gazvoda (Slo) Perutnina Ptuj3 
198Kazuyuki Manabe (Jpn) Matrix Powertag3 
199Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) Motorpoint3 
200Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers3 
201Fadi Shekhoni (Syr)3 
202Kirk Carlsen (USA) Chipotle Development Team3 
203Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda3 
204Sayed Ahmed Alawi (Brn)2 
205Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ2 
205Arran Brown (RSA) MTN Qhubeka2 
205Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli2 
205Matvey Nikitin (Kaz)2 
205Scott Stewart (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis2 
205Lee Rodgers (Jpn) Fuji - Cyclingtime.com2 
205Douglas Repacholi (Aus) China Jilun Cycling Team2 
205Sun Jae Jang (Kor)2 
205Patrick Shaw (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers2 
205Matej Jurco (Svk) Dukla Trencin Merida2 
205Masamichi Yamamoto (Jpn) Bridgestone Anchor2 
205Rakhmadani (Ina)  
217Alex Malone (Aus)1.66 
217Will Wettenhall (Aus)  
217David Treacey (Mlt)  
217Lex Nederlof (Ned)  
221Dean Gathercole (Aus)0.66 
221Peter Griffin (Aus)  
221Chris Clasby (Aus)  
Teams
1Tabriz Petrochemical Team550 pts
2Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli332 
3Azad University248 
4Skil - Shimano223 
5Aisan Racing Team203 
6Letua Cycling Team199 
7Androni Giocattoli197 
8Terengganu Cycling Team182 
9CCC Polsat Polkowice169 
10Team Europcar136 
11Giant Kenda Cycling Team128 
12Bridgestone Anchor119 
13Shimano Racing Team119 
14Suren Cycling Team108 
15Drapac87 
16Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis77 
17V Australia70 
18Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling70 
19Motorpoint60 
20Jelly Belly Cycling56 
21Team Eddy Merckx - Indeland55 
22Mtn Qhubeka54 
23d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo51 
24Vali Asr Kerman51 
25Champion System51 
26Team Bonitas47 
27Veranda's Willems - Accent40 
28Endura Racing40 
29Geumsan Ginseng Asia39 
30KSPO37 
31Rapha Condor - Sharp36 
32Chipotle Development Team36 
33Seoul Cycling Team34 
34Amore & Vita33 
35Sp Tableware26 
36Colnago - Csf Inox23 
37De Rosa - Ceramica Flaminia19 
38Max Success Sports18 
39Team Vorarlberg18 
40Landbouwkrediet18 
41Nutrixxion Sparkasse16 
42FDJ12 
43Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.De9 
44Team Netapp7 
45Gammax6 
45Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optumhealth6 
47Genesys Wealth Advisers5 
48Geox-TMC5 
48Action Cycling Team5 
50Hengxiang Cycling Team3 
50Matrix Powertag3 
50Perutnina Ptuj3 
53Fuji - Cyclingtime.com2 
53China Jilun Cycling Team2 
53Dukla Trencin Merida2 
Nations
1Japan688 pts
2Iran638 
3Korea217 
4Malaysia174.98 
5Indonesia4199:31:12 
6Kazakhstan131 
7Hong Kong, China124 
8Uzbekistan92 
9China73 
10Syria38 
11Philippines27 
12Kyrgyzstan20 
13Vietnam12 
14Bahrain11 
15Chinese Taipei5 
Author: Steve Thomas

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