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Leon Sanchez leads latest world rankings

Richard Tyler
March 15, 2010, 17:15 GMT,
March 16, 2010, 8:51 GMT
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Spanish armada: Luis Leon Sanchez (2nd overall, Caisse d'Epargne), Alberto Contador (1st, Astana) and Alejandro Valverde (3rd, Caisse d'Epargne)

Spanish armada: Luis Leon Sanchez (2nd overall, Caisse d'Epargne), Alberto Contador (1st, Astana) and Alejandro Valverde (3rd, Caisse d'Epargne)

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Caisse d'Epargne top team, Spain strongest nation

Luis Leon Sanchez may have missed out on a second Paris-Nice title, but the Caisse d'Epargne rider's third place finish has seen him move to the top of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) individual rider rankings, released on Monday.

Sanchez has traded places with André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) at the top of the rankings, which are based on the two World Calendar events so far contested – the Tour Down Under and Paris-Nice. The man that finished at the top of the Paris-Nice podium, Alberto Contador (Astana), is the highest new entry to the list, in third.

Contador finished the 2009 rankings as UCI's world number one.

Sanchez's Caisse d'Epargne teammate Alejandro Valverde moved from 11th to fourth after finishing in second at Paris-Nice.

While results at Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo will soon alter the rankings, Sanchez indicated on Monday that he will look to retain top spot with a strong performance at the Tour of Cataluña later this month.

"I am happy because it means that I've been doing a great job in the early part of the season and it is also a reward for all the effort to prepare for this year in the best possible way," Sanchez said.

"It's only the beginning of the year and that ranking will change with the next races. It means that I'll have to fight hard to remain in the lead. I'll try to recover very well and present myself in good shape for the Tour of Cataluña so that I can keep on leading [the World Rankings]."

Sanchez and Valverde's participation at the Tour Down Under and podium success at Paris-Nice has also their squad jump to the top of the team standings where they replace HTC-Columbia. The US squad has moved back to third behind Katusha, who retained second position.

The Spanish stranglehold on the Paris-Nice podium has seen the European country replace Australia at the top of the national rankings. Spain has more than double the points of Australia, with Germany in third.

UCI Individual World Rankings
1 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 158 pts
2 André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC-Columbia 119  
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 107  
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 99  
5 Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team 85  
6 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha 67  
7 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo 60  
8 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram 54  
9 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 53  
10 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank 46  
11 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 43  
12 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 36  
13 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha 30  
14 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 22  
15 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, le Credit En Ligne 21  
16 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo 21  
17 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions 11  
18 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto 10  
19 Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Footon-Servetto 7  
20 Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Cervelo TestTeam 6  
21 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit En Ligne 6  
22 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team 6  
23 William Bonnet (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 6  
23 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 6  
25 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 5  
26 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 5  
27 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 5  
28 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team Radioshack 5  
29 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun 4  
30 Markus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram 4  
31 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini 4  
32 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2R La Mondiale 3  
33 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 2  
34 Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur-Sojasun 2  
35 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha 1  
36 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux 1  
37 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 1  
38 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team 1  
39 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank 1  
40 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC-Columbia 1  
UCI Team World Rankings
1 Caisse d'Epargne 257 pts
2 Team Katusha 134  
3 Team HTC-Columbia 120  
4 Astana 107  
5 Sky Professional Cycling Team 91  
6 Liquigas-Doimo 82  
7 Team Milram 58  
8 Euskaltel-Euskadi 53  
9 Team Saxo Bank 47  
10 BMC Racing Team 44  
11 Omega Pharma-Lotto 32  
12 Cofidis, le Credit En Ligne 27  
13 Garmin-Transitions 11  
14 Bbox Bouygues Telecom 11  
14 Rabobank 11  
16 Lampre-Farnese Vini 9  
17 Footon-Servetto 7  
18 Team Radioshack 7  
19 Cervelo Test Team 6  
20 Saur-Sojasun 6  
21 Ag2R La Mondiale 3  
22 Française Des Jeux 1  
UCI Nation Rankings
1 Spain 453 pts
2 Australia 175  
3 Germany 170  
4 New Zealand 85  
5 Czech Republic 60  
6 Russia 31  
7 France 31  
8 Belgium 27  
9 Estonia 21  
10 Slovakia 21  
11 South Africa 11  
12 Portugal 7  
13 Netherlands 6  
14 Italy 6  
15 Slovenia 4  
16 Ireland 3  
17 United States 2  
18 Switzerland 1  
19 Argentina 1  


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