The month of May is arguably the busiest of the season in the professional cycling calendar and the hectic schedules of the world's top riders is reflected in some big changes this week to the IG Pro Cycling Index.
Belgium's Philippe Gilbert is still clinging on to top spot, but Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) has taken second place from Gilbert's countryman Tom Boonen following his fourth place in stage 7 and third in stage 8 at the Giro d'Italia. Other riders who have performed well in the Giro in the last few days have also seen their ranking improve: Domenico Pozzovivo is up to 66th after his stage 8 win; Ivan Basso is up to 82nd; and current race leader Ryder Hesjedal has climbed 39 places up to 116th. Team Sky's Mark Cavendish added a stage 5 win to his victory in stage 2 last week and is up into the top five.
Elsewhere, Germany's John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) picked up two stages and the overall win at the Tour de Picardie and has climbed 15 places up to 26th position, while Liquigas-Cannondale's Peter Sagan won the opener at the Tour of California and has leapfrogged his teammate Vincenzo Nibali into seventh place.
With lots to play for in Italy and California over the next seven days, it will be interesting to see where the riders stand next week.
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.