New order for UCI WorldTour rankings

Valverde, Sky ProCycling and Spain move into the lead

Brad Wiggins' victory at Paris-Nice has seen has seen Sky ProCycling romp into the overall lead of the UCI WorldTour team rankings, with the British team moving up from fourth to first.

Whilst the British team's first ever WorldTour team rankings lead is largely thanks to Wiggins, Dutchman Lieuwe Westra's second place overall behind the Briton has helped his Vacansoleil-DCM squad enter the WorldTour team classification with an impressive fifth place (no less than three Paris-Nice stage victories for Vacansoleil-DCM, taken by Westra, Thomas De Gendt and Gustav Larsson respectively, have also made a major contribution to that.)

The biggest mover in the team rankings, though, is undoubtedly Sky ProCycling. The Britons have gained three places and now hold 207 points to Spanish line-up Team Movistar's total of 192. Former leaders RadioShack-Nissan, meanwhile, on 149 points, have slumped from first to third.

Although they remain at number two in the nations ranking, Team Movistar had other post-Paris-Nice news to celebrate. Their leader Alejandro Valverde, third in the Course Au Soleil and himself a stage winner in an uphill dash at Lac de Vassiviere, is now the top rider in the UCI WorldTour individual rankings.

A close second behind GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans in the Tour Down Under, the series' opening race, Valverde's consistency throughout the spring has earned him 167 points. Wiggins, meanwhile, has taken his first WorldTour 2012 points to become the ranking's second-classified rider, with 112, whilst Gerrans drops to third.

But Wiggins is far from being the only ‘new' face in the top ten of the individual ranking following Europe's first big WorldTour race. Westra has powered his way straight into fourth spot overall, the talented Slovenian Simon Spilak (Katusha Team) is another new addition at sixth, whilst equally promising young American Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) is in eighth and former Tour de L'Avenir stage winner Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ-Big Mat) lies in ninth.

Yet another big change has taken place in the countries ranking, where Spain has shifted into the top spot, in part thanks to Valverde. However, his compatriot Luis León Sanchez (Rabobank Cycling Team) victory over Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) on stage six of Paris-Nice also helped propel Spain ahead of former leaders Australia by 12 points, 205 to 193.

The two top nations are already well clear of Great Britain which is a new entry at third overall, but with a comparatively small total of 112 points. Could this be the start of a two-way battle between Spain and Australia for the nations title in 2012? Certainly the other countries can ill-afford to rest on their laurels after such a flying start by the two top nations.

Yet more significant classification changes are certain, in any case, when Tirreno-Adriatico finishes this Wednesday and again after Milan-San Remo next Saturday.


WorldTour standings as of March 11

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team167 pts
2Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling112 
3Simon Gerrans (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team110 
4Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team92 
5Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-Nissan72 
6Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team62 
7Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling61 
8Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team51 
9Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FdJ-Big Mat40 
10Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan40 
11Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling34 
12Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan30 
13Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep20 
14Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team20 
15André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team18 
16Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team15 
17Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team10 
18Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team8 
19Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team7 
20Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team7 
21Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FdJ-Big Mat7 
22Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep6 
23Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team6 
24Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team6 
25Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD6 
26Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team5 
27Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD5 
28Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team5 
29Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team4 
30Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team4 
31Jens Voigt (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan4 
32Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep4 
33Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep3 
34Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan3 
35Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team2 
36Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda2 
37Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale2 
38Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team1 
39Greg Henderson (Nzl) Lotto Belisol Team1 
40Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda1 
41Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team1 
42Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale1 
43Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale1 
44Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team1 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sky Procycling207 pts
2Movistar Team192 
4Greenedge Cycling Team111 
5Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team105 
6Katusha Team78 
7BMC Racing Team52 
8FdJ-Big Mat47 
9Omega Pharma-Quickstep33 
10Lotto Belisol Team27 
11Rabobank Cycling Team27 
12Astana Pro Team11 
13Lampre - ISD11 
14Garmin - Barracuda3 
15Ag2R La Mondiale2 
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Spain205 pts
3Great Britain112 
9United States54 
17New Zealand1 

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