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) Team Result
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 167  pts
2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 112  
3 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team 110  
4 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 92  
5 Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-Nissan 72  
6 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team 62  
7 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling 61  
8 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 51  
9 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FdJ-Big Mat 40  
10 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan 40  
11 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 34  
12 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan 30  
13 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 20  
14 Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team 20  
15 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 18  
16 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 15  
17 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team 10  
18 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 8  
19 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team 7  
20 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 7  
21 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FdJ-Big Mat 7  
22 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 6  
23 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 6  
24 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team 6  
25 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 6  
26 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team 5  
27 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD 5  
28 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 5  
29 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team 4  
30 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team 4  
31 Jens Voigt (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan 4  
32 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 4  
33 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 3  
34 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan 3  
35 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team 2  
36 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda 2  
37 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale 2  
38 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 1  
39 Greg Henderson (Nzl) Lotto Belisol Team 1  
40 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda 1  
41 Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team 1  
42 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
43 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 1  
44 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team 1  
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sky Procycling 207  pts
2 Movistar Team 192  
3 Radioshack-Nissan 149  
4 Greenedge Cycling Team 111  
5 Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 105  
6 Katusha Team 78  
7 BMC Racing Team 52  
8 FdJ-Big Mat 47  
9 Omega Pharma-Quickstep 33  
10 Lotto Belisol Team 27  
11 Rabobank Cycling Team 27  
12 Astana Pro Team 11  
13 Lampre - ISD 11  
14 Garmin - Barracuda 3  
15 Ag2R La Mondiale 2  
16 Liquigas-Cannondale 2  
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Spain 205  pts
2 Australia 193  
3 Great Britain 112  
4 Netherlands 92  
5 Belgium 91  
6 Portugal 72  
7 Slovenia 67  
8 France 62  
9 United States 54  
10 Norway 35  
11 Germany 26  
12 Italy 12  
13 Croatia 10  
14 Belarus 7  
15 Sweden 6  
16 Russia 4  
17 New Zealand 1  
Author: Cycling News

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