Mitchelton-Scott's Simon Yates and Annemiek Van Vleuten secured the 2018 UCI WorldTour overall titles in their respective elite men's and women's categories following the season's conclusion at the Tour of Guangxi on Sunday. They each won a Grand Tour, along with 16 other WorldTour victories between them this year, and they were awarded as the series winners at the UCI Gala Dinner in China.
Neither rider competed in the Guangxi finale, which offered a six-day race for the men and a one-day race for the women. However, both had accumulated enough points throughout the season to boast healthy leads in the standings.
"After a week or so off the bike to reflect, it's been an amazing year and one I will always remember," Yates said in a team press release. "The results have been special, but also results that I feel I have been working towards and getting closer to every year since becoming a professional, and to finish at the top of the WorldTour rankings just tops it off."
Yates kicked off his WorldTour-race success at Paris-Nice where he won a stage and placed second overall, followed by a stage win at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. He went on to capture three stage wins at the Giro d'Italia where he wore the maglia rosa for 13 days.
Although he was disappointed to lose the Italian Grand Tour, he came back to win a stage of the Tour of Poland and then the overall title at the Vuelta a España.
"Of course, the Vuelta is the highlight as my first Grand Tour victory, and how we pulled together as a team to get everything right for that month of racing was incredible," Yates said.
"But, despite the disappointment in the final days, I also look back at the Giro with a lot of pride at how we raced and what we achieved there.
"I like to race on instinct. I think that's what works best for me and what fans want to see, and I hope that I continue to do so and achieve more big results in the coming years."
The British rider finished the series with 3,071 points to beat Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) by 80 points and third placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by 463 points.
Quick-Step Floors won the team competition after amassing 73 victories this season, while Team Sky were second and Bora-Hansgrohe third.
Valverde, who won the world title in Innsbruck earlier this month, topped the men's UCI World Ranking with 4,168 points. He accumulated 1,008 points more than runner-up Simon Yates and 1,062 points over third placed Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors).
Van Vleuten on top of the world
Van Vleuten secured a total of 13 victories this year. Ten of those were Women's WorldTour wins with overall titles at the Giro Rosa, where she also won three stages, and the Boels Ladies Tour, along with a one-day win at La Course.
She also had a strong Classics campaign with podium finishes at the Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, as well as fourth place at Flèche Wallonne.
Van Vleuten went on to successfully defend her title in the individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships. However, a fractured knee sustained in a crash during the road race has forced her to take a lengthy recovery period.
"I always want to win, and I'm very proud of my results this year, winning the Giro Rosa, La Course, the Boels Ladies Tour. Winning the WorldTour is nice because you show you have had super-good results all year round," the Dutchwoman said.
"I'm very proud of my achievements, and proud to win the time trial at the World Championships again, but I was actually a bit surprised to still be the number-one-ranked rider after not being at the top level in the road race after the crash.
"It makes me proud to be the number-one-ranked rider because before I always had a teammate – Marianne Vos – who was always number one, and so it's nice to see your name at the top of the list as both the number-one-ranked rider and winner of the WorldTour, which I think for the team is important."
Van Vleuten won the series with a total of 1,411 points. Her former teammate Vos (Waowdeals) was second, just 17 points behind, and their compatriot, and new road race world champion, Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) was third, 88 points in arrears. Boels Dolmans won the team classification with Mitchelton-Scott placing second and Sunweb finishing third. Sofia Bertizzolo (Astana) won the youth title.
Van Vleuten is also the number-one-ranked rider according to the UCI Women's World Ranking, finishing the season with 1,923 points, just 11 points head of Van der Breggen, and Vos third a 159 points behind.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott||3072||pts|
|2||Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe||2992|
|3||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||2609|
|4||Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky||2534|
|5||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team||2442|
|6||Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors||2399|
|7||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb||2393|
|8||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors||2161|
|9||Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky||1976|
|10||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb||1975|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton Scott Women||1411||pts|
|2||Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team||1394|
|3||Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||1323|
|4||Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women||1218|
|5||Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women||1036|
|6||Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team||1012|
|7||Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||922|
|8||Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing||887|
|9||Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Mitchelton Scott Women||685|
|10||Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women||671|