Valverde tops UCI world rankings

Caisse d'Epargne, Spain also continue on top

Alejandro Valverde has moved atop the World Classification of the International Cycling Union (UCI). The controversial Caisse d'Epargne rider used his overall victory in the Tour de Romandie to claim the lead in the world rankings.

Valverde has 392 points, which moved him up from second place. Former leader Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) dropped to second place. There were no other changes in the top ten.

Valverde called the ranking “an honour and a dream for any rider.” He said that he had been winning points since the Tour Down Under in Australia, “and to become the new number one before the major tours begin shows how regular I have been all through the first four months of the season.

“Moreover my team is leading the teams classification and that is also very important. I am surrounded with very good riders and I can rely on the team at any moment in any race.”

Valverde has been banned from riding in Italy for two years, and faces a possible worldwide ban by the UCI. That decision is pending a further ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is expected momentarily.

The biggest leaps up the rankings were Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) from 46th to 17th, and Lampre's Simon Spilak entering the rankings at 23rd.

Thanks to the success of Valverde and Luis Leon Sanchez, Caisse d'Epargne still leads the UCI World Ranking for teams. The Spanish squad has a total of 620 points, 120 more than second placed Katusha, who has 500 points. The Astana team is third with 434 points thank to the success of team leaders Alberto Contador and Alexandre Vinokourov. HTC - Columbia moved up from eighth to fifth place.

Valverde's ranking also helped Spain stay as the number one nation. Belgium, Australia, Italy and the United States rounded out the top five with no changes this week.

The world rankings are usually published Monday afternoons, but the next one will not appear until May 31, after the Giro d'Italia.

UCI World Rankings - Individuals
1Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne392pts
2Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto294 
3Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha268 
4Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team246 
5Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne222 
6Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step216 
7Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank200 
8Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana161 
9Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack144 
10Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam120 
11André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia119 
12Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana117 
13Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank112 
14Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo110 
15Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone109 
16Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions103 
17Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia103 
18Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana100 
19Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne100 
20Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team100 
21Xavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam92 
22Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam90 
23Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini88 
24Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli86 
25Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team85 
26Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi85 
27Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team HTC - Columbia83 
28Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha82 
29George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team80 
30Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini78 
31Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi78 
32Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank72 
33Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi72 
34Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Sky Professional Cycling Team71 
35Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha68 
36Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team HTC - Columbia66 
37Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank63 
38Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox62 
39Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator60 
40Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto60 
41Daniele Bennati (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo58 
42Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Transitions57 
43Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale57 
44Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana56 
45Luke Roberts (Aus) Team Milram54 
46Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini52 
47Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha52 
48Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank52 
49Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack50 
50Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank46 
51Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto44 
52Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet40 
53Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo36 
54Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Transitions34 
55Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux32 
56Tiago Machado (Por) Team Radioshack31 
57Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo30 
58Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha30 
59Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha30 
60Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli30 
61Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox30 
62Frank Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank24 
63Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo21 
64Leif Hoste (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto20 
65Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini16 
66Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre-Farnese Vini14 
67Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Transitions13 
68Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank12 
69Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC - Columbia12 
70Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank11 
71Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team10 
72Marcel Wyss (Swi) Cervélo TestTeam10 
73Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini10 
74Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale10 
75William Bonnet (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom10 
76Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram8 
77Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone7 
78Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (Por) Footon-Servetto7 
79Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne7 
80Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team6 
81Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank6 
82Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram6 
83Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne6 
84Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack6 
85Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team6 
86Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank6 
87Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step6 
88Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Team Katusha6 
89Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack6 
90Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team6 
91Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom5 
92Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux5 
93Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini5 
94Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank5 
95Gert Steegmans (Bel) Team Radioshack5 
96Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Française Des Jeux4 
97Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step4 
98Hayden Roulston (NZl) Team HTC - Columbia4 
99Markus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram4 
100Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur - Sojasun4 
101Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank4 
102Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne4 
103Robert Förster (Ger) Team Milram4 
104Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini4 
105Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi3 
106Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux2 
107Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française Des Jeux2 
108Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli2 
109Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia2 
110David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini2 
111Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia2 
112Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank2 
113Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur - Sojasun2 
114Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1 
115Fabio Felline (Ita) Footon-Servetto1 
116Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha1 
117Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia1 
118Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC - Columbia1 
119Dominik Nerz (Ger) Team Milram1 
120Mauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo1 
121Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux1 
122Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Française Des Jeux1 
123Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team1 
124Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank1 
125Davide Vigano (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team1 
126Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne1 
127Jan Bakelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto1 
128Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne1 
UCI World Rankings - Teams
1Caisse d'Epargne620pts
2Team Katusha500 
4Omega Pharma-Lotto419 
5Team HTC - Columbia383 
6Team Saxo Bank334 
7BMC Racing Team333 
8Cervélo TestTeam312 
11Lampre-Farnese Vini248 
12Euskaltel - Euskadi238 
13Team Radioshack237 
14Quick Step226 
15Garmin - Transitions207 
16Sky Professional Cycling Team169 
17Androni Giocattoli118 
18Acqua & Sapone116 
19Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne113 
20Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team110 
21Colnago - CSF Inox93 
22Team Milram76 
23AG2R La Mondiale68 
24Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator60 
25Française Des Jeux45 
27BBox Bouygues Telecom15 
29Saur - Sojasun6 
UCI World Rankings - Nations
5United States287 
13Czech Republic110 
16Great Britain102 
18New Zealand89 
24South Africa13 

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