Alberto Contador (Astana) has gone to the head of the UCI World Rankings for the first time this season as a result of winning the Tour de France. His Astana squad have maintained their position at the top of the team standings, while Contador’s points haul in July also helped Spain to pad out its enormous advantage over Italy in the national classification.
Contador moved up three places in the standings in July thanks to his performances in France, which brought his tally up to 482 points. He leads fellow countryman Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) by 84 points. Previous leader Cadel Evans (BMC) slips to third after his Tour challenge was tempered by a fractured elbow sustained the very day he took hold of the yellow jersey.
Given his relatively low-key season up until the Tour, it is not surprising that Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) was among the biggest risers in July. His second-place finish and two stage wins in France saw him climb 51 places to 6th. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) rose twenty places to 8th on the back of his fine Tour, while Denis Menchov’s podium place saw him shoot up the classification to 13th.
On the other side of the coin, Ivan Basso’s disappointing Tour saw the Liquigas man slip from 8th to 14th, while Fränk Schleck’s crash in week one saw ultimately saw him slide out of the top twenty.
In the team standings, Astana are on 884 points, almost 100 points clear of Saxo Bank (788) and Katusha are further back on 709. Spain’s dominance of the national rankings was buttressed by Contador’s Tour win. The Spanish points total of 1528 dwarfs that of Italy (856) and Belgium (849). Andy Schleck’s Tour haul brings Luxembourg into the top ten.
1. Alberto Contador (Astana) 482
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) 398
3. Cadel Evans (BMC) 390
4. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 304
5. Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) 283
6. Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) 258
7. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) 250
8. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 233
9. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) 225
10. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) 223
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Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.