IG Pro Cycling Index: Evans leapfrogs Sagan

Due to a lull in racing last week there were few big changes in the IG Pro Cycling Index. In the top 10 there was only one change, which saw Peter Sagan drop to 7th and Cadel Evans leapfrog him. This was because Sagan lost his points from his win last year at the Philadelphia International Championship. The only other change in the top 20 sees Andre Greipel move back into the top 20, kicking Dan Martin out of it in the process. Greipel looks to back to his strong early season form after sprinting to two stage wins at the Skoda Tour of Luxembourg.

That was the main race of note last week and as a result the top riders in it moved up in the Index. Wout Poels won the queen stage of the race but missed out on overall victory by two seconds to Jakob Fuglsang. Poels moved up 25 places to 45th in the Index. Fuglsang jumped an even greater number of places, 46, but is below Poels in 53rd place. Fuglsang has recovered well from the injury that kept him out of the Giro d’Italia and is making a a strong case to be in RadioShack-Nissan’s Tour de France team. The highest new entry into the top 200 was Jonathan Hivert (Saur-Sojasun), who finished 4th overall in Luxembourg.

As last week was a quiet week of racing, this week affords us the opportunity to look at some of the other stats in the IG Pro Cycling Index. We can first focus on the kilometres and days raced. When looking at the riders who are leading or are bottom of these categories in the top 200 they make interesting reading.

The top three of the kilometres and days raced in the last 365 days of racing are:

1. Thomas De Gendt (41st): 16,578km raced and 105 days raced
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (68th): 15,976km raced and 102 days raced
3. Ian Stannard (104th): 15,807km raced and 95 days raced

The one thing these riders all have in common is that they have ridden two out of the last three grand tours. No rider in the current peloton has ridden all three like Sebastian Lang did last year. These three riders have done an impressive amount of races in the past year but have all managed to pick up personal results along the way. Ian Stannard was used as a domestique by Team Sky in the last two grand tours. Outside of these races he picked up a 4th at Paris-Tours and the British national road race championships.

Luis Leon Sanchez has been one of Rabobank’s most consistent performances since he joined the team in 2011. He is not really used as a domestique but is taken to big races in order to ride for himself and pick up results. In the past year he has won a stage at the Tour de France, Paris-Nice and two stages at the Tour de Romandie.

Thomas De Gendt is a favourite of many fans as he is often seen in breakaways. In the last year he has pulled off some impressive results, winning stages in the Tour de Suisse and Paris-Nice. De Gendt then bettered all of those performances at this year’s Giro d’Italia where he won the queen stage on the Passo dello Stevlio with an audacious attack that led to him finishing on the podium on the overall.

The bottom three of the kilometres and days raced in the last 365 days of racing are:

1. Davide Rebellin (130th): 1,984km raced and 11 days raced
2. Moreno Moser (79th): 2,819km raced and 18 days raced
3. Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (70th): 3,023km and 22 days raced

Being in this bottom three highlights those riders who have ridden a very small amount in the 120 races included in the Index but still achieved good results. Davide Rebellin returned to racing after a two year doping ban in 2011. His results from last year are still strong enough to merit him a place in the top 200. His third place at the Route du Sud and 2nd in the Coppa Sabatini are highlights. In 2012 is riding for the Croatian Meridiana-Kamen Team and has so far no raced in any races in the Index.

Moreno Moser joined Liquigas-Cannondale at the end of 2011 and pick up some good results in some small Italian races outside the Index. This year he has continued that form in bigger races. Most notably winning Trophee de Laigueglia, Eschborn-Frankfurt City loop and coming in the top ten at the Coppi-Bartali and the Giro di Toscane.

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has been one of the breakthrough riders of 2012 in Europe. Some may have noticed him in 2011 at the Tour of Britain, where he came 5th overall and won the mountains classification. Since changing teams from Rapha Condor Sharp to Endura racing he has built on that result. He won two tier four stage races, Tour of the Mediterranean and Tour Cycliste International du Haut Var, before March begun. He then followed that up with a second place overall at the Tour of Murcia. How far this British rider can continue to climb the rankings will depend on the race invites his Endura team get.

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