IG Pro Cycling Index: Peter Sagan the world's third best rider?

It has been a week since the last update to the IG Pro Cycling Index. During that time six Tour de France stages and the Tour of Poland (Tier 2) have taken place. These once again have had a big impact on the rankings with Tour de France star Peter Sagan being the highest mover to number three overall.

At the top Tom Boonen had the chance at the Tour of Poland to overtake Joaquin Rodriguez in top spot. He was unable to take it due to crashing in stage 1 and then withdrawing before the race finished. Boonen has been diagnosed with a broken rib and is struggling to regain fitness for one of his big goals of the year; the Olympic Road Race (Tier 1).

The sprint stages at the Tour de France have been dominated by Peter Sagan and André Greipel. Both have climbed the rankings as a result. Sagan started the Tour de France is sixth place but is now third. Greipel was in 21st position but is now in 14th.

Mark Cavendish is the rider who has missed out. He has had to sacrifice his chances in order to work for his team leader Bradley Wiggins's pursuit of the yellow jersey. Cavendish has only won one stage so far which is far below his norm for the race, hence his drop in the Index to fifth place. He could slip further down by the end of the race as he will not defend his green jersey win from 2012. The pressure will be on for him to repeat his victory on the Champs-Élysées from the last two years.

The stage winners from the past week at the Tour have all seen a boost in their standing overall. Pierrick Fedrigo won his fourth Tour de France stage and is rewarded by reaching a career high in the Index of 68th place. David Millar’s stage win meant that all of the British road team for the Olympic Games at the Tour de France have won a stage. It was the Garmin-Sharp rider’s fourth Tour de France stage win and lifted him to 76th in the Index. Pierre Rolland won stage 11 and is 88th in the Index. Luis Leon Sanchez jumped twenty spots to 56th in the table after his fourth Tour stage win on stage 14. The Spanish rider is interestingly Rabobank’s sole representative in the top 100 in the Index.

This year the Tour of Poland had to be brought forward in the cycling calendar so as not to clash with the Olympic Games. As a result many of the riders attempting to win the Olympic road race headed over to Poland to fine tune their form. Tom Boonen, Thor Hushovd and Greg Van Avermaet were just some of the big names in attendance.

However, they all missed out of stage and the overall win. They were all topped by the young Italian Moreno Moser. Moser was a rider we drew attention earlier in the season after his high position compared to his days raced. Moser won two stages and the overall in Poland. This moved him up to 22nd overall in the Index. This is an even more remarkable achievement considering that he has only raced 36 days this year. The young Italian is clearly a rider who will continue to make a big impact in the coming year.

Ben Swift and Michal Kwiatkowski were two other riders to have a successful Tour of Poland. Swift as his name suggests is quick in the sprint and won two stages. These results saw him return to the top 200. Swift has had a quiet start to the season on the road, not picking up a result until June. But it is easy to forget for the start of the year he was focussed on trying to get a spot on the British Team Pursuit team for the Olympics. Although he missed out he did pick a world championship medal in the scratch race.

Kwiatkowski did not win a stage at the Tour of Poland but the rider rode aggressively and strongly in his home race. He came in the top ten on four stages and as a result came fourth overall. In the Index this propelled him up the rankings and he was the highest new entry into the top 200 this week in 96th place.

About the IG Markets Index

The IG Pro Cycling Index is a 12 month rolling ranking system designed answer the question “Who is the best cyclist in the world?” We teamed up with sports data experts Opta to create a comprehensive cycling ranking system that was based on an entirely new formula. We source results from the 120 top international road races throughout the season. Races are ranked by our expert panel, based on their prestige and their importance to cycling fans and put into four tiers in three different categories.

The IG Pro Cycling Index has a number of features that make it unique: Races are tiered depending on history, importance and calibre of field rather than UCI Class. So winning the Tour of Beijing will not give you the same points as winning Paris-Nice or the Dauphiné. Wins carry much greater weight and are rewarded more than placings. Bonus points are awarded for multiple victories in the top races, winning the most prestigious stages at the Grand Tours or winning multiple classics.

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