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New order for UCI WorldTour rankings

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Points classification leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Points classification leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) (Image credit: ASO)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) maintained his podium position, but will need to further improve his time trial if he's going to feature in the Tour de France.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) maintained his podium position, but will need to further improve his time trial if he's going to feature in the Tour de France. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Paris-Nice leader Bradley Wiggins was well-protected by his Sky teammates.

Paris-Nice leader Bradley Wiggins was well-protected by his Sky teammates. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) en route to victory on the Col d'Eze.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) en route to victory on the Col d'Eze. (Image credit: AFP)
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Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge), left, and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) vie for victory in the third stage of Paris-Nice.

Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge), left, and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) vie for victory in the third stage of Paris-Nice. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) on the front

Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) on the front (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Stage 7 winner Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM)

Stage 7 winner Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) (Image credit: ASO)

Brad Wiggins' victory at Paris-Nice has seen has seen Sky ProCycling romp into the overall lead of the UCI WorldTour team rankings, with the British team moving up from fourth to first.

Whilst the British team's first ever WorldTour team rankings lead is largely thanks to Wiggins, Dutchman Lieuwe Westra's second place overall behind the Briton has helped his Vacansoleil-DCM squad enter the WorldTour team classification with an impressive fifth place (no less than three Paris-Nice stage victories for Vacansoleil-DCM, taken by Westra, Thomas De Gendt and Gustav Larsson respectively, have also made a major contribution to that.)

The biggest mover in the team rankings, though, is undoubtedly Sky ProCycling. The Britons have gained three places and now hold 207 points to Spanish line-up Team Movistar's total of 192. Former leaders RadioShack-Nissan, meanwhile, on 149 points, have slumped from first to third.

Although they remain at number two in the nations ranking, Team Movistar had other post-Paris-Nice news to celebrate. Their leader Alejandro Valverde, third in the Course Au Soleil and himself a stage winner in an uphill dash at Lac de Vassiviere, is now the top rider in the UCI WorldTour individual rankings.

A close second behind GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans in the Tour Down Under, the series' opening race, Valverde's consistency throughout the spring has earned him 167 points. Wiggins, meanwhile, has taken his first WorldTour 2012 points to become the ranking's second-classified rider, with 112, whilst Gerrans drops to third.

But Wiggins is far from being the only ‘new' face in the top ten of the individual ranking following Europe's first big WorldTour race. Westra has powered his way straight into fourth spot overall, the talented Slovenian Simon Spilak (Katusha Team) is another new addition at sixth, whilst equally promising young American Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) is in eighth and former Tour de L'Avenir stage winner Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ-Big Mat) lies in ninth.

Yet another big change has taken place in the countries ranking, where Spain has shifted into the top spot, in part thanks to Valverde. However, his compatriot Luis León Sanchez (Rabobank Cycling Team) victory over Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) on stage six of Paris-Nice also helped propel Spain ahead of former leaders Australia by 12 points, 205 to 193.

The two top nations are already well clear of Great Britain which is a new entry at third overall, but with a comparatively small total of 112 points. Could this be the start of a two-way battle between Spain and Australia for the nations title in 2012? Certainly the other countries can ill-afford to rest on their laurels after such a flying start by the two top nations.

Yet more significant classification changes are certain, in any case, when Tirreno-Adriatico finishes this Wednesday and again after Milan-San Remo next Saturday.

 

WorldTour standings as of March 11

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team167pts
2Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling112
3Simon Gerrans (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team110
4Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team92
5Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack-Nissan72
6Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team62
7Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling61
8Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team51
9Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FdJ-Big Mat40
10Jan Bakelants (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan40
11Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling34
12Maxime Monfort (Bel) Radioshack-Nissan30
13Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep20
14Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team20
15André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team18
16Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team15
17Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team10
18Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team8
19Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team7
20Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team7
21Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FdJ-Big Mat7
22Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep6
23Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team6
24Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team6
25Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD6
26Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team5
27Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD5
28Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team5
29Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team4
30Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team4
31Jens Voigt (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan4
32Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep4
33Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep3
34Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan3
35Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team2
36Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda2
37Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale2
38Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team1
39Greg Henderson (Nzl) Lotto Belisol Team1
40Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda1
41Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team1
42Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale1
43Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale1
44Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team1

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sky Procycling207pts
2Movistar Team192
3Radioshack-Nissan149
4Greenedge Cycling Team111
5Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team105
6Katusha Team78
7BMC Racing Team52
8FdJ-Big Mat47
9Omega Pharma-Quickstep33
10Lotto Belisol Team27
11Rabobank Cycling Team27
12Astana Pro Team11
13Lampre - ISD11
14Garmin - Barracuda3
15Ag2R La Mondiale2
16Liquigas-Cannondale2

Nations
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Spain205pts
2Australia193
3Great Britain112
4Netherlands92
5Belgium91
6Portugal72
7Slovenia67
8France62
9United States54
10Norway35
11Germany26
12Italy12
13Croatia10
14Belarus7
15Sweden6
16Russia4
17New Zealand1