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Nibali debuts at third on WorldTour standings after Tirreno victory

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) has earned a second straight triumph in Tirreno-Adriatico, Italy’s second biggest stage race, that has seen the Italian move straight into third place overall on the WorldTour rankings. Ahead of Nibali are the two respective winners of Paris-Nice and the Santos Tour Down Under, Richie Porte (Sky) and Blanco Pro Cycling Team’s Tom Jelte Slagter.

As might be expected, the differences between the three victors of the first three week-long WorldTour stage races of 2013 is minimal. Porte, with 113 points, is just two points up on Slagter, while Nibali is a further five points behind in third

The Italian’s victory in Tirreno-Adriatico was hard-earned in the extreme. Chris Froome (Sky ProCycling) seemed to gain a solid advantage on the race’s one mountain top finish, but Nibali then turned the tables in impressive style by distancing both Froome and third placed Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) in Monday’s ultra-challenging parcours through the waterlogged climbs of Port Sant’Empidio.

The final stage, a short individual race against the clock in San Benedetto del Tronto, was won by time trial world champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), the second stage victory for his squad in Tirreno-Adriatico after they won the opening team time trial.

While the WorldTour's individual classification remains tightly packed together, the biggest impact of the “Race Between Two Seas” has been in the nations and teams classifications. Spain remains in control of the nations standings, but their advantage of a mere seven points over the Netherlands post Paris-Nice has now stretched to 112 points over the new runner-up, the United States - 309 to 197 points. The Netherlands drops to third with 182 points with Italy and the United Kingdom, in large part thanks to Nibali and Froome, moving up to fourth and fifth respectively.

Spain now has the first three-digit gap in any classification of the 2013 WorldTour and is now well on course to top the overall standings for the second straight year.

The same goes for the 2012 teams ranking winner, Sky Procycling, who like Spain have hugely reinforced their overall lead in Tirreno-Adriatico. Just 35 points ahead of Blanco Pro Cycling Team after Paris-Nice, Sky now has more than tripled that advantage to lead the Dutch squad with a total of 279 points to 162.

If Sky is distancing the Dutch from the top spot, at the same time the new third-ranked team, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, has both jumped six places in one fell swoop and reduced the margin between second and third overall from 64 points post Paris-Nice to a comparatively minor 34 points.

The next WorldTour event to be contested is the first one-day event on the calendar and the first Monument of the 2013 season: Italy's Milano-Sanremo. While defending champion Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) recently dropped out of Paris-Nice due to health issues, his teammate and 2011 Milano-Sanremo champion Matt Goss has shown good form with a stage victory at Tirreno-Adriatico. Another rider who starred at Tirreno-Adriatico, Slovakian champion Peter Sagan (Cannondale), jumped to the top of the favourites list for the Italian monument with two stage wins in Italy, one in a field sprint and the other on a taxing penultimate stage from a breakaway containing eventual overall winner Vincenzo Nibali and stage 5 winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).

WorldTour - Individuals
1Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling113pts
2Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team111
3Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team106
4Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp92
5Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling86
6Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team86
7Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling77
8Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff72
9Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale71
10Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team62
11Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step61
12Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi61
13Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step60
14Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha58
15Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack Leopard52
16Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard42
17Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team41
18Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha40
19Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida32
20Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi32
21Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team22
22Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team22
23Daniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Merida20
24André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol20
25Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling12
26Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge12
27Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack Leopard11
28Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida10
29Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack Leopard10
30Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step6
31Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step6
32Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team6
33Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge6
34Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling6
35Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano6
36Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge6
37Mark Renshaw (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling Team6
38Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ6
39Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida5
40Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step5
41Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team4
42Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ4
43Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team4
44Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Merida4
45Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale4
46Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ4
47Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha4
48Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team4
49Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Merida4
50Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team2
51Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team2
52Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale2
53Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge2
54Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling2
55Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff2
56Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team1
57Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi1
58Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team1
59Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard1
60Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp1
61David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky Procycling1
62Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team1
63Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard1
64Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team1
65Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol1
66Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ1
67Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team1
68Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp1
69Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol1
70Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step1
71Barry Markus (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team1

WorldTour - Teams
1Sky Procycling279pts
2Blanco Pro Cycling Team162
3Omega Pharma-Quick Step138
4RadioShack Leopard116
5Astana Pro Team113
6Movistar Team113
10Ag2R La Mondiale77
11Team Saxo-Tinkoff74
13BMC Racing Team68
14Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team27
16Lotto Belisol22
17Cannondale Pro Cycling18
19Team Argos-Shimano6

WorldTour - Nations
2United States Of America197
5Great Britain169
12Costa Rica22
17Russian Federation4

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