Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France triumph took him to the top of the UCI WorldTour Ranking, and now it has been confirmed that the Team Sky rider has also taken the top slot in the world rankings compiled by the team’s co-sponsor, IG Markets, in association with sports stats specialists Opta.
In the UCI WorldTour Ranking, Wiggins, who was previously in third place, replaces Giro d’Italia runner-up and Fleche Wallonne champion Joaquin Rodriguez of Katusha at the top of the standings. Wiggins’ overall win plus points accrued in winning the two time trials, plus of course earlier victories in Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné have helped him rack up 601 points.
Rodriguez is a distant second on 404 points, with Liquigas Cannondale’s Vincenzo Nibali breathing down his neck just 3 points behind as a result of his podium place in Paris plus a victory earlier in the season in Tirreno-Adriatico and some decent results in the Spring Classics.
The Katusha rider, of course, missed the Tour, and it’s whether a rider competed or not in France this month that has caused the biggest moves in the top 10 – Tom Boonen, for instance, drops from 2nd to 4th, while Tour runner-up Chris Froome leaps from 52nd to 6th.
On the IG Pro Cycling Index, launched last year, Wiggins has jumped from 4th to 1st, but it’s Peter Sagan, winner of three stages plus the green jersey at the Tour, who moves into 2nd spot, with previous leader Rodriguez falling to 3rd.
The stated aim of the IG Pro Cycling Index is to find an answer to the question, “Who is the best cyclist in the world?” with Opta analysing results of 120 races on a rolling, 12-month basis. That means it has two significant differences from the UCI WorldTour Ranking – it rates all riders across all of those races, and is based on performances from an entire year’s racing.
The UCI WorldTour ranking, in contrast, is only based on results from the 18 of the 29 WorldTour races that have so far been contested in 2012, rates only those riders racing for top-flight teams, and doesn’t take account of performances in non-World Tour races; Mark Cavendish, for example, lies 27th in the ranking, itself a big improvement on the 46th spot he occupied before the Tour. In the IG Pro Cycling Index, however, he is 5th.
In the UCI WorldTour Team ranking, Sky’s strength of depth is emphasised by the fact that uniquely they are the only team in which all five riders whose points are counted are now in three figures – Wiggins himself, followed by Froome, Rogers, Rigoberto Uran and Mark Cavendish.
The success of Wiggins, Froome and Cavendish in the Tour de France, as well as points picked up in ranking events earlier in the season by Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas, means that Great Britain are now a dizzy third in the UCI WorldTour Ranking by Nation. Spain top that with 1,136 points with Italy second on 1,084 points but Great Britain isn’t far behind on 1,041.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.