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Bradley Wiggins tops UCI WorldTour Ranking and IG Markets Pro Cycling Index

Team Sky rider's Tour win puts him top of the pile - but different methodology means there are big differences elsewhere...

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.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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