Emma Johansson takes over World number one spot from Marianne Vos
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Emma Johansson takes over World number one spot from Marianne Vos

by Ben Atkins at 4:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
World champion pushed off the top for the first time since 2007

emma johanssonEmma Johansson (Orica-AIS) has taken the lead in the International Cycling Union (UCI) women’s rankings, pushing World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) off the top for the first time since 2007. A new total of 1211.75 points for Johansson, totalled up to August 25th, puts her 30.5 points ahead of Vos, with 1181.25.

Vos has held the World number one spot almost constantly since she joined the elite peloton, and has won the UCI ranking every year since 2007. The similarly calculated CQRanking did have the Dutchwoman finish in second place in 2008, however, with Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke taking the prize thanks to her winning both the World and Olympic titles.

While Johansson is enjoying arguably her best season to date, with overall victories in the Emakumeen Euskal Bira and Thüringen-Rundfahrt and second place in the Route de France among her results so far, the ranking change is also down to Vos riding a different programme to previous years.

Experimentation with mountainbiking has seen Vos sit out a number of road races, while Johansson has ridden a far fuller road season. Johansson was steadily gaining on Vos when the last rankings were calculated on August 15th. Points for Thüringen and the Route de France were earned in late July and early August, while Vos had not raced competitively on the road since the Giro Rosa.

With the women’s ranking still run on a rolling 12-month basis, as the men’s used to be before the founding of the ProTour in 2005, the fact that Vos finished sixth in the Giro after winning it in 2012 had already cost the World champion several points.

It is the rolling nature of the points structure that has cost Vos her place at the top, thanks to the two riders’ relative finishes in the two Swedish rounds of the World Cup last weekend.

Vos finished second in the team time trial, and won the road race, which was an improvement on two third places last year, but she improved far less than Johansson. The Swedish rider took third and second in the two races respectively, but this was a massive improvement on 2012, when she didn’t ride the team time trial and finished sixth in the road race.

What has really cost Vos in the latest calculations, however, is the fact that the GP Plouay World Cup was held on August 25th last year. The World champion has lost the 100 ranking points that she won last year, without having the chance to take them back.

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