André Greipel and HTC-Columbia sit atop the UCI World Rankings alongside Australia
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Greipel and HTC-Columbia sit atop UCI World Rankings alongside Australia

by Steve Jones at 11:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Click for larger image...With his dominant ride at the Santos Tour Down Under, it's no surprise that André Greipel shot to the top of the UCI World Rankings for its first release in 2010. The German rider returned to Australia this year after a horrific crash and the resulting injury prevented him from defending his 2008 title last year. With three stage wins and a well-oiled HTC-Columbia team, Greipel was able to take care of unfinished business Down Under this time around.

Next in the individual rankings is Spaniard Luis Leon Sánchez by virtue of his triumph in the Queen Stage of the event that featured the challenging Willunga Hill. Placed third in the individual rankings is Greg Henderson, who puts the new British Team Sky on the board due to his consistency. The Kiwi's week included three second place finishes, along with a third and a fifth place.

Australia now leads the UCI World Rankings as the top country thanks to strong showings by Robbie McEwen (Katusha), Luke Roberts (Milram) and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), who finished fourth, fifth and sixth in the individual UCI World Ranking respectively. All three riders were clearly motivated to feature in the Tour Down Under, their only home ProTour event.

McEwen, 37, is coming back from a 2009 where he spent most of his year recovering from a bad crash in the second stage of the Tour of Belgium. The incident resulted in torn ligaments and tendons in his left knee. He finished second to Greipel on stage four last week, and with four other top four finishes in his first big race back, his future for 2010 is looking bright.

A re-energized Luke Roberts showed impressively in the finale of stage five of the event, with his hard charge to beat Sánchez to the line coming up just shy. Roberts has much to prove after a two-year absence from the ProTour, and with the way he rode across the gap on Saturday, Team Milram looks to have made a wise addition to sprinter Gerald Ciolek's leadout team.

BMC Racing's World Champion Cadel Evans showed his aggressive side all week. Beginning with the final major climb of last year's Dauphiné Libéré, where the Australian unleashed a relentless series of attacks against Spaniards Alejandro Valverde (Cassie d'Epargne) and Alberto Contador (Astana), he has shown a marked change in his approach to riding. His transformation culminated with a convincing ride into the rainbow jersey in Mendrisio, Switzerland confirming his change in stripes both literally and figuratively.

Not surprisingly, HTC-Columbia lead the UCI World Ranking team's competition thanks to Greipel's combined stage wins and overall victory in the race. The Russian Katusha team sits in second place thanks to McEwen's solid debut, with Cassie d'Epargne in third due to Sánchez's stage win and Valverde's second and third place finishes in stage three and five respectively.

UCI World Ranking - Individual:
1 - GREIPEL André TEAM HTC - COLUMBIA (THR) 119
2 - SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon CAISSE D'EPARGNE (GCE) 86
3 - HENDERSON Greg SKY PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM (SKY) 79
4 - MCEWEN Robbie TEAM KATUSHA (KAT) 67
5 - ROBERTS Luke TEAM MILRAM (MRM) 54
6 - EVANS Cadel BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) 43
7 - VORGANOV Eduard TEAM KATUSHA (KAT) 30
8 - ROELANDTS Jurgen OMEGA PHARMA-LOTTO (OLO) 22
9 - HUNTER Robert GARMIN - SLIPSTREAM (GRM) 11
10 - CARDOSO Manuel Antonio Leal FOOTON-SERVETTO (FOT) 7
11 - VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro CAISSE D'EPARGNE (GCE) 6
12 - SUTTON Christopher SKY PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM (SKY) 6
13 - BROWN Graeme RABOBANK (RAB) 5
14 - STEEGMANS Gert TEAM RADIOSHACK (RSH) 5
15 - FOTHEN Markus TEAM MILRAM (MRM) 4
16 - SAGAN Peter LIQUIGAS-DOIMO (LIQ) 2
17 - FINETTO Mauro LIQUIGAS-DOIMO (LIQ) 1
18 - WYSS Danilo BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) 1

UCI World Ranking - Country:
1 - AUSTRALIA AUS 175
2 - GERMANY GER 123
3 - SPAIN ESP 92
4 - NEW ZEALAND NZL 79
5 - RUSSIA RUS 30
6 - BELGIUM BEL 27
7 - SOUTH AFRICA RSA 11
8 - PORTUGAL POR 7
9 - SLOVAKIA SVK 2
10 - ITALY ITA 1
11 - SWITZERLAND SUI 1

UCI World Ranking - Teams:
1 - HTC - COLUMBIA (THR) USA 119
2 - TEAM KATUSHA (KAT) RUS 97
3 - CAISSE D'EPARGNE (GCE) ESP 92
4 - SKY PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM (SKY) GBR 85
5 - TEAM MILRAM (MRM) GER 58
6 - BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) USA 44
7 - OMEGA PHARMA-LOTTO (OLO) BEL 22
8 - GARMIN - SLIPSTREAM (GRM) USA 11
9 - FOOTON-SERVETTO (FOT) ESP 7
10 - RABOBANK (RAB) NED 5
11 - TEAM RADIOSHACK (RSH) USA 5
12 - LIQUIGAS-DOIMO (LIQ) ITA 3

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