Philippe Gilbert’s Ardennes triple lifts him to World number one spot
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Philippe Gilbert’s Ardennes triple lifts him to World number one spot

by Ben Atkins at 9:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne
 
Domination of hilly Classics sees Belgian way out ahead of the rest

philippe gilbertAs if anybody really needed telling, Philippe Gilbert (OmegaPharma-Lotto) is now the International Cycling Union (UCI) World number one. Following last week’s Amstel Gold victory, which saw him rise from 16th to fifth in the WorldTour ranking, his Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège double of this week has shot him to the top by a massive margin.

Gilbert now leads previous leader Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) by 120 points and, with no one else in last week’s top ten scoring anything this week he will likely hold his place at the top for some weeks to come.

Just as Gilbert’s Amstel points saw him rise by so much last week, third in Flèche and tenth in Liège see Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) rise from 11th to sixth; similarly, his second place in Flèche sees Joaquim Rodriguez – last year’s overall winner of the WorldTour – goes from a barely registering 27th to 11th.

Liège marks the closure of the classics season and augurs in the next phase of the season; this week’s Tour de Romandie ushers in the Giro d’Italia, which starts on May 7th, which should see the Grand Tour riders begin to show in the rankings.

Leopard Trek and OmegaPharma-Lotto on the rise, while Belgium cements its top spot

After sitting on the top spot for two weeks, RadioShack has been pushed off by the rise of Leopard Trek. Despite failing to make their numerical advantage count against Gilbert on Sunday Fränk and Andy Schleck take over from Fabian Cancellara as the Luxembourg team’s big points scorers, meaning that the team jumps from fifth to first.

Unsurprisingly, thanks to Gilbert’s total domination of the hilly Classics, OmegaPharma-Lotto is also on the rise; jumping, as it does, from eighth to third, and now sits just six points behind the Shack.

Similarly, Gilbert’s superiority in the hilly Classics followed Belgium’s domination of the cobbled ones, and so his country extends its lead in the national rankings. Belgium now lead’s Australia by almost 200 points. Points scored by Sanchez and Rodriguez also see Spain rise from fourth to third, while the Schlecks’ Luxembourg jumps from 26th to tenth.

UCI WorldTour ranking April 25th, 2011
1. (5) Philippe Gilbert (Bel) OmegaPharma-Lotto 356pts
2. (1) Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 236
3. (2) Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 203
4. (3) Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack 202
5. (4) Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD 202
6. (11) Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 163
7. (6) Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 156
8. (7) Chris Horner (USA) RadioShack 143
9. (8) Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 140
10. (9) Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing 128
11. (27) Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 127

Team rankings
1. (5) Leopard Trek (Lux) 503pts
2. (1) RadioShack (USA) 465
3. (8) OmegaPharma-Lotto (Bel) 459
4. (2) HTC-Highroad (USA) 453
5. (3) Rabobank (Ned) 398

Country rankings
1. (1) Belgium 750pts
2. (2) Australia 558
3. (4) Spain 546
4. (3) Italy 545
5. (5) Germany 401

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