Thomas Voeckler tops European Tour standings despite non-inclusion of Tour performance
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thomas Voeckler tops European Tour standings despite non-inclusion of Tour performance

by Ben Atkins at 9:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Opinion
Ten days in yellow and fourth overall count for nothing in rankings for Continental rider

thomas voecklerThomas Voeckler (Europcar) tops the International Cycling Union (UCI) European Tour ranking for a second successive month, despite not scoring any points in the intervening period. The former French champion enjoyed ten days in the yellow jersey in last month’s Tour de France, and finished the race fourth overall; since the race is part of the UCI WorldTour though, and Voeckler rides for a Professional Continental team, his performance does not count towards any ranking.

Once again, a good performance in a major WorldTour race – just like Michele Scarponi’s fourth place in last year’s Giro d’Italia for Androni Giocattoli – counts for nothing in terms of raking points. Since Europcar is outside the WorldTour, Voeckler can score no points in that classification, and because the Tour de France is a WorldTour race, no points are awarded in the European Tour.

Voeckler would have been awarded 110 points for his fourth place, were he eligible for WorldTour points, as well as another 12 points for his second place into Saint-Flour and fifth on the Col du Galibier. In fact, were he eligible, Voeckler would have a total of 140 WorldTour points this season, thanks to his performances in Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné. This would put him 21st in that classification, alongside Quick Step’s Tom Boonen.

Voeckler’s teammate Pierre Rolland suffers a similar lack of recognition for his Alpe d’Huez stage win and eleventh place overall in the Tour. The white jersey winner sits 174th in the European classification, on 62 points.

As well as the individual implications for ProContinental riders like Voeckler and Rolland, there are also consequences for the teams involved. Europcar itself gets no recognition, or ranking points, for its riders’ successes and actually slips from third to fifth place in the table. Should the French team apply to get back the ProTeam license that it lost at the end of 2009, its strong performance in the Tour would not be included as part of its “sporting criteria”.

This non-allocation of points does, of course, work both ways, with Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert getting no rankings recognition of his Tour of Belgium victory. In terms of the European and World Tour classifications all Voeckler’s performance in France – and Gilbert’s in Belgium – achieved was to deny another rider from taking those points.

Luckily for Voeckler in terms of the European ranking, there were very few major races in July for his rivals to rack up points while he was riding the Tour de France. The only mover inside the top ten was FDJ’s Belarusian sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich, whose second place at the GP Pont-à-Marcq and third place in stage four of the Tour de Wallonie lift him from twelfth to ninth.

UCI European Tour ranking July 2011
1. (1) Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar 481pts
2. (2) Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini-Neri-Sottoli 435
3. (3) Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil-Shimano 396
4. (4) Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ 332
5. (5) Emanuele Sella (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-CIPI 331.2
6. (6) Gianni Meersman (Bel) FDJ 312.2
7. (7) Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano 307
8. (8) Robert Vrecer (Slo) Perutnina Ptuj 288
9. (12) Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ 264
10. (9) Tony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis 260

National ranking
1. (1) France 2438pts
2. (2) Italy 2375.4
3. (3) Germany 1663
4. (4) Netherlands 1479
5. (5) Russia 1250.07

Team ranking
1. (1) FDJ (Fra) 1550.6
2. (2) Skil-Shimano (Ned) 1251
3. (5) Saur-Sojasun (Fra) 1040
4. (4) Androni Giocattoli-CIPI (Ita) 986.2
5. (3) Europcar (Fra) 976


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