Alberto Contador of Team Astana is the world’s top-ranked rider following his victory in the Tour de France. Previous number one Cadel Evans of Team BMC has dropped to third. Katusha’s Joaquin Rodriguez has climbed a spot from third to second thanks to his strong showing at the Tour as well.
The big mover in the standings was Andy Schleck. The Saxo Bank rider leapt 51 places and is now ranked sixth thanks to his second place finish. Other notable movers include Sammy Sanchez who saw his stock rise, jumping from 28th to eighth and Dennis Menchov, now ranked 13th after previously lying 38th.
Lance Armstrong actually dropped one spot, to 42nd. Chris Horner remains the top-ranked American rider and rose another spot, to 11th.
Despite rampant criticism over the winter that its team would be unable to support Alberto Contador, Astana is the world’s top-ranked team and leads Bjarne Riis’ Saxo Bank formation by nearly 100 points. Katusha has slipped a spot to third while Liquigas-Doimo lies fourth, just ahead of Omega Pharma-Lotto. HTC-Columbia remains the top-ranked American team, slipping from fifth to seventh despite multiple stage wins by Mark Cavendish.
Spain remains the world superpower in cycling with 1528 points-nearly double that of second place Italy. Belgium lies third just seven scant points behind. Australia is fourth while the United States is a solid fifth. Despite several stage wins in its home tour, France is only 11th in the world, behind even Kazakhstan.
UCI individual world rankings
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 482 points
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 398
3. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 390
4. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/OLO) 304
5. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/GCE) 283
6. Andy Schleck (LUX/SAX) 258
7. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/SAX) 250
8. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) 233
9. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 225
10. Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ/AST) 223
14. Ivan Basso (ITA/LIQ) 206
16. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 195
20. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/LAM) 163
42. Lance Armstrong (USA/RSH) 85
1. Astana (KAZ) 884 points
2. Saxo Bank (DEN) 788
3. Katusha (RUS) 709
4. Liquigas (ITA) 634
5. Omega Pharma (BEL) 621
6. Rabobank (NED) 605
7. HTC-Columbia (USA) 595
8. RadioShack (USA) 562
9. BMC (USA) 553
10. Caisse d’Epargne (ESP) 506
1. Spain 1528 points
2. Italy 856
3. Belgium 849
4. Australia 723
5. United States 568
6. Russia 423
7. Luxembourg 398
8. Switzerland 355
9. Germany 343
10. Kazakhstan 340
UCI officials didn’t care for the Radio Shack team showing up in an unusual kit.
(Photo: Yuzuru Sunada)
Radio Shack Upsets Tour Officials With Unusual Kit
Lance Armstrong’s latest bid to highlight his foundation’s work to rid the world of cancer was kept in check by International Cycling Union (UCI) officials on Sunday.
Seven-time champion Armstrong and his teammates showed up for the 20th and final stage wearing black outfits emblazoned with the number 28. RadioShack’s team colors are red and grey.
After turning up wearing black for the 20th and final stage from Longjumeau to the Champs Elysees in Paris, the rest of the peloton had to wait while they were forced to change back to red and grey.
Race jury president Franceso Cenere told French TV: “It is forbidden to change jersey in a stage race without an authorisation from the UCI.
“They had to change jersey otherwise they would have been excluded from the race.”
The number 28 is a reference to the 28 million people Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation estimates are living with cancer.
The American famously battled cancer in 1998 returned to racing and won the Tour seven times consecutively.
In recent years his Livestrong foundation has been involved in raising awareness, and funds, in a bid to beat the disease.
Armstrong decided to try again after the stage, when he and his team turned up at the podium to receive their prize for dominating the teams’ classification wearing black.
“In the end, I think the fact we had to change the jerseys (before the stage) gave us some publicity,” Armstrong told France Televisions.
However, The UCI is likely to levy fines against the team and its riders after Johan Bruyneel wrote on Twitter: ‘Ok people! Now it’s official! To be a race commissar you don’t need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: ?c’est le reglement!” The UCI has announced any fines will be donated to Swiss cancer charity Ligue suisse contre le cancer.
However, the UCI have called Bruyneel’s comments ‘utterly unacceptable.’ He is to be called before a disciplinary commission.
Contador revels in his Tour de France victory.
(Photo: Roberto Bettini)
Spanish Press Sing Contador’s Praises With Tour Victory
“King of the Tour,” wrote the online edition of sports daily AS below a photo of the cyclist wearing the leader’s yellow jersey. The headline is typical of what the Spanish press has to say about Alberto Contador’s victory yesterday in the Tour de France, his third victory in the event.
“Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador has won his third Tour de France with a meagre lead of 39 seconds over Andy Schleck of Luxembourg of Saxo Bank,” it said.
“Contador scores a triplet in Paris,” wrote the online edition of rival sports daily Marca on its main page.
“Alberto Contador already has his third tour under his belt and is nearing the five managed by Miguel Indurain,” it added.
Contador’s win, following victories in 2007 and last year, took Spain’s tally to 13 wins in 97 editions of the Tour de France.
“Contador once again reigns in Paris,” wrote the online edition of daily El Mundo.
“This is one of the greatest Spanish sportsmen of all time,” it added.
“Contador wins his third Tour of France,” wrote top-selling daily El Pais.
Devolder in action during the Tour of Flanders.
(Photo: Roberto Bettini)
Quick Step rider Stijn Devolder has confirmed that he is leaving the team at the end of the season and will join the Pro Continental team Vacansoleil.
Devolder indicated negotiations with the team didn’t take long. He told Het Laatste Nieuws, ‘They give me a good feeling.’
Devolder had a falling out with team director Patrick Lefevre who believed that the rider focused on the Tour of Flanders to the detriment of the rest of the season. Devolder went on to win the Tour of Belgium.