UCI WorldTour: Cancellara remains in control as Froome regains ground
Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) remains in top spot in the individual rankings of the UCI WorldTour, but Sunday’s victory for Chris Froome (Sky ProCycling) in the Critérium du Dauphiné has seen the Briton move back up from ninth to fourth overall.
Froome’s team-mate Richie Porte’s second place overall in the same race, meanwhile, has gained the 2013 Paris-Nice winner two spots in the UCI WorldTour rankings, moving the Australian into fifth. Thus whilst the top three spots remain completely unchanged, with Cancellara on 351 points, Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) at 322 and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) with 312, Froome is now just one point off the provisional podium, with 311, and Porte a mere seven points behind, with 305.
Froome’s resurgence in the UCI WorldTour is a just reflection of the 28-year-old Briton’s impressive domination in the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he took third in the mid-week time trial, moved into the lead 24 hours later at Valmorel, the race’s first major summit finish and then concluded Sunday’s final mountain test, at Risoul, in second place on the stage.
Overall, Froome completes what is both a hugely prestigious win in itself and a key dress rehearsal for the Briton’s bid for victory in the Tour de France in July with a 58 second advantage over team-mate Porte, whilst Spain’s Dani Moreno (Katusha Team) is third, at 2 minutes and 12 seconds. It is Froome’s ninth win this season, following outright victories in the Tour of Oman, Critérium International and the Tour de Romandie, as well as a second place and a stage win in Tirreno-Adriatico. Should he meet with further success in the Tour de France, the overall top spot in the UCIWorldTour rankings looks well within his reach at the end of July.
In the nations classification, Spain regained control of the lead from Colombia, briefly heading the rankings after they ousted Italy with their strong collective performance in the Giro d’Italia. With five riders in the top ten overall, Spain now lead by 49 points on Colombia, jumping up two places in the classification, whilst neither the South American nation nor Italy, with 766 and 720 points respectively, scored any points whatsoever in the French stage race.
The other major mover in the nations classification is Great Britain. Even if the country remains in fourth place, thanks to the Critérium du Dauphiné it has now added on 112 points to reach a total of 622 points, solidifying their advantage over Australia, who remain in fifth spot.
Last but not least, and unsurprisingly given Porte’s and Froome’s fine perofrmances, Sky ProCycling remains in the top spot of the UCIWorldTour teams ranking, but considerably reinforcing that position. Already 184 points ahead of Katusha after the Giro d’Italia, Sky ProCycling now have an advantage of 310 points on the Russian squad, whilst Movistar Team remain in third.
To get an idea of how well the British squad is performing collectively, in 2012, after their victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné with Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sky ProCycling were also in the lead of the UCIWorldTour teams ranking, but their advantage over Katusha was just 87 points. This time round, with 16 of the 28 UCI WorldTour races that make up the 2013 calendar now completed, their margin is almost four times that.