We have been up late at night hunched over results sheets and an abacus in order to calculate how the UCI?s World Calendar would have turned out if the ranking system were to be applied to the 2008 season.

It is perhaps not a surprise that Alejandro Valverde topped the ranking after seven wins, including Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Dauphiné Libéré, and a good performance in the Tour de France.

But it does raise questions about the credibility of a season-long series when the winner of two grand tours, Alberto Contador, still finds himself 68 points adrift in second place.

Cadel Evans only won a single race, a stage of Paris-Nice, but his second place in the Tour de France goes a long way to explaining how he reached third place.

Six grand tour stage wins gave Mark Cavendish 31st place, the highest-ranked British rider.

The rankings make interesting reading, but whether they are an accurate reflection of the season or not is up to each reader to decide.

A spokesman for the UCI confirmed to Cycling Weekly that unlike the ProTour leader, who was presented with a white jersey, the leader of the UCI World Calendar in 2009 will not wear a special jersey.

RIDERS RANKING

Posn Name Nation Team Points WR wins 2008 ProTour rank
1 Alejandro Valverde Spa CGE 586 7 1st
2 Alberto Contador Spa AST 518 7 13th
3 Cadel Evans Aus SIL 431 1 6th
4 Davide Rebellin Ger GER 388 1 24th
5 Damiano Cunego Ita LAM 368 3 2nd
6 Carlos Sastre Spa CSC 327 2 not ranked
7 Fabian Cancellara Swi CSC 304 5 89th
8 Kim Kirchen Lux COL 283 4 26th
9 Denis Menchov Rus RAB 282 0 29th
10 Levi Leipheimer USA AST 261 2 28th
11 Allan Davis Aus QST 252 2 12th
12 Frank Schleck Lux CSC 251 0 38th
13 Robert Gesink Ned RAB 227 0 41st
14 Roman Kreuziger Cze LIQ 222 2 4th
15 Alessandro Ballan Ita LAM 218 1 10th
16 Franco Pellizotti Ita LIQ 212 1 21st
17 Andre Greipel Ger COL 199 7 5th
18 Andreas Kloden Ger AST 198 2 3rd
19 Oscar Freire Spa RAB 196 7 23rd
20 Stijn Devolder Bel QST 192 1 7th
21 Thomas Dekker Ned RAB 179 0 not ranked
22 Riccardo Ricco Ita SDV 174 2 not ranked
23 Filippo Pozzato Ita LIQ 173 0 60th
24 Tom Boonen Bel QST 166 5 83rd
25 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil Spa CGE 161 0 8th
26 Marzio Bruseghin Ita LAM 154 1 not ranked
27 Rigoberto Uran Col CGE 151 0 25th
28 Andy Schleck Lux CSC 146 0 61st
29 Mikel Astarloza Spa EUS 140 0 11th
30 Joaquin Rodriguez Spa CGE 139 1 90th
31 Mark Cavendish GBR COL 136 7 110th
32 Thomas Lovkvist Swe COL 134 0 9th
(Emanuele Sella Ita CSF 130) 3 not ranked
33 Robbie McEwen Aus SIL 126 4 20th
34 Jens Voigt Ger CSC 122 3 17th
35 Rinaldo Nocentini Ita AG2 119 0 not ranked
(Ezequiel Mosquera Spa GAL 116) 0 not ranked
36 Christian Vande Velde USA GAR 115 0 not ranked
37 Janez Brajkovic Slo AST 114 0 19th
= Samuel Sanchez Spa EUS 114 0 84th
39 Daniele Bennati Ita LIQ 112 6 73rd
= Jose Ivan Gutierrez Spa CGE 112 2 14th

TEAMS RANKING

In 2009 the teams ranking will be calculated by adding the points from each squad?s top five scorers. We?ve applied this system to the 2008 races. We?ve also included Garmin-Chipotle, even though they were not invited to all ProTour races. We?ve also listed the number of riders who scored points in WR races, to give an indication of the squad?s strength in depth.

Posn Team No. of riders who scored WR points Pts
1 CSC-Saxo Bank 19 1,150
2 Caisse d?Epargne 13 1,149
3 Astana 12 1,142
4 Rabobank 13 924
5 Lampre 12 884
6 Columbia 18 840
7 Quick Step 15 809
8 Liquigas 13 765
9 Silence-Lotto 9 750
10 Gerolsteiner 14 595
11 Euskaltel-Euskadi 9 483
12 AG2R-La Mondiale 12 391
13 Cofidis 8 342
14 Saunier Duval 10 309
15 Francaise des Jeux 9 290
16 Credit Agricole 14 272
17 Bouygues Telecom 7 231
18 Garmin-Chipotle 8 213 *
19 Milram 4 109

NATIONS RANKING

The nations ranking will be calculated by adding up the points of each country?s top five points scorers. In 2008 the table would have looked like this.

Posn Nation Points
1 Spain 1,788
2 Italy 1,360
3 Australia 957
4 Germany 695
5 Luxembourg 680
6 Belgium 625
7 Netherlands 568
8 USA 488
9 Switzerland 462
10 Russia 456
11 France 441
12 Sweden 239
13 Czech Republic 222
14 Slovenia 207
15 Colombia 153
16 Great Britain 149
17 Norway 137
18 Denmark 119
19 Ukraine 74
20 Brazil 48

NOTES

We?ve used the exact points system devised by the UCI for the 2009 World Calendar competition and applied it to the 2008 races. We?ve left out the Tour of Germany, because it?s not being held this year.

Only riders who are members of ProTour teams have been included in our ranking, although we have also shown where non-ProTour riders would have ranked. As this is a simulation of how the World Calendar will influence cycling in 2009, riders in teams that will be in the ProTour in 2009 (such as Garmin-Chipotle) have been included, while riders with teams that will have a Pro Continental ranking have not.

There are some exceptions. Allan Davis started the season with the Mitsubishi-Jartazi team and rode the Tour Down Under, the first counting event, for the UNISA-South Australia team, before joining Quick Step in August. The points he won in the Tour Down Under have been included.

Riders who failed anti-doping tests during an event have had those points deducted, although points earned in prior races still stand. For example, Riccardo Ricco?s Giro d?Italia points remain, but his Tour de France points have been deducted.

The Tour of Germany, which has been cancelled for 2009, has not been included in our 2008 simulation.

WR race wins refers to the number of victories each rider had in World Calendar ranking events in 2008. Each rider?s final 2008 ProTour ranking is also shown.

Team time trials do not count.

RELATED LINKS

UCI launches new World Calendar