Britain finished in second place in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTour country ranking for the 2012 season after the weekend’s final counting event, the Tour of Beijing.
British cyclists have collectively enjoyed their best season in the history of the sport, with a whole raft of WorldTour wins topped off by Bradley Wiggins‘ Tour de France, Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine victories.
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Spain finished as best nation, with Italy in third.
Wiggins (Sky) himself finished in second place in the ranking-by-rider behind Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). Prior to the Vuelta a Espana in September, Wiggins had topped the ranking. Rodriguez’s third place in the Tour of Spain saw him jump past the Briton.
The British-based Sky team finished atop the ranking-by-team, ahead of Katusha and Liquigas-Cannondale.
In total, British male and female riders have netted 68 victories across all international races on the road during 2012 – the highest figure recorded.
The UCI’s WorldTour ranking is compiled using a points system, with points awarded for one-day race, tour stage and stage race overall finishing positions for events in the UCI’s WorldTour.
The amount of points awarded depends on the ranking of the event. For example, winning the Tour de France overall gives a rider twice as many points as winning the Eneco Tour overall.
Belgian Philippe Gilbert topped last year’s WorldTour ranking with 718 points with Wiggins in eighth place with 289 points.
Final 2012 WorldTour ranking
1. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 692 points
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky 601 points
3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 410 points
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 400 points
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 394 points
6. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 390 points
7. Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky 376 points
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 351 points
9. Samuel lSanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 332 points
10. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar 320 points
40. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky 128 points
98. Ben Swift (GBr) Sky 36 points
119. Steve Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing 22 points
120. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky 22 points
131. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp 20 points
200. Andrew Fenn (GBr) 4 points
247. Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing 1 point
2012 WorldTour ranking by nation
1. Spain 1889 points
2. Great Britain 1163 points
3. Italy 1115 points
4. Belgium 1014 points
5. Australia 962 points
2012 WorldTour ranking by team
1. Sky 1767 points
2. Katusha 1273 points
3. Liquigas-Cannondale 1197 points
4. Omega Pharma-QuickStep 1162 points
5. Movistar 952 points