By Nigel Wynn
Chris Froome's fourth place at the 2012 Vuelta a Espana has meant that Great Britian has now moved up into second place in the Union Cyliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTour country ranking.
Froome's Sky team-mate and fellow Brit Bradley Wiggins still tops the WorldTour rider ranking, with a slim lead over Vuelta third-placed rider Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha). Wiggins won the 2012 editions of Paris-Nice, Criterium du Dauphine, Tour de Romandie and the Tour de France in an unprecedented run.
Froome moves up from eighth to seventh in the ranking after his Vuelta fourth spot and placing second and winning a stage at the Tour de France in July.
Vuelta winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) is in tenth on the table having spent the first half of the year suspended from competition for anti-doping infringements.
Great Britain leap-frogs Italy to sit behind Spain in the WorldTour ranking by nation.
Sky are firmly positioned at the top of the WorldTour team ranking with points collected from Froome and Lar-Petter Nordhaug's win at the GP Montreal on Sunday. Katusha moves into second place, with Liquigas-Cannondale in third.
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. Bradley Wiggins finished in eighth place with 289 points.
Two counting events remain on the 2012 WorldTour calendar - Il Lombardia, Italy, on September 29 and the Tour of Beijing, China, over October 10-14.
UCI WorldTour ranking (September 9 - after Vuelta a Espana and GPs Quebec & Montreal)
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky 601 points
2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 592 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. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky 376 points
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 351 points
9. Rui Costa (Por) Movistar 309 points
10. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 280 points
WorldTour ranking by team
1. Sky 1556 points
2. Katusha 1073 points
3. Liquigas-Cannondale 1048 points
WorldTour ranking by nation
1. Spain 1699 points
2. Great Britain 1163 points
3. Italy 1115 points
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