By Nigel Wynn
Tour Down Under winner Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) tops the first edition of Union Cycliste Internationale's 2012 WorldTour ranking, published on Sunday.
Australian Gerrans totted up 106 WorldTour ranking points during the week-long stage race in Adelaide, South Australia.
TDU runner-up Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is in second spot with 87 points, and Portugese rider Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Nissan) sits in third with 72 points.
Triple TDU stage winner Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) is eighth with 18 points.
Unsurprisingly, Australia takes the early lead in the ranking-by-nation with RadioShack-Nissan in the top team spot. British squad Sky are fourth.
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.
Last year's WorldTour ranking was topped by Belgian Philippe Gilbert, who won Amstel Gold Race, La Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Clasica San Sebastian and Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and stages of the Tour de France, Tirreno-Adriatico and Eneco Tour on his way to amassing 781 WorldTour points.
Highest-placed British rider in 2011 was Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in eighth.
The next counting WorldTour event is Paris-Nice, France, taking place over March 4-11 2012.
UCI WorldTour individual ranking: 22 January 2012
1. Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEdge 106 points
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 87 points
3. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan 72 points
4. Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky 61 points
5. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 40 points
Ranking by nation
1. Australia 188 points
2. Spain 114 points
3. Portugal 72 points
Ranking by team
1. RadioShack-Nissan 115 points
2. Movistar 108 points
3. GreenEdge 107 points
4. Sky 95 points
2012 UCI WorldTour calendar
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