By Nigel Wynn
Philippe Gilbert has firmly established himself as the world's most successful rider, finishing at the top of the Union Cycliste Internationale's 2011 WorldTour ranking after taking a series of high-profile wins throughout the season.
The Belgian may have missed out on the road race World Championship title and defending his Tour of Lombardy victory from 2009 and 2010, but his list of top-tier wins has catapulted him to the top of the UCI's premier ranking.
Gilbert 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 in a consistently strong season. Gilbert scored points in a total of 12 events in the WorldTour calendar, more than any other rider.
Runner-up Cadel Evans finished with 574 points with Alberto Contador in third with 471 points.
Gilbert also won several events outside the WorldTour, including Montepaschi Strade Bianche, Brabantse Pijl and the Belgian national road race title.
Gilbert's points tally also led to his Omega Pharma-Lotto outfit topping the ranking-by-team, narrowly beating the British Sky team into second place. Belgium finished in second spot behind Spain in the ranking-by-nation.
Such was Gilbert's dominance in the WorldTour, that his personal tally of points woud have placed him seventh in the ranking-by-nation and ninth in the team ranking. This strong solo performance has had several teams clamouring for his signature for 2012. He eventually signed to ride alongside Evans at the US-based BMC Racing squad.
Philippe Gilbert: 2011 Greatest hits
Tour of the Algarve; stage one
Montepaschi Strade Bianche
Tirreno-Adriatico; stage five
Amstel Gold Race
Belgian road race national champion
Tour de France; stage one
Clasica San Sebastian
Eneco Tour; stage three
UCI WorldTour individual ranking: Final
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 718 points
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing 574 points
3. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo Bank-Sungard 471 points
4. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 436 points
5. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD 357 points
6. Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 349 points
7. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 307 points
8. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky 289 points
9. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Cervelo 286 points
10. Frank Schleck (Lux) Leopard-Trek 284 points
15. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky 230 points
23. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Cervelo 185 points
27. Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad 152 points
53. Ben Swift (GBr) Sky 91 points
65. Steve Cummings (GBr) Sky 71 points
84. Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky 51 points
156. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky 7 points
197. Alex Dowsett (GBr) Sky 2 points
220. Adam Blythe (GBr) Omega Pharma-Lotto 1 point
Ranking by nation
1. Spain 1427 points
2. Belgium 1184 points
3. Italy 1172 points
4. Australia 1082 points
5. Great Britain 947 points
Ranking by team
1. Omega Pharma-Lotto 1099 points
2. Sky 1059 points
3. Leopard-Trek 1024 points
4. HTC-Highroad 886 points
5. BMC Racing Team 877 points
October 10 2011: Sky moves up in latest WorldTour ranking
Philippe Gilbert: Rider profile
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