Cycling’s governing body the Union Cycliste International (UCI) has released it’s latest WorldTour rankings in which Great Britain has moved up to seventh in the nations standings.
They leapfrogged The United States and the Netherlands following a strong showing by Peter Kennaugh and Stephen Cummings in the Tour of Poland.
Spain maintains it’s position at the top while Australian Cadel Evans is still the leader of the individual rankings after his Tour de France win.
The rankings take on extra significance at this time of year as they determine the number of places a nation qualifies for the world championship road race in Copenhagen next month.
Each nation in the top ten qualifies nine places for the worlds, meaning Great Britain’s rise to from ninth to seventh gives them a cushion with just one qualifying race to go, the ENECO Tour.
There is a caveat to that qualification though. A nation must have nine qualifying riders in order to get all nine spots. If they have any less they qualify the number of places equal to the number of qualifying riders. If they have less that six qualifying riders, they will still qualify six spots.
This is where the Tour of Poland was crucial to Great Britain. Beforehand GB had just five scoring riders, Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift, David Millar and Geraint Thomas.
In Poland Peter Kennaugh, Stephen Cummings and Adam Blythe all scored points, meaning GB should now qualify eight riders for the words road race. The race has long been a focus of British Cycling as the relatively flat course in Copenhagen suits Mark Cavendish.
Plans were being made for a six rider team, an extra two places could make a big difference.
UCI WorldTour ranking (Aug, 8)
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BNC Racing 574
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma Lotto 482
3. Alberto Contador (Esp) Saxo Bank Sungard 471
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre ISD 348
5. Joaquin Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha 328
6. Samuel Sanchez (Esp) Euskaltel Euskadi 307
7. Frank Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 284
8. Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek 252
9. Fabian Cancellara (Sui) Leopard Trek 250
10. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 230
16. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 181
20. Mark Cavendish (GBr) HTC-Highroad 152
39. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 91
66. Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 51
82. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Cervelo 29
116. Stephen Cummings (GBr) Team Sky 10
127. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 7
175. Adam Blythe (GBr) Team Sky 1
1. Spain 1,306
2. Italy 1,041
3. Australia 1,022
4. Belgium 912
5. Germany 576
6. Luxembourg 536
7. Great Britain 504
8. Netherlands 501
9. United States 482
10. France 377