Alejandro Valverde hangs on to UCI WorldTour lead after Giro d’Italia

Giro d'Italia winner Alberto Contador can't depose Alejandro Valverde from the WorldTour top spot

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has held on to his to his position at the top of the 2015 UCI WorldTour ranking, despite a challenge from Giro d’Italia winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Contador moves up to second in the WorldTour ranking behind fellow Spaniard Valverde after winning the opening Grand Tour of the 2015 season on Sunday. Valverde did not take part in the Giro.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Fleche Wallonne winner Valverde sits just 31 points ahead of Contador. Australian Richie Porte (Sky) slips from second to third place after withdrawing from the Giro due to injury.

Giro runner-up Fabio Aru (Astana) moves significantly up the ranking from 46th to seventh place.

>>> Alberto Contador vs Astana: Round two at the Tour de France

The highest-placed British rider is Geraint Thomas (Sky), currently in 12th position. Simon Yates, Adam Yates (both Orica-GreenEdge), Luke Rowe and Chris Froome (both Sky) are the only other British riders currently in the ranking. Despite taking 13 victories thus far this season, Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) has yet to score a single WorldTour point.

Geraint Thomas attacks in the 2015 E3 Harelbeke

Top-ranked British rider: Geraint Thomas, shown here on his way to winning E3 Harelbeke

Thanks to Valverde and Contador’s points, along with those of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Mikel Landa (Astana) and Jon Izaguirre (Movistar), Spain is the top-ranked nation by a considerable margin ahead of Australia. Colombia is third, with Britain in seventh spot.

Etixx-QuickStep retains its top spot in the team ranking, ahead of Katusha and Sky. Astana is the biggest mover in the latest ranking, up to fifth from 10th.

WorldTour points are awarded for one-day race, tour stage and stage race overall finishing positions for counting events. 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.

Valverde topped the 2014 WorldTour ranking; top British rider was Froome in seventh.

The next counting event in the 2015 WorldTour is the Criterium du Dauphine (June 7-14). Valverde, Froome, Rodriguez and 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will all be in attendance.

>>> Criterium du Dauphine 2015 preview

UCI WorldTour rankings (as at May 31 after the Giro d’Italia)

Rider ranking
1. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 338 points
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 307 points
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky 304 points
4. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 237 points
5. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin 232 points
6. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 230 points
7. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana 212 points
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx-QuickStep 209 points
9. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 196 points
10. Michael Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx-QuickStep 195 points

12. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky 184 points
28. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 92 points
36. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky 70 points
77. Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 20 points
93. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 10 points

Team ranking
1. Sky 629 points
2. Etixx-QuickStep 590 points
3. Katusha 527 points
4. Movistar 423 points
5. BMC Racing 380 points

Nation ranking
1. Spain 1096 points
2. Australia 660 points
3. Colombia 583 points

7. Great Britain 376 points