By Nigel Wynn
Tour de France winner Alberto Contador tops the most recent world ranking for professional road cyclists as compiled by cycling's governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
Contador lies comfortably ahead of second-placed Andy Schleck and third-placed Roman Kreuziger. Britain's Mark Cavendish is in fourth spot after his tally of pro wins this year.
The 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 World Calendar.
The amount of points awarded depends on the ranking of the event. For example, winning the Tour de France overall garners you twice as many points as winning the Eneco Tour overall.
However, winning a stage of the Tour de France will gain you far less points (20) than winning a one-day classic such as Ghent-Wevelgem (80).
Contador's Tour win gave him 200 points, Denis Menchov's Giro d'Italia victory gained him 170 points and Cavendish's Milan-San Remo win awarded him 100 points.
A complete breakdown of how points are awarded can be found on the UCI's website.
The ranking are likely to be re-shuffled after the Vuelta a Espana, with riders such as Roman Kreuziger, Cadel Evans and Alejandro Valverde out to benefit from their participation.
Great Britain currently lies ninth in the country ranking - a tally of all riders' points for each nation - which is currently topped by Spain. Astana leads the Teams ranking.
UCI World Ranking: Top 10
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 527 points
2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank 334
3. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 310
4. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia-HTC 304
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 295
6. Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 249
7. Andreas Kloden (Ger) Astana 232
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 219
9. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 218
10. Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 217
36. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream 130
125. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Slipstream 15
137. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha 11
200. Jeremy Hunt (GB) Cervelo Test Team 2
UCI World Ranking: Nations top 10
1. Spain 1,356
2. Italy 910
3. Australia 830
4. Germany 694
5. Russia 590
6. Luxembourg 563
7. Belgium 505
8. USA 469
9. Great Britain 462
10. Norway 414
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