By Nigel Wynn
Jason Christie may not be a name known to many outside his native New Zealand, but the Kenyan Riders Down Under team rider is the first name at the top of the UCI's inaugural men's World Ranking.
The 26-year-old won the New Zealand national road race championships and placed seventh in the national time trial championships to accumulate enough points to sit ahead of Australian road race champion Jack Bobridge (Trek-Segafredo).
Christie's fellow New Zealander Dion Smith, who rides for British team One Pro Cycling, is third in the ranking.
The UCI's new World Ranking was published on Monday, January 11 and will be published every Monday thereafter. It takes account of points allocated from races in the UCI International Road Calendar, which includes events in the WorldTour, Continental Circuits, World and National Championships, Olympic Games and Continental Games.
Currently, the ranking is dominated by riders from the Southern Hemisphere who have taken part in their national championships, and riders who took part in the Tour of Egypt, which finished on January 2. All that will change in the next few weeks as points from events such as the Tour Down Under and Tour de San Luis are included.
The ranking includes performances from the previous 12 months, so will not be fully reflective until it has been running for a calendar year. It does not replace the existing UCI WorldTour Ranking, which will continue.
UCI World Ranking (published January 11 2016)
1. Jason Christie (NZl) Kenyan Riders Down Under 73 points
2. Jack Bobridge (Aus) Trek-Segafredo 71 points
3. Dion Smith (NZl) One Pro Cycling 56 points
4. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Dimension Data 55 points
5. Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale Pro Cycling 50 points
6. Mounir Makhchoun (Mor) 42 points
7. Hamish Schreurs (NZl) Klein Constantia 40 points
8. Patrick Lane (Aus) Avanti IsoWhey Sports 40 points
9. James Oram (NZl) One Pro Cycling 40 points
10. Adne Van Engelen (Ned) 33 points
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