Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) has taken over from Alberto Contador (Astana) to lead the Union Cycliste Internationale's World Ranking, a table based on riders' performances in top-level road races.
The updated ranking - released on Monday afternoon - takes into account results from the final grand tour of 2010, the Vuelta a Espana, which finished in Madrid on Sunday.
Rodriguez finished the Vuelta in fourth place overall, netting him enough points to move ahead of 2010 Tour de France winner Contador in the ranking. As well as finishing fourth, Rodriguez won a stage of the race and enjoyed a spell in the leader's red jersey.
Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) also leapt up the ranking, moving from 26th place to sixth. Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) moved from fifth to third, with double stage winner Tyler Farrar (Garmin) moving to ninth. Both Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) have dropped out of the top ten.
One World Ranking counting event is left in the 2010 calendar: the Tour of Lombardy (October 16). With 100 points on offer to the winner of Lombardy, and with Contador's season over, it means that Rodriguez cannot now be beaten in the 2010 ranking. Contador topped the final edition of the ranking last year.
Britain's Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) sits in 22nd spot, having won three stages of the Vuelta and the points classification. Cavendish is Britain's highest-placed rider in the table.
Spain top the table as most successful country, with Astana still leading the team ranking.
The World 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 gives a rider twice as many points as winning the Eneco Tour overall.
UCI World Ranking: Individual (20 September 2010)
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 551
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 482
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 403
4. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC 390
5. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 369
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 340
7. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 337
8. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions 307
9. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions 306
10. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 283
22. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia 198
13 September 2010: Hesjedal and Gesink move up UCI World Ranking
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