We have been up late at night hunched over results sheets and an abacus in order to calculate how the UCI?s World Calendar would have turned out if the ranking system were to be applied to the 2008 season.
It is perhaps not a surprise that Alejandro Valverde topped the ranking after seven wins, including Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Dauphiné Libéré, and a good performance in the Tour de France.
But it does raise questions about the credibility of a season-long series when the winner of two grand tours, Alberto Contador, still finds himself 68 points adrift in second place.
Cadel Evans only won a single race, a stage of Paris-Nice, but his second place in the Tour de France goes a long way to explaining how he reached third place.
Six grand tour stage wins gave Mark Cavendish 31st place, the highest-ranked British rider.
The rankings make interesting reading, but whether they are an accurate reflection of the season or not is up to each reader to decide.
A spokesman for the UCI confirmed to Cycling Weekly that unlike the ProTour leader, who was presented with a white jersey, the leader of the UCI World Calendar in 2009 will not wear a special jersey.
|Posn||Name||Nation||Team||Points||WR wins||2008 ProTour rank|
|6||Carlos Sastre||Spa||CSC||327||2||not ranked|
|21||Thomas Dekker||Ned||RAB||179||0||not ranked|
|22||Riccardo Ricco||Ita||SDV||174||2||not ranked|
|25||Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil||Spa||CGE||161||0||8th|
|26||Marzio Bruseghin||Ita||LAM||154||1||not ranked|
|(Emanuele Sella||Ita||CSF||130)||3||not ranked|
|35||Rinaldo Nocentini||Ita||AG2||119||0||not ranked|
|(Ezequiel Mosquera||Spa||GAL||116)||0||not ranked|
|36||Christian Vande Velde||USA||GAR||115||0||not ranked|
|=||Jose Ivan Gutierrez||Spa||CGE||112||2||14th|
In 2009 the teams ranking will be calculated by adding the points from each squad?s top five scorers. We?ve applied this system to the 2008 races. We?ve also included Garmin-Chipotle, even though they were not invited to all ProTour races. We?ve also listed the number of riders who scored points in WR races, to give an indication of the squad?s strength in depth.
|Posn||Team||No. of riders who scored WR points||Pts|
|15||Francaise des Jeux||9||290|
The nations ranking will be calculated by adding up the points of each country?s top five points scorers. In 2008 the table would have looked like this.
We?ve used the exact points system devised by the UCI for the 2009 World Calendar competition and applied it to the 2008 races. We?ve left out the Tour of Germany, because it?s not being held this year.
Only riders who are members of ProTour teams have been included in our ranking, although we have also shown where non-ProTour riders would have ranked. As this is a simulation of how the World Calendar will influence cycling in 2009, riders in teams that will be in the ProTour in 2009 (such as Garmin-Chipotle) have been included, while riders with teams that will have a Pro Continental ranking have not.
There are some exceptions. Allan Davis started the season with the Mitsubishi-Jartazi team and rode the Tour Down Under, the first counting event, for the UNISA-South Australia team, before joining Quick Step in August. The points he won in the Tour Down Under have been included.
Riders who failed anti-doping tests during an event have had those points deducted, although points earned in prior races still stand. For example, Riccardo Ricco?s Giro d?Italia points remain, but his Tour de France points have been deducted.
The Tour of Germany, which has been cancelled for 2009, has not been included in our 2008 simulation.
WR race wins refers to the number of victories each rider had in World Calendar ranking events in 2008. Each rider?s final 2008 ProTour ranking is also shown.
Team time trials do not count.
UCI launches new World Calendar