It may not be ranked as one of the most important races of the season, but this year’s Tour of Beijing saw Movistar topple defending champions Team Sky from the top of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTour ranking.
Movistar rider Benat Intxausti won the five-day Tour of Beijing on Tuesday – the final race in the 2013 WorldTour calendar. The ranking points earned by the Spaniard were enough to propel Movistar to the top of the team table, and push the British-based Sky outfit down into second.
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Sky has dominated the team ranking all season, not least after Chris Froome’s Tour de France win, but Movistar’s last-ditch strong showing in China was enough for them to move just 49 points clear of Sky – 1610 points to 1561. Not only did Intxausti win the race for Movistar, but newly-crowned world champion Rui Costa placed fourth; that in itself earned the 60 points required to take the lead.
Sky’s David Lopez placed third in Beijing, but it wasn’t enough for the team to maintain the top position.
The team ranking is worked out using the sum of points from each squad’s top five riders in the individual WorldTour ranking. Movistar had three riders in the top 10 – Alejandro Valverde (third), Nairo Quintana (eighth) and Costa (ninth). Intxausti finished in 22nd spot, with Javier Moreno in 58th. British Movistar rider Alex Dowsett scored 16 points with his Giro d’Italia time trial win to finish 136th.
Sky’s top rider was Froome in second. Richie Porte finished 10th, Sergio Henao 19th, Rigoberto Uran 27th and Geraint Thomas finished in 43rd.
The individual ranking was topped by defending WorldTour champion Joaquim Rodriguez, whose Katsuha team placed third in the team table behind Movistar and Sky. Rodriguez took the lead from Froome after winning the Tour of Lombardy.
Spain were the runaway leaders in the WorldTour nation ranking ahead of Italy and Colombia. Great Britain finished fourth.