The world champion has occupied the number one spot in the WorldTour since the spring classics, where he won Ghent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders. He then cemented his lead in the standings by winning three stages of the Tour de France.
However, after contesting the mountain bike event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for Slovakia, Sagan returned to road racing at the Bretagne Classic in France on Sunday, but quickly abandoned.
Tinkoff said that Sagan was suffering with an illness – and with only four events left in the 2016 UCI WorldTour calendar it looks certain that he will be replaced as WorldTour leader by a high-placing rider at the Vuelta.
Most likely candidate is Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar), presently second in the WorldTour ranking with 407 points to Sagan’s 455. Quintana is currently leading the Vuelta, and if he carries the red jersey to the race’s conclusion on September 11 he will gain 170 points plus those gained from stage results.
Tour de France winner and highest-placed British rider Chris Froome (Sky) is third in the current WorldTour ranking, and could also move ahead of Sagan should he make it onto the final Vuelta podium.
Last year’s overall WorldTour champion, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is fifth in the ranking and could also move up significantly with Vuelta points.
Points earned during the Vuelta will only be added when the race concludes on Sunday, September 11. The four other WorldTour races in the 2016 calendar are: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (September 9), Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (September 11), Eneco Tour (September 19-25) and Il Lombardia (October 1).
Movistar are still firmly fixed in the position of highest ranked team in the WorldTour ahead of Tinkoff and Team Sky. WorldTour teams competing in the World Championships team time trial will also gain points, but these will not be added to riders’ tallies. Spain are top nation ahead of Colombia and France, with Great Britain in fourth.
WorldTour points are awarded for one-day race, tour stage and stage race overall finishing positions for counting events.
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.
Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) has sealed the overall win in the inaugural Women’s WorldTour. Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) is third. One event remains in the Women’s 2016 calendar: the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta on September 11.
UCI WorldTour Ranking 2016 (as at Sunday, August 28)
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff 445 points
2. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar 407 points
3. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 396 points
4. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing 394 points
5. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar 357 points
6. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff 337 points
7. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale 314 points
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx-QuickStep 280 points
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana 241 points
10. Jon Izaguirre (Esp) Movistar 240 points
26. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange 144 points
32. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 121 points
33. Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky 120 points
46. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 92 points
59. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data 80 points
75. Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky 50 points
84. Steve Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data 38 points
1. Movistar 1152 points
2. Tinkoff 1046 points
3. Team Sky 1019 points
4. BMC Racing 911 points
5. Katusha 786 points
1. Spain 1275 points
2. Colombia 1015 points
3. France 941 points
4. Great Britain 873 points
5. Australia 838 points