By Nigel Wynn
British-based Team Sky has maintained its position as top squad in the lastest edition of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTour race rankings.
Sky tops the table largely thanks to Bradley Wiggins' race-winning performances in Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine this year. Wiggins is in third place in the individual rider rankings behind leader Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
Wiggins' Australian team-mate Michael Rogers is in ninth position, having placed second overall in Criterium du Dauphine.
The latest version of the UCI's WorldTour rankings take into account results from the Tour de Suisse, which finished on Sunday. Suisse overall winner Rui Costa (Movistar) leaps up the table from 34th to 13th spot.
Great Britain is currently fifth-ranked nation behind Spain, Italy, Belgium and Australia. There are now five British riders with 2012 WorldTour ranking points: Wiggins (335 points), Mark Cavendish (66 points), Chris Froome (60 points), Geraint Thomas (22 points) and Ben Swift (6 points).
The next counting event will be the Tour de France, starting on Saturday June 30 in Liege, Belgium, and finishing three weeks' later on Sunday July 22 in Paris.
The UCI's WorldTour 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 WorldTour.
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.
Belgian Philippe Gilbert topped last year's WorldTour ranking with 718 points. Bradley Wiggins finished in eighth place with 289 points.
UCI WorldTour ranking (as at June 17 2012 after Tour de Suisse)
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 404 points
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 366 points
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky 335 points
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Canondale 272 points
5. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 253 points
43. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky 66 points
47. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky 60 points
75. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky 22 points
126. Ben Swift (GBr) Sky 6 points
Ranking by team
1. Sky 803 points
2. Katusha 717 points
3. Liquigas-Cannondale 657 points
Ranking by nation
1. Spain 1112 points
2. Italy 946 points
3. Belgium 791 points
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