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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
Following a major overhaul to its mountain-bike ranking software during the offseason, the UCI has finally released an updated set of cross-country standings. And just as they did at the end of 2001, Bart Brentjens and Barbara Blatter continue hold down the No. 1 spots.
In the rankings released May 16, Brentjens had an 18-point lead over second-place occupant Jose Antonio Hermida, with Canadian Roland Green moving past Miguel Martinez into third place, 32 points back of Brentjens. Martinez is now fourth, with Roel Paulissen in fifth. Paulissen made the most significant jump, climbing into the top five from 13th. Julien Absalon took the biggest tumble among the big names, falling from fifth to ninth.
Brentjens’ win at the World Cup opener in Madrid is sure to extend his lead.
Ryder Hesjedal is the next highest placed North American, at 13th. Geoff Kabush (18th), Seamus McGrath (22nd), Ziranda Madrigal (32nd), and Tinker Juarez (46th) are the only other North Americans in the top 50.
In the women’s standings there were no changes in the top four, with Blatter followed by Sabine Spitz, then Caroline Alexander and Alison Dunlap. Mary Grigson and Alison Sydor traded places, with Grigson going from seventh to fifth, while Chrissy Redden remained sixth.
World Cup round one winner Marga Fullana is eighth.
Other North American in the top 50 include the retired Ruthie Matthes, who moved from 16th to 11th, Leslie Tomlinson (21st), Trish Sinclair (22nd), Audrey Augustin (28th), Marie-Helene Premont (29th), Susan Haywood (36th), Shonny Vanlandingham (41st), Melissa Thomas (43rd), Claire Townsend (47th) and Kiara Bisaro (47th).
The UCI has yet to issue a new set of downhill or four-cross standings, but have added a new searchable database, where you can look up any rider and find a list of past results. It has also unveiled an interactive World Cup season guide, which includes everything from course information to lodging possibilities.