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UCI World Rankings, explained

The UCI World Ranking is the latest iteration of a season-long, top-level points series for pro men, teams and nations, something of a loose replacement for (and combination of) the old UCI Road World Cup and the UCI ProTour rankings.

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The UCI World Ranking is the latest iteration of a season-long, top-level points series for pro men, teams and nations, something of a loose replacement for (and combination of) the old UCI Road World Cup and the UCI ProTour rankings.

2010 World Ranking Events:

  • France Tour De France
  • Italy Giro d’Italia
  • Spain Vuelta a España
  • Australia Tour Down Under
  • France Paris-Nice
  • Italy Tirreno-Adriatico
  • Spain Vuelta Al País Vasco
  • Switzerland Tour De Romandie
  • Spain Volta A Catalunya
  • France Critérium Du Dauphiné Libéré
  • Switzerland Tour De Suisse
  • Poland Tour De Pologne
  • Belgium/Netherlands Tour Of Benelux
  • Italy Milan-San Remo
  • Belgium Ronde Van Vlaanderen
  • France Paris-Roubaix
  • Belgium Liège-Bastogne-Liège
  • Italy Giro Di Lombardia
  • Belgium Gent-Wevelgem
  • Netherlands Amstel Gold Race
  • Belgium La Flèche Wallonne
  • Spain Clásica De San Sebastián
  • Germany Vattenfall Cyclassics
  • Canada Grand Prix Cycliste De Québec[3]
  • Canada Grand Prix Cycliste De Montréal[3]
  • France Gp Ouest-France
Contador accepts his 2009 World Ranking trophy from the UCI's Pat McQuaid. AFP file photo.

The World Ranking gathers points from 26 events, including the three grand tours, some of the other more prestigious national tours and 15 one-day events. Except for two one-day races in Canada and the Tour Down Under in Australia, all the events are in Europe.

The points scale is heavily weighted to the grand tours, and especially the Tour de France, and it’s no surprise that in 2009, the first year of the ranking, Tour winner Alberto Contador ended the season at the top, although he didn’t race in 2009 following the Tour. Earlier in the year Contador had also won the Vuelta Al País Vasco and earned points at Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné Libéré.

An overall win at the Tour de France generates 200 points, compared to 170 points for winning the Giro or the Vuelta, and 100 points for winning one of the smaller stage races (such as Paris-Nice or Tour de Pologne) or major one-day events (like Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix). Points are awarded down to ten places.

Winning a stage or a prologue at any of the included events also generates points. A Tour stage is worth 20 points, while a Giro or Vuelta stage, 16. Stage points are awarded down to fifth place.

The national and team rankings are compiled from points earned by the team’s or nation’s top five riders on the individual rankings.