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Alejandro Valverde’s victory in the Tour de Romandie gave him the lead in the UCI world rankings issued Monday.
With 392 points, Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) displaced Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who had taken the lead last week. Gilbert now sits second with 294 points while Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) is third with 268.
Chris Horner (Team RadioShack) is the top American, in eighth place, with 144 points.
Valverde scored points in six events: the Tour Down Under (6); Paris-Nice (93); the Tour of the Basque Country (102); Flèche Wallonne (10), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (70); and Tour de Romandie (111).
“Occupying the top world ranking is an honor that any rider wants to receive,” Valverde said. “To take first place in the ranking before the start of the grand-tours season is a proof of my great consistency.”
Spain continues to lead the national rankings with 1,155 points. Belgium is second with 714 while Australia is third with 477. The United States is fifth with 287.
Caisse d’Epargne remains atop the team standings with 620 points. Team Katusha is second with 500 and Astana third with 434. Team HTC-Columbia is the top American squad, sitting fifth with 383.