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Latest IG Markets Pro Cycling Index: Two British riders in top 10

Bradley Wiggins has climbed eight places on the IG Markets Pro Cycling Index following his overall victory in Paris-Nice on Sunday (11).

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) celebrates overall victory in the 2012 Paris-Nice

Britain is just one of two nations with two riders ranked by IG among the top 10 riders in the world. Italy is the other.

Wiggins’ Sky teammate, Mark Cavendish, retains his third place after adding 84 points to his tally with victory last week on the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), previously ranked number two on the index, has slipped to fourth after a low key performance in the ‘Race of the Two Seas’, where he finished in thirty-second place. The performance netted him just 30 points; a marked contrast to the 720 he collected for victory in the race last year. He has completed just 56 days racing since his victory in last year’s Tour De France, less than any other rider in the top 20.

Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) moves to second on the Index after as strong Tirreno-Adriatico in which he won stage six. The Spaniard, who finished seventh overall in February’s Tour of Oman, is a consistent performer.

Vincenzo Nibali's victory in Tirreno-Adriatico has moved him to ninth on the IG Pro Cycling Index

The winner of Tirreno-Adriatico, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) is now ranked eighth on the Index, a jump of eight places. Nibali’s Queen stage victory at the summit of the Prati di Tivo followed his mountain top victory on the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman in February.

Wiggins’ triumph in France netted him 785 points, 30 of which came from the six days he spent in the leader’s yellow jersey. The Londoner could jump to sixth without racing this weekend if Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) finishes lower than the sixth place he attained in last year’s Milan-San Remo.

World time trial champion, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), winner of last year’s Paris-Nice, and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) both slip from the top ten. Defending champion, Martin, finished sixty-second in this year’s ‘Race to the Sun’ while Sanchez did not enter.

The latest rankings issued by IG have been partly affected by the high attrition rate of both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. The Index awards riders points for finishing each stage. Some 38 riders pulled out of the ‘Race to the Sun’ before Nice, while 33 riders abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico. Sickness, collisions, and the proximity of both races to this Milan-San Remo are all factors.

Saturday’s ‘La Primavera’ could have a profound effect on the rankings. Last year’s winner, Matt Goss (GreenEDGE) is currently ranked thirty-first; Fabian Cancellara, who finished second in the 2011 race, is fifth, while Index leader, Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) was third.

A top 10 finish for Cavendish, who won the race in 2009, will move him to second place. The Manx Missile has already stated his ambition to win his second Milan-San Remo, this time in the rainbow jersey of world road race champion.

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IG Markets Pro Cycling Index

IG Markets Pro Cycling Index at March 14 2012

1) Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) – 6490
2) Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) – 3538
3) Mark Cavendish (Sky Pro Cycling) – 3511
4) Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) – 3446
5) Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) – 3374
6) Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) – 2985
7) Bradley Wiggins (Sky Pro Cycling) – 2943
8) Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) – 2612
9) Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek) – 2434
10) Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Pro Cycling) – 2433

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