With the 2014 WorldTour season drawing to a close in Beijing on Tuesday (October 14), Alejandro Valverde’s place at the top of the world rankings will be confirmed.
The Spaniard’s second place at the Giro di Lombardia was enough to see the Movistar man overhaul compatriot Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the overall standings and with neither in action in Beijing, Valverde will end the year in top spot.
It is the first time the 34-year-old has done so since the WorldTour was revamped in 2009, despite having twice won its precursor, the UCI Pro Tour.
With victories at La Fleche Wallonne and Clasica San Sebastian to his name this year, alongside third overall at the Vuelta a Espana and fourth at the Tour de France, Valverde becomes the third Spaniard – after Contador and three-time winner Joaquim Rodriguez to top the UCI WorldTour rankings.
Including his results on the UCI Europe Tour, Valverde has amassed ten race wins in 2014, alongside topping the overall and points classifications at the Ruta del Sol.
He has also finished the top three an incredible 25 times – and that is before any of his overall placings are taken into consideration.
So we have picked out some of the key moments of the new world number one’s stunning season in the pictorial highlights of Valverde’s 2014 below.
Relive his year through the lens of UCI WorldTour photographer Stefano Sirotti in the full-screen gallery below.