The curtain has fallen on the 2014 UCI WorldTour season in China, with the Tour of Beijing bringing an end to a season which began in Australia back in January.
Through three grand tours, five Monuments and a feast of spectacular one-day and stage races, the season has been another enthralling spectacle.
And with the 28 races now over, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is officially the new world number one.
Valverde – whose form helped to lead Movistar to their second year topping the team rankings, while Spain topped the nations rankings, enjoyed what he described as his ‘best year yet’ to edge Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) to the prestigious honour.
Twice a winner of the ProTour, Valverde has not topped the world rankings since the revamped WorldTour was launched in 2009 and believes topping the rankings should carry a similar significance to pulling on the rainbow jersey of world champion.
“It’s extremely important for me,” he told his team website. “Finishing on top of the rankings is a reward to the whole work I did before and during the season.
“It means that my season was really good, that I always kept up doing well throughout the season, constant and consistent.
“It’s obvious that the Worlds, what they mean, with the rainbow jersey and everything it means, are a big goal for a cyclist, at least for me. But, if you think about it thoroughly, this WorldTour ranking should have similar significance.”
But while Valverde was top of the tree after winning La Fleche Wallonne, the Clasica San Sebastian, finishing third at the Vuelta a Espana and fourth at the Tour de France – among others – how did everybody else fare?
We have rounded up the final rankings over the following pages. Do you feel they truly reflect the performances we have witnessed this season? Check them out and then let us know in the forum.