UCI WorldTour 2014: comprehensive rankings round-up

Alejandro Valverde claims world number one spot

With the top two riders in the world, Spain were the top-ranked nation for the fifth time in the six years since the WorldTour rankings were introduced.

Every year a Spanish rider has finished top of the tree, so have the nation – despite the country having now gone a full decade since they last boasted a world champion.

Spain may have now gone ten years without a world champion but the success of Valverde, left, and Rodriguez, right, means they have now topped the nations rankings in five of the last six years (pic: Sirotti)

Riders from 34 countries scored points in the end, with Maximiliano Richeze’s fifth place on stage three of the Tour of Beijing ensuring Argentina snuck in at the death.

Unsurprisingly it is world cycling’s heavyweight nations dominating the WorldTour rankings, with Italy and Belgium – though trailing Spain by some distance – both passing 1,000 points.

Philippe Gilbert’s Tour of Beijing win saw the Belgians leapfrog France and the Netherlands to claim third spot.

Great Britain, by contrast, enjoyed some great results through the year – Adam Yates at the Tour of Turkey, Stephen Cummings at Tour Meditterraneen and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour of California to name just three.

At WorldTour level, however, just eight riders registered points and the top five of those – Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Mark Cavendish, Ben Swift and Yates – could only lift Great Britain to eighth overall.

The nation rankings are, of course, merely a side note overall – though used to determine the number of riders a team has at the World Championships, it was tenth-placed Poland who took gold in Ponferrada.

Colombian cycling is on the rise thanks to the performances of Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran among others (pic: Sirotti)

They do, at least, prove a few recent trends though – not least the resurgence of Colombian cycling.

Esteban Chaves, Julian Arredondo and Rigoberto Uran all ended the season by scoring points in Beijing, lifting Colombia to seventh overall.

UCI WorldTour: nations ranking (top ten)

1) Spain – 1834pts
2) Italy – 1070
3) Belgium – 1006
4) France – 987
5) Netherlands – 957
6) Australia – 869
7) Colombia – 814
8) Great Britain – 721
9) Germany – 640
10) Poland – 565

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