The first three months of the season have seen seven UCI WorldTour races take place – three Classics and four stage races.
And with no rider yet to win more than one, it’s little surprise to see several contenders tightly packed at the top of the world rankings.
Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) set the ball rolling in Adelaide with two stage victories on his way to Tour Down Under success, while Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) followed suit at Paris-Nice.
Katusha duo Joaquim Rodriguez and Alexander Kristoff won the Volta a Catalunya and Milan-San Remo respectively, while Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Peter Sagan and Giant-Shimano’s John Degenkolb have enjoyed cobbled Classic success at E3-Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem.
However, one man has been in scintillating form in his two WorldTour races so far this season – Alberto Contador.
Two stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico, alongside his blue jersey, and a second-place on stage three – and ultimately overall – at the Volta puts El Pistolero top of the pile, more than 50 points ahead of Sagan.
Sagan was top this time last season, and while a tenth place finish at Milan-San Remo cost him valuable points, first and third at E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem suggest he could overhaul Contador’s lead come the end of the cobbled Classics.
Another rider who could soon make major inroads into Contador’s lead is Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing). The Swiss rider finish second place at Milan-San Remo to compliment his individual time trial result at Tirreno-Adriatico, where he also stood on the second step of the podium.
Though he has been out of contention at the last two cobbled Classics, with 200 points up for grabs if he can defend his Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix titles there’s plenty of opportunity to make up the lost ground.
UCI WorldTour 2014: individual rankings (top ten)
1) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Tinkoff-Saxo – 198
2) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Cannondale – 143
3) Nairo Quintana (COL) – Movistar – 137
=4) Simon Gerrans (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 114
=4) Carlos Betancur (COL) – Ag2r-La Mondiale – 114
6) Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) – Katusha – 107
7) Alexander Kristoff (NOR) – Katusha – 101
8) John Degenkolb (GER) – Giant-Shimano – 94
9) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) – Trek Factory Racing – 90
=10) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing – 88
=10) Rui Costa (POR) – Lampre-Merida – 88