Gilbert keeps top spot in UCI Worldtour ranking
Frank Schleck, Philippe Gilbert and Andy Schleck, Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2011
Classics king Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) sits at the top of the pile in the latest update of the Union Cycliste Internationale's Worldtour ranking, which takes into account points earned from the Tour de Romandie.
Gilbert rocketed to the top of the ranking last week after winning Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Romandie overall winner Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) moves up to third place in the ranking behind Gilbert and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) in second.
Two more riders enter the top ten this week: Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) moves up to seventh spot after coming second overall in Romandie, with Romandie third-place finisher Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) in tenth.
British riders Ben Swift, Bradley Wiggins and David Millar all collected Worldtour points during the Tour de Romandie. Swift won the final stage of Romandie, whilst Wiggins and Millar both placed in the top five on previous stages. Millar also finished tenth overall.
Swift is Britain's highest ranked rider, in 26th spot with 89 points. Wiggins is 29th with 75 points, and Millar appears in the ranking for the first time this year in 92nd place with five points.
The added boost to Britain's points tally moves the nation up from 11th to 10th in the ranking-by-nation. Points are used in deciding the number of riders taking part in the World Championships, and earning enough this season is crucial for GB to build a full-strength team around Mark Cavendish for this year's Worlds road race in Copenhagen (September 19-25).
Cavendish himself has yet to score any Worldtour points this season - he is aiming for stage wins at the Giro d'Italia, starting this weekend, and will also ride the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.
Belgium is top nation, with HTC-Highroad regaining the top spot in the team ranking. Sky are eighth.
The UCI's world ranking is compiled using a points system, with points awarded for one-day race, tour stage and stage race overall finishing positions for events in the UCI's Worldtour.
The amount of points awarded depends on the ranking of the event. For example, winning the Tour de France overall gives a rider twice as many points as winning the Eneco Tour overall.
The next counting event will be the Giro d'Italia, starting on May 7 and finishing on May 29.
UCI Worldtour individual ranking: May 2
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 356 points
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 236 points
3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing 232 points
4. Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 203 points
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger) Radioshack 202 points
6. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD 202 points
7. Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad 197 points
8. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 163 points
9. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 156 points
10. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 146 points
26. Ben Swift (GB) Sky 82 points
29. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky 75 points
92. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo 5 points
93. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky 5 points
Ranking by nation
1. Belgium 750 points
2. Australia 662 points
3. Spain 596 points
10. Great Britain 174 points
Ranking by team
1. HTC-Highroad 596 points
2. Leopard-Trek 503 points
3. Radioshack 495 points
8. Sky 333 points