Boonen blasts to top of WorldTour ranking
Tom Boonen tops the podium, Tour of Flanders 2012
Tom Boonen has moved into pole position at the head of the latest Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTour ranking after winning the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.
Boonen's Belgium winning streak has seen the former world champion take three WorldTour races on the trot: E3 Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem and now the Tour of Flanders.
Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has usurped Tour Down Under and Milan-San Remo winner Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) at the top of the ranking. Australian Gerrans slips to second place with 210 points to Boonen's 266. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) is third with 182 points.
Britain's highest-placed rider is Bradley Wiggins (Sky), who remains in eighth spot with 112 points after his Paris-Nice win.
Boonen's latest win has also catapaulted Belgium to the top of the WorldTour ranking by nation. Great Britain remains in ninth spot.
Suprisingly, it is Liquigas-Cannondale rather than Omega Pharma-QuickStep who take the team honours from Sky. Points gained from Peter Sagan's fifth spot in Flanders were enough to overtake the British team, whose top rider at Flanders was Edvald Boasson Hagen in 19th spot.
The next counting event will be Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco in Spain, running from Monday April 2 to Saturday April 7. Then it's Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, April 8.
The UCI's WorldTour 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.
Belgian Philippe Gilbert topped last year's WorldTour ranking with 718 points. Bradley Wiggins finished in eighth place with 289 points.
UCI WorldTour ranking (April 1 - after Tour of Flanders)
1. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 266 points
2. Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEdge 210 points
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 182 points
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 179 points
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar 167 points
8. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky 112 points
WorldTour ranking by team
1. Liquigas-Cannondale 376 points
2. Sky 356 points
3. Omega Pharma-QuickStep 349 points
WorldTour ranking by nation
1. Belgium 467 points
2. Spain 461 points
3. Italy 416 points
9. Great Britain 118 points