Dan Martin places eighth in UCI rankings despite injury-hit year
Sam Bennett and Nicolas Roche also ranked inside the top 100 of the WorldTour rankings
Dan Martin’s consistency and strong performances in 2017 have seen him once again take a strong result in the UCI’s rankings for road riders on the top-level WorldTour teams. The QuickStep Floors rider ended the season a fine eighth overall, amassing 2050 points despite a major disruption to his season.
Martin crashed heavily in the Tour de France and while he was able to press on to Paris and take sixth overall, he was later diagnosed with fractures to the transverse processes of two of his vertebrae. He had a period of enforced rest, missing several key events, and was below-par in his key target of Il Lombardia.
This prevented him from getting closer to the top of the rankings, which were headed by Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), the Paris-Roubaix winner.
Two other Irish riders were also inside the top 100 of the WorldTour rankings. Sam Bennett’s strong season finish at the Presidential Tour of Turkey saw the Bora-Hansgrohe rider clock up four stage wins and finish 75th in the rankings. Nicolas Roche also ended the season well, netting third overall in the Tour of Guangxi in China and ending up 77th in the WorldTour standings.
Somewhat confusingly, the UCI also has a world ranking system. This encompasses points from non-WorldTour races and riders, and thus considers more events around the globe. Van Avermaet also topped this table, with Martin 11th, Bennett 66th and Roche 81st.
Fared very strongly
Combined, the Irish total saw the country finish 13th in the global standings. Lydia Boylan was best of the Irish in the women’s world ranking, taking 238th. She had less opportunity to gain points due to her WNT Pro Cycling team’s relatively limited race programme.
Irish riders fared very strongly in the track rankings: Mark Downey was fifth in the elite points race rankings in 2017 and is currently second overall in the 2018 standings, which span the winter months until next year. Felix English was fourth in the scratch race category last year and is now eighth in the 2018 table. Largely thanks to the duo’s points, Ireland was 7th in 2017 and is now 10th in the madison rankings.
Boylan and Lydia Gurley had a superb showing last weekend in the European track championships, taking silver in the women’s scratch race. In terms of the world rankings, Boylan was 10th in the 2017 omnium standings and is currently eighth in 2018; Gurley was 14th in the 2017 scratch race rankings and is now ninth.
Looking at the junior categories, Xeno Young currently tops the 3km pursuit standings and is second in the omnium, while JB Murphy is eighth in the points race rankings.
In mountainbike downhill racing, Jacob Dickson was 26th in the 2017 standings.