Following on from the final World Tour race of the season, the Tour of Lombardy, Ireland have finished the season in 20th place in the nation rankings on 111 points, with Spain in first place. Spain finished with 1,945 points which was a massive 839 points clear of Italy in second place.
Ireland’s points came from just two riders – Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) finished in 51st place in the overall rankings with 85 points with Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) finishing in 113th place with 26 points. Philip Deignan (Team Sky) is the only other Irish at World Tour level.
Martin was the only Irish rider racing today, and was unable to add to his points tally and defend his Lombardy crown. He finished in 52nd place, over nine minutes behind the winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
Alejandro (Movistar) was the clear winner of the World Tour with 675 points. His nearest challenger was Joaquin Rodriguez (Team Katusha) who had 474 points and the top five was rounded out by Valverde’s team-mate Nairo Quintana, Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) and Fabio Aru (Astana).
Movistar were the leading team, finishing just 13 points ahead of Katusha, with Team Sky in third place. Next best were Etixx-Quick Step and Astana.
Ireland will hopefully be in a better position to finish higher in the World Tour rankings next season, with Ryan Mullen moving to Cannondale-Garmin. In addition to Mullen, Ireland might also have an additional rider at that level, if the MTN-Qhubeka team of Matt Brammeier are successful in moving up to World Tour.
A country’s position in the World Tour rankings influences the size of the team for the World Championships and Ireland will be hopeful of increasing its allocation.