– What happened? –
Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) has secured overall victory in the individual ranking of the 2018 UCI WorldTour, ahead of two former winners, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), while Quick-Step Floors have gone one
place better than in 2017 to triumph in the 2018 UCI WorldTour teams ranking.
Consistently strong, top-level racing throughout the year enabled Yates to amass a final total of 3,072 points. The 26-year-old Briton claimed the most points at the Vuelta Ciclista a España in September, where he took the title as well as a stage
win. He also made large gains with three stage wins and a long spell in the lead in the Giro d’Italia in May, a second-place finish overall in Paris-Nice in March and again in the Tour de Pologne in August.
Second, with 2,992 points, was 2016 winner Peter Sagan, partly thanks to three stage wins and the points classification from the Tour de France, as well as 500 points apiece from outright victories in two major Classics, Paris-Roubaix and Gent-Wevelgem
in Flanders Fields. Alejandro Valverde’s overall victory in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and Abu Dhabi Tour, together with a runner’s up spot in La Flèche Wallonne and three stages in the Vuelta Ciclista a España secured
third spot for the 2018 Road World Road Race Champion with 2,609 points, while 2018 Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Quick-Step Floors' final total of 13,385 points in the 2018 UCI WorldTour teams ranking put the 2018 winners well ahead of Team Sky, a distant second with 10,213 points, while BORA-hansgrohe claimed third, with 9,180 points.
The UCI Cycling Gala took place on Sunday in Guilin, China, following the conclusion of the Gree-Tour of Guangxi. The event provided an opportunity to celebrate the most outstanding achievements of the road cycling season, with awards presented to the best teams and the best riders on the road in this year’s UCI World Championships, UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour, and to the para-cycling champions of 2018.
The UCI WorldTour begins again next year in Australia with the Santos Tour Down Under, running from 15-20 January.
A searing uphill attack allowed Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) to capture the final UCI WorldTour race of the season, the Gree - Tour of Guangxi in China.
After three stages where the sprinters ruled the roost, stage four saw Moscon blast away on the three kilometre ascent to Mashan-Nongla, easily outpowering Felix Groβshartner (BORA-hansgrohe) and Astana Pro Team’s Sergei Chertnetckii to
take the victory and move into top spot overall.
Moscon then successfully defended his lead over the rain-soaked final two days to clinch his first ever UCI WorldTour stage race victory and fifth victory of 2018. Meanwhile neo-pro Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) racked up two bunch-sprint triumphs
in the 37th and last UCI WorldTour race of the season, which increased Quick-Step Floor’s 2018 total race-victory count to an impressively high final tally of 73.
– What’s next? –
Tuesday 15 January – Sunday 20 January 2019 > Santos Tour Down Under (AUS)
– Photo of the week –
– Focus on Gregor Mühlberger –
At 24, Gregor Mühlberger is one of cycling’s most promising young climbers and one-day Classics specialists. But had it not been for a big skiing crash aged 15, the BORA-hansgrohe racer’s life could have taken a very different direction
altogether. Mülhberger switched to focusing completely on cycling after his skiing accident, racing with a number of domestic Continental Teams in his native Austria. Then following a very successful 2015 season, in which winning the
Peace Race was a highlight, he signed with BORA-hansgrohe, his first UCI WorldTour team.
The Austrian National Road Race Champion in 2017, Mühlberger’s first UCI WorldTour win came this season in a stage of the BinckBank Tour, thanks to a late attack on the hilly stage to Sittard-Gileen. He also completed his first Tour de France
this July, after racing - and finishing - the Vuelta Ciclista a España in 2016 and Giro d’Italia in 2017. Could Mühlberger capture his first Grand Tour stage win next season?
Follow Gregor on Instagram.