UCI ProTour : Astana number one in teams rankings

A stunning victory by Andreas Klöden in the Tour of Romandie has helped propel his Astana squad into the number one spot in the teams classifications of the ProTour series.

Ousted from the number one spot are last year’s top ProTour team, CSC, the Danish squad is now third overall. 2007 runners-up Caisse d’Epargne, meanwhile, remain firmly in second place. Klöden’s first victory since the Circuit de la Sarthe stage race in France last April has also seen the German shoot straight into fifth place overall in the individual ProTour rankings.

The German moved into the overall lead in Romandie thanks to a fine ride in the mid-race time trial. He then made a successful defence in the tough mountain stage 24 hours later to take Romandie by 35 seconds from Roman Kreuziger of the Czech Republic.

Romandie is Klöden’s sixteenth victory of his career, and represents an important addition to the German’s palmares, which already included Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of the Basque Country.

Flanders winner Stijn Devolder drops down to sixth in the ProTour’s individual classification as a result, but there is no change overall in the top four placings.

Italy’s Damiano Cunego continues to lead after six rounds of the ProTour, with André Greipel of High Road trailing the Lampre rider by nine points. 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador remains in third, a further four points adrift.

There had been considerable interest in what Thomas Dekker could have acheived in the ProTour’s individual rankings at Romandie. But the Rabobank rider, the winner of Romandie in 2007, abandoned on stage four – although he remains in fourth place overall in the ProTour. Could the Tour of Catalonia see the young Dutchman back in the fray?

Nations-wise Spain has added another 20 points to her total to remain at the top of the general classification with 223. But further down the rankings, thanks to Romandie there have been some important changes.

Italy has now overtaken Belgium to become Spain’s closest pursuer, picking up 32 points to move to 178. Belgium fared far worse in Romandie, gaining zero points whatsoever, and drops to third overall – still on 150 points.

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