Two hundred and fifty seven days after Jack Bobridge won the opening stage of the Tour Down Under in January, Vincenzo Nibali won the Giro di Lombardia to draw the 2015 WorldTour season to a close.
Another action-packed campaign saw Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Fabio Aru emerge as winners of the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana respectively, while John Degenkolb secured a Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix double, and Alexander Kristoff won the Tour of Flanders – just a selection of highlights from the 27 events that make up the UCI WorldTour.
Movistar topped the WorldTour team rankings for the third successive season, while their Spanish rider, Alejandro Valverde, moved to the top of the individual rankings with Liege-Bastogne-Liege victory in April and stayed there until the end of the season, being crowned the world’s number one rider for the second year in a row.
Our end of term report card casts a look back at how each term has fared this season, from the top to the bottom of the WorldTour rankings, and because results don’t always tell the full story, we’ve handed each team our own ranking, and picked out some of the star performers and highlights along the way.
Movistar, the Spanish super team, have had a fantastic year on the road, bringing home the win in the UCI WorldTour’s team classification for the third year running, plus their man Alejandro Valverde has, for the second year in a row, placed top of the individual points table. Nairo Quintana has also been magnificent, winning at Tirreno-Adriatico and placing second in the Tour de France. While he’ll be disappointed not to have added another Grand Tour title to his palmares, he did push Chris Froome all the way and win this year’s young rider competition at the Tour – showing not only his ability, but just how much more of his career he has ahead of him. On the track, Britain’s Alex Dowsett broke the hour record (and won his first stage race title on the road at Bayern-Rundfahrt), though Sir Bradley Wiggins soon took it off him.
Winning the UCI team classification? Breaking the hour record? Finishing second and third at the Tour de France? Winning the team classification in two Grand Tours? Take your pick.
Despite the fact most riders would give anything for a podium placing at a Grand Tour, Movistar may feel they could have done one better than their two-three placing at the Tour de France.
An even split between the two co-leaders, Valverde and Quintana. Winner Anacona deserves a mention too for valiant services as domestique on the Tour’s Alpe d’Huez as Quintana – ultimately unsuccessfully – tried to unseat Froome at the top of the GC.
Must do better
It’s difficult to pick a duff rider from a squad which topped both team and individual WorldTour classifications in 2015.
WorldTour ranking (from 1 to 17)
RCUK rating (out of 10)