Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has risen to third place in the world rankings published Monday by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on the strength of his victory in Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race.
Gilbert has closed to within 12 points of leader Spaniard Luis Leon Sanchez, whose Caisse d’Epargne squad also holds the lead in the team standings. Spain remains atop the national rankings.
Gilbert, a classics specialist and one of the favorites for the upcoming Liège-Bastogne-Liège, could take the lead in the rankings after the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday and the Doyenne four days later.
“Being No. 1 is important, even if only for a week,” said Gilbert. “But it’s difficult for a (classics) rider like me to be on top at the end of the season.”