Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti, the French FDJ team and Italy topped the UCI Europe Tour rankings after an intense season of racing across the continent.
Visconti won the individual ranking for third consecutive season, confirming his talent and consistency yet again. He ended the season with a total of 716 points, 56 more than second placed Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ) from Belarus, and 64 points more than Italy’s Davide Rebellin (Miche).
Visconti scored his first points of the season in February, winning the GP dell’Insubria-Lugano and then taking third in the GP di Lugano on consecutive days. That placed in him sixth place in the individual ranking and he soon climbed closer to the top with a series of placings and his third Italian national title. The tricolore jersey alone was worth 100 points.
France’s Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) led the individual ranking for several months after taking his own point haul. But he opted to focus on the Tour de France in July, finishing fourth overall after ten days in the yellow jersey, and then struggled to score points in the UCI Europe Tour. Visconti won the GP Industria e Commercio – Artigianato Carnaghese and took other placings to move past Voeckler in August.
After that he gradually opened his winning lead in the ranking and was virtually assured of victory with a month of racing still to go.
Not surprisingly, Visconti will step up to the WorldTour in 2012 and ride for the Spanish Movistar team. Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert dominated the WorldTour individual ranking this year but will surely face a real threat from Visconti next season.
FDJ and Italy on top
Despite Visconti success, his Farnese Vini squad was not in the top five in the team ranking, finishing sixth. French teams dominated the leading positions with FDJ winning the team ranking with a huge points haul of 2551.10. That was 932 points more than their nearest rivals Skil-Shimano, with third placed Colnago-CSF Inox more than 1000 points behind. Saur-Sojasun finished fourth and Cofidis was fifth.
Hutarovich was a key points scorer for FDJ and so too were Anthony Roux, who finished seventh in the individual ranking, Thibaut Pinot, who was 11th, and Gianni Meersman, who was 17th. They and their teammates won a total of 27 races in the UCI Europe Tour during the season.
More than a 100 teams scored ranking points during the season, confirming the huge number of
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