2005 UCI ProTour

2005 UCI ProTour
First edition of the UCI ProTour
Dates March 6 – October 15
Location Europe
Rounds 28
Individual champion  Danilo Di Luca (ITA) (Liquigas–Bianchi)
Teams' champion Team CSC
Nations' champion  Italy
2004 (UCI Road World Cup)

The 2005 ProTour was the first year of the newly introduced UCI ProTour system, in which the ProTour teams are guaranteed, and obliged to, participate in the series of ProTour races. In certain ways the ProTour replaced the UCI Road World Cup series of one-day races, which in 2004 was won by one-day specialist Paolo Bettini for the third time in a row. The beginning of the ProTour saw difficult negotiations with the organizers of the Grand Tours, the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España.

Spring classics

Following tradition, Team CSC had a strong showing in the early season, with a commanding control of the season opener Paris–Nice, placing American Bobby Julich on the top step of the General classification, combining his strong prologue individual time trial performance and good placing in the Mont Faron queen stage. Sprinter Alessandro Petacchi shed some weight over the winter and built up a strong base to win the classic Milan–San Remo convincingly, leading to speculation that he will be the undisputed Italian team leader for the World Cycling Championship in Madrid later in the season.

Belgian sprinter Tom Boonen of Quick-Step–Innergetic showed that he was the strongest kasseinfretter, or cobble-eater, by winning both the Tour of Flanders and Paris–Roubaix cobbled classics, propelling him to the top of the UCI ProTour rankings and thus earning him the white leaders jersey.

As the spring classics campaign continues, Bettini was plagued with injuries, but fellow one-day specialist Danilo Di Luca of Liquigas–Bianchi found his best form in years and won the Tour of the Basque Country race. With his confidence boosted, he topped his form with wins in both La Flèche Wallonne and the Amstel Gold Race, leading many to speculate that he would also win the Liège–Bastogne–Liège. However, Jens Voigt committed himself to long breakaways in both la Flèche and Liège, and in the later race was joined by Kazakh Alexander Vinokourov. Together they managed to keep the peloton behind, and Voigt was beaten in the final sprint by Vinokourov.

Grand tours

Having earned the ProTour white leader's jersey, Di Luca further increased his lead with a stage win and fourth place in the general classification of the 2005 Giro d'Italia, joining Gilberto Simoni of Lampre–Caffita in igniting the queen mountain stage of Sestriere. The same race also saw Damiano Cunego, who finished at the top UCI ranking last year, fall ill. In the end, the descending skills and strong form of Paolo Savoldelli earned him the maglia rosa in Milan.

The 2005 Tour de France again brought Lance Armstrong to the win, extending his record for consecutive Tour wins to 7. Despite promises of igniting the race with the trio of Jan Ullrich, Andreas Klöden and Vinokourov, the T-Mobile Team failed to wrestle the race control from Armstrong's Discovery team, and allegations flew abound of internal dispute within the team. Instead Ivan Basso showed himself as a main contender, though he never seemed to pressure Armstrong. As in the previous editions, Armstrong's team launched a vicious attack on an early mountain stage to discourage other contenders from pursuing the top podium. Spanish racer Alejandro Valverde of Illes Balears–Caisse d'Epargne showed that he is a serious contender for the future by not only staying with Armstrong, but by sprinting away to win the stage at the finale. However, both Valverde and green jersey contender Tom Boonen were forced to quit due to injuries.

The Vuelta brought an exciting race in which Denis Menchov was able to stave off attacks by Roberto Heras and his strong Liberty Seguros–Würth team until the closing days of the race. A choreographed attack by Liberty Seguros climbers, and Heras' thrilling ride down a treacherous descent, finally won him the leader's jersey. However, a doping scandal erupted two months after the Vuelta. Urine samples taken from Heras after the final time trial proved to be positive for EPO. Heras was stripped of what had been his record-setting fourth win, and Menchov was elevated to first place.

World championships

Belgian Tom Boonen had the confidence of the entire Belgian team, and won in style in Madrid. Petacchi, despite being the favorite, claimed to have suffered from a cold, and could not keep in contention as the peloton ascended the last climb before the finale. Valverde, having taken the Spanish team leadership after the injury of Óscar Freire, overcame his own injury to finish second, his second podium placing in race that tactically was not well-suited to his style.

The finale brought an exciting race as Paolo Bettini, having regained his form, was unleashed a little too late by Italian selector Franco Ballerini and nearly stayed away with Vinokourov in the closing meters of the race.

Summer and Autumn Classics

Having been left off the Tour de France lineup, Erik Zabel decided to join fellow sprinter Petacchi in the newly formed Team Milram. As his last race with the T-Mobile team, Zabel took the sprinters classic Paris–Tours to end his career in style.

Smarting from his disappointment at the World Championships, Bettini won Züri-Metzgete convincingly, with a 40-km solo attack in the rain that was almost derailed by his chain dropping off his chainring after his first acceleration. Proving that he is a better climber than ever before, he won the climbers classic Giro di Lombardia in a three-way sprint with Gilberto Simoni and Fränk Schleck.

2005 ProTour results

Date Race Country Winner Team
March 6–13 Paris–Nice  France  Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC
March 9–15 Tirreno–Adriatico  Italy  Óscar Freire (ESP) Rabobank
March 19 Milan–San Remo  Italy  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Fassa Bortolo
April 3 Tour of Flanders  Belgium  Tom Boonen (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic
April 5–9 Tour of the Basque Country  Spain  Danilo Di Luca (ITA) Liquigas–Bianchi
April 6 Gent–Wevelgem  Belgium  Nico Mattan (BEL) Davitamon–Lotto
April 10 Paris–Roubaix  France  Tom Boonen (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic
April 17 Amstel Gold Race  Netherlands  Danilo Di Luca (ITA) Liquigas–Bianchi
April 20 La Flèche Wallonne  Belgium  Danilo Di Luca (ITA) Liquigas–Bianchi
April 24 Liège–Bastogne–Liège  Belgium  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ) T-Mobile Team
April 26 – May 1 Tour de Romandie   Switzerland  Santiago Botero (COL) Phonak
May 7–29 Giro d'Italia  Italy  Paolo Savoldelli (ITA) Discovery Channel
May 16–22 Volta a Catalunya  Spain  Yaroslav Popovych (UKR) Discovery Channel
June 5–12 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré  France  Íñigo Landaluze (ESP) Euskaltel–Euskadi
June 11–19 Tour de Suisse   Switzerland  Aitor González (ESP) Euskaltel–Euskadi
June 19 Eindhoven Team Time Trial  Netherlands team event Gerolsteiner
July 2–24 Tour de France  France  Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel
July 31 HEW Cyclassics  Germany  Filippo Pozzato (ITA) Quick-Step–Innergetic
August 3–10 Eneco Tour of Benelux  Belgium
 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC
August 13 Clásica de San Sebastián  Spain  Constantino Zaballa (ESP) Saunier Duval–Prodir
August 15–23 Deutschland Tour  Germany  Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner
August 27–18 Vuelta a España  Spain  Denis Menchov (RUS) Rabobank
August 28 GP Ouest-France  France  George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel
September 12–18 Tour de Pologne  Poland  Kim Kirchen (LUX) Fassa Bortolo
September 25 Road World Championships  Spain  Tom Boonen (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic
October 2 Züri-Metzgete   Switzerland  Paolo Bettini (ITA) Quick-Step–Innergetic
October 9 Paris–Tours  France  Erik Zabel (GER) T-Mobile Team
October 15 Giro di Lombardia  Italy  Paolo Bettini (ITA) Quick-Step–Innergetic

2005 ProTour Points System

Tour de France Giro d'Italia
Vuelta a España
Milan–San Remo
Tour of Flanders
Giro di Lombardia
Lesser stageraces
Lesser one-day races World Cycling Championship
Overall Classement
1 100 85 50 40 50
2 75 65 40 30 40
3 60 50 35 25 35
4 55 45 30 20
5 50 40 25 15
6 45 35 20 11
7 40 30 15 7
8 35 26 10 5
9 30 22 5 3
10 25 19 1 1
11 20 16
12 15 13
13 12 11
14 9 9
15 7 7
16 5 5
17 4 4
18 3 3
19 2 2
20 1 1
Stage wins (if applicable)
1 3 3 1
2 2 2
3 1 1

2005 ProTour Individual Rankings

Rider Team Points
1  Danilo Di Luca (ITA) Liquigas–Bianchi 229
2  Tom Boonen (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic 171
3  Davide Rebellin (ITA) Gerolsteiner 151
4  Jan Ullrich (GER) T-Mobile Team 140
5  Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 139
6  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ) T-Mobile Team 136
7  Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 131
8  Paolo Bettini (ITA) Quick-Step–Innergetic 130
9  Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 130
10  George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 129
11  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Fassa Bortolo 128
12  Gilberto Simoni (ITA) Lampre–Caffita 111
13  Fränk Schleck (LUX) Team CSC 110
14  Denis Menchov (RUS) Rabobank 109
15  Francisco Mancebo (ESP) Illes Balears–Caisse d'Epargne 107

2005 ProTour Team Rankings

Code Team Country Website Points
1 CSC Team CSC  Denmark 390
2 PHO Phonak   Switzerland 353
3 RAB Rabobank  Netherlands 349
4 DVL Davitamon–Lotto  Belgium 322
5 LSW Liberty Seguros–Würth  Spain 320
6 GST Gerolsteiner  Germany 303
7 SDV Saunier Duval–Prodir  Spain 293
8 DSC Discovery Channel  United States 274
9 C.A Crédit Agricole  France 264
10 IBA Illes Balears–Caisse d'Epargne  Spain 262
11 COF Cofidis  France 258
12 QST Quick-Step–Innergetic  Belgium 253
13 FAS Fassa Bortolo  Italy 245
14 TMO T-Mobile Team  Germany -- 244
15 LIQ Liquigas–Bianchi  Italy 228
16 LAM Lampre–Caffita  Italy 211
17 BTL Bouygues Télécom  France 183
18 DOM Domina Vacanze  Italy 161
19 EUS Euskaltel–Euskadi  Spain 147
20 FDJ Française des Jeux  France 130

Team classification winner got 20 points, second 19, third 18 etc. Wildcard teams didn't score points, but ProTour teams didn't move up either. For example, no team received 20 points in Vuelta as team competition was won by Comunidad Valenciana.

2005 ProTour Nation Rankings

Country Points
1  Italy 749
2  United States 559
3  Spain 459
4  Germany 405
5  Australia 307
6  Belgium 304
7  Netherlands 280
8  Luxembourg 191
9  France 163
10  Russia 153
11  Kazakhstan 144
12   Switzerland 131
13  Colombia 119
14  Ukraine 101
15  Denmark 97
16  Norway 72
17  Sweden 67
18  Austria 62
19  Slovenia 53
20  Czech Republic 15
21  New Zealand 7
22  Estonia 3
23  Croatia 1

External links

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