2005 UCI ProTour

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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.

2005 UCI ProTour
First edition of the UCI ProTour
DatesMarch 6 – October 15
Individual champion Danilo Di Luca (ITA) (Liquigas–Bianchi)
Teams' championTeam CSC
Nations' champion Italy
← 2004 (UCI Road World Cup)
2006 →

Spring classicsEdit

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 toursEdit

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 championshipsEdit

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 ClassicsEdit

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 resultsEdit

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   Roberto Heras (ESP) Liberty Seguros–Würth
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 SystemEdit

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 RankingsEdit

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

Team RankingsEdit

Team Points
1   Team CSC 390
2   Phonak 353
3   Rabobank 349
4   Davitamon–Lotto 322
5   Liberty Seguros–Würth 320
6   Gerolsteiner 303
7   Saunier Duval–Prodir 293
8   Discovery Channel 274
9   Crédit Agricole 264
10   Illes Balears–Caisse d'Epargne 262
11   Cofidis 258
12   Quick-Step–Innergetic 253
13   Fassa Bortolo 245
14   T-Mobile Team 244
15   Liquigas–Bianchi 228
16   Lampre–Caffita 211
17   Bouygues Télécom 183
18   Domina Vacanze 161
19   Euskaltel–Euskadi 147
20   Française des Jeux 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 RankingsEdit

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 linksEdit