Pro Cycling: Power Rankings - March

Pro Cycling: Power Rankings - March
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Welcome back to the thrilling world of professional cycling as we dive into the much-anticipated March edition of our exclusive Peloton Power Rankings.

In this edition, we'll not only unveil the overall standings for both men and women but also take a closer look at the standout riders who have left their mark so far in 2024.

Without further ado, let's break down the March Power Rankings. Who are the risers, ascending to new heights with stellar performances? Who are the fallers, grappling with the challenges that come with the competitive cycling landscape?

The drama unfolds as we navigate through as we dissect the risers and fallers.

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Vos Is Back But SD Worx Lead

Marianne Vos's early victory and unwavering consistency in races underscore her pivotal role in shaping the competitive landscape. Vos not only brings triumphs to her team but also establishes a formidable presence, contributing significantly to the dynamic of the peloton. Her ability to secure early wins signifies a potent start, but it remains to be seen if SD Worx's leadership will be challenged in 2024.

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Rank 1 Team SD Worx
Exemplifying unassailable dominance throughout 2023, Team SD Worx stands unchallenged, propelled by a roster boasting a formidable fusion of talent, diverse skills, and expert race tactics, masterfully orchestrated by the exceptional Anna van der Breggen (AVB).

Their success transcends individual prowess, finding its roots in the harmonious diversity of their skill sets. Their roster is constructed in such a way that they seem to have an answer for any question the peloton asks of them. With AVB at the helm, the team navigates the intricacies of each race with strategic finesse, leaving the peloton grappling for answers. SD Worx's relentless pursuit of excellence, coupled with their tactical prowess, solidifies their perch at the summit, making the prospect of dethroning them from the top spot a formidable challenge for any contender.

Rank 2 Canyon//SRAM Racing
Despite Canyon//SRAM's efforts, the gap to SD Worx persists and possibly grows, and Lidl-Trek has emerged as a fierce competitor for Canyon's title of "best of the rest". January's strong performances set Canyon up for success in February, and consistent efforts from Kasia in February keep the team in strong contention heading into the Classics. Neve Bradbury's (one of our 7 riders to watch in 2024) standout performance at the UAE Tour also helped solidify the team's position.

Strong performances from riders across the team will be needed in the month of March to hold off a surging Trek team.

Rank 3
↑ 2
While Trek maintained a low profile in January, the conclusion of February saw standout performances from Elisa Longo Borghini and Shirin Van Anrooij at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The momentum continued with Elisa Balsamo securing two stage sprint victories at Setmana Ciclista Volta Femenina de la Comunitat Valenciana, setting an optimistic tone for potential clashes with sprint powerhouses like Lorena Wiebes and Charlotte Kool in the upcoming Spring Classics.

Balsamo's triumph over Marianne Vos in these sprints is a promising indicator for her 2024 campaign, offering a glimmer of hope for Lidl-Trek as they endeavor to narrow the competitive gap with SD Worx. Looking ahead to March, it shapes up to be a pivotal month for Lidl-Trek as they aim to reclaim their position behind SD Worx on the Power Rankings, currently held by CANYON//SRAM.

Rank 4
↑ 2
Visma-Lease a Bike
The Visma-Lease a Bike women's team emerges as a formidable wildcard poised to disrupt SD Worx in the 2024 season. Marianne Vos, a cycling icon entering her age 36 season, has already demonstrated her ability to outshine the World Champion, reinforcing her unrivalled status as the greatest cyclist of all time. This resurgence of Vos is a welcome development for teams grappling to find answers to SD Worx's dominance. With Vos at the helm, the Visma-Lease a Bike team presents yet another challenging question for SD Worx, and 2024 has already shown, they possess the capability to leave it unanswered, adding an exciting layer to the competitive narrative of women's cycling.
Rank 5
↓ 2
Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL
February unfolded as a stage set for the much-anticipated Kool versus Wiebes showdown at the UAE Tour for Team DSM, yet, regrettably, Kool's withdrawal due to illness left the cycling world yearning for the spectacle. Despite this setback, DSM showcased commendable performance in the absence of their star sprinter, clinching podiums at both Omloop van het Hageland and the UAE Tour. The return of Kool, strikingly impressive, winning the bunch kick at Le Samyn des Dames, finishing only seconds away from catching the riders off the front.

As March dawns, Kool's subtle resurgence takes center stage, carrying formidable form and serving as the linchpin for DSM's success in 2024, as well as holding the key to challenging the dominance of Lorena Wiebes.

Rank 6
↑ 5
EF Education-Cannondale
In 2024, General Manager Esra Tromp undertook the monumental task of assembling EF Education's team roster from scratch, and her efforts have proven nothing short of remarkable. The squad she meticulously crafted embodies an aggressive racing spirit—no mere spectators, but formidable contenders determined to leave an indelible mark on races. Notable riders like Alison Jackson, Kristen Faulkner, Veronica Ewers, and Letizia Borghesi epitomize this ethos. EF Education's dynamic presence in races throughout February has yielded significant triumphs, including the New Zealand National Championship and Omloop van het Hageland. This success builds on their stellar performances in January with victories at Trofeo Palma Femina and Trofeo Felanitx-Colònia de Sant Jordi. The team's proactive and impactful racing style sets them apart, serving as a compelling example for others in the cycling world.
Rank 7
↓ 3
FDJ - SUEZ commands a formidable roster anchored by three of cycling's great athletes: Grace Brown, Marta Cavalli, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig.

Entering the season with remarkable depth, FDJ faced an unexpected turn as Grace Brown currently lacks the required form to compete, possibly aiming for an Olympic gold in 2024. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig has battled illness, and Marta Cavali has yet to hit the racecourse. However, this setback has unveiled the resilience of the team, as other riders like Vittoria Guazzini triumphed at Le Samyn des Dames, and Amber Kraak claimed a stage at the UAE Tour. This exemplifies the strength of a good team — the ability to perform consistently even when star players face challenges. The recent dip for FDJ mirrors the solid performances of other teams rather than being a failure to shine.

Rank 8 Team UAE ADQ
While UAE ADQ may not have secured a top-tier, race-winning rider for their roster, it's important to note that this pursuit may have been a challenging endeavor from the outset. Though we would have welcomed a move from Lotte or Demi to UAE.

Nevertheless, we maintain our optimism regarding Team UAE ADQ's potential to shine in smaller races and compete fiercely in major ones. Regrettably, their performance in February has left us with little anticipation of a major victory in March. Despite acknowledging the team's accomplishments in smaller races, the overall standing hasn't seen significant improvement. This potent roster, laden with potential, is undoubtedly in search of a race winner to further bolster their competitive prowess.

Rank 9
↓ 2
AG INSURANCE-SOUDAL QUICK-STEP's elevation to World Tour status in late 2023 marked a significant milestone. The team showcased efficacy by clinching the final stage and General Classification victory at the Women's Tour Down Under in Australia. Despite a quieter month in February, Ashleigh's consistent presence among cycling's heavy hitters in major races ensures the team is taken seriously as they remain positioned at the forefront. While the odds may not heavily favor them, AG Insurance-Soudal QUICK-STEP's unique and efficient development-focused approach sets the stage for potential major victories in March and beyond.
Rank 10 Movistar Team
Navigating a new era without their former lynchpin, Annemiek van Vleuten, the team is gradually finding their stride. Early successes in smaller Spanish races by riders such as Olivia Baril, Emma Norsgaard, and Arlenis Sierra have been notable. Achieving multiple top-five finishes in races like Trofeo Binissalem-Andratx, Vuelta CV Feminas, Women Cycling Pro Costa De Almería, Trofeo Felanitx-Colònia de Sant Jordi, and Craywinckelhof - Omloop van het Hageland, they have yet to secure noteworthy success in the early major races. Emma and Arlenis have displayed sprint potential at the conclusion of challenging races, although the team's fate often rests on external factors. Movistar remains optimistic, hoping races unfold favorably to secure results, and if circumstances align, they hold the potential to claim major victories in March.

Are Intermarché-Wanty the best team pound for pound?

As January transitioned to February, Intermarché-Wanty showcased their dominance in men's cycling, securing victories through Gerben Thijssen and Laurenz Rex. Their consistent presence and top-10 finishes at renowned events like Figueira Champions Classic, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Clasica de Almeria, Tour of Oman, and Faun-Ardèche Classic highlight their active approach to racing. Could Intermarché-Wanty be the pound-for-pound champions?

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Rank 1 Visma-Lease a Bike
February witnessed a remarkable display of prowess from the team, accumulating a total of 9 professional victories attributed to four different riders. Olav Kooij claimed victories in the Clasica de Almeria and UAE Tour Stage 5, while Wout Van Aert showcased his excellence in the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta Stage 3 and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. Jonas Vingegaard secured triumphs in O Gran Camiño's General Classification, Stage 4, Stage 3, and Stage 2, and Jan Tratnik added to the tally with a notable win in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

The team's early-season success is building anticipation, and with upcoming Grand Tours, featuring formidable riders like Sepp Kuss and Matteo Jorgenson, they appear poised to maintain their unstoppable momentum.

Rank 2 Team UAE ADQ
February 2024 witnessed an exceptional display of prowess from Brandon McNulty, Finn Fisher-Black, and Adam Yates, who collectively secured remarkable victories at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Muscat Classic, Tour of Oman, and UAE Tour. Notably, Juan Ayuso triumphed at Faun-Ardèche Classic, while Marc Hirschi seized victory at Faun Drôme Classic. The breadth of success across multiple riders underscores the remarkable depth of UAE Team, all without even mentioning the formidable Tadej Pogacar. As they gear up for the spring classics, the team appears poised to be an unstoppable force, with the only noticeable gap being the absence of a world-tier sprinter to represent them in bunch kicks.
Rank 3
↑ 3
Soudal Quick-Step
The dawggggg pound.

The unparalleled success of the leading men's professional cycling team continues to shine in February, clinching a remarkable total of 9 professional victories. Remco Evenepoel demonstrated his prowess with triumphs at Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta and Figueira Champions Classic, while Paul Mangier claimed victory at the Tour of Oman. Tim Merlier showcased exceptional sprinting prowess, securing three wins at the UAE Tour and two at the AlUla Tour.

However, overshadowing these victories is the unfortunate trend of General Manager Patrick Lefevere making embarrassing comments, notably directed at star rider Julian Alaphilippe. This pattern of public gaffes is regrettably becoming more frequent, casting a shadow on the team's otherwise stellar achievements.


Rank 4
↑ 3
Mads Pedersen's dominance has set Trek on an unstoppable trajectory as they gear up for the Classics. With an impressive performance, including three stage wins and an overall victory at Tour de la Provence, coupled with a stage win and General Classification win at Etoile de Bessèges, Pedersen stands as a formidable force. Supported by talents like Jonathan Milan, securing a stage win at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, and Mattias Skjelmose's consistent top-five finishes, Trek's star-studded roster signals a promising season ahead, particularly as they enter the thrilling Classics phase.

Mads makes this team special.

Rank 5
↑ 3
Wrapping up January with victories by Gerben Thijssen at Trofeo Palma and Laurenz Rex at Le Samyn, Intermarché-Wanty has continued its triumphant streak into February, with Thijssen once again claiming success at the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta. Pound for pound, this team is the champion of men's cycling.

Their dominance is not only reflected in multiple riders clinching victories but also in their consistent presence at the forefront of races. Noteworthy top-10 finishes at events like Figueira Champions Classic, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Clasica de Almeria, Tour of Oman, and Faun-Ardèche Classic by Vito Braet, Laurenz Rex, Gerben Thijssen, Alexy Faure Prost, and Lorenzo Rota respectively underline the team's active and competitive spirit, making them a captivating force on the cycling stage.

Particularly, the name Gerben Thijssen has been prominently surfacing in these events, warranting keen attention. If he secures a spot on their Tour de France team, he's a compelling choice for your Fantasy lineups.

Rank 6
↓ 3
BORA - Hansgrohe
Bolstered by a roster acknowledged as one of the most formidable in professional cycling, Bora boasts an impressive lineup including Jai Hindley, Vlasov, Matteo Sobrero, Nico Denz, and Danny van Poppel.

Their success in January extended into February, with Daniel Felipe Martinez achieving notable victories, outclassing the former World Champion, Remco Evenepoel, in two stages of the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta. As they approach the classics, this formidable group appears solid, with their major stars yet to make their mark, keeping the cycling community eagerly awaiting their imminent splash on the scene.

Rank 7
↓ 3
It has been a slow start to the year for Alpecin-Deceuninck. This should come as no surprise, as World Champion Mathieu van der Poel is yet to resume racing on the Road.

The team have found success through young ascending talent Axel Laurence who claimed the second stage of Etoile de Bessèges when he got the better of Mads Pedersen in a small-bunch kick. The u23 World Champion is poised to have a huge impact in 2024.

The six other additions in 2024, Luca Vergallito, Henri Uhlig, Timo Kielich, Stan Van Tricht, Lars Boven, and Juri Hollmann are ready to contribute heavily to the team's success heading into March and the Classics.

When Mathieu van der Poel returns to Road racing this will be the team to beat.

Rank 8
↓ 3
INEOS Grenadiers
Ineos has faced a sluggish start to the year, securing just one victory in the individual time trial at O Gran Camiño through Joshua Tarling. Despite this, the team has positioned itself well with nearly a dozen top-10 finishes. Notably, the squad entered the year with a challenge – a lack of proven race winners.

This may seem peculiar given the presence of seasoned riders like Geraint Thomas and Ella Viviani, but it has indeed been a while since these athletes tasted the success they are renowned for. The statistics underscore the team's struggle, closing out 2023 with a modest 10 victories, with three of them in individual time trials. The roster boasts undeniable quality, yet the pivotal question lingers: Can the newly appointed management, featuring Steve Cummings as director of racing, Scott Drawer as the performance director, and John Allert as the CEO, harness the potential of this talented lineup and guide Ineos back to their winning ways? The outcome remains to be seen.

Rank 9
↑ 2
Team Jayco AlUla
Following a quiet start at their home races in January, Jayco promptly asserted their presence on the international stage. Notably, Caleb Ewan secured a victory at the Tour of Oman, showcasing his prowess at the forefront of competitions. However, the team's success wasn't limited to Ewan; Simon Yates claimed both Stage 5 and the General Classification at the AlUla Tour, Michael Matthews triumphed at the Ruta de la Cerámica - Gran Premio Castellón, and Dylan Groenewegen clinched the victory at the Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana 1969 - Gran Premi València.

As March approaches, Jayco faces a significant test, boasting strength not only in their successful sprinters but also in the capabilities of new addition Luke Plapp and the seasoned Simon Yates. The upcoming month will be a litmus test for Jayco's ability to compete head-to-head with the best in the world. Their performance over March will determine whether they can ascend further on the leaderboard or if they risk slipping out of the top 10 rankings.

Rank 10 Groupama - SUEZ
In the past month, Groupama demonstrated their belief in cultivating youthful talent for success in 2024, a strategy that seems to be paying off. Rising French rider Romain Grégoire showcased his capabilities by securing a commendable second place at the Faun-Ardèche Classic, triumphing over Trek's Mattias Skjelmose. Lenny Martinez emerged as a standout performer, claiming victories at the Classic Var and Trofeo Laigueglia, and showcasing his prowess at O Gran Camiño, where he clinched the Youth Classification, secured second place overall in the General Classification, and graced the podium in Stage 4.

The team's ability to maintain their standing on the leaderboard hinges on the collective efforts of established riders like David Gaudu, Stefan Kung, and Valentin Madouas.

Groupama also celebrated success through Kevin Geniets, who emerged victorious at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Marseille La Marseillaise.

The shifting dynamics within teams and the ever-unpredictable nature of the sport make each ranking a snapshot of the current landscape. Don't miss out on the upcoming insights and updates. Follow us on social media to stay in the loop as we drop our next article at the beginning of March.

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