1. Kevin Pauwels (2) – Pauwels not only swaps places with Nys again, but also offers some fighting words: “The less popular Nys gets, the more popular I get,” he said, despite insisting that their rivalry was still respectful.
2. Sven Nys (1) – but for a flat tire we’d likely have seen another Pauwels-Nys duel to the end in Igorre. Their duel is likely to continue.
3. Tom Meeusen (3) – Meeusen won several big races last year but is still waiting to break through this year. He’s built form admirably and is slugging it out and reeling in podium results.
4. Bart Aernouts (5) – if Stybar’s difficulties and Albert’s absence make life easier for anybody, it’s for Meeusen and Aernouts, who have been regularly and reliably fighting each other for the final spot on the podium.
5. Francis Mourey (6) – Mourey gets a bump in the Power Rankings for the simple fact that despite not routinely racing the top-tier of the Euro circuit, he races where he knows how to win and then comes to big races and performs very, very well at them.
6. Zdenek Stybar (5) – Unlike Mourey, Stybar is simply struggling to perform well. He rides at the front and then fades near the end. He’s a far cry from his World Championship winning form, and he knows it.
7. Rob Peeters (7) – Peeters got off to a fast start in Igorre but wound up not finishing the race. His performance, abridged though it may have been, was impressive, and we think his form is coming around to fight near the front of the race more frequently.
8. Dieter Vanthorenhout (9) – Another respectable performance at the World Cup, and Dieter climbs a hair in the rankings.
9. Radomir Simunek (nr) – Simu comes back after a brief absence – and this time, he didn’t ride his bicycle into a log to break his fork.
10. Klaas Vantornout (6) – on a day when his teammate won, the tall Vantornout struggled and finished poorly, sending him dropping down the power rankings.
Dropped this week: Bart Wellens.