Did you know that Michal Kwiatkowski is the best World Champion since Tom Boonen wore a rainbow jersey in 2006?
Of course 2015 is just at its beginning, but we can consider the first part of cycling spring as some kind of hint. I?ve decided to take Paris-Roubaix as a final part of the season and counted points in CQ Ranking (that merges World Tour and non World Tour races) gained by each world champion since Tom Boonen.
The Belgian hero had a superb spring in 2006. He won stages in Qatar, Paris-Nice and Andalusia. He was 4th in Milan-Sanremo and had extremely successful cobbles campaign with victories in Ronde van Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Scheldeprijs. He was also 2nd in Paris – Roubaix and all that results gave him 1451 points.
The next champion, Paolo Bettini was just about to end his career when he won his titles. Both his seasons in rainbow jersey were rather poor. In 2007 he collected 76 and in 2008 65 points, winning only once.
Alessandro Ballan had even worse time. To be honest he was almost invisible. However 108 ranking points was more than legendary Bettini was able to achieve.
Cadel Evans provided some strong performances in 2010 Tour Down Under, Tirreno-Adriatico and Criterium International that gave him 442 points – it?s the second best result on the list.
In 2011 Thor Hushovd was only able to be 8th in Paris-Roubaix.
Mark Cavendish earned 4 wins in the spring of 2012 (2 in Qatar, 1 in Tirreno – Adriatico plus a Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne semi-classic). As a sprinter he didn’t get much points for GCs, so he was only able to get 251 ranking points.
Philippe Gilbert after supreme years in Lotto faded in BMC but saved his 2012 season with a world championship. However, early spring of 2013 was a disaster for him with only 79 points!
In 2014 Rui Costa had a few nice performances: he was able to get 2nd place in Paris – Nice and Volta a Algarve that gave him 375 points.
And here comes Kwiatkowski. As last year he has great early season. He was the 2nd rider of Paris-Nice and impressed us with performance on mountainous stages. What?s more, he won a prologue, so that he has a win on his account as a world champion. He added 2nd place in Algarve and 8th in Basque Country, where he slightly missed two stage wins. He was also visible on the cobbles with a 4th place in Dwars Door Vlaanderen. All that results brought 664 points, that make him a world champion with the best season opening since Tom Boonen in 2006!
Kwiatkowski has a great, offensive style: he attacks a lot and searches for opportunities and also helps his teammates if they are in terrain that suits them better. He?s definitely a world champion who deserves his rainbow jersey. What?s more, his main goal for the first part of the season are Ardennes, so we have to believe, that earlier this year he was a little bit under-trained.
|Rider||Wears rainbow jersey in year…||CQ Ranking points from Jan 1 to Paris-Roubaix|