Belgium for January

Sven Nys of Belgium
The 2012 Global Cup kicks off with a lean month pointswise.
January 2011 distributed 3471 points, 4,1% of the yearly total (was 3,1% in 2010) but January 2012 is much more sparing…
with only 429 points up for grabs in the Australian Tennis Open, the Speed skating Sprint World Championships and the Cyclo Cross World Championships.
In January 2011 France came top in the ranking, ahead of Japan, Austria, Sweden and Denmark.
The ranking this year is dominated by Belgium: at the heart of Europe the Cyclo Cross pulse beats strong: Belgium clinched the first 7 positions in the Men Cyclo Cross World Championships held on home ground in Koksijde. If that was not enough, they also came third in the Women. All of this plus Kim Clijsters reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Tennis Open were enough for first place in the Global Cup’s first month of 2012, followed by the Netherlands, Spain, Serbia and Russia.
Surprisingly, the Global Cup 2011 winners, USA, finished only 12th in January 2012, thanks to placements in the Speed skating World Championships and the Women Cyclo Cross Worlds. Of the notable lack of US Tennis success we write about elsewhere.
Apart from Russia, who kicked off to a decent start thanks to Maria Sharapova at the Australian Tennis Open and one placement in the Speed skating Worlds, the other heavyweight nations are biding their time: China lies 10th and Germany is nowhere to be seen.
Good news for diversity, though for the mighty Americans last year “only” 3 monthly victories (June, July and September) were sufficient to triumph overall. And 2012 is an Olympic year…
So let Belgium enjoy success while the giants lie in wait.