The USA back on top of the Global Cup in June 2012

M. Spence of GBR, 2012 World Pentathlon champion

 The USA are back where they belong: at the top of the Global Cup ranking.

Their upstart North American cousins, Canada, have been overtaken in June with a 21% points margin but still retain second place, ahead of the Russian Bear and the Chinese Dragon.

The US have shifted gears in June by claiming points in several sports other than Winter Sports, which had so far dominated the scene with 49.1% of all GSN points awarded in the year. Team USA scored in Golf, their best sport so far, Water Polo, Track Cycling, Modern Pentathlon, Marathon, Diving, Cyclo Cross and BMX: their strength, as usual, is in the range of their winning performances.
Canada’s strength remains Winter Sports, though they did clinch 10,5% of their points in other sports, including Ryder Hesjedal’s win at the Giro d’Italia.
What about old Europe? Russia aside, the top European nation so far is Great Britain (fifth in the Global Cup overall): a remarkable achievement considering they earned precious little points in Winter Sports. The bulk has come from Rugby Union (30% of their points) and the Track Cycling World Championships (GBR were inches behind hosts and winners Australia) but notable performances came from the Snooker Worlds and especially the Modern Pentathlon girls. Mhairi Spence struck gold at the 2012 World Championships, Samantha Murray was bronze, and together they led the Women’s Team to overall victory.
Behind GBR in the European ranking we have Germany and surprising Austria...still in the top ten despite having scored only 5 points (at the Track Cycling Worlds) away from Winter Sports.
Austria is one of the most improved countries vs the 2011 Global Cup final ranking. They are 9 positions ahead vs last year, on par with Canada, while another Euro surprise, the Netherlands, follow them closely at + 8 positions.
The most improved country positions-wise is also European: Finland, 13th overall, are twelve positions ahead of their finish last year, thanks to Ice Hockey and Snowboarding.
Finally, a mention for two other Euro nations:  France (-11 positions) and Italy (- 7 positions) have lost the most positions, among the top 20, vs 2011: they are now respectively 15th and 16th, and badly need success in the summer sports.
The Olympics are just round a corner and offer them a chance fro improvement, while for the Winter nations the going will get tougher.