Rodriguez amassed points in the ranking - based on results in counting events on the UCI's World Calendar - with a string of wins and podium places throughout the season. An overall win in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, along with stage wins at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana propelled Rodriguez to the top of the table.
Tour de France winner Alberto Contador (Astana) finished in second place in the ranking. Controversially, Contador is currently banned from competing pending further investigation into a positive test for banned drug clenbuterol during the Tour. Contador topped the 2009 World Ranking.
Tour of Lombardy winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) jumped up to third from seventh thanks to his solo win in Saturday's season-ending Italian classic to complete the top three of the 2010 World Ranking. http://thecyclingsideoftheforce.blogspot.com/
Britain's highest-placed rider was Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia), in 22nd place thanks to his stage wins in the Tour de France (five), Vuelta a Espana (three), Tour de Romandie (one) and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (one).
Spain finished as top nation with four riders in the top ten. Britain finished 16th nation.
Saxo Bank made a last-minute charge to usurp Astana at the top of the team ranking with British-based Team Sky finishing 15th in its first season.
The World Ranking is compiled using a points system, with points awarded for one-day race, tour stage and stage race overall finishing positions for events in the UCI's World Calendar.
The amount of points awarded depends on the ranking of the event. For example, winning the Tour de France overall gives a rider twice as many points as winning the Eneco Tour overall.
Next season the ProTour and Historic races have been combined to form a new World Tour, which will serve as the basis for the 2011 ranking.
Joaquin Rodriguez: Key 2010 results
Overall winner, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
Winner, Tour de France stage 12
Winner, Vuelta a Espana stage 14
Winner, Vuelta a Pais Vasco stage 5
Second, La Fleche Wallonne
Fourth overall, Vuelta a Espana
Fourth overall, Vuelta a Pais Vasco
Fifth, Clasica San Sebastian
Eighth overall, Tour de France
Ninth overall, Tour de Suisse
UCI World Ranking 2010: Final standings
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 551 points
2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 482
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 437
4. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 403
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 390
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 390
7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 369
8. Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Transitions 307
9. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions 306
10. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 301
22. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia 198
57. Roger Hammond (GB) Cervelo 90
132. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky 18
144. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky 15
162. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions 10
254. Steve Cummings (GB) Team Sky 1
275. Adam Blythe (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto 1