SO­PHIE HURCOM

Procycling - - REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2018 - Staff writer

BEST MALE RIDER

2018 be­longed to Ju­lian Alaphilippe. He won 12 times, in­clud­ing Flèche, two Tour stages and the KoM jer­sey, and San Se­bastián. Peo­ple say more riders with char­ac­ter, who race with style and panache, are needed and Alaphilippe has it in spades.

BEST FE­MALE RIDER

Anna van der Breggen toned it down in 2018, even tak­ing a mid-sea­son MTB break, but the way she identi!ied gaps in her pal­marès, cherry picked races to win and then ex­e­cuted, stands out. Her 32 ca­reer wins now in­clude Strade Bianche, Flan­ders and, !in­ally, the road world ti­tle.

WHO ELSE IM­PRESSED?

For al­ways go­ing on the at­tack: Thibaut Pinot, Vin­cenzo Nibali, Si­mon Yates. For prov­ing ev­ery­one wrong: Geraint Thomas. For !ly­ing un­der the radar with the most con­sis­tent year: Steven Krui­jswijk. He was top 10 at ev­ery stage race un­til July and then came !ifth at the Tour and fourth at the Vuelta.

BEST ONE DAY RACE

The Strade Bianche men's and women's races are the ob­vi­ous choices, but the !inale of Mi­lan-San Remo is why the term 'edge-ofthe-seat' was coined.

BEST STAGE RACE

The Giro was again the most talked­about grand tour and forced my head and stom­ach to !ight dur­ing stage 19, as I couldn’t de­cide when was best to run to the shop and get lunch.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Quick-Step were ruth­less, but had a galaxy of stars at their dis­posal. Lot­toNL"Jumbo, mean­while, ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions by plac­ing a rider in the top 10 of ev­ery grand tour, in­clud­ing two Tour top !ives.

UP AND COM­ING RIDER

Sam Oomen. The Dutch climber was MVP for Tom Du­moulin at the Giro, where he also !in­ished ninth on his !irst com­plete grand tour. He then set up his com­pa­triot for the Höll climb at the Worlds road race. With Sun­web en­dur­ing an ex­o­dus of do­mes­tiques, ex­pect Oomen to be even more key.

MEM­ORY OF THE YEAR

Chris Froome’s squeaky train­ers sig­nalling his ar­rival for an in­ter­view at 11pm at the Sky ho­tel in Pau, the night of the stage 20 TT. The fast food din­ner ran long into the evening as Thomas’s win was all but sealed.

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