DEPUTY EDITOR - EUROPE, CYCLINGNEWS
BEST MALE RIDER
With the Tour and two monuments, Tadej Pogačar had one of the best campaigns of all time, never mind this year.
BEST FEMALE RIDER
Annemiek van Vleuten counted the Tour of Flanders, Olympic time trial, and La Vuelta Challenge among her 12 highquality victories. She landed on the lower slopes of the podium 10 times, so it could have been a non- contest.
WHO ELSE IMPRESSED?
Wout van Aert winning a mountain stage, bunch sprint, and TT in one Tour was a staggering display of versatility. Demi Vollering has set herself up as the next major force in women’s cycling.
BEST ONE- DAY RACE
The men’s road race at the Worlds was captivating from the start and pulsating by the finish. It had drama, panache, controversy and the best atmosphere at a bike race since pre-pandemic times.
BEST STAGE RACE
A heavy-metal edition of Tirrenodelivered spectacular blasts of epic moments from big-name players, while the symphony of Itzulia Basque Country was more tactically intricate and held together better as a whole. You decide.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Deceuninck- Quick Step were the best team by objective measures but, throwing in a little context, Alpecin- Fenix were outstanding. The second- division team finished sixth in the World Ranking, ahead of 13 WorldTour squads. Tim Merlier and Jasper Philipsen spread the success beyond Mathieu van der Poel and the whole squad consistently appeared more than the sum of its limited parts.
RACING HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR
Anna Kiesenhofer’s Olympic win was one of the biggest sporting upsets of all time and one of the great Olympic stories.
MVP OF THE YEAR
There’s a saying that the fastest sprinter in the world is the one being led out by Michael Mørkøv. He was directly involved in 13 victories across three riders, making an effortless switch between Sam Bennett and Mark Cavendish.
BEST NEW SIGNING?
Following on from the above, Cavendish resurrected his career from the ashes at Quick Step. Given he was effectively a free transfer, bringing along a sponsor to cover his own salary, it was a storming success on both sides.