Riders 71-80 in our countdown of the 100 Best Road Riders of 2016
71. Caleb Ewan
22, Australia, Orica-BikeExchange
The Australian sprinter’s prolific start to the season on home roads slowed down once he reached Europe, although he did manage victories in the WorldTour-ranked EuroEyes Cyclassics and at the Tour of Britain. A debut Giro ride proved a little overwhelming and he retired with just one podium finish to his name; but, aged just 22, he’ll be a multiple Grand Tour sprint winner before long.
72. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio
30, South Africa, Cervélo-Bigla
Always aggressive and particularly effective in the hills, Moolman-Pasio notched up two GC victories in short stage races this year, both of which played to her strength as an accomplished time triallist. Both were smaller events and results have been less consistent against the bigger teams.
73. Matteo Trentin
27, Italy, Etixx-QuickStep
He’s neither the quickest sprinter nor the strongest Classics specialist, but there are few riders you’d rather not have to face-off against in a breakaway than the cunning Matteo Trentin. The Italian’s 2016 highlight was winning the Giro stage to Pinerolo, where in two breathless kilometres he attacked the chasing group, caught the leading duo and sprinted to victory.
74. Simon Gerrans
36, Australia, Orica-BikeExchange
Gerrans’s start to the year looked like it could be a 2016 to remember for the veteran Australian, winning the Tour Down Under in impressive style. But his return to Europe was once again plagued by injury, memorably crashing out of the Tour de France on stage 12. He was back for the Vuelta a España however, and played a vital supporting role in Esteban Chaves’s GC campaign.
75. Mikel Landa
26, Spain, Team Sky
Team Sky signed Landa in the hope that he would win the Giro d’Italia; but despite the seemingly effortless manner with which he won the preparatory Giro del Trentino, was forced to abandon with illness. He was instead reassigned to the Tour, where he proved himself to be yet another formidable cog in Chris Froome’s yellow jersey-winning machine.
76. Annemiek van Vleuten
34, Netherlands, Orica-AIS
Four weeks after the horror crash which saw the world hold its breath and Van Vleuten’s Olympic dreams ended, the 34-year-old returned to racing by winning the Lotto Belgium Tour. These achievements perhaps overshadowed a string of early season top 10 and time trial victories in the lead up to the Games.
77. Diego Rosa
27, Italy, Astana
A beaming Diego Rosa walking across the finish line on stage five at the Tour of the Basque Country with his bike triumphantly held aloft was among the most memorable images of 2016. The 100km lone break to win that stage was spectacular, but perhaps the performance that will really excite new employers Team Sky was his resilient ride to finish second at Il Lombardia.
78. Darwin Atapuma
28, Colombia, BMC Racing
The plucky Colombian’s ultimately futile efforts to pull off a Grand Tour win was one of the most compelling of both the Giro and the Vuelta. He left neither race empty handed, however, with ninth overall in the former marking a Grand Tour career-high, and a four-day stint in the red jersey in the latter bringing him unprecedented attention.
79. Rui Costa
30, Portugal, Lampre-Merida
The rider famed for landing sly, stealthy wins unusually found himself frequently outmanoeuvred this season – most notably by Wout Poels at the finale of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, then when finishing second on the Tour’s stage to Arcalis after Tom Dumoulin had been allowed to slip off the front. Multiple stage race top-10s nonetheless ensured a solid, albeit winless, season.
80. Katrin Garfoot
35, Australia, Orica-AIS
Garfoot started the year winning the Australian national time trial championships and finished it in third place in the World Championships. It was a break out year for the 35-year-old, proving her pedigree against the clock and notching up a top-10 results on the road throughout the season.