Riders 61-70 in our countdown of the 100 Best Road Riders of 2017
- Photos by Yuzuru Sunada, unless otherwise stated
61. Tomasz Marczynski
33, Poland, Lotto-Soudal
The career of the erstwhile little-known 33-year old Tomasz Marczynski will be remembered for two days at this year’s Vuelta – stage six, where he won a three-man sprint to seal what was by far his highest profile result, and stage 12, where he proved that ride was no fluke by winning in even more impressive fashion via a lone attack.
62. David de la Cruz
28, Spain, Quick-Step Floors
There won’t be many opportunities for David de la Cruz to ride for himself when he joins up with the Sky juggernaut next season, but he made the most of his freedom at Quick-Step Floors by winning from breakaways at Paris-Nice and Tour of the Basque Country. A penultimate stage crash harshly denied the Spaniard of a repeat top ten finish at the Vuelta, however.
63. Niki Terpstra
33, Netherlands, Quick-Step Floors
Quick-Step Floors most dependable classics star didn’t claim any wins for himself this year and crashed out of Paris-Roubaix, but still played a key support role. He marshalled the leading group of chasers at the Tour of Flanders as Philippe Gilbert was on his epic race-winning attack, and later leading out Matteo Trentin to win Paris-Tours, while also himself finishing third in both races.
64. Yves Lampaert
26, Belgium, Quick-Step Floors
There were more fleeting signs this year that Yves Lampaert is poised to become Quick-Step Floors’ latest classics star. The 26-year old won Dwars door Vlaanderen in the spring with a powerful solo attack, became Belgium’s time trial champion, and wore the red jersey for a day at the Vuelta a España after taking the sprinters by surprise to claim the opening road stage.
65. Alexey Lutsenko
25, Kazakhstan, Astana
Riding with the same sense of gung-ho attacking as his team manager and fellow Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, Alexey Lutsenko this year built upon previous victories at under-23 level and in the last few seasons at Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse to achieve success at an even higher level, with a breakaway stage win at the Vuelta a Espana.
66. Oliver Naesen
27, Belgium, Agr2-La Mondiale
Having shown signs of promise in the summer of 2016, Oliver Naesen was one of the most impressive performers in this year’s spring classics. A consistent run of top ten finishes peaked with third at E3 Harelbeke, and he even looked set to compete for victory at the Tour of Flanders before going down in a crash with Peter Sagan and Greg van Avermaet.
67. Esteban Chaves
27, Colombia, Orica-Scott
Esteban Chaves – remember him? The little Colombian appeared on the brink of greatness following an excellent 2016, but problems with a knee injury meant we had to wait until the Vuelta in August to catch even sporadic glimpses of the widest style in cycling, where he spent a week on the podium before fading to eleventh overall.
68. Vasil Kiryienka
36, Belarus, Team Sky
For the fourth time in his career, Kiryienka was part of a Grand Tour winning team, putting in long, early shifts in his inimitably stolid manner to help Chris Froome seal the yellow jersey. The Belarusian also enjoyed reasonable success for himself in time trials, podiuming at the Tour’s Grand Depart in Dusseldorf and managing fifth at the Worlds.
69. Pierre Rolland
31, France, Cannondale-Drapac
Pierre Rolland was as much a presence as ever in the breakaways of Grand Tour mountain stages, with one key difference – this time he actually won a stage. The Frenchman’s solo victory on a transitional stage during the final week of the Giro d’Italia was due reward for his persistence, with the added bonus of ending his team’s two-year drought for a Grand Tour stage win.
70. Ion Izagirre
28, Spain, Bahrain-Merida
2017 was meant to be there year Ion Izagirre relieved himself of domestique duties at Movistar to realise his potential as a leader in his own right at Bahrain-Merida, and indeed he impressed early on with regular World Tour top tens. Unfortunately, his major goal disintegrated within minutes when he crashed out of the opening time-trial stage of the Tour de France.