Cycling Weekly is revealing the top 50 2012 British Riders of the Year, counting down every day until December 19.
The top 10 will be revealed in Cycling Weekly’s Christmas issue, on sale from Thursday December 20.
36th NIKKI HARRIS
As long as the terrain is rough and the going tough, Nikki Harris is at home. Whether it be on the frozen, muddy tracks of the cyclo-cross circuit or the rocky, barren ground on a mountain bike.
In January, Harris was runner-up to Helen Wyman in the national cyclo-cross championships for the third successive year but when it came to the World Championships on the uniquely challenging Koksijde course she out-performed her compatriot.
Harris finished sixth, her best result at the Worlds. She also had a string of podium finishes in the cross races in Belgium and the Netherlands.
During the summer, she was fourth in the National Road Race Championships and then won the National Mountain Bike Championships, demonstrating an impressive versatility.
She has started the current cyclo-cross season in blistering form, winning four times in Belgium – including in the prestigious Koppenberg event – and finishing on the podium at the World Cup in Plzen, Czech Republic before taking third place in the European Championships, held in Ipswich.
She’s been knocking on the door a while now, perhaps a really big win is beckoning.
35th RUSSELL DOWNING
There’s life after Sky
After two years and some great results with Team Sky, Russell Downing joined Endura Racing and picked up where he had left off.
Downing enjoyed a number of major wins as Endura continued to impress in Europe. He won the GP de Lillers in northern France, a stage of the Circuit des Ardennes and a stage of the Tour of Norway.
At the Tour of Britain, his assistance was invaluable to Jonathan Tiernan-Locke and at home, he won a couple of rounds of the Premier Calendar.
It may be an ailing competition at the moment but nothing will diminish the Lincoln Grand Prix. It is still a very hard bike race.
Downing has won it four times now and the cobbled climb of Michaelgate really ought to be renamed Downing Street, if only on race day.
Don’t agree with our choice of riders? You can vote for your top 10 British Riders of 2012 on the CW website. When Tweeting about our countdown or your nominees, use the #ridersoftheyear hashtag. We’ll be running your choice in a future issue.
Riders revealed so far…
December 6: Numbers 38-37 – Anthony Kappes and Andy Fenn
December 5: Numbers 40-39 – Josh Edmondson and Matt Bottrill
December 4: Numbers 42-41 – Luke Rowe and Michael Hutchinson
December 3: Numbers 44-43 – Sam Lowe and Jon Dibben
December 2: Numbers 46-45 – Rebecca James and Jessica Varnish
December 1: Numbers 50-47 – Alex Peters, Kristian House, Richard Handley and Wendy Houvenaghel