Riders 81-90 in our countdown of the 100 Best Road Riders of 2017
- Photos by Yuzuru Sunada, unless otherwise stated
81. Gorka Izagirre
30, Spain, Movistar
Gorka Izagirre’s first season riding separately from his younger brother Ion since 2010 was also the first year he emerged from his shadow, claiming what was by far the biggest result of his career with a stage win at the Giro. Their sibling harmony nevertheless remains fully intact, if his decision to reunite with Ion at Bahrain-Merida next year is anything to go by.
82. Marianne Vos
30, Netherlands, WM3 Pro Cycling
It’s unlikely we’ll ever see Marianne Vos return to the sublime levels that saw her dominate the peloton before injuries disrupted her career in 2015, but she remains a formidable force and prolific winner. Only two riders bettered her tally of nine victories, among them the European Championships road race and Tour of Norway, although she wasn’t quite up to speed in the biggest races.
83. Tejay van Garderen
29, USA, BMC Racing
Is Tejay van Garderen all washed up as a Grand Tour GC rider? We’re still not sure. At the Giro, the agony of another capitulation followed by the ecstasy of a breakaway win suggested he might rebrand himself as a stage-hunter, but something like the Tejay of old re-emerged at the Vuelta for a resilient 10th overall – his highest Grand Tour placing since 2014.
84. Ben Hermans
31, Belgium, BMC Racing
Having briefly emerged from the shadow of his better-known BMC teammates by winning the Tour of Oman, Ben Hermans spent most of the rest of the season in his more familiar role as reliable but unspectacular domestique. Not content with spending his peak years in a supporting role, the 31-year old Belgian will ride for the second tier Israel Cycling Academy team next season.
85. Soren Kragh Andersen
23, Denmark, Team Sunweb
Having only turned 23 in August, Soren Kragh Andersen is rapidly developing into one of the peloton’s hottest young prospects. In his second season for Team Sunweb, the Dane nearly won Paris-Tours (being out-sprinted into second by Matteo Trentin), posted two top-three Vuelta bunch sprint finishes at his debut Grand Tour, and was part of the gold-winning team time trial outfit at the Worlds.
86. Rui Costa
31, Portugal, UAE Team Emirates
An early season overall victory at the Abu Dhabi Tour hinted that maybe Rui Costa had rediscovered his killer instinct, but the rest of the season devolved into another series of promising yet frustrating near misses, the kind of which have become synonymous with the Portuguese rider since his career peak of becoming world champion in 2013. Three runner-up placings at the Giro was particularly vexatious.
87. Egan Bernal
20, Colombia, Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec
Not only did Egan Bernal join Nairo Quintana, Esteban Chaves and Miguel Angel Lopez as the latest Colombian to win the Tour de l’Avenir, he also held his own in several senior Italian races. That was enough to land the 20-year-old a contract with Team Sky for 2018, and if the development of the aforementioned Colombians is anything to go by, we’ll be ranking him a lot higher in future years.
88. Maciej Bodnar
31, Poland, Bora-Hansgrohe
Without losing the selflessness that helps make him such a great domestique for Peter Sagan and co, Maciej Bodnar has developed into one of the best time triallists in the peloton. His day in the sun came in Marseille at the Tour de France when he won the final time trial stage, and he proved that wasn’t a fluke by winning silver at the European Championships.
89. Lars Boom
31, Netherlands, LottoNL-Jumbo
Lars Boom’s obscene gesture upon winning a stage at the BinckBank Tour was not the celebration of a man content with how his season was going, and expressed his frustrations at a failed Classics campaign as well as omission from the Vuelta squad. However, he did thoroughly make up for that snub by winning the Tour of Britain.
90. Chloe Hosking
27, Australia, Alé–Cipollini
After the career high last year of winning La Course, Chloe Hosking had a more modest season riding for new team Ale Cipollini, sprinting her way to four victories including the Leamington Spa stage of the Women’s Tour. Instead it was for off-bike matters that she made the headlines, when she successfully appealed Australia’s bizarre decision not to select her for the World Championships.