Riders 91-100 in our countdown of the 100 Best Road Riders of 2017
- Photos by Yuzuru Sunada, unless otherwise stated
91. Julien Vermote
28, Belgium, Quick-Step Floors
Few riders worked harder than Julien Vermote during the Tour de France. A domestique’s duty is often hidden during Grand Tours, setting the pace at the front of the bunch before the live pictures are streamed around the world. However, with start-to-finish live TV pictures, Vermote’s effort was revealed as he spent hundreds of kilometres at the head of the peloton. It worked: sprinter Marcel Kittel bagged five stages.
92. Jakub Mareczko
23, Italy, Wilier Triestina–Selle Italia
In terms of pure wins, Mareczko was not beaten in 2017 having claimed 14 victories, a feat only equalled by Marcel Kittel and Fernando Gaviria. Those wins came from just four races: Tour de Bretagne, Tour of Hainan, Tour de Langkawi and Tour of Taihu Lake, the latter of which he won five stages and the overall.
93. John Degenkolb
28, Germany, Trek-Segafredo
Degenkolb looked to be returning to his best in 2017, having all but recovered from that horrific training crash in early 2016 that saw him nearly lose a finger. He was back in action in the Classics, posting fifth in Ghent-Wevelgem, seventh in Milan-San Remo and Flanders, and 10th in Paris-Roubaix.
94. Jarlinson Pantano
28, Colombia, Trek-Segafredo
Pantano played super-domestique in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España for the now retired Alberto Contador, and must now surely move up to become a Grand Tour player in his own right in 2018 to fill the void left by the Spaniard. He’s earned it.
95. Christine Majerus
30, Luxembourg, Boels-Dolmans
First spot in the GP Elsy Jacobs saw Majerus add her name to a string of former winners that include Anna van der Breggen and Marianne Vos. She also – once again – dominated the Luxembourg national championships, taking the cyclocross, road and time trial titles – the latter for the 11th consecutive year.
96. Michael Albasini
36, Switzerland, Orica-Scott
Despite edging closer to 40, Albasini put in one of his most successful seasons to date, winning stages of the Tour of the Basque Country and Tour de Romandie, winning Coppa Ugo Agostoni plus top 10s in the likes of Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
97. Fabio Felline
27, Italy, Trek-Segafredo
The Tour de Romandie prologue win, victory in Trofeo Laigueglia and an impressive array of top 20 places in the Spring Classics showed how versatile Felline is – and that is in addition to his work for team leader Alberto Contador during the Tour de France.
98. Tony Martin
32, Germany, Katusha-Alpecin
A switch from Quick-Step to Katusha didn’t really pay off for German time trial powerhouse Tony Martin, as he failed to match the number of wins from previous years. However, he still managed to grab a handful of top-five placings in major stage races, a stage win at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and the German TT title. In 2018, he’s gunning for the Classics.
99. Michael Woods
31, Canada, Cannondale-Drapac
Late bloomer Woods found was given his first taste of Grand Tours in 2017, riding in both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. A solid result in the Giro set him up for an impressive Vuelta, where he finished in seventh spot overall and put in a particularly strong ride in the mountains.
100. Peter Kennaugh
28, Great Britain, Team Sky
Kennaugh’s final season with Team Sky saw him take a memorable victory on stage seven of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Alpe d’Huez. The Manxman battled with former Sky team-mate and fellow Brit Ben Swift, but slipped away in the final kilometres.