The annual Cycling Weekly Awards in association with Garmin take place for the second time this year on November 28 in London, and we’re already taking an early look at the possible contenders for our riders of the year categories.
Places are by no means cemented at this points, particularly with some of cycling’s biggest events, including the Tour de France and Yorkshire World Championships, still to come, but we’ve decided to analyse some of the front runners at the halfway point in the year.
Let us know on social media who you think should be considered for each respective category.
Male rider of the year
One of Britain’s brightest young talents, Ethan Hayter has already had an outstanding 2019, winning the A Travers les Hauts stage race in France, two stages and the points jersey in the Baby Giro, and the U23 British national road title.
Adam Yates heads into the 2019 Tour de France in fine form. Second place overall at the Tirreno-Adriatico was followed up with a stage win and second overall at the Volta a Catalunya, a stage win and fifth overall at the Tour of the Basque Country, as well as fourth place in a gruelling edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
EF Education First’s Hugh Carthy has begun to come into his own in the WorldTour in 2019. A dedicated domestique, with free rein he showed his climbing prowess in an attacking display at the Giro d’Italia, where he finished 11th overall. A first top-level victory followed in June at the Tour de Suisse, where Carthy went on a near-100km solo break to win the queen stage.
Confirming his all-round talent, Tom Pidcock has had another impressive year so far, particularly on the cyclocross bike. He took his first senior British cross national title as well as the U23 World title, before switching back to the road. The 19-year-old made history in June after becoming the first British rider to win the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs.
Female rider of the year in association with Lazer
Alice Barnes had a relatively quiet year up until June, but made her season an outright success in late June. The 23-year-old became the first rider since Emma Pooley in 2010 to win both the British national road title and the British national time trial title in two outstanding rides.
Elinor Barker continued to stake her claim as one of Britain’s best all-round track talents as she impressively won the scratch race world title in February amongst a stacked field. The Welshwoman also took silver in the team pursuit at the World Championships in Poland.
Another rider with talent both on the road and on the track, Jess Roberts is focusing more on the track this year but has continued to deliver outstanding results all round. After two phenomenal wins over established sprinter Kirsten Wild at the Tour de Bretagne in June, Roberts went on to take European Games silver in the team pursuit and gold in the Madison at the end of the month.
Returning to racing after more than a year away, you could have forgiven Lizzie Deignan for struggling to find her feet by now. But a seventh place in her third race back, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, was a sign of things to come. From there the former world champion went on to take a stage win, the points classification and the overall in the Women’s Tour in June.
International rider of the year in association with Sigma Sports
Mathieu van der Poel
Cyclocross world champion Mathieu van der Poel made his biggest foray into road racing in his career in 2019. The prodigiously talented Dutchman has won six races in just 15 race days this year, while also taking fourth place on his Tour of Flanders debut after fighting back from a crash. His sensational victory at Amstel Gold Race will also live long in the memory.
It’s hard to look past Julian Alaphilippe as the star of the season so far. The Frenchman has simply been a phenomenon; with powerful displays of climbing, sprinting and time trialling. His standout wins are surely his victories in Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, while he’s showing he’s the new king of La Flèche Wallonne.
Anna van der Breggen
Last year’s winner of this award Anna van der Breggen may not have had the flying start she had to 2018, but she’s nonetheless been impressive, winning a fifth consecutive Flèche Wallonne as well as the overall at the Tour of California in April.
Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz made history in May by becoming the first rider from his nation to win a Grand Tour. The 26-year-old rode imperiously to victory at the Giro d’Italia, taking two stage wins along the way and beating big names like Vincenzo Nibali and Primož Roglič into pink.
Domestic rider of the year in association with PedalSure
John Archibald is making his name as one of the best track pursuiters, not only in Britain, but globally. The Scotsman has taken two national titles on the track this year, set a British record in the individual pursuit (with the fourth fastest time in history) and his beginning to find his feet on the road. A strong ride at the Tour de Yorkshire was followed up by two eye-catching rides at the national championships last weekend where he finished second in the time trial and third in the road race.
(Matt Holmes at the Tour de Yorkshire. Pic by Andy Jones)
The Madison Genesis rider rarely hits the headlines, it’s the consistency of his results that show his abilities. While all eyes were on his former team mate Connor Swift, Holmes put in the ride of his career at the Tour de Yorkshire. The 25-year-old held his own against Ineos and CCC on the final stage as Chris Froome hit out on the Otley climb. His reward was a sixth overall, one place behind James Shaw. He followed this up with yet more consistency at the Lincoln and then the Tour of the reservoir.
Connor Swift would always find it hard to top 2018 when he became British national champion, but the Yorkshireman has not shied away this season. Riding for Madison-Genesis, he competed with some of the world’s best riders to take ninth overall at the Tour de Yorkshire and win the first round of the Tour Series in Redditch. His qualities were rewarded halfway through the season, as he made a mid-season transfer to French Pro Continental team Arkéa-Samsic.
A bornze medal at the worlds last year turned around a season wrecked by Glandular Fever. This year the junior rider has been dominant on the world stage, winning Ghent Wevelgem as well as Nations Cup stage race Omloop van Borsele. High placings in other rounds have put GB at the top of the rankings for junior women. In May she rode the women’s Tour de Yorkshire. Competing on restricted junior gears she finished in 35th place overall.
Another graduate from the incredible VC Londres club based at Herne Hill in South London, Fred Wright is currently the British rider with the most UCI wins to his name in 2019. Most of these have been in Belgium where the GB academy have been rampant this spring. A stage at the A Travers les Hauts was the warm up to the stage win at the Baby Giro in June, one of four for the British team. He hasn’t cracked the British TP squad yet, but he is one of the younger riders applying upwards pressure to the senior riders on the run in to Tokyo 2020.
Along with Fred Wright, Walls has been one of the British riders making a name for themselves this year and no doubt attracting the attention of the WorldTour teams. Walls had a strong winter campaign on the track, winning omnium gold at the London World Cup ahead of Elia Vivianni. He also took a silver in the Madison with Wright and a bronze in the TP. Wins have come on the road as well, including a stage at the Baby Giro.
Dividing his ride duties between the British national team and Groupama-FDJ (the French squads feeder team) has seen Stewart land some solid results in the biggest under-23 races on the calender. A third place in the U23 Tour of Flanders was followed up by third in Eschborn-Frankfurt and eighth in Paris-Roubaix In the stage races he’s been finding his feet as the French team focus on his development rather than results.