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.
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38th ANTHONY KAPPES
Bounce back ability
Two false starts in the men’s kilometre in the B category (for visually impaired riders with a sighted pilot on a tandem) left Anthony Kappes’ dreams of winning a Paralympic gold medal in London hanging by a thread.
And while Kappes was no doubt delighted for his team-mate Neil Fachie, who partnered Barney Storey to the kilometre gold medal and a new world’s best time for the category, it must have smarted a bit. In fact it did. Kappes commented, a touch sardonically: “It felt like the cat had died.”
So when it came to the sprint, the pressure was on.
Kappes and his pilot Craig Maclean qualified fastest, breezed past the Japanese pair of Tatsuyuki Oshiro and Yasufumi Ito in the semi-finals to set up a thrilling all-British final against Fachie and Storey.
This really was an all or nothing match. Tandem sprinting is fast, furious and potentially very dangerous.
Both teams knew each other inside out. Storey and Maclean had swapped places only a year before.
In both races of the final, Kappes and Maclean had the edge, using the perfect combination of power and patience to win the gold medal 2-0.
37th ANDY FENN
Growing up fast
Having cut his teeth in the An Post-Sean Kelly development team, racing the tough-as-old-boots events in Belgium against grizzled older riders who know every trick in the book, the 22-year-old former Welwyn Wheeler probably felt like joining Quick Step was like swapping hob nail boots for a comfy pair of slippers.
Within a month of his debut for the Belgian super team, undaunted by riding in the same colours as Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel and the rest, Fenn won back-to-back stages of the Challenge Majorca.
Not a bad way to introduce yourself.
The rest of the season went pretty much as you’d expect a young rider’s debut season to go. He rode a lot of races, carried a lot of bottles and came good with the odd top five place.
Next season, he’ll get the chance to learn a lot and get stuck in even more when Mark Cavendish arrives.
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 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