Throughout December we will be revealing Cycling Weekly‘s top 50 British riders of the year.
The top ten will appear in the December 25 issue of Cycling Weekly.
As we reach the upper half of our festive 50, here are two more worthy riders…
NO. 24: JOANNA ROWSELL
It?s been a huge year for Jo Rowsell, who only turned 20 at the start of this month. With the women?s team pursuit added to the World Championship schedule, British Cycling opted not to unveil its trio until Manchester in March. Although there were opportunities at the World Cup rounds last winter to get some competitive rides under their belts, they chose to train and hone behind closed doors.
It was fairly clear that Rebecca Romero and Wendy Houvenaghel would be two of the three riders, but by early spring the coaches were so excited by the performances of Jo Rowsell, they knew they had their third rider.
In her first two rides at the World Championships, Rowsell was part of a world record-breaking, gold medal-winning team. By any standards that was a superb result.
On the road she won three kermesse races in Belgium and was third in the National Championships, which gave her the under-23 title. She also won the National Circuit Race Championships in Horwich, breaking away early and lapping the main field in an extremely impressive ride.
Victory in the under-23 team pursuit with Lizzie Armitstead and Katie Colclough at the European Track Championships in Poland was a sign of things to come. They teamed up again to win the World Cup titles at both Manchester and Melbourne this autumn.
By the end of the season, she had established herself as a consistently world-class individual pursuit rider too, knocking out times between 3-37 and 3-41.
She won bronze behind Wendy Houvenaghel and Tara Whitten in Manchester, then traded up to gold in Melbourne last month.
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NO. 23: SIMON RICHARDSON
Simon Richardson got Great Britain?s Paralympics off to a fantastic start with what even he admitted was an unexpected gold in the LC3-4 kilometre time trial.
He said the 3,000-metre individual pursuit was the big target and the kilometre was just a warm-up, but his time was a new world record in his class.
That meant confidence was sky high for his main event, the pursuit a couple of days later.
He met Japan?s Masaki Fujita in the final and going into final kilometre he knew the gold medal was his. In the end he won by six seconds and broke another world record.
Out on the road, Richardson grabbed another medal, this time a silver in the time trial. A lot of riders won multiple medals in Beijing, but Richardson?s versatility and ability on the track and the road stood out.
RIDERS REVEALED SO FAR
December 13: No. 26 Rachel Atherton and 25 Ben Swift
December 12: No. 28 Lizzie Armitstead and 27 Steven Burke
December 11: No. 30 Andrew Fenn and 29 Sharon Laws
December 10: No. 32 Peter Kennaugh and 31 Josh Bryceland
December 9: No. 34 Jody Cundy and 33 Liam Killeen
December 8: No. 36 David Millar and 35 Ian Stannard
December 7: No. 38 Daniel Fleeman and 37 Matt Crampton
December 6: No. 40 Jessica Allen and 39 Daniel Lloyd
December 5: No. 42 David Daniell and 41 Dean Downing
December 4: No. 44 Steve Peat and 43 Anna Blyth
December 3: No. 46 Jonny Bellis and 45 Jess Varnish
December 2: No. 48 Luke Rowe and 47 Michael Hutchinson
December 1: No. 50 Katie Colclough and 49 Chris Froome