Throughout December we will be revealing Cycling Weekly‘s top 50 British riders of the year.
We will be revealing the final top ten riders of 2008 in Cycling Weekly’s December 25 issue.
Today’s pair of top riders are…
NO. 30: ANDREW FENN
The last British rider to win the junior edition of Paris-Roubaix was Geraint Thomas in 2004 and he?s turning out to be quite some rider.
This year, the Great Britain team put five riders in the first 22 at the junior edition of the race, held earlier on the same day as the professional event. Luke Rowe, George Atkins, Toby Meadows and Erick Rowsell all played their part but it was Andrew Fenn who came out on top with an authoritative ride.
The race took in 16 sections of cobbles on its 121-kilometre route and for the teenage field it was one of the stiffest physical tests of their young careers.
A Slovakian rider called Peter Sagan looked to have the race sewn up, until the rider from Kent, got on terms and then attacked inside the final kilometre before going ahead to finish alone in the velodrome.
Fenn is one of the four riders to graduate from British Cycling?s Olympic Development Programme to the Academy for 2009.
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NO. 29: SHARON LAWS
In January very few in Britain had heard of Sharon Laws, let alone predicted she?d ride the Olympic Games and World Championships for the country. The former endurance mountain biker was living in Melbourne and working as an environmental adviser for mining company Rio Tinto in January.
She had decided to try her hand at road racing seriously, and promptly finished second in the Australian National Championships, which had the Aussies checking her eligibility.
Bad luck for them, the Kenyan-born rider held a British passport and within weeks she?d agreed to quit her job, fly back to Britain and join the Halfords Bikehut team.
Her first professional race was Fleche Wallonne, where she climbed strongly. Laws won the national 25-mile time trial title and was sixth overall in the Tour de l?Aude stage race in France.
Then, disaster struck. She was being filmed by the BBC while training with her team-mates when she crashed heavily after hitting a pothole. She cracked a bone in her ankle, and with the Olympics only eight weeks away it looked as if her dreams were over.
But with British Cycling putting everything into helping her recover, she was fit for Beijing, where she finished 35th.
Next season she will race in Halfords Bikehut colours but will shift emphasis to mountain biking.
RIDERS REVEALED SO FAR
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