Back to Cycling Weekly’s Riders of the Year advent calendar>>

Throughout December we will be revealing Cycling Weekly‘s top 50 British riders of the year.

Here are the second two riders on our list.


A few years ago it was thought that Nicole Cooke would for ever be at a disadvantage when it came to World or Olympic road races because of the lack of team support.

This year Cooke came home, to the Halfords Bikehut squad and led a team of young British riders who are shaping up to be great talents in the future.

One of those who benefited from a season racing in European stage races was the 19-year-old Jessica Allen, also from Wales.

She has gone from the Olympic Development Programme into top European racing and never for a moment looked out of place. She finished the Tour de l?Aude and Tour de l?Ardeche, two tough stage races in France, while learning the job of domestique, working for Cooke and Emma Pooley.

At the National Championships in North Yorkshire, team manager Julian Winn asked the Halfords riders to race for themselves, not for each other, and as a result half the team made the very early, ultimately decisive break of the day.

Allen finished fourth, which also gave her second place in the under-23 classification behind Jo Rowsell.

She rounded off her season by supporting Cooke in the World Championships, a day which ended with the Welsh rider, at long last, in the rainbow jersey. And Cooke was the first to acknowledge the role her team-mates had played, waiting just over the line for the main bunch to finish and shouting ?We did it, we did it? as the British riders crossed the line.

>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<


There was a period when it looked like Dan Lloyd was bound for Beijing, and perhaps British Cycling should have selected him for the Olympic Games road race.

A strong climber, who had experience of the conditions having finished second overall in the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China in 2007, he deserved a chance.

This season had its ups and downs, with a crash at the Tour of Ireland taking its toll when it came to the Tour of Britain, but Lloyd impressed the Cervélo team sufficiently to earn a contract for next season.

At An Post, the Irish team, Lloyd was consistent, particularly in the stage races. He was sixth in the Cinturon Ciclista a Mallorca and won the Vuelta Extremadura in Spain, then took fourth in the Volta da Ascension.

His most impressive results in the big races, though, were ninth in the GP Pino Cerami in Belgium, 26th overall in the Tour of Belgium and 15th in the Tour of Ireland. He was fourth in the National Championships road race too.


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


Back to Cycling Weekly’s Riders of the Year advent calendar>>