Throughout December we will be revealing Cycling Weekly‘s top 50 British riders of the year.
It’s December 2, so here are the second two riders on our list.
NO. 48: LUKE ROWE
Luke Rowe is one of four very highly-rated riders who have graduated from the Olympic Development Programme to British Cycling?s Academy this winter.
This year he has shown very strongly on the road and track. Arguably his finest result was a silver medal in the junior road race at the European Championships in Italy in July, where he got into the winning break and was second in the group sprint behind French rider Johan Le Bon.
At the European Track Championships in Poland he won two gold medals. He was part of the winning junior team pursuit squad with the other three Academy new recruits ? Mark Christian, Andy Fenn and Erick Rowsell. He also won the Madison with Christian.
At the Manchester World Cup in November, he was fourth in the scratch race.
Add to that a string of decent results in junior stage races, including a strong challenge in the Tour du Pays de Vaud in Switzerland, which faded on the final day, and it?s been a fine year for Rowe.
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NO. 47: MICHAEL HUTCHINSON
Michael Hutchinson won the national time trial championships for the third time this year. The event clashed with the opening stage of the Tour of Britain, which meant that defending champion David Millar and the likes of Steve Cummings, Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas were unable to take part.
Although Hutchinson could quite legitimately argue that you can only beat the opposition put in front of you on a given day, it is something of a shambles that a national title event clashed with the national stage race.
It would be interesting to see where Hutchinson would have been had Millar, Cummings, Wiggins and Thomas been able to ride.
What there is little argument over, is the fact that Hutchinson is the best domestic time trial rider by a considerable margin. In his chosen distances, at 10, 25 and 50 miles, he is comfortably clear of his nearest rivals.
And in North Yorkshire in late June he won his ninth consecutive ?50? title to set a new record. That he won by almost four minutes suggests that had he ridden the ?100? he?d have won that too.
It?s the first time he?s done the 10, 25, 50 hat-trick since 2005, although that year he also added the 100 and the 12-hour. He now says he won?t ride the longer distances, which rules him out of a challenge for the BBAR.
Hutchinson has won 32 Cycling Time Trials (CTT) titles, which is well ahead of Ian Cammish. His dominance is complete, but the real question is, where is the opposition?
December 1: No. 50 Katie Colclough; No. 49 Chris Froome