A run-down of your cycling heroes and villains, the best Tweeter, unluckiest rider and most innovative product of 2017
Welcome to the results of Cycling Weekly’s reader poll, which closed on November 20. The outcome of the 2017 edition has thrown up some surprising results compared to previous years. Your voting signals a change in pro cycling, with new names and events rising in popularity.
Hero of the year
1 Chris Froome
2 Tom Dumoulin
3 Michal Kwiatkowski
Last year’s winner: Peter Sagan
Another win for Chris Froome. This appears to be a strong sign that the quiet Sky man is growing considerably in race fans’ affections – although it is worth noting that voting took place before his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at the Vuelta a España was made known. Although Froome’s wins in the Tour de France and Vuelta in 2017 established himself as one of the world’s best Grand Tour racers in history, it was the manner in which he did it that received recognition. He is always humble when interviewed and quick to praise the work of his team-mates.
Giro winner Tom Dumoulin is runner-up to Froome. Dumoulin put in a strong, battling ride to take the pink jersey in a nail-biting finale. Pole Michal Kwiatkowski is third, having been almost ever-present this season, claiming big wins for himself and being instrumental in assisting Froome with his Tour win.
Villain of the year
1 Peter Sagan
2 Gianni Moscon
3 Fabio Aru
Last year’s winner: Bradley Wiggins
This is something of a shock result. Peter Sagan has gone from your hero last year to your villain this year. From those of you that left a reason for voting for Sagan, it is clear that his involvement in the pile-up on stage four of the Tour de France that saw Mark Cavendish crash out and Sagan disqualified had a lasting impression. Cavendish seemed to be on the rough end of criticism at the time but that is certainly not how you voted here, with Sagan’s third consecutive Worlds win doing little to make amends.
Italian Gianni Moscon is in second spot after a frankly torrid year that saw him suspended by Team Sky for six weeks after making a racist comment to Kevin Reza during the Tour of Romandy. Fabio Aru is third in your voting, presumably as a result of attacking Chris Froome on stage nine of the Tour as the Sky leader suffered a mechanical.
Most entertaining cycling tweeter
1 Geraint Thomas
2 Peter Sagan
3 Dr Hutch
Last year’s winner: Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas really hit the highs and lows in 2017. His aspiration to place well at the Giro was scuppered after a crash involving a race moto. Then he won the opening stage of the Tour and earned the right to wear the coveted yellow jersey for the first time in his career before then crashing out of that race. Through it all, Thomas provided a funny and engaging insight into the world of pro cycling via his Twitter account.
World champ Peter Sagan is second, with his eclectic social media output that included such highlights as tattooing a friend, breathing in helium, trick riding videos and anything else that took his fancy. CW’s own columnist and time trial multi-champion Michael Hutchinson rounds out this virtual podium in third. Something that we have no doubt he will rank as one
of his best-ever results.
Unluckiest rider of the year
1 Richie Porte
2 Mark Cavendish
3 Dan Martin
Last year’s winner: John Degenkolb
Richie Porte’s crash on stage nine of the Tour de France was a dreadful incident. The Australian had been riding well with the lead group on the steep and twisting descent of the Mont du Chat when disaster struck. He hit the verge on one side of the road, and skidded across the tarmac into a rock face. The result was a fractured pelvis and collarbone, and the end of his 2017 Tour. Thankfully, he recovered well and returned to racing in October.
Cavendish is second, having also crashed out of the Tour as a result of a controversial clash with Peter Sagan on stage four (see ‘villain of the year’). In third place is Irishman Dan Martin, who was caught up in Porte’s crash at the Tour. Martin remounted and battled on through the race, placing an amazing sixth overall despite fracturing two vertebrae.
Best new cycling product
1 Shimano Ultegra R8000
2 Pinarello Dogma F10 Disc
3 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0
Last year’s winner: SRAM Red eTap
The latest incarnation of the smooth-shifting Ultegra groupset from Japanese component giant Shimano is your pick of the year’s new cycling products. Ultegra got a serious upgrade from Shimano, benefiting from the trickle-down of technology from the top Dura-Ace component line. The new group’s ability to accommodate 28mm tyres and shift on a 11-34t cassette will find it new fans.
Second most popular new product is Pinarello’s tasty Dogma F10 Disc. Its release came as something of a surprise as company owner Fausto Pinarello had previously said that they were not interested in disc-equipped road bikes. Cycling Weekly’s bike of the year for 2017, the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0, is third in your voting. “There are very few bikes on the market that offer such a superb riding experience for less than £3,000,” was our verdict.