A run-down of your favourite riders, teams and racing performances 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.
Most impressive British rider
1 Chris Froome
2 Katie Archibald
3 Steve Cummings
Last year’s winner: Mark Cavendish
With an almost unprecedented 69 per cent of all votes, Chris Froome is resoundingly your pick as the most impressive British rider of 2017. Team Sky’s main man claimed a historic double when he took overall honours at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, to become the first Brit to win two Grand Tours in a calendar year.
Second is Katie Archibald, who proved that there’s no such thing as a quiet year off after the Olympic Games, scooping the omnium world title and putting in a dominant display wherever she rode.
Steve Cummings may not have had as stellar a season as 2016, but he still rounds off the top three British performers after taking both road and time trial national titles on the Isle of Man in June this year.
[Note that the voting took place before news broke of Froome’s adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at the Vuelta]
Most impressive international rider
1 Tom Dumoulin
2 Peter Sagan
3 Michal Kwiatkowski
Last year’s winner: Peter Sagan
For many, 2017 will be remembered as the year that Dutchman Tom Dumoulin came good as a Grand Tour winner. That Dumoulin would win the crucial mid-race individual time trial was almost a given, but he also underlined his form by taking stage 14 to Santuario di Oropa. After letting Nairo Quintana borrow the pink jersey, Dumoulin ended the race’s decisive final time trial by retaking the lead when it counted. He also managed to stop off for a mid-race poo and not let it soil the result.
Second-placed Peter Sagan put in a typically dominant performance throughout the year, and topped it off with a third consecutive road race world title. Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski had an amazing season too, winning Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and the Clásica de San Sebastián, as well as putting in a strong ride for the team at the Tour de France.
Performance of the Year
1 Tom Dumoulin, Giro d’Italia
2 Chris Froome, Vuelta a Espana
3 Philippe Gilbert, Tour of Flanders
Last year’s winner: Mathew Hayman, Paris-Roubaix
It’s amazing that Froome’s fourth victory at the Tour doesn’t even figure in the top three of this category. Perhaps fans have become bored with the apparent ease with which he can win the race? Instead, Froome’s Vuelta-winning ride has to settle as runner-up to Dumoulin’s win at the Giro. Rather than dominating the race from beginning to end, Dumoulin only retook the overall lead on the last time trial stage, setting up a fitting finale and crowning a worthy winner.
Philippe Gilbert is third in your voting, having returned to the very top of Classics form with a win in the Tour of Flanders in the spring. The Belgian is back to his best at Quick Step Floors after a disappointing final year at BMC in 2016.
Most impressive team of the year
1 Team Sky
2 Team Sunweb
3 Quick Step Floors
Last year’s winner: Team Sky
Previously, one could have attributed Team Sky’s dominance of this category as being a result of a healthy dose of British bias. This year, though, you cannot deny that Sky’s performance at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España delivered the goods. Along with Kwiatkowski’s collection of one-day victories, the team topped the WorldTour rankings for the first time since 2012.
Sunweb rightly attracted a healthy amount of votes after an impressive ride in support of Dumoulin at the Giro, and both the KOM and points jerseys at the Tour thanks to Warren Barguil and Michael Matthews respectively. Third-placed Quick Step are a factor in every race they take part in and with an almost embarrassing list of victories.
Best team kit
1 Team Sky
3 BMC Racing
Last year’s winner: Team Sky
The befuddling dashes added to Team Sky’s 2017 kit design didn’t seem to put you off, as the blue-and-black jersey successfully defends its position as your favourite team strip. However, Sky evidently decided that it preferred the white version used during the Tour de France, as that is what Sky’s kit will resemble in 2018.
It’s great to see women’s team Canyon-SRAM place second in this category for the first time. Canyon-SRAM’s colourful kit is distinctive and classy, with a design that carries over to the squad’s bikes, too. Red and black is a timeless combination, and BMC’s classic kit continues to be a popular choice with fans.