Peter Sagan handed prestigious Vélo d'Or award

World champion Peter Sagan is awarded for the best cycling performance of the year, with Romain Bardet voted top French rider

Peter Sagan takes the yellow jersey after winning Stage 2 of the 2016 Tour de France
(Image credit: Graham Watson)

Peter Sagan has been given the coveted Vélo d'Or award for 2016, after an outstanding season in the rainbow jersey of road race World Champion.

The 26-year-old Slovak enjoyed one of his most successful seasons riding for Tinkoff, with victories in the Tour of Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem, a fifth consecutive Tour de France green jersey and three stage victories, and a successful defence of his world title – among others.

Although an appearance in the 2016 Olympic Games in the mountain bike discipline was fruitless, Sagan finished the year at the top of the UCI's WorldTour ranking.

>>> 100 Best Road Riders of 2016

Few can argue that Sagan was not the most outstanding rider of the year. Last year's Vélo d'Or winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) was runner-up to Sagan, with Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in third.

Romain Bardet (Ag2r) was handed the Vélo d'Or award for best French rider, after placing second overall in the Tour de France behind Froome and taking a stage victory.

Bardet was also second behind Froome in the Critérium du Dauphiné and finished top 10 in a host of other races including Volta a Catalunya, Giro del Trentino and Paris-Nice.

Bardet secured the French award ahead of Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep).

Recent recipients of the Vélo d'Or have included Froome twice (2013, 2015), Sir Bradley Wiggins (2012), Alberto Contador on four occasions (2007, 2008, 2009, 2014), Fabian Cancellara (2010) and Philippe Gilbert (2011).

The winners were decided by a jury of 18 journalists for the international award and 25 for the French award. It has been running since 1992, when Miguel Indurain became the first rider to receive the accolade.

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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, an exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.