Julian Alaphilippe wins best rider of the year at Velo d'Or 2019

The Frenchman won a number of Classics this year as well as lighting up the Tour de France

Julian Alaphilippe at the 2020 Tour de France route presentation (Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Julian Alaphilippe has been crowned the rider of the year at the Velo d'Or 2019.

In fourth was Mathieu van der Poel, with 2019 being his breakthrough season on the road as he took a breathtaking victory at the Amstel Gold Race, having also won Dwars door Vlaanderen and Brabantse Pijl before taking the overall title at the Tour of Britain in September.

Alaphilippe finished third last year behind Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who came first following his Worlds road race win in Innsbruck, beating 2018 Tour champion Geraint Thomas (Ineos).

Alberto Contador holds the record of the most wins with four after Lance Armstrong was stripped of his five Velo d'Or awards, with Chris Froome having won three times in 2013, 2015 and 2017.

The man who beat him to the Tour title, Egan Bernal (Ineos) finished second, while 2019 Vuelta a España winner Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) came third.

The 27-year-old is just the second Frenchman to win the Velo d'Or after Laurent Jalabert took the award ahead of Miguel Indurain in 1995.

The award was created by French cycling magazine Vélo in 1992 and is given to the rider considered to have performed the best over the entire year.

The Deceuninck - Quick-Step rider won Milan - San Remo, Flèche Wallonne and Strade Bianche in 2019, as well as winning two Tour de France stages and the combativity award after two weeks in yellow, having mounted a serious yet surprising challenge to the overall classification.

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Annemiek van Vleuten came fifth, following a stunning Worlds road race victory in Yorkshire and a second Giro Rosa overall win, while Lìege-Bastogne-Liège and Critérium du Dauphiné victor Jakob Fuglsang was voted sixth.

Alaphilippe also won the prize for best French rider of the year, beating Groupama-FDJ's Thibaut Pinot, who took a memorable Tour de France victory on the Tourmalet this year before abandoning the race through injury, as Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Canyon-SRAM) came third.