Demi Vollering and Jonas Vingegaard were crowned the best bike riders in the world 2023 on Tuesday evening, at the Vélo d'Or awards in Paris.
The Tour de France Femmes and Tour de France winners won the Vélo d'Or and Vélo d'Or Femmes respectively, awarded by French cycling publication Vélo Magazine. This year's event was the first one conducted in person, as opposed to being announced on the front page of the magazine.
SD Worx's Vollering took 17 wins this season, including the Ardennes triple of the Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the maillot jaune at the second Tour de France Femmes, in a golden 2023. She also topped the Women's World Tour individual ranking.
Meanwhile, Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma took 16 wins, including a dominant victory at the Tour de France, his second. He also won overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné and Itzulia Basque Country; he finished second in the UCI's WorldTour ranking, behind Tadej Pogačar.
Vollering was present at the ceremony at the Pavillon Gabriel in Paris, and took the top women's prize over other nominees that included Annemiek van Vleuten, last year’s winner, Lotte Kopecky, Elisa Longo Borghini, Alison Jackson, Juliette Labous, Kasia Niewiadoma, Gaia Realini, Marlen Reusser and Lorena Wiebes.
Vingegaard was not there, but beat Remco Evenepoel, Pogačar, Primož Roglič, Mads Pedersen, Tom Pidcock, Wout van Aert, Jasper Philipsen, Adam Yates and Mathieu van der Poel.
“It’s a big honour for me to win the Vélo d’Or award. When I see all the names winning it in the past, it’s a crazy feeling to know now that I am the winner of it,” he said in a recording. “Eddy Merckx was going to give this award to me and it’s very special. He’s such a big icon, and always winning. I’m always trying to do the same, trying to win all the races that I am doing. I am very happy with it, thank you for that.”
Kopecky and Van der Poel were given prizes as the best Classics riders, in a competition named after Eddy Merckx. The pair were also second in the overall competition.
The multi-discipline world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and European road race champion Christophe Laporte were named as the best French riders.
The first Vélo d'Or was awarded to Miguel Indurain in 1992, while the first Vélo d'Or Femmes was only given out in 2023.
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