VeloVoices Awards 2012: Most Thrilling Moment of the Year


You’ve read the five of us discussing our thoughts on the 2012 season throughout the year. Now it’s time to make your voices heard as we open the voting for the inaugural VeloVoices Awards. Over ten days in ten categories – some serious, others less so – we’re asking you to select your choices of 2012. We’ll publish the final results in the run-up to Christmas. (Hopefully next year we’ll have a grand gala dinner in central London …)

Yesterday we revealed our shortlist for Breakthrough Rider of the Year. Today it’s the turn of our nominations for our Most Thrilling Moment of the Year:

kitty-fondueKitty: Iljo Keisse dropping a chain in the Tour of Turkey. I still get incredibly excited when I see this. Every time I watch the final few kilometres of this race, I find myself perched on the edge of my seat, screaming “Go, go, go!” Breaking from a breakaway, Keisse flew up the road and, in the absence of race radios, the peloton didn’t realise it as they swallowed up the rest of the break. Keisse flew into the final corner, crashed, calmly got up, refixed his chain and carried on. Except the cameras didn’t show that – we thought he was by the side of the road until we saw the home straight. There he was, with the peloton thundering down on him … and he bloody well won!

avatar jackJack: Philippe Gilbert winning the Worlds. Gilbert arrived at BMC to much fanfare, as a crucial part of the conception of cycling’s next great super-team. Unfortunately, he was one of its principal underperformers in an underwhelming start to the season. Dogged by injury and illness his spring Classics campaign was a disaster, throwing away his three Ardennes crowns within a dismal week. The exciting, aggressive and dominating Gilbert cycling fans had grown to love last season had all but disappeared. But the Vuelta proved there was hope. Two stage wins suggested he was riding himself into form ahead of the Worlds. He was. His attack on the climb up to the finish in Valkenburg was reminiscent of his now infamous turbocharged uphill sprints. Only this time – unlike in the previous two seasons – the end product was the rainbow jersey. Having endured such a tough season on the back of World Championship disappointment in 2010 and 2011, no one deserved it more.

Panache avatarPanache: Thomas De Gendt turned the Giro on its head when he attacked during stage 20 on the Stelvio. He began the stage in eighth place, 5:40 behind Joaquim Rodríguez but got into a break and then escaped his breakaway companions to solo to victory. At one point De Gendt was just 35 seconds away from the maglia rosa! Garmin-Sharp were forced to throttle themselves to keep Ryder Hesjedal in the hunt for victory.

sdw-livestrong-photo_edited shereeSheree: Alberto Contador taking the bull by the horns on stage 17 of this year’s Vuelta a Espana. Just when we all thought that Joaquim Rodriguez had the race in the bag, Bertie confounded his critics and gambled his podium place on a relatively benign stage taking pretty much everyone, Joaquim included, by surprise. Of course, we shouldn’t have been since he’d said he wasn’t going to give up – ever. But having failed to shake off a terrier like Purito on the climbs we figured it was all over bar the shouting. But not for nothing is Bertie the best stage racer of his generation and a much more astute and calculating rider than he’s often given credit for.

Tim avatarTim: Cycling races are as much about the  journey as the destination, so my moment of the year is Thibaut Pinot‘s victory on stage eight of the Tour de France. Not just because it was a fantastic win for a bright young French talent, but for the image of FDJ team boss Marc Madiot leaning out of his car window screaming encouragement at his rider all the way along the final kilometre. It wasn’t just about the financial boost that a stage win at the Tour provides for one of the smaller ProTeams. Madiot eats, sleeps and breathes the sport, and cycling would be poorer and less of a spectacle without his passion and that of others like him.

Tomorrow we’ll unveil our shortlist for our Flop of the Year.

VeloVoices Awards 2012

Rider of the Year

Team of the Year

Breakthrough Rider of the Year

4 thoughts on “VeloVoices Awards 2012: Most Thrilling Moment of the Year

    • Sheree says:

      After such an exciting season it was frankly hard to select just 5 thrilling moments. Personally, I could have picked at least 20 and young Rabottini’s win in the Giro would have made the cut.

  1. Anne says:

    The most thrilling moment of the year was definitely when Marianne Vos won the Olympics. The last minutes of that race all cycling fans’ heartbeats collective rose at least 50 bpm. So I see myself forced to refrain from voting until women are included in these awards.

    • It WAS a thrilling moment, Anne. But it was not one any of the five of us considered to be our individual moment of the year in a year which had so many of them.

      Also, we don’t cover women’s cycling in general (or track cycling for that matter) – although I did make a small exception in nominating Judith Arndt for the Lifetime Achievement award. That’s not because we don’t want to support women’s cycling but merely because we do not have enough time between us to do so and with the current lack of TV coverage we would not be able to do so anyway. (Unless someone wants to start paying us to do so, that is …)

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