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 our Lifetime Achievement Award. Today it’s the turn of our nominations for the Sartorial Elegance Award:
Sheree: Luis Leon Sanchez. He regularly picks up the ‘Most Elegant Rider’ award in races in Spain and you can see why. He tends to judge his breaks to perfection and is always perfectly attired. He’s not one to give up either as he battled the early stages of this year’s Tour with an injured wrist before bringing home the bacon in one of his trademark stage victories. He bounced back from Olympic disappointment to record his second Clasica San Sebastian win in two years. I’ve never seen him with a hair out of place or even a smidgeon of stubble. His victory salute speaks volumes. He points skywards, dedicating each and every one to his deceased older brother.
Tim: Bradley Wiggins has the sideburns and the whole mod thing going on, but I bet I’m not the only one who thinks he tries a little bit too hard to make it look as if he’s not trying. However, my man-crush Mark Cavendish somehow manages to carry off shabby chic effortlessly. Bear with me here. Whether it is rocking a proper granny cardie, a lumberjack shirt, geeky Joe 90 specs or the rainbow jersey, Cav walks just the right side of the thin line that separates don’t-give-a-toss from pretentious. Plus he is often seen with the ultimate in super-cool accessories: daughter Delilah. He is just too cool for school. (And, clearly, too cool for Sky …) Sod it. I’m going to be the only one voting for him, aren’t I? I don’t care.
Kitty: I may be the only one voting for my choice too, Tim, because I’m going to go for Taylor Phinney in his stars-and-stripes skinsuit for the World Championships. He looked like Captain America! Tall (a gigantic 6’5″), trim as trim can be, a million-dollar smile and not a hair out of place on the podium. I have, by the way, taken a lot of crap from a certain Twitter friend for loving this get-up, but I suspect he’s just jealous because he couldn’t pull it off (you know who you are …).
Jack: Dave Brailsford and his marginal gains would ensure that a Team Sky rider could never lose the all-important aerodynamic milliseconds through excessive beard action. Fortunately, Rabobank weren’t quite as strict with Laurens ten Dam. Having built a reputation for being one of the peloton’s hard men – illustrated no better than him finishing stage 14 of the 2011 Tour de France with a bandage around his face after a high-speed face-plant – ten Dam’s rugged bristles suit him down to the ground. Forget Wiggo’s one-man sideburn awareness crusade, ten Dam is the real king of the facial hair.
Panache: Thomas Voeckler. It doesn’t get any better than this. Perfect bib length, sock length, matching bike and helmet. Even the wheel decals on his gorgeous Colnago match.
Tomorrow we’ll unveil our shortlist for the Least Likely to Happen in 2013 Award.
VeloVoices Awards 2012
Breakthrough Rider of the Year
Most Thrilling Moment of the Year
At the time of writing, there is just ONE vote separating the top three in this category. If you haven’t already, get voting NOW!