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 the Least Likely to Happen in 2013 Award. Today it’s the turn of our nominations for the Most Ridiculous Thing Said/Seen:
Kitty: Bradley Wiggins, in the aftermath of the USADA’s reasoned decision, saying in a televised interview that he never rode with Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France. Yet he suddenly got promoted to third place in the final GC standings of the 2009 Tour because one Lance Armstrong got stripped of his podium place. So what race was Wiggo riding?
Jack: Tyler Farrar’s reputation as one of the peloton’s nice guys went out of the window in a matter of seconds after he angrily stormed onto the Argos-Shimano team bus in light of his fourth crash in the opening six days of the Tour de France, seeking a word – or possibly more – with Tom Veelers. Farrar is a student of Buddhism, and reportedly has a tattoo which translates as ‘inner peace’ on his wrist. The American has clearly not yet reached Enlightenment.
Panache: Even though the USADA report has been made public and Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the UCI, former Tour champion Miguel Indurain still refuses to accept his guilt. On a Spanish radio show Indurain said, “Even now I believe in his innocence. He has always respected all the regulations … He has won all the cases he’s had.”
Sheree: The look of incomprehension on French faces as Bradley Wiggins, Britain’s first ever winner of the Tour de France, announced in English from the podium that he was going to draw the raffle tickets. Bradley, who speaks French well, needed only to change one word for the French to be in on the joke. If he’d said ‘tombola’ instead of raffle, then everyone would have been in on the joke. No cycling event in France ever takes place without a tombola, except the Tour de France.
Tim: The storm in a teacup over Sky’s team orders at the Tour, with Chris Froome designated personal Sherpa to team leader Wiggins. Yes, there were a couple of occasions in the mountains when it looked as if Froome could have gapped his leader but Sky’s primary mission was to produce the first British winner of the Tour, their chosen man was Wiggins, and at that point in the race they were guarding against all eventualities. Yes, I wish they had allowed the pair to duke it out in the style of Lemond and Hinault. But cycling is a team sport, and sometimes team orders are a necessary evil. It happens in Formula 1 all the time. The fact it became such a big issue was more of a reflection on how little challenge there was to Sky’s pre-eminence, which is hardly their fault.
Tomorrow we’ll unveil our shortlist for the last of our awards, Kit of the Year.
VeloVoices Awards 2012
Breakthrough Rider of the Year
Most Thrilling Moment of the Year