My picks for this season have had a mixed bag of results after showing early season promise. Mr Peter Sagan resumed his outstanding performances after a short break by claiming every points jersey in the world. Almost. Thomas Voeckler has struggled since a broken collarbone break in the spring. And then there’s former Dutch national champion, Niki Terpstra who has not been able to find the form he had during the spring classics.
Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
- Won two stages and points classification at Tour of California.
- Won two stages and points classification Tour de Suisse
- Won Slovakian National Championships road race.
- Won one stage, four 2nd and two 3rd places and won points classification at Tour de France.
WorldTour ranking: 2nd, 409 pts.
We predicted that 2013 would be the ‘Season of Sagan’ and we were right. This kid rides like a bull! Peter Sagan’s season has been a dream by any measure. After a strong classics season which saw only Fabian Cancellara best him, Peter has been on a points jersey parade, claiming the Tour de Suisse, Tour of California, and the coveted green jersey in the Tour de France. His Tour victory was so dominant that we wonder if anyone can challenge him for the green jersey for years to come.
We love watching Sagan because of his aggressive racing style but we also love his comedic flair! Whether he’s parking his bike on top of a car or popping a wheelie on the way up Ventoux, he always has something for the fans.
So how could Peter Sagan cap off his brilliant 2013? How about winning the rainbow jersey at the World Championships road race? I wouldn’t put it past him. After all, this is the Season of Sagan!
Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
- Won one stage at Criterium du Dauphine.
- 1st overall and won one stage at Route du Sud.
WorldTour ranking: N/A, 0 pts.
Unfortunately, Thomas Voeckler crashed at the Amstel Gold Race and broke his collarbone after a strong showing in the early spring classics. He healed relatively quickly and showed some impressive form in June, winning stage six of the Dauphine by outfoxing two Astana riders. Things continued to look good as he won the overall Route du Sud title, but it was just not meant to be for him and Europcar at the Tour de France.
We didn’t see anything like the amazing performance of 2011, where Voeckler retained the mallot jaune for ten stages, or 2012, where he won two stages and the King of the Mountains. At the Tour, teammates Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier seemed to have better form than Voeckler and will likely be the team leaders of the future. Hopefully the man of a thousand grimaces can make everyone take notice with a surprise performance at the World Championships.
In the meantime, take a look at his Official Boutique. Order a shirt or coffee mug!
Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
- 9th overall at Tour of Belgium.
- 2nd in individual time trial at Tour de Suisse.
- 2nd in Dutch National Championships time trial.
- 5th in Dutch National Championships road race.
- One 5th place at Tour de France.
WorldTour ranking: 46th, 76 pts.
After a strong classics season, Niki relinquished his Dutch national title to Johnny Hoogerland in June. We will miss seeing him in his national kit during the classics next year. He was so easy to see and call out!
Niki then geared up to help Mark Cavendish at the 100th Tour de France. Cavendish was able to win stages 5 and 13. For any other team that would have been a successful Tour, but Quick Step would have hoped for more despite additional stage wins by Tony Martin and Matteo Trentin. Unfortunately Argos-Shimano brought their A-game to the Tour and put OPQS on notice. We’ll see if Terpstra can up his classics game and help Cavendish exact his revenge at the 2014 Tour.
Previous update: 14th April.
Websites: Peter Sagan, Thomas Voeckler, Niki Terpstra
Twitter: @nikiterpsta @petosagan