Now is your chance to make your voice heard in our second annual VeloVoices Awards. We’re asking you to select your personal favourites of 2013 across a variety of serious and not-so-serious categories. We’ll publish the final results in the run-up to Christmas.
On Monday we ran our poll for the Rider of the Year Today it’s the turn of our nominations for the Team of the Year, which was won last year by Sky.
Jack: It was an outstanding season for Movistar. With four national titles, the World Championships road race and topping the UCI’s WorldTour team rankings, they just seem to get better and better. They’ve put together a squad capable of competing in all types of races over all kinds of terrain, and have done so with bags of panache and aggressive racing. The star of the show was Nairo Quintana, though Alejandro Valverde, Rui Costa and Benat Intxausti all showed well when the grand tours got lumpy.
Kathi: The Argonauts stormed all three grand tours with different riders. We had John Degenkolb starting a full-on sprint almost from the flamme rouge to win stage five of the Giro. We had Marcel Kittel taking the first yellow jersey of the 100th Tour de France, with the most amazing hair ever, and winning four stages, including the thrilling night-time stage on the Champs – the first sprinter ever to beat Cav there. And then we had Warren Barguil, a double stage winner in a really tough Vuelta. All of these guys were wholeheartedly supported by the other Argonauts – these guys are a TEAM, no matter who the leader is on the day.
Panache: If there was a stage race to be won in the first half of the season, Sky was there to claim it. They won Paris-Nice, Critérium International, Tour of Romandy, and the Critérium du Dauphiné just to name a few. They struggled at the Giro due to the illness of team leader Bradley Wiggins, but Rigoberto Uran still finished second overall. The best team wins the most important race and the Death Star was truly impressive when it mattered most at the Tour de France, vaulting Chris Froome into the stratosphere for what can only be described as pure domination.
Sheree: I decided to go for a team which punched well above its weight and expectations in winning Milan-San Remo and which finished top of its league, the UCI Africa Tour: MTN-Qhubeka. A young team giving largely African riders a chance to show that they can be just as effective at distance events on two wheels as they are on two legs.
Tim: My team of the year is from the Worlds: the
Spanish men’s road race team Netherlands women’s team. They ensured the Dutch topped the medals table, earning a silver and two of the nation’s three golds. Ellen van Dijk won the individual time trial. And their road race squad enabled Marianne Vos to defend her title despite concerted attacks by most of her major rivals and half the Italian team. They were so powerful that Anna van der Breggen chased down repeated attacks on the final lap and was still strong enough to finish fourth.
Ant: I’ve got to say Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Seventh place in the UCI rankings doesn’t seem that outstanding, but that is largely down to OPQS’ lack of GC threat. When you look at the haul of wins this season – 55, 17 clear of second-placed Belkin – you’ve got to be impressed. Their sprint train misfired at times and of course they missed Tom Boonen, but Zdenek Stybar and Michal Kwiatkowski had great seasons, as did triple world champion Tony Martin. The Tour de France cast a cloud over Cavendish’s season, but he still came away with seven grand tour victories and the Giro points jersey. Oh, and OPQS are still kings of the team time trial.
Next: Breakthrough Rider of the Year.