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 Friday we ran our poll for the Breakthrough Rider of the Year. Today it’s the turn of our nominations for the Flop of the Year, which was won last year by Andy and Frank Schleck.
Jack: I was really looking forward to seeing how Jonathan Tiernan-Locke coped with the move up to the WorldTour, having been so brilliant at Endura last season. Unfortunately he just … didn’t. JTL failed to finish both of the Ardennes classics he started – which should really be where he’s most competitive – and disappointed once again at the Canadian WorldTour races in September, finishing 63rd in Québec and picking up another big fat DNF in Montréal. Let’s hope his tough year is just one of Sky acclimatisation – and innocent biological passport discrepancies – and he comes back in 2014 with the form of 2012.
Kathi: Where was Tom Boonen? He had a phenomenal Classics season last year, everyone was anticipating a magnificent Cancellara/Boonen knock-down, drag-out fight for Flanders and Roubaix this year and he was nowhere to be seen (mainly due to injury). So while I think it’s cruel to call him a flop, it was a disappointing non-start to a much-anticipated rivalry.
Panache: After failing to secure a nomination from the planet Saturn, his home country of Ireland, as well as his adopted country of Switzerland, Pat McQuaid still managed to stand in the UCI presidential vote versus Brian Cookson, only to lose 24-18. Munchkins across the world of cycling broke out into a rousing chorus of Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead. Hopefully Cookson can lead cycling to a better place.
Sheree: Fernando Alonso’s rescue of Euskaltel-Euskadi. How our hearts lifted when Euskaltel’s white knight appeared in his gleaming red Ferrari. But after a few weeks, hopes were cruelly dashed when, for reasons that remain unknown, the deal unravelled leaving #crushedCarrots.
Tim: Sadly, I have to say Euskaltel-Euskadi themselves, who faded out of existence with a whimper rather than a bang. No other WorldTour team managed as few victories as the Carrots’ six, with just one – Samuel Sanchez’s stage win at the Dauphine – coming in a WorldTour or HC-categorised event (although they did have the consolation of winning the team prize at the Vuelta). It was a sad end for everyone’s second-favourite team, but sadly the paucity of results underlined exactly why they were no longer attractive to potential sponsors.
Ant: Chris Horner’s saddle. You’re riding in your twilight years, and not only do you get selected to ride for a top team in a grand tour, but you get given the go-ahead to go for the win, and your saddle lets you down. That saddle had one of the most important roles to play in that Vuelta, and yet it failed to provide either comfort or support for Horner, who consequently had to ride almost the whole race standing up. Horner probably wished he’d been allowed to use a Fizik saddle like Peter Sagan and have ‘Dinosaur’ written across his arse. I give you the Marquis de Saddle, which nearly cost an old man his cycling dream.
Next: Lifetime Achievement Award.