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 Sunday we ran our poll for the Flop of the Year. Today it’s the turn of our nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was won last year by Jens Voigt.
Kathi: It’s Jens Voigt again for me, because 2014 will be his final year (we think). And he’s Jens! Works hard, believes in teamwork, always has something to say on Twitter and always, always, always has time to sign autographs, pose for pictures and graciously and greedily receive homemade cookies from fans.
Panache: My choice is one of awe: Marianne Vos. After a 2012 which saw her win almost everything including Olympic gold, Vos’ 2013 season was bookended by world championship victories in both cyclocross and road. She has won the cyclocross world championships for the last five years in succession (six times in all) and the last two World Championship road races. This year she finally won the Ronde van Vlaanderen, one of the few races to have eluded her. She has netted a whopping 105 professional wins – enough for ten lifetimes – and we might not even have seen her at her best yet.
Sheree: I feel that Euskaltel-Euskadi, the peloton’s longest serving and lately departed team, deserves some recognition for the years of entertainment they have given cycling fans, particularly since the advent of Twitter. No more will we see such phrases as #crushedCarrots and #Carrotdown. There will be no more #Carrotcheer for the thousands of Basque fans who line the upper slopes hoping in vain that the first rider to appear will be wearing orange. They’ve been a team who scored great goals rather than a team of great goalscorers and they will surely be sadly missed as everyone’s default favourite team.
Tim: An entirely sentimental choice for me: Marco Pinotti. Here is an intelligent, articulate, interesting and above all clean rider. His career started out at the height of the Armstrong era, and yet he achieved considerable success while retaining a spotless reputation. A six-time Italian national time trial champion – including this year – he was also a formidable all-rounder. His best season was probably 2010, when he finished a career-best ninth at the Giro. More than just a successful rider, he has been a beacon of professionalism and a strong anti-doping advocate. Farewell, Marco.
Ant: I’m nominating Michele Acquarone. He is going through a tough time at the moment, but Michele has been responsible for bringing us some of the most dramatic and beautiful racing we could hope to see. Not only have he and his team put together some phenomenal parcours, but during the Giro he was prepared to make difficult decisions and adapt the race mid-flow in response to challenging environmental conditions, showing a sensitivity towards rider safety while still keeping the race alive. In addition, his openness over social media is refreshing and uncommon, and really benefits the sport.
Jack: David Zabriskie climbed off his bike for the last time in the middle of Il Lombardia. It was an uncharacteristically discreet end to his career, with the American time trial specialist quietly slipping into retirement after his testimony in USADA’s Lance Armstrong case. Zabriskie won the US TT championship five times, finished on the World Championships podium twice, won two grand tour team time trials and took the general classification in the Tour of Missouri in 2009. However the man dubbed ‘Captain America’ will perhaps be best remembered for his ever-amusing idiosyncracies, which saw him establish a reputation as one of the peloton’s more entertaining characters. If there’s one thing Zabriskie wasn’t, it’s boring, and for that, we should all be thankful.
Next: Sartorial Elegance Award.