I’ve just finished counting the votes for the first Rider of the Month of 2014 and, let me tell you, it was quite some battle – almost reminiscent of Roche versus Delgado (albeit for a slightly less prestigious prize). Our six nominees were:
- Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) – Won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and two stages in Qatar.
- Chris Froome (Sky) – Winner of Tour of Oman.
- Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) – Six sprint victories, including three in Oman and two at the Tour Down Under.
- Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) – Four sprint victories.
- Taylor Phinney (BMC) – Maiden stage race overall victory in Dubai, including a win in the time trial.
- Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) – Five wins, including three and the overall at the Ruta del Sol.
(You can read the original post here.)
For a while, we had Taylor Phinney stealing away, before Tom’s Boonens kicked in and brought him into the frame. For a while, the two of them duked it out in typical classics fashion, before the Belgian’s strength opened out an unassailable gap and took him over the line first.
The final podium place was taken by Alejandro Valderde who, in fairness, has probably had the most impressive start to the season out of all the peloton, and is sure to be in the running at the end of this month if his form holds out.
A big thank you is owed to everybody who’s voted over the last few days. It’s great to see so many people getting involved, and we’re already looking forward to next month’s votes. Also, since we’d have struggled to fit a cigarette paper between these six guys, it’s a welcome relief not to have to choose a winner ourselves! Personally, I’m feeling sad for That Boy Phinney, and hope that being pipped to the post here hasn’t rubbed salt in his ever growing array of flesh wounds, but I’m sure he’ll be popping up again.
I think you’ll all agree, the season has started in pretty good shape already, and if this month’s award is anything to go by, we should be in for a treat. Just remember, next month one of the candidates is likely to be wielding a bloody great trident! And now, finally, all that remains is to unveil the full results.
- Boonen 30%
- Phinney 24%
- Valverde 21%
- Greipel 13%
- Modolo 7%
- Froome 4%
So congratulations to Tom Boonen, who seems to be putting last year’s annus horribilis behind him. It’s great to see the big guy back on form, and building up to what should be an entertaining classics season.
See you for more of the same next month when we nominate our March Rider of the Month!