It’s that time of year again! We’re kicking off our 2015 annual awards polls, so we’re inviting you to cast your vote for your favourites in ten different categories – some serious, some less so – for the ultimate accolade of receiving a highly coveted VeloVoices Award. Never mind jerseys of yellow, pink, red or rainbow hues – this is the one the pros really want!
We’re kicking off today with our shortlist of five nominees for Rider of the Year.
Previous winners: 2012 – Bradley Wiggins. 2013 – Peter Sagan. 2014 – Michal Kwiatkowski.
This year’s nominees are:
Fabio Aru: Finished second and took two stages at the Giro d’Italia, then went one better by winning the Vuelta a Espana. Still only 25, he’s the heir apparent to Vincenzo Nibali at Astana and is one of the leading lights of the new generation of GC contenders.
John Degenkolb: Won not one but two monuments, defeating defending champion Alexander Kristoff at Milan-San Remo and then romping to victory at Paris-Roubaix. Had a quieter second half of the season but nevertheless added the final stage of the Vuelta to his burgeoning palmares.
Andre Greipel: 16 wins in 2015 (only Kristoff had more among WorldTour teams), including a string of big victories: a stage at the Giro, four at the Tour de France and also his ‘home’ WorldTour race, the Vattenfall Cyclassics. And he did it all with a smile on his face throughout.
Peter Sagan: After a slow start to his Tinkoff-Saxo career, everyone’s favourite Hulk impersonator finished with his fourth consecutive green jersey at the Tour and ten wins, including a typically panache-tastic ride to claim the rainbow jersey at Worlds and overall victory at the Tour of California, where he won twice and finished in the top six on all eight stages on a parcours that included a tough summit finish and an individual time trial (which he won).
Alejandro Valverde: Finished the season as the top-ranked individual in the WorldTour for the second year running. Dominated Ardennes Week, finishing second at Amstel Gold and winning both Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Also third overall at the Tour, and finished his year with a stage and seventh overall at the Vuelta, fourth at Il Lombardia and fifth at Worlds.
Let us know your choice and the reasons for it – or if we have missed out your personal favourite – in the comments below.
You can hear us discussing the shortlists for all our 2015 awards on the latest edition of the podcast.
Polls will close at 2359 GMT (UK time) on Friday 4th December.
Next: Team of the Year