It’s part of the natural order of things that the torch is passed from one generation to the next. But before our retiring heroes ride off into the sunset, those who have decided to hang up their lycra skinsuits this year are recognised in our shortlist for our Lifetime Achievement Award.
Previous winners: 2012 winner: Jens Voigt. 2013 winner: Marco Pinotti. 2014 – Jens Voigt.
This year’s nominees are:
Ivan Basso: Twice the overall champion and six times a stage winner at the Giro d’Italia. Basso was also runner-up at the 2005 Tour de France and won the Criterium International, Giro del Trentino and Japan Cup. He may also be the most elegant man we have ever seen on a bicycle. He left the Tour early this year after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, which is now thankfully in remission.
Cadel Evans: Many have forgotten that Cadel retired early this year after the January Australian races. ‘Cuddles’ won the Tour de France in 2011 – the first and so far only rider from the southern hemisphere to do so – and was runner-up twice. He was also world champion in 2009 and it was in the rainbow stripes that he won a legendary mud-splattered stage at the Giro the following year. But he also won the Tour de Romandie twice, not to mention Tirreno-Adriatico and Flèche Wallonne. A battler and a true champion.
Ted King: From 2008 to 2015 Ted King has been a faithful and strong domestique, riding four grand tours and ten classics. He doesn’t have a glorious palmares but what he lacked in top ten finishes he more than made up for in kindness, respect and dedication to helping his teammates succeed. Ted was the ultimate team man.
Pablo Lastras: Retiring after an 18-year career with Movistar, Lastras was a faithful and invaluable domestique and great road captain. He departs having won three times at the Vuelta and with stage wins at both the Giro and the Tour. It’s not every day that you have a domestique who has won a stage in every grand tour.
Bradley Wiggins: Wiggins has been a divisive figure among cycling fans but his career record speaks for itself. A multiple world and Olympic champion on the track. The first British rider to win the Tour. Hour record holder. He’s also won the Dauphine twice, Paris-Nice and the Tour of California. And he has worn the rainbow stripes as world time trial champion. He’s one of the most versatile riders of this or any generation and, more than that, he has played an enormous role in getting British people back on their bikes.
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.
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