It is never all over until the fat lady sings and your front wheel is over the white line (err …) on the road. 2015 has provided us with race finishes that were astute, exciting, tear-jerking and in some cases quite frankly outrageous. Stand by and get ready to cheer until you’re hoarse for the VeloVoices Best Race Finish Award.
Previous winners: New award.
This year’s nominees are:
- Ian Stannard, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Ian Stannard retained his title in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with an incredible solo ride against the might and numbers of Etixx-Quick Step. The British rider beat Niki Terpstra in a two-up sprint after outwitting a three-pronged attack from the Belgian team that also included Tom Boonen and Stijn Vandenbergh. It isn’t often that you see three riders from one team lose out to a solo rival, especially when that team is Etixx in the spring classics. But it was a perfect finale by ‘Yogi’, a combination of brain and brawn.
- Peter Sagan, World Championships men’s road race: Watching Sagan on the charge over Libby Hill and then 23rd Street was amazing enough, but then his arrow tuck on the head tube while descending and pedalling at the same time was a thing of beauty. Total commitment and confidence gave him the victory, even with the peloton breathing down his neck. It felt like the entire world was willing him to win. His graciousness as well has his finish-line antics reminded us that cycling does have a soul that is capable of touching us all.
- Steve Cummings, Tour de France stage 14: After riding in the break all day and losing touch on the final punchy climb, the British rider fought back to the lead duo of FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot and Ag2r’s Romain Bardet and then put in a sharp attack of his own on the flat stretch to take a stunning win. It was the first grand tour victory for MTN-Qhubeka team and it came on Mandela Day, which celebrates the birthday of South Africa’s first black President.
- Michael Morkov, Tour of Denmark stage 6: Team spirit and a sprint master-class by Tinkoff-Saxo. Powerful riding by Michael Valgren into the last corner and Jay McCarthy casually drifting off the back of the neon line put Michael Mørkøv and Matti Breschel into an unassailable lead. Breschel is the all-time record holder for stage wins at his home tour but had never won on Frederiksberg Allë. Yet he slowed just enough to let Mørkøv through for his first win since 2013, saying later it was for all the times Michael had worked for him – quite a gesture.
- Lizzie Armitstead, World Championships women’s road race: It looked like she had blown her chance as she worked without reward to distance her rivals in the closing kilometres, and yet Armitstead retained the strength and self-belief to take on the sprint and hold off all her rivals. It was a victory built on grit and determination, and the sheer emotion as she crossed the line and realised what she had done had at least one VeloVoice (well, Tim, anyway) punching the air in delight.
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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