The women have given us some memorable racing this year and Lukas Knofler brings us his six best stage finishes of the year. He had to whittle the list down from 20! Vote now or if you think he missed your favourite, write in your vote!
Previous Winners: 2016 – Rio Olympics road race; 2017 – Strade Bianche
Madrid Challenge, Stage 2
The break that went away and stayed away. 19 riders clipped off the front with about 50km to go, Olga Zabelinskaya (Cogeas-Mettler was an absolute beast keeping the pace high and Giorgia Bronzini timed her sprint to perfection to clam victory in her last race as a professional.
WHAT A FINISH! If you haven’t watched this race, find a video, sit down and ENJOY. The whole race was a thriller, so many gutsy rides on display (We’re looking at you, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig). But nothing, NOTHING compares to the agony of watching Annemiek van Vleuten stalk down Anna van der Breggen to snatch victory on the line.
Trofeo Alfredo Binda
It was wet, cold and brutal but the attacks on the final lap were fierce and fiery. Kasia Niewiadoma attacked to go solo on the final rise, however it was her mastery of the sketchy descent to Cittiglio that made this victory possible. Anything you can do, Signore Nibali, Kasia can do too!
Emakumeen Bira, Stage 1
Nothing we like more than a rider taking their chance, grabbing the race and making it their own and that’s exactly what Sabrina Stultiens when she found herself as part of an elite four-rider breakaway, holding a minute with 4km to go. As Anna van der Breggen, Annemiek van Vleuten and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio started to watch each other, Stultiens played her card in the final kilometre with a blitzing all-out attack to the line to claim her first professional win.
Vårgårda Road Race
141km over gravel and just about every other surface and it all comes to the final corner. Throughout, Marianne Vos displays her legendary bike-handling skills but just watch her final line – that brave, bold, fast line! It’s not for the faint-hearted but it won her the race. It’s beautiful to watch, it’s also INSANE!
Giro Rosa, Stage 8
Broiling heat in the Po valley didn’t stop the Giro Rosa peloton from racing the whole day. It was a flat stage on paper but the climbs it included were raced all-out, splitting the race into two within the first hour. On the flat roads around Breganze, riders continued attacking to form a breakaway that never happened, keeping the pace high. On the final climb, an elite trio of Elisa Longo Borghini, Marianne Vos, and Lucinda Brand got away at the top and built a decent advantage on the technical descent, staying away to the finish where Vos took her first victory of the season.
Poll is open until 11.59pm on 14 December – after which, stay alert for our Awards podcast!
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