The drama, the passion, the sitting on the edge of your seat, unable to tear your eyes away from events unfolding on the television. As Midge is so fond of saying, bike racing has to sing to your soul. Why else would we spend hours thinking and talking about it? Here’s our selection of gasp-out-loud moments – let us know yours in the comments. VOTE NOW!
Previous winners: 2015 – Taylor Phinney’s return; 2016 – Chris Froome and Peter Sagan breakaway; 2017 – not awarded
Alejandro Valverde, World Championships
Sheree: The unbridled joy on Alejandro Valverde’s face was unmistakable. After crossing the line, the new road world champion buried his head in the arms of his soigneur, and sobbed his heart out. Whatever you think of Valverde, you had to be moved by this poignant moment of emotional release by a rider who’d previously podiumed six times but never stopped believing he’d one day win the rainbow jersey. He called it the best result of his career, high praise indeed for a rider who’s won so much and so often, particularly after the 38-year old’s return from a nightmare injury at the previous year’s Tour de France. It was a watershed moment and the emotional tears continued to flow in the team tent and in post-race interviews. You all know how much we love a few tears at VeloVoices Towers, here we had buckets of them.
Chris Juul Jensen, Stage 4, Tour de Suisse
Midge: You’ve all seen Chris Juul Jensen at the front of the peloton for Mitchelton-Scott. He’s the Danish powerhouse sent forward to keep a fierce tempo and he’s extraordinarily good at it. Like many unsung heroes, he doesn’t always get his moment to shine in the race-winning spotlight – until a filthy wet day into Gstaad played to all his strengths. I don’t think I’ll ever forget his race smarts as he outwitted Nans Peters on the final descent then kept the power on to stay ahead of the pack to solo across the line with a roar of triumph. I was so happy, I cried.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, La Course
Lukas: La Course produced a super day of racing packed with dramatic and emotional moments. None have left such an indelible mark on me than watching Cecilie Uttrup‘s exploits. The young Dane broke clear of an elite group of chasers on the Col de Romme, caught the remnants of the breakaway and went solo, increasing her lead with a no-holds-barred descent. She held close to two minutes as she hit the Col de la Colombière and was cheered for every agonising pedal stroke as she climbed out of her skin. Her efforts gave teammate Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio a springboard and even when she was caught, she found the energy to keep it going to claim fourth. Her interview overflows with joy, pain, pride and laughter and will go down in history.
Simon Yates, Stage 15, Giro d’Italia
Euan: Stage 15 of this year’s Giro d’Italia was everything I ever want to see in a Grand Tour stage. Simon Yates had the race lead by nearly a minute and a half but there was a time trial coming and Tom Dumoulin was in second place. Yates decided today was the day to take more time. He broke free with 17km to go and from that point on, my spine tingled till the end. The sight of Yates in the bright pink jersey flying solo through overcast mountain villages, stretching his advantage, changing the shape of the race with each pedal stroke, made my heart sing.
He finished over 40 seconds ahead of the rest. In retrospect maybe he shouldn’t have been so aggressive but at the time… wow! 17 kilometres of spine-tingling grand tour action at its best.
John Degenkolb, Stage 9, Tour de France
Kathi: This was one of the highlights of the season for me and I’m just going to leave this here. The Mighty Degs‘ words spoken directly from his heart and his hurt are so much better than anything I could write.
Michael Woods, Stage 17, Vuelta a Espana
Luke: There are few moments more spine tingling than when a rider snatches his first WorldTour victory after a long while of him knocking on that door. As we saw in September, the cycling world gave a resounding shout of “HELL YEAH!” when EF’s Michael Woods spun across the finish line on Stage 17 of La Vuelta. It was a beautiful moment that brought a feeling of ecstasy to VeloVoices Towers. The real spine-tingling moment, however, was Woods’ post-race interview. In a heap of emotion, he dedicated his long sought-after victory to his wife and the loss of their child. Take a moment to re-watch that post-race interview, to relive the emotion, and then try to tell me that you’re not filled with emotion.
Poll is open until 11.59pm on 14 December – after which, stay alert for our Awards podcast!