VeloVoices Awards 2012: Kit of the Year

VVAward

You’ve read the five of us discussing our thoughts on the 2012 season throughout the year. Now it’s time to make your voices heard as we open the voting for the inaugural VeloVoices Awards. Over ten days in ten categories – some serious, others less so – we’re asking you to select your choices of 2012. We’ll publish the final results in the run-up to Christmas. (Hopefully next year we’ll have a grand gala dinner in central London …)

Yesterday we revealed our shortlist for the Most Ridiculous Thing Said/Seen Award. Today it’s the turn of our nominations for our final category, Kit of the Year:

avatar jackJack: Having enjoyed wearing a gold-trimmed helmet since winning Olympic gold in 2008, Samuel Sanchez thought he’d go the whole hog in 2012, in what was the last year in which he could describe himself as reigning Olympic champion. In commemoration, therefore, Euskaltel created a rather dashing jersey specifically for the Asturian, which interspersed shiny gold lines with the usual Basque orange. He’d worn a similar affair last year, though the rather mesmerising golden glow was a new – and welcome – introduction.

Samuel Sanchez jersey

Panache avatarPanache: The Belgian national team kit – for the 2012 version, this was a plain, light blue jersey with the black, yellow and red bands of the Belgian flag emblazoned across the front – should be kit of the year every year. It is the nirvana of kits, the crème de la crème, simple but beautiful. Nothing even comes close.

Belgian national jersey 2012

sdw-livestrong-photo_edited shereeSheree: Swiss national team. There’s nothing easier to spot at any World Championships than the Swiss national team kit. Provided by Assos, the jersey mimics the Swiss flag with a big white cross on a red background and it’s paired with black shorts. It’s simple, elegant, stylish and immediately identifiable. What more do you want? I wish trade teams would bear these points in mind when designing team kit.

Swiss national jersey in BMC guise, as sported by national champion Martin Kohler (image courtesy of BMC)

Swiss national jersey in BMC guise, as sported by national champion Martin Kohler (image courtesy of BMC)

Tim avatar

Tim: There was nothing fancy about Argos-Shimano‘s kit (in either its Argos or 1t4i guises), but it did everything you would want a kit to do without looking excessively like a mobile billboard. White with tasteful lime green bands, their riders were easy to identify in the sea of corporate black in the peloton, the sponsors’ logos were prominent without being jarring, and it was just a good, classic kit with clean lines and colourways.

Argos-Shimano jersey

kitty-fondueKitty: It has to be the flourescent fiesta that was Farnese Vini. With so many teams going for black, blue and white in some combination, it was refreshing to be able to immediately pick out the Farnese Glows! You couldn’t miss them in the sunshine, they offered a welcome eye-searing pop of colour in rainy conditions – and they were over-the-top fun at its best. Go with the Glow!

Farnese Vini 2012 jersey

All ten polls will remain open until 9pm (UK time) on Sunday. Results will be published next week.

VeloVoices Awards 2012

Rider of the Year

Team of the Year

Breakthrough Rider of the Year

Most Thrilling Moment of the Year

Flop of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sartorial Elegance Award

Least Likely to Happen in 2013

Most Ridiculous Thing Said/Seen

VeloVoices Awards 2012: Team of the Year

VVAwardYou’ve read the five of us discussing our thoughts on the 2012 season throughout the year. Now it’s time to make your voices heard as we open the voting for the inaugural VeloVoices Awards. Over ten days in ten categories – some serious, others less so – we’re asking you to select your choices of 2012. We’ll publish the final results in the run-up to Christmas. (Hopefully next year we’ll have a grand gala dinner in central London …)

Yesterday we revealed our shortlist for Rider of the Year. Today it’s the turn of our nominations for Team of the Year:

sdw-livestrong-photo_edited shereeSheree: I’ve loved the fact that Euskaltel-Euskadi has nurtured Basque (or Basque-trained) riders from cradle to grave and has given the sport’s most passionate fans something to rally behind. What would the Pyrenees be like without the hordes of Basque fans? Cycling fans around the world affectionately call them ‘The Carrots’ and should any of them fall [which happens rather a lot – Ed] the cry of “Carrot down!” goes out on Twitter. Surely, there’s not a more loved team than the boys in orange? That’s why they’re my team of the year. Sadly, they’re abandoning their all-Basque stance in 2013 for riders who can score points in a wider range of races than the all-Basque mountain goats.

Tim avatarTim: They’re not the most popular choice, I know, but Sky finished 2012 as the WorldTour’s top-ranked team by a margin. Of course, there was Wiggo and Chris Froome. But Mark Cavendish’s ‘unsuccessful’ season saw him win three stages at both the Giro and Tour. Edvald Boasson Hagen took a clutch of victories including the GP Ouest France and a silver at the Worlds. Richie Porte won the Volta ao Algarve. Colombians Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao were seventh and ninth at the Giro, and Uran won silver in the Olympic road race. There’s no denying either the results or the depth of talent here. In this case, the stats don’t lie.

kitty-fondueKitty: It should be Argos-Shimano. They were a notable presence in the majority of races this year, working hard to get that train on the tracks for both Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb and even when they misfired, they misfired with all their hearts. They worked seamlessly as a team and had a joie de vivre that many of the bigger teams lacked. Their snowy white Argonaut suits were brilliant shafts of light cutting through the peloton, particularly in the Vuelta, where Degenkolb really came into his own as a sprinting force to be reckoned with. Great attitude, great guys, amazing results.

avatar jackJack: For me it’s the Belgian World Championships road race team. Over the past few years all of the pressure has been on Belgium’s team to deliver race favourite Philippe Gilbert to the rainbow jersey. Unfortunately it had never quite come together – until this year, that is. On the familiar Classics roads around Valkenburg they knew that this year would be as good a chance as they would get. And they certainly did not disappoint. As soon as Jurgen Roelandts, Bjorn Leukemans and company hit the front on the final ramp up to the finish line, there was only one winner. World Championships are notoriously difficult to control, but the Belgians did an outstanding job of dominating the race and sealing the victory.

Panache avatarPanache: The men of Omega Pharma-Quick Step had 54 road victories in 2012 by a variety of riders. What impresses me most is the number and variety of races they won, including the Tours of Qatar, Oman, Belgium and Beijing, Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the World Championships team time trial. They also seemed to spread the victories throughout the team. They won with Boonen, Terpsta, Chavanel, Leipheimer, Velits, Chicchi, Martin – it just goes on and on. The only thing OPQS didn’t win was a three-week Grand Tour.

Tomorrow we’ll unveil our shortlist for Breakthrough Rider of the Year.

VeloVoices Awards 2012

Rider of the Year