VeloVoices Awards 2018: Rider of the Year (Men)

This prestigious award is not decided on by mere trifles such as UCI points or pay slips. Like our regular Rider of the Race accolade, this title goes to the rider who has leapt out and grabbed us with his panache, made us laugh, made us cry and most of all made us LOVE this sport.

Previous winners: 2012 – Bradley Wiggins; 2013 – Peter Sagan; 2014 – Michal Kwiatkowski; 2015 – Peter Sagan; 2016 – Peter Sagan; 2017 -Tom Dumoulin

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Amstel Gold 2018: Valgren shows no pity while Sagan loosens up

Coming after Paris-Roubaix, the Amstel Gold Race feels like the sequel to a blockbuster movie. The backdrop has changed slightly but the basic plot remains the same. The cast list has been tweaked a bit – Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet keep their starring roles but Julian Alaphilippe and Alejandro Valverde come in to freshen things up. But it was Astana’s Michael Valgren who took the win ahead of past winners Roman Kreuziger (Mitchelton-Scott) and Enrico Gasparotto of Bahrain-Merida. With all the vital action contained in the last 20km, we had to wait for the pot to boil. If you like an absorbing battle, it was worth the wait.

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