As we know, cycling is not for the faint hearted and it is full to the brim of exceptional talent, new to the professional peloton and those who are more experienced - as far as being a cyclist goes, some may even say Geraint Thomas is on the verge of being ‘old’ with his expertise.
Every year in The Road Book we like to reminisce over the quality the WorldTour peloton holds, both men and women.
However, we all have our biases', therefore we must enrol the help of some fair, open minded and fantastic judges, those of whom we have already introduced you to in our previous blog which you can find here.
Rider of The Year Awards:
Men's Rider of The Year – Mathieu Van Der Poel
Female Rider of The Year – Demi Vollering
Veteran Men's Rider of The Year – Geraint Thomas
Young Female Rider of The Year – Zoe Backstedt
Combative Male Rider of the Year – Remco Evenepoel
Combative Female Rider of the Year - Pfeiffer Georgi
Looking at the points system our judges use to vote, there was a lot of close calls within each category – understandably it’s a tough call, every single rider rode their hearts out.
With Mathieu Van Der Poel riding in the rainbow jersey next season, we’d say his performance at the 2023 World Road Championships was astounding and his best race of the year – in our opinion. To ride away from his competitors as he did, crash on the finishing circuit – maybe pushing the limits a bit too far with an almost guaranteed win, ripping off his boa and then continuing to storm to first place. So well deserved.
Demi Vollering showcased not only her power and ability on a bike, but also, her bike handling skills and racing technique to win the Womens Tour De France Femme. Bringing class, sportsmanship and all her hard work together. We think she is what young rider's dreams are made of, and idol and all-round superstar.
Geraint Thomas, well, a man of talent, friendship and loyalty. If you didn’t see him lead Mark Cavendish out at The Giro d’Italia 2023, then you need to go and watch it on playback. They’re not even team-mates, just solid friends from many years of racing and sharing previous teams together.
The young riders are getting evermore talented, they’re coming through the ranks 90% ready-made world tour riders. The power and determination they’re bringing to the table at such young ages is astounding. Zoe is in a class of her own, a multi-discipline rider who is able to win on the road and cyclo-cross tracks. She comes from a family of athletes, her dad, Magnus is the lead sports director for Canyon/SRAM women and her sister Elinor rides for Lidl-Trek.
If there was ever a tenacious cyclist, you’d know it was Remco Evenepoel, he faced rumours about his team toward the end of the season and advises journalists ‘there has always been a storm around him and the team,’ - a battle that could easily affect an athlete mentally, yet he has never shown any dip in his performance. A rider who is always ready for an attack.
The UK is seeing its most successful time for young British riders thriving in the world tour peloton, something that hasn’t been seen for a long time, it’s taken blood, sweat and tears, but our youngsters are making their mark. One we have seen incredible growth from in 2023 is Pfeiffer Georgi, her best result for us was Binche-Chimay-Binche pour Dames, a race that was at the end of a very long season and she rode it with excellent tactics.
There will always be supporters who feel differently about the chosen awardees, if you have a different opinion, follow us on twitter or Instagram and let us know, for your chance to win a set of postcards. Check back next week to see who The Road Book Society members voted for.
Purchase your own 2023 book here, to read an exclusive interview from Demi Vollering.