Podium Cafe Female Rider of the Year: Your Nominations!

Bryn Lennon

While the male rider of the year is usually a hotly debated topic, especially with the difficulties in comparing riders with different specialties, the women's category has become a question of "Vos of course, but who at least deserves a mention?" these last few years. This year though looks at least a little bit different.

Take a peak at the different World rankings, the UCI ranking, CQ Ranking and our own Podiumcafe/FSA DS ranking, they all have one oddity in common: the year end leader is no longer Marianne Vos but instead someone else. So if nothing else that should give us the first of my own three nominees:

Emma Johansson
Having joined Orica-AIS Johansson racked up an impressively solid season. Her worst placing in a World Cup was 5th, she got a silver at Worlds, she won two major stage races (Thüringen and Emakumeen Bira). But apart from those two the major problem in calling her ROY remains: she doesn't win in the biggest races. She's rarely off the podium but she wins even more seldom. And the reason more often than not is........

Marianne Vos
So she didn't top the rankings but a major factor in this is her increased MTB focus. But, and it's a big but, when she shows up, she wins. A whopping five World Cup wins (Out of seven. She finished 6th in Binda and didn't go to China for Chongming) plus the World Championships in Florence to crown the season. The Giro was a bridge too far this year where she was beaten solidly by a superior climber but that's about the only missed opportunity this year.

Ellen van Dijk
In a year where some of the other stars struggled a bit, Van Dijk stepped up and assumed the leadership of Specialized-lululemon. Every bit as dominant as Tony Martin in the timetrials, she won practically everything in that event including Worlds and leading the lulus to the Team Timetrial World Championships. Beyond that she nearly mirrored Johansson's record in the World Cups and won two stageraces as well (Gracia Orlova and Energiewacht Tour). It's a good thing she stepped up to world class because the Netherlands had so few riders at the very top as it was.

Those are my obvious ones. Please add your personal favorites in the comments.

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