The first step to determining the First Annual Podium Cafe Cyclist of the Year is coming up with the nominees. Although, really, you can't name the nominees without determining the parameters. But with the season at an end Sunday, and with our community not yet on winter break, let's try to nail this down. More on the flip...
OK, so first off, we're just picking one guy. I support (upon further review) bifurcating competitions for the grand tours and classics, but let's keep it simple. Otherwise we will be voting for something like "best non-doping German rider in a one-week Tour." This isn't the Academy Awards.
Second, the final decision will be made, well, by me, in that it will not necessarily be the guy with the most votes. That said, I want to pick the guy who has made the best case, and I'd love to hear who you want and why. It's entirely possible that someone will lay out an unassailable case for a rider others aren't thinking of. That's why I'm not calling this a strict vote.
Some names that should probably be in the mix:
- The outgoing and incoming world champions. Actually, the latter has little more than the rainbow jersey to show for this year, but his predecessor had racked up some 18 or so wins, last I looked.
- The three grand tour winners... at least, if you believe in "innocent til proven guilty."
- The Pro Tour winner. The jersey may not be a perfect symbol of achievement, but it's not like Alejandro Valverde is a chump either. Did anyone else win two Classics?
- At least some of the Monuments winners. Like Cancellara, who has a rainbow jersey and a coblestone in his possession now.
- And not just the winners, but the riders who inspire us. I know there are more than a few Zabel and Voigt fans out there. Not for nothing.
I am looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts on this... thanks!