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2007 Podium Cafe Rider of the Year: Fabian Cancellara!

The people have spoken. Also, I happen to basically agree with them, which is the other ROY prerequisite. Top ten reasons to choose Tony Montana:

  1. When will we ever feel compelled to pick a chronoman again?
  2. His great 2006 season.
  3. His love of Scarface. [I know, this has been beaten to death, but that's not his fault.]Update [2007-11-2 21:18:21 by chris]: OK, I thought of something better: the length of his season. I don't know how many race days he had, but one of the more valid criticisms of some of the other top guys is their tendency to not exist before the Dauphine... and then go on vacation in August. Cancellara peaked in April for de Ronde, peaked again in June for the Swiss season (which carried over nicely into the first week of the Tour), and peaked a third time in October. That's a real season.
  4. His undefeated time trial stretch at home in Switzerland (Tour de Suisse prologue and ITT, Suisse Nats ITT). Talk about wearing the colors properly.
  5. The Tour prologue, when he was going so fast he almost rode up the back of the motorcycles. IMHO this is when he became le Patron of the Chrono: first time in rainbow in a grand tour. Video here.
  6. His blistering attack at the Tour of Flanders. Recall, he took off with about 30km to go, after the Berendries, knowing that the favorites were likely to attack at the rapidly approaching Valkenberg. Rather than a predictable attack, or an unglorious reaction, neither of which favored him at all, Cancellara launched when the favorites weren't expecting it. He couldn't solo home from 30km, and Steegmans refused to help (understandably), so it came to nothing. But put him among the top picks for de Ronde '08.
  7. His second place in le Tour stage 12, third place in stage 1 of the Tour de Suisse, and second place in E3 Prijs Vlaanderen. He never gave up on any day, even with obviously better sprinters around.
  8. His repeat ITT world championship. Reprazent!
  9. There is no dominating force out there to waltz away with the 2007 ROY, be it our award or anyone else's. So why not pick among the best, and give it to a guy who does a damn fine job of showing us what the sport is all about? Cancellara, as much as any cyclist anywhere, is taking what he has and putting in a max performance. I hate hanging a bunch of adjectives on complete strangers, but the words "determined" and "powerful" and "clever" all come to mind.
  10. Winning the second stage of the Tour de France, in yellow, with a mashing solo attack in the last km. If he wasn't the Patron from the prologue, he was two days later. What I love most about this, apart from watching him crush the sprint teams as they started in on their usual last KM nonsense, was the final few meters, where he's hammering a huge gear in about half the cadence of the stunned sprinters coming up behind him.

Cancellara scoffed at the usual last-KM gamesmanship and said to the pack, I've got a better idea. The year's most powerful moment. You know what movie it reminds me of? Not Scarface. This:

Congratulations to Fabian Cancellara, the Patron of Cycling in 2007.