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2011 In Review: Who's Your Men's Team of the Year??

Ah, sweet, sweet offseason. Times of beer and mud and frietes (OK, frietes have no offseason). Time for relaxation and not fretting about form, beyond the 40-ish minute threshold of a hack amateur CX race. And time for reflection...

We have had a pretty well established pattern of anointing our Official Podium Cafe Heroes the last few years, and I intend to do so again, with a slight twist. Starting with the Dudes. Instead of gathering nominations right now for Rider of the Year, I'd like to instead ask for your Team of the Year. It's a team sport, right? And if nothing else, 2011 saw some pretty interesting competition for the title of Best Team. Both the Podium Cafe World Rankings and the CQRanking charts include a nice little breakaway up the road, consisting of Leopard-Trek, HTC and Sky, with Garmin, Omega Pharma, and Rabobank close on their heels. And that's just points. I am not going to set any criteria -- if you want to consider things like expectations or budgets, be my guest. Hell, I'll even toss out one name you won't see on any charts: Team Great Britain. Not saying they get my vote, but still...

OK, for you newcomers, this is a two-stage process. Today I open the floor for debate. Make your nominations and explain why. Now is your chance to see if you can convince people to vote the way you view things. Next week, I'll take the nominations and cobble together a poll, the results of which will decide our Team of the Year. That voting will be open for maybe a week.

Oh, and one last item... on the flip, vote for the 2011 Male Rider of the Year!

I know, this is a tough one.


Photo by Bryn Lennon, Getty Images Sport