We've had three polls and while we also had a discussion on what men's teams do best in the social media it turns out that wasn't even necessary when it came to the women. The polls themselves turned out to be a good indicator of which teams are the most influential in that arena. As it turns out the polls became something of a powerstruggle in the ability to mobilize the fanbase. And the winners are:
Rider of the year: Emma Pooley
Pooley won the Battle of the Emmas when the Garmin fans made a late surge to best the norwegian Hitec fans in this poll. Despite a collarbone injury Pooley put together quite the season grabbing the first World Cup win of the year at Trofeo Alfredo Binda and wrapping it up winning the Tour de l'Ardéche. In between she had a strong Giro only losing out to phenom Marianne Vos on a rampage.
Best Moment: The Giro duels between Emma Pooley & Marianne Vos
No one really doubted the quality of Marianne Vos but the step up she took this year to be competitive in the toughest climby stagerace on the calendar impressed most of us. To win it she had to overcome Emma Pooley, the dominant climber in the euro peloton, in a series of hard stages. It made for memorable racing and had the rest of the field fighting for a distant third place.
Team of the Year: Hitec Products
Building steadily towards an established elite team, Hitec took a major step in 2011 with the recruitment of Emma Johansson. With her they upped their level, becoming a winning team. As the season progressed they became more and more a force to be reckoned with and the two biggest wins of the season , Omloop Het Nieuwsblad & Thüringen Rundfahrt, came as a result of strong teamwork. They ended up the third ranked team and are already looking to advance in 2012 with strong signings like France's Christel Ferrier-Bruneau.
Photos by Sarah Connolly & Dave Reitbergen via www.hitecproducts-uck.no