clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vote for the 2016 Podium Cafe Men's Rider of the Year!

New, 40 comments
Getty Images

Here are your nominees for the 2016 Podium Cafe Rider of the Year! Included with each is a short description of why you might be interested in voting for them.

Peter Sagan, Tinkoff

Wins: Gent-Wevelgem, Ronde van Vlaanderen,  Stages in ATOC and Suisse, three Tour de France stages plus the Points competition and some days in yellow, Euro Champs, GP Quebec, World Championships Road Race

And? All this while wearing the Rainbow Target, a/k/a the Curse. Dominated every points competition, including the most important one. Competed in the Olympic MTB event (though choosing that over the road race was maybe his only misstep). All this while smiling, having fun, representing the sport well, and occasionally dressing like a pimp.

Chris Froome, Sky

Wins: Herald Sun Tour, Romandie stage, stage and GC of the Dauphine, two stages and GC of the Tour de France, two stages of the Vuelta a Espana.

And? Second in the Vuelta, making him the year's most successful grand tour rider. Decisive and tactically impressive performance at the Tour left little doubt who was the strongest rider at the sport's most important event. Just as impressive were some of his rebound performances on stages of the Vuelta, where he got down but never out.

Vincenzo Nibali, Astana

Wins: Tour of Oman, stage and GC of the Giro d'Italia

And? The Giro-Tour double remained out of reach, but his Giro win was impressive enough. And his season only ended prematurely on a crash of the Vista Chinesa, where Nibali had a chance at Olympic Gold well in his sights.

Esteban Chaves, Orica-Bike Exchange

Wins: Giro dell'Emilia, Il lombardia

And? Second at the Giro d'Italia, his first big grand tour breakout, and third at the Vuelta a Espana. Grand Tour successes + Monument win = one hell of a year.

Mark Cavendish, Dimension Data

Wins: Stages and overall Tour of Qatar, stages of  California, Croatia and Abu Shabi tours, four Tour de France stages.

And? Barely missed a second world championship. Pipped in Scheldeprijs. 30th in Paris-Roubaix, which is maybe his most surprising result in this bounce-back year.

Greg Van Avermaet, BMC

Wins: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, stage and overall of Tirreno-Adriatico, stage and leader's jersey (2 days) Tour de France, Olympic gold medal in Men's Road Race.

And? Crashed out of Flanders and Roubaix, which is a shame because he was riding high and besting Sagan in the process early on. Flandrian of the Year, hands down.

Nairo Quintana, Movistar

Wins: Volta a Catalunya, stages and overall Tour de Romandie, ITT and overall Route du Sud, one stage and overall Vuelta a Espana.

And? A trying year but one that bore fruit in the end and may do more to harden still-young Quintana into the Tour de France champion many still expect him to be.

Wout Poels, Sky

Wins: Stages and overall Vuelta al Communidad Valenciana, stage of Volta a Catalunya, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, stage of Tour of Britain

And? Breakthrough year for both the Dutchman and his Sky team, previously winless in the Monuments. Poels was awesome in support of Froome in France as well.

Matt Hayman, Orica-Bike Exchange

Wins: Paris-Roubaix

And? A week before his 38th birthday, the Aussie mainstay wins the biggest event of his career, in impressive fashion.

Fabian Cancellara, Trek

Wins: Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, Strade Bianche, stages of Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour de Suisse, Swiss Nats ITT, Olympic Gold Medal men's ITT.

And? Not quite the milestone year he hoped for -- Cancellara has been known to harbor some pretty serious ambitions -- but classics and ITT wins are a nice coda to his career. His spring form looked dominant but didn't quite hold. Sagan's attack to win Flanders by himself, from a group that included a record-win-seeking Cancellara, was a heartbreaker. Wait, this isn't the Sagan piece...

Alejandro Valverde, Movistar

Wins: Stage and overall Vuelta a Andalucia, stages and overall Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, Fleche Wallonne, stage of the Giro d'Italia.

And? Finished all three grand tours, including a Giro podium place and sixth at the Tour. He's the David Ortiz of cycling, in that he shouldn't be this good or durable, and people who don't like him think he cheated.

OK, go and vote! Scroll down for the poll.

Polls close Friday at Noon!