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It’s the Podium Cafe Season-Ending Celebration Post!

Same as previous years... or is it??

113th Il Lombardia 2019 Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Welcome to the 2019 cycling offseason! It was a long slog, from sunny Australia to rainy Lombardia, past the Yorskhire deluge and the French alps... deluge. If wet lycra is your thing, 2019 was a banner year.

In the past we have voted on Rider of the Year, men and women, plus Race Day of the Year for both as well. This year you can continue the tradition in the Fanposts run by Vlady (scroll down, look to the right). The latter is good fun, but for the former we have an objective measure of Rider of the Year, one cooked up in Ursula’s lab over many weeks and months (while he waited for some eye of a newt he bought off eBay), and that objective measure says your champions are Primož Roglič and Annemiek van Vleuten.

92nd UCI Road World Championships 2019 - Women Elite Road Race
Van Vleuten unstoppable
Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Van Vleuten was at her best when it counted most, winning the Giro Donne and the World Championship road race along with a few one-day matters (Liege, Strade Bianche) for good measure. The top of the Ladies table was crowded with Dutch stars on top of their game, so while van Vleuten didn’t put them very far out of reach, she certainly did prevail in the end.

Roglič was the year’s biggest mover, more than doubling his previous best point total for a season and gapping the men’s field by more than a 25% margin. He’s part of a surge of Slovenian athletic superstardom, and since his crowning achievement (winning the Vuelta a España) happened in September, he succeeded in knocking basketball wizard Luca Doncic off the front of the sports page for a few minutes. Rogla’s Vuelta win was the country’s first grand tour, but before that he also bagged the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, Romandie, and a podium step at the Giro. The win in Emilia was nice too. Great all-round season for the Ski Jumper, and although he’s not another wunderkind, he’s sitting in the middle of his prime with big things on deck for the next few years.

99th Tre Valli Varesine 2019 Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images

OK, now your turn. In addition to the voting going on now in VLady’s fanposts, I am proposing two new categories:

  • Most Exciting Story for 2020 - Men
  • Most Exciting Story for 2020 - Women

What are the stories we are already excited about for 2020? Are there particular races (coughrondevanvlaanderencough) that you think should be most eagerly anticipated? Are there season-long battles brewing among the wunderkinder or the seasoned veterans? Can a juggernaut team’s presumed supremacy be challenged? Are there big surprises in store? Go ahead and start nominating and we will put them to a vote early next week. Thanks!