We’ve reached the final vote for Voxwomen’s Sharon Laws Rider of the Year award 2019.
The two riders who received the most votes from the spring poll were Annemiek van Vleuten and Kirsten Wild. The two riders who received the most votes from the summer poll were Christine Majerus and Marianne Vos.
Whoever receives the most votes from this poll will be named the Rider of the Year 2019 at the Rouleur Classic, the world’s finest road cycling exhibition, on October 31 in central London.
We would ask you to not weigh Saturday’s 105km solo stomp to the line in Harrogate too heavily when considering how to vote. However, we also realise what an astonishing feat that was, and that you’re only human, so would instead merely remind you that this is an award for a rider’s achievements over the entire season, and not just one weekend.
Not that AVV doesn’t have plenty more to put her in a pretty good position to regain the crown she first won in 2017. It has been another year in which the Dutch rider has bathed in triumph. Starting with Strade Bianche in March, Van Vleuten won most of the races she went for. Nowhere was she more dominant than in the Giro Rosa in July, however, taking the time trial and the overall victory by a margin of more than three minutes.
One of the riders of the summer, Christine Majerus earned her place on our shortlist thanks to an impressive overall victory in the Boels Ladies Tour – the biggest win of the 32 year-old’s career to date.
2019 has, arguably, been the best season of Majerus’ career so far. Wins at La Classique Morbihan and Grand Prix International d’Isbergues, as well as strong showings at almost every race she’s entered, have seen the Luxembourg star rise to 9th in the UCI rankings.
Measured solely by the number of victories, this has not been the best season of Marianne Vos’ career. 19 (N-n-n-n-n-n nineteen) is a remarkable figure, just under a win every two days, but she’s beaten it six times before. Yet if you consider the standard of the sport, and compare the competition, between that era and this, it’s difficult not to reach the conclusion that Vos has surpassed even her own previous best.
That Vos is the Women’s WorldTour’s unstoppable force is something she has proved on multiple occasions this season. That we know an attack is coming, and the form it will take, makes it no less exciting to watch when it does. Her timing and execution of the move that took her to victory in La Course – catching and dispensing of Amanda Spratt like she was barely there – was poetry in motion.
Kirsten Wild, 36, made it into the final four thanks to a commanding classics campaign, that delivered Women’s WorldTour wins at Gent-Wevelgem and Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne.
Which is not to suggest her season stopped when the leaves were on the trees. Summer hasn’t been all that bad for her, either. Two stages of the Tour de Bretagne were added to Wild’s palmarès in June to round out a satisfying season for the Dutch sprinter. She might have compatriot Lorena Wiebes snapping at her heels but for now Wild remains the foremost flat sprinter in women’s cycling.