Rider of the Year
First has to be Vincenzo Nibali, for the way he attacked the opposition on the cobbles at the Tour. It was an easy victory by the time he reached Paris, as the rest fell away or fell off, but that does not detract from what he achieved.
In second spot, I've gone for Michał Kwiatkowski. We're going to be seeing a lot more from this man, no doubt about it. World Champion at the age of 24, winner of Strade Bianche and very decent in a time-trial, the Pole has pretty much got it all.
Third goes to Marcel Kittel: power, brains, looks, haircut. And a thoroughly decent chap, too. What more do you want from a sports star?
Best Stage Race of the Year
I’m heartily sick of the rampant sexism in cycle sport that dictates that women racers are not worth anything like their male counterparts – in fact, most of the female peloton are professional in name only, earning next to nothing – and the widely-held view amongst many (men) who really should know better that women’s racing is boring; that it will never catch on. It’s the classic Catch 22.
Tour of Britain organisers Sweetspot took a punt on the Women’s Tour, brought hundreds of thousands of spectators onto the soggy streets of central England in May, got the TV coverage the likes of the greatest cyclist in the world, Marianne Vos, deserved and showed it can be done. They should be applauded.
Best One-Day Race of the Year
Now, I may be biased as a Brit, but this edition of the former Het Volk had everything for me – a filthy, cold, wet day of Flandrian racing in which Ian Stannard showed everybody what he is capable of given the chance.
I was hollering “You’ve blown it, you idiot!” at the television when Stannard opened the sprint against Greg van Avermaet from so far out.
Stannard wins the Grimace of the Year award too. pic: Offside/L'Equipe
I was the idiot: he played it to perfection and knew full well he was the stronger of the two.
It’s only when you scan the list of former winners that the scale of Stannard’s achievement becomes clear. He joins Merckx, De Vlaeminck, Maertens, Bruyere, Nelissen, Van Petegem, Museeuw and Gilbert as the sole Brit amongst the cream of Belgian hardmen. Chapeau - or should that be hoed?
Ian Cleverly is the Editor of Rouleur.
About the Rouleur Awards
The Rouleur Awards recognise the best riders and performances from the 2014 professional road racing season – with a twist.
The winners will be chosen by a panel of experienced judges, comprising some of the most experienced minds in cycling, including Jens Voigt, Sean Kelly and Jonathan Vaughters.
Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing a selection of each judge's choices, alongside their reasoning, on Rouleur.cc before revealing the winners for each category on December 19.
Rider of the Year
Stage Race of the Year
One-Day Race of the Year
Team of the Year
Best Young Rider (Under 25)
Domestique of the Year
Most Attacking Rider
Directeur Sportif of the Year