Riders 31-40 in our countdown of the 100 Best Road Riders of 2016
- Photos by Graham Watson, unless stated
31. Chloe Hosking
Photo: Yuzuru Sunada
26, Australia, Wiggle-High5
With victory on the Champs Élysées at La Course in July, Australian Chloe Hosking established herself as one of the favourites for the Doha World Championships. The 26-year-old is one of the few pure sprinters in women’s peloton and wins at the Tours of Qatar, Chongming Island, and the Giro Rosa saw her begin to dominate the bunch gallops.
However, a miss timed finish at the final WorldTour race in Madrid was perhaps a sign of what was to come in Doha. There she was unable to position herself in the final, finishing a disappointing seventh.
32. Geraint Thomas
30, Great Britain, Team Sky
After his highly praised performance at the 2015 Tour de France, this season was billed as the year that Geraint Thomas would fully realise his own potential.
But it didn’t quite go that way, and questions remain about his choice to move away from the Classics where he has also shown strong potential. Thomas took a sensational win at Paris-Nice though, running it close as he managed to save his overall lead ahead of the vastly more experienced Alberto Contador on the final mountain stage to Nice.
At the Tour de France, the Welshman’s hopes of performing alongside Chris Froome soon fell away and he worked hard for his team leader for the remainder of the race. A late crash in the Olympics road race left a feeling of what could have been, but the race was as much won on the descent as the climb.
33. Rafal Majka
27, Poland, Tinkoff
Fifth overall at the Giro d’Italia was the start of a successful run for Rafal Majka as he won the Polish national road race and salvaged Tinkoff’s Tour de France by taking the polka dot jersey. Carrying his form still further, Majka rode cleverly in the Olympic Games road race but didn’t quite have enough left at the end and rolled over the line to take bronze.
Set for a move to Bora-Hansgrohe 2017 and 2018, Majka should be given leadership duties in stage races as the team focuses predominantly on Peter Sagan.
34. Marianne Vos
29, Netherlands, Rabo-Liv
After a year away, the once prolific Marianne Vos returned to racing at a low key UCI 1.2 Dutch race last March. She finished 10th, but when she won her next outing just two weeks later the world heralded her second coming.
It has not worked out that way. At least not yet. Her absence saw the emergence of other riders at Rabo-Liv and, despite her nine victories she has struggled on some of the hillier course she would once have dominated.
The withdrawal of Rabobank’s sponsorship has stripped her team of many of its strongest riders for 2017, but her consummate skills and unbridled desire to win will doubtless bring success next year.
35. Simon Yates
24, Great Britain, Orica-BikeExchange
Though his ruled non-intentional doping violation which led to a four-month suspension will no doubt be what Simon Yates’ 2016 will be remembered for, it would be a travesty to forget the results of what has otherwise been the young Briton’s most successful year. Upon his return to racing in the summer, he won his first race in Orica colours – Prueba Villafranca-Ordizia Klasika – and then won a stage of the Vuelta a España en route to finishing sixth.
36. Gianluca Brambilla
29, Italy, Etixx-QuickStep
2016 was a breakthrough for 29-year-old Brambilla. After showing promise in a string of decent results in lower level races, the Italian finally took his chance in the Grand Tours.
A stage win at his home race the Giro d’Italia was only topped by a stint in the maglia rosa. A second Grand Tour stage win came later in the Vuelta a España on a summit finish, but it’ll be his Strade Bianche performance that’ll live long in the memory after taking third place despite a monumental effort to try and setup Zdenek Stybar for victory.
37. Emma Johansson
33, Sweden, Wiggle-High5
Brilliantly consistent, Johansson is perhaps too much of an all rounder even in women’s cycling where such skills are usually rewarded.
Two stages and the GC at the Euskal Emakumeen Bira were the highlight of what is likely to be Johansson’s final year as a professional, though well over 30 top-10 finishes prove the Swedish champion’s class. One of those results was her second Olympic silver medal to back up the won she won in Beijing behind Nicole Cooke.
38. Bauke Mollema
29, Netherlands, Trek-Segafredo
Bauke Mollema looked to be giving the Netherlands its best Tour de France general classification performance in recent memory until things went awry in the closing stages.
A poor line on a corner saw him lose contact with the lead group and once the cracks appeared he was never able to recover. Mollema dropped from a podium position to 11th overall by the end.
Less than a week after that disappointment he won the Clasica San Sebastian to show he can still mix it with the best, but he’ll need to perform much better in 2017’s Tour if he is to be considered a top level contender.
39. Bob Jungels
24, Luxembourg, Trek-Segafredo
A bright young talent, the 24-year-old Bob Jungels had a solid year in 2016.
He started by taking the opening stage of the Tour of Oman, and with it the first leader’s jersey. Later, he was able to stick with the best for much of the Giro d’Italia where he enjoyed a spell in the pink jersey and finished the three-week race as the best young rider.
He surprised no-one with his wins in the Luxembourg road and time trial national championships, and completed his year by playing an integral part in Etixx-Quick Step’s TTT world championships win.
40. Rohan Dennis
26, Australia, BMC Racing
Had his left aero bar not broke with 15km remaining, it is very likely that Rohan Dennis would have won the Olympic time trial, having been the fastest on the first lap.
As it transpired, however, a bike change meant he finished fifth. 2016, though, was another impressive year for the former Hour Record holder, with second places on GC at both the Tour of California and Tour of Britain further establishing his credentials as a week-long stage racer.