Riders 61-70 in our countdown of the 100 Best Road Riders of 2016
61. Zdenek Stybar
30, Czech Republic, Etixx-QuickStep
The major Classic win Stybar has threatened to achieve since dramatically crashing out of the 2013 Paris-Roubaix from a potentially winning position continues to elude him.
The Czech rider’s spring started brightly with second at Strade Bianche and a stage win and spell as overall leader at Tirreno-Adriatico, but his legs failed him in his to key targets, the Tour of Flanders (where he was eighth) and Paris-Roubaix (a distant 110th).
62. Edvald Boasson Hagen
29, Norway, Dimension Data
Continuing his career trajectory from serial winner to underachiever and back again, Boasson Hagen clocked up a far from shabby nine wins this season. None came in anything bigger than stages of the Critérium du Dauphiné and Eneco Tour, but fifth at Paris-Roubaix was a welcome return to being in contention for the spring Classics.
63. Davide Formolo
24, Italy, Cannondale-Drapac
Building upon his breakthrough stage win at the Giro last year, the 24-year old Italian took the next step to becoming a Grand Tour contender by making the top -10 for the first time at the Vuelta, in what was the highlight of a quietly impressive year. He’ll aim for a yet higher finish at the 2017 Giro.
64. Lotta Lepistö
27, Finland, Cervélo-Bigla
Though her wins came earlier in the year, Lepistö’s third place in the World Championship road race brought her most acclaim. However, performances against the clock, including 11th in the worlds ITT and a bronze medal in the team event, prove her as far more than just a fast finisher.
65. Michał Kwiatkowski
26, Poland, Team Sky
It was a mixed year for the 26-year old. Kwiatkowski failed to make an impression in what has typically been his best races, the Ardennes Classics, but did win the cobbled Classic E3 Harelbeke; he pulled out of his only Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta, but not before wearing the leader’s red jersey for a day. A rider of such talent will be expecting an improved 2017, however.
66. Mikel Nieve
32, Spain, Team Sky
Arguably one the peloton’s most underrated super-domestiques, Nieve was, as ever, there whenever Team Sky needed him most. First at the Giro d’Italia, where he single-handedly saved the team’s race following Mikel Landa’s abandonment by winning the mountains classification as well as a stage, then at the Tour de France, where he was a reliable ally to Froome in the high mountains.
67. Fabio Felline
26, Italy, Trek-Segafredo
The cycling equivalent of a Swiss army knife, Felline used his multifaceted armoury of climbing, sprinting and panache to surprisingly win the points classification at the Vuelta. His jack-of-all-trades style saw him land multiple top five finishes throughout the year, including a hardy second overall in a rain-soaked Tour of Poland, although did end the season winless.
68. Thibaut Pinot
26, France, FDJ
Early in the season we were wowed by Thibaut Pinot 2.0, a vastly improved time triallist who won the Critérium International with the authority of a potential Tour winner. But come July old frailties re-emerged, as poor form and illness forced him to abandon. A shift in emphasis towards the Giro rather than the Tour could be on the cards.
69. Nacer Bouhanni
26, France, Cofidis
He bulldozed his way to sprint wins at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Paris-Nice and Volta a Catalunya and came fourth in Milan-San Remo; but, as has so often been the case in his career, Bouhanni’s 2016 is best remembered by controversy – both for having victories taken from him for dangerous riding, and for again missing the Tour de France due to injuries sustained in a fight.
70. Thomas Voeckler
36, France, Direct Energie
There’s life in the old dog yet. The veteran Frenchman may be at the twilight of his career, but he was still a mainstay of breakaways throughout 2016. He even pulled off a major victory, out-sprinting Nicholas Roche in the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire to seal the overall classification.