No. 11 Daniel Lloyd
Last year’s position: 39th
Daniel Lloyd didn’t hang about. He didn’t gently ease himself into the top level of the sport, he threw himself in head first.
Finally getting a contract with a big team, Cervélo, at the age of 28, Lloyd clearly wanted to make the most of it.
Cervélo dominated the Tour of Qatar, and Lloyd was one of their most impressive riders, forcing the pace, getting in the breaks as the bunch split in the wind, and ensuring they capitalised to the full. Although Tom Boonen (Quick Step) won overall because of the time bonuses he won, Cervélo had the next five men, with Lloyd fourth.
It was a little later in the spring that Lloyd demonstrated beyond doubt that he was capable of impressing. A brilliant ninth place on the white, dusty roads of Tuscany in the Monte Paschi Eroica was one of the results of the season by any British rider.
Lloyd never looked out of place when it came to the classics in Flanders either. He marked an attack by Leif Hoste and had the unforgettable experience of riding over the Koppenberg and the subsequent climbs in the lead group.
Three days later and Lloyd found himself in the big break at Ghent-Wevelgem, which formed in the first half-hour and stayed clear until the latter stages.
And Lloyd’s first taste of grand tour action was a success too as he finished the Giro d’Italia.
At the National Championships, Lloyd won the silver medal, as he did in 2007, in the four-up sprint in Abergavenny.
CW’s top 30 British riders of 2009 advent calendar