Cycling Weekly ranks the top 100 male and female professional road riders who made an impression during the 2016 season

Who were the most impressive professional road cyclists in the world during the season? We have attempted to answer that question by compiling a list of Cycling Weekly‘s top 100 Best Road Riders of 2016.

We taken into account several factors, and not necessarily number of victories. The prestige of the races, and the way in which they were ridden have been taken firmly into account.

As with any subjective ranking, it’s all entirely debatable – and we’d like to hear your opinion in the comments section below.

100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #1 Peter Sagan100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #2 Chris Froome100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #3 Nairo Quintana100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #4 Greg Van Avermaet100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #5 Esteban Chaves100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #6 Megan Guarnier100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #7 Mark Cavendish100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #8 Vincenzo Nibali100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #9 Lizzie Deignan100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #10 Tom Dumoulin100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #11 Romain Bardet100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #12 Alejandro Valverde100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #15 Chantal Blaak100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #14 Marcel Kittel100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #15 Wout Poels100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #16 Fabian Cancellara100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #17 Adam Yates100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #18 Anna van der Breggen100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #19 Julian Alaphilippe100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #20 Tom Boonen100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #21 Alberto Contador100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #22 Ion Izagirre100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #23 Dan Martin100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #24 Alexander Kristoff100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #25 Andre Greipel100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #26 Mathew Hayman100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #27 Richie Porte100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #28 Steve Cummings100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #29 Arnaud Demare100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #30 Katarzyna Niewiadoma100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #31 Chloe Hosking100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #32 Geraint Thomas100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #33 Rafal Majka100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #34 Marianne Vos100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #35 Simon Yates100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #36 Gianluca Brambilla100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #37 Emma Johansson100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #38 Bauke Mollema100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #39 Bob Jungels100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #40 Rohan Dennis100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #41 Sergio Henao100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #42 Michael Matthews100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #43 Elisa Longo Borghini100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #44 Tony Martin100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #45 Sep Vanmarcke100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #46 Steven Kruijswijk100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #47 Fernando Gaviria100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #48 Miguel Angel Lopez100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #49 Diego Ulissi100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #50 Tim Wellens100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #51 Dylan Groenewegen100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #52 Jarlinson Pantano100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #53 Jakob Fuglsang100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #54 Ian Stannard100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #55 Leah Kirchmann100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #56 Niki Terpstra100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #57 Ilnur Zakarin100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #58 Giacomo Nizzolo100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #59 Joaquim Rodriguez100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #60 Louis Meintjes100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #61 Zdenek Stybar100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #62 Edvald Boasson Hagen100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #63 Davide Formolo100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #64 Lotta Lepisto100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #65 Michal Kwiatkowski100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #66 Mikel Nieve100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #67 Fabio Felline100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #68 Thibaut Pinot100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #69 Nacer Bouhanni100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #70 Caleb Ewan100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #71 Thomas Voeckler100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #72 Ashleigh Moolman Pasio100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #73 Matteo Trentin100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #74 Simon Gerrans100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #75 Mikel Landa100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #76 Annemiek van Vleuten100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #77 Diego Rosa100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #78 Darwin Atapuma100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #79 Rui Costa100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #80 Katrin Garfoot100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #81 Fabio Aru100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #82 Mathias Frank100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #83 Kirsten Wild100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #84 Andrew Talansky100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #85 Jonathan Castroviejo100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #86 Petr Vakoc100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #87 Robert Gesink100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #88 Magnus Cort Nielsen100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #89 Gianni Meersman100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #90 Sonny Colbrelli100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #91 Jasper Stuyven100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #92 Jens Keukeleire100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #93 Thomas De Gendt100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #94 Enrico Gasparotto100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #95 Timothy Dupont100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #96 Bryan Coquard100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #97 Tanel Kangert100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #98 Elia Viviani100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #99 Imanol Erviti100 Best Road Riders of 2016: #100 Ben Swift

Contributions from: Richard Windsor, Nigel Wynn, Jack Elton-Walters, Stuart Clarke, Stephen Puddicombe, Owen Rogers, Chris Marshall-Bell, Henry Robertshaw, Sophie Hurcom, Simon Collis. Photographs by Graham Watson, Andy Jones, Yuzuru Sunada, Zuma/Rex/Shutterstock

  • Riggah

    “I know, you have to be politically correct”
    No, they don’t have to be. There is a cure for it. It’s called ‘common sense’.

  • Glyn Whiting

    Your kidding me. Nibali at only 23 ! And Kittel at 84 ! Have you guys actually watched any of this season ?

  • Nick Clark

    Both the Yates above Chaves? Wouldn’t have anything to do with this being a UK blog of course…

  • Adam

    the big shame here is Contador being under placed under Aru. He made Aru his bitch in the Giro. Tears and all.

  • Adam

    Im not mad at Sagan being #1 on this list, he’s going to get better and better in the coming years. He’s only 25 and hasn’t hit his peak by pro cycling standards. He just needs to put some classics under his belt and he’s the best all around for sure.

  • Adam

    I guess when you hang on to team cars up climbs you get knocked down in rankings lol

  • CSM

    Great comments ! Thanks !

  • David Sundheim

    I am straight up done with this site. And this time I will stay away. Every time I swear it off, come back to poke around, then a piece like this is posted and I am reminded why I swore CW so many times before.

    Last goodbye
    David.

  • David Sundheim

    For sure Nibali should be higher than Fabian. Sure they both had a down year from their expectations, but Cancellara crashed out of his biggest moments of the season… And like you said his career is almost over Nibali has a much brighter outlook.

  • David Sundheim

    Exactly what I was thinking… I like phinney but he was injured most of the season. Don’t you have to race some to earn a rank that high? Or is having an entertaining social media network enough? Because that would also explain Gerraint Thomas. GT at #7 are you kidding me? How in heck do you put him above Kristoff, or Degenkolb and expect do be taken seriously? I mean what next… Thor Hushovd at # 88 because he wrote a book?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The UCI rankings say otherwise. Valverde is the best all arounder and he PEROVES it with results which translate into points and into his 1st place.

  • 박준수

    No way….

  • Jhoan Diaz Ceballos

    kiryirnka 85… Dumoulin 6….? Are you serious?

  • ummm…

    Holy cow. I didn’t read this, but it must have been a fair bit of work, or at least brainstorming over pints. Maybe I’ll read it over the holidays

  • LaShea Parks

    Sagan is #1 because he is the best all around rider. He is not a pure sprinter, but has beaten sprinters and come in 2nd to the world’s greatest sprinters, literally by inches in photo finishes, a lot. He is not a climber, but has out climbed the world’s best climbers in short bursts. He has won time trials, and he won the Tour of California by coming in 6th on Mt. Baldy which is seriously steep. He continues to win the green jersey in Le Tour despite their best effort to stop him with rule changes. He did that by getting into, and staying in breakaways, to get points thus expending a lot of energy. Then, he still contested for the sprint at the end. He was also riding for Contador with basically no lead out train like the other sprinters. Then, he did a little thing like winning the WC. I was there and he attacked on the steepest part of the circuit and left the field, climbers and sprinters, in the dust. This is why he is #1.

  • Ricardo Brágimo Villalba

    Joaquim “Purito” #39? Please…

  • Maarten Bressinck

    Wait, is this list based on the current level of the riders mentioned in the list or is it based on overall career achievements?

    Any way how can Geraint Thomas be ahead of Contador? How can Tom Boonen be number 35 knowing that he hasn’t performed anything major in the past few years. How can Greg Van Avermaet be number 36 after being one of the most consistent riders in the peloton this season and winning a TDF stage?

  • Stryder T.A

    Trying to work out how this list was put together, how strong was the LSD? Because looking at that list somebody was certainly trippin

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I know, you have to be politically correct, but again, COME ON! In what objective way is Lizzy Armistead better than every male rider on the planet except for Peter Sagan? In what way is Pauline Prevot better than every male rider on the planet save for Sagan and Froome?

    In what way is Peter Sagan, the guy who hardly ever actually wins anything, the best rider on the planet? Better than Froome who has grand tour victories? Yes, Sags is the World Champ, but I hardly see that as enough to make him the #1 in the world.

    Tom Dumoulin lost the Vuelta, you know? Yes, he was a “feel good story” but this story ended with him getting blown away at the end by pretty much everyone who matters. So how is Doom #6 but one the guys who blew him away is a distant #19? The #19 guy podiumed at the Vuelta and won a TdF stage.

  • Marek Galaktifus

    Seriously?Leopold Konig and Roman Kreuziger are where?idiots

  • bomba

    Brilliant. Can just imagine the team meeting;
    “So, Kiryienka – World Champion, won a stage of the Giro, sat on the front of the peloton for most of the Vuelta and the Giro… what do we reckon?”
    “Stick him 20 positions below the kid on Team Wiggins”

  • Ove Simonsen

    Lizzie in front of PFP, who currently holds 3 World titles???? ..Ahh wait I know!!…PFP neither speaks english nor does she ride for team Sky.

  • John Senior

    Firstly number 1 can only be Pauline Ferrand Prevot – who else has been world champion on the road, cyclo cross and MTB? Secondly the list is Sky/ Brit centric – how is G ( who is a great rider but has not yet delivered against his potential) higher than Chavez who is younger and based on ‘now’ ought to be higher up. Thirdly how can Laura Trott ( given you’re including ability on the track – I wouldn’t given no one except a Brit would view winning on the track when the genuine opposition is limited to about three countries as even being on a par with CX/ MTB let alone the road) is only 72nd ?. Thirdly why no Nino Schurter/ Jerome Absalom? ( that’ll be because in general GB have a crap record of MTB success – Nicole Cook excepted- but surely MTB is at least as demanding and competitive than the track?) Fourthly- bound to be subjective but if you’re going to do it it would be good to do it properly.

  • Mahleriano

    Nibali has won a “Monument”, 4th at the TdF, winning also a Stage.
    What Cancellara,Thomas,Doumulin,Kwiatko, Porte (lol) in 2015 have done to deserve a place ahead of him? Cancellara is a better future prospect than Nibali lol? is the concept that Thomas is going to win Tour/Giro/Vuelta based on?And if we consider the career he’s the second/third rider of his generation and yet,considering all the factors he’s behind older people or people who have won less. The ranking is based on randomness and on nationality which seems more determinant than results

  • Rui Tavares

    This must be some joke xD

  • Richard S

    If this is the 100 greatest cyclists ‘right now’ why is age and future potential taken into account? The two things are separate. And Taylor Phinney that high? What has he won apart from the race for great genetics?

  • Rob

    Wow.

  • noob_sauce

    Calling it now. Kasia Niewadoma is going to be the next big thing in women’s cycling in a few years. It’s a crime she’s not on this list.

  • Đoni

    Seriously? Tis is the best you can do?