2009 had to be one of Sir Chris Hoy's toughest years to date. He juggled a hectic schedule of public appearances after his stellar Olympic performances, and competed in just one World Cup in Copenhagen in the 2008-2009 season. While he was able to help his British team score gold in the team sprint, he crashed in the Keirin and was seriously injured.
To put it politely, he separated his skin from his gluteal muscles, an injury from which it took him three months to recover. For a rider who normally busts butt in a different way, missing the World Championships was a bitter dose of reality.
Yet with the same steady work he's been putting in for years, Hoy brought himself back into form in time to win two British titles in the Sprint and Keirin, then repeat that performance a week later in the Manchester World Cup, adding a team sprint gold to boot.
Hoy's popularity amongst our readers may be strong, but the rise of American Taylor Phinney has been equally impressive. Coming in 1182 votes behind Hoy, Phinney has a way to go before he tops our poll, but at 18 years of age he has plenty of time.
Phinney became the first US rider to win a world championship in the men's individual pursuit since Mike McCarthy in 1992, and the first male US trackie to don rainbow bands since Marty Nothstein won the Keirin in 1996.
He went on to claim silver in the kilometre time trial - a discipline usually reserved for specialists. His promise and his passion brought him to second place on our reader poll.
Cyclingnews reader poll results - Best male track rider
1. Chris Hoy: 6598
2. Taylor Phinney: 5416
3. Alex Rasmussen: 562
4. Leigh Howard: 377
5. Chris Newton: 244
6. Jesse Sergent: 215
7. Roger Kluge: 203
8. Gregory Bauge: 184
9. Shane Perkins: 177
10. Stefan Nimke: 94