Even in retirement, Jens Voigt continues to reach the top step of the podium. The 43-year-old German rider called an end to his racing career following this season, but he has since been voted Best Twitter Personality in the 2014 Cyclingnews Reader Poll.
Voigt competed in 20 Grand Tours in his 18-year pro career and racked up 30 wins, including two stages of the Tour de France. But it's his gregarious attitude, personified by his fondness for "crazy, stupid" attacks and his signature phrase "shut up legs," that has made him a fan favourite.
Voigt's running monologue on Twitter not only covers his races, travels and adventures, he also provides his more than 200,000 followers with insights into his personal life, including his duties as a father of six children and his endless walks with Linda, the family's chocolate lab.
Voigt's knack for responding to fans provides both a personal touch and moments of innocent humour that can spring from his sometimes tenuous understanding of English usage. Responding to a fan who posted a picture of Voigt riding his way into the polka dot jersey during this year's Tour de France start in Yorkshire, Voigt posted a picture of himself on the podium and wrote, "And to make that day even more special - her royal highness Prinz Harry handed me that jersey...So awesome to meet him."
For the second consecutive year, Voigt easily pulled in the most votes for his Twitter account, getting the nod from more than 40 percent of those who responded to the poll. Runner-up for 2014 was Oleg Tinkov, the wildcard owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team. Tinkov's sometimes outrageous updates, which provide just a small glimpse into the life of the Russian billionaire, brought in 14.51 percent of the vote. BMC's Taylor Phinney, the often-times irreverent reigning US time trial champion, rounded out the reader poll podium with 11.5 percent of the vote.
Results - Twitter Personality of the Year
|1||Jens Voigt (@thejensie)||40.42|
|2||Oleg Tinkov (@olegtinkov)||14.51|
|3||Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney)||11.15|
|4||Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish)||08.62|
|5||Phil Gaimon (@philgaimon)||07.04|
|6||Jonathan Vaughters (@vaughters)||05.25|
|7||Fabian Cancellara (@f_cancellara)||04.05|
|8||Marcel Kittel (@marcelkittel)||03.90|
|9||Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86)||03.42|
|10||Filippo Pozzato (@PippoPozzato)||01.63|