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Peter Sagan voted Rider of the Year in 2016 Cyclingnews Reader Poll

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Peter Sagan wins 2016 World Championships

Peter Sagan wins 2016 World Championships
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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World Champ Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) wins the Tour of Flanders

World Champ Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) wins the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Maciej Bodnar celebrate their stage win

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Maciej Bodnar celebrate their stage win
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The leader's jersey of the Tour de France incorporates Dyneema

The leader's jersey of the Tour de France incorporates Dyneema
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet sprints to victory ahead of Peter Sagan at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Greg Van Avermaet sprints to victory ahead of Peter Sagan at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

A season in the rainbow jersey can bring immense pressure to bear on a reigning road champion, but that didn't seem to trouble Peter Sagan much in 2016. The 26-year-old Slovakian claimed his elusive first Monument victory, a fifth green jersey at the Tour de France, and a bevy of other impressive wins before closing out the season with a successful defense of his rainbow bands in Qatar. Matching those results with a singular personality, the season's Best Male Road Rider was voted overall Rider of the Year in the Cyclingnews Reader Poll for the second year in a row.

Sagan kicked off his final year with Tinkoff (he'll join Bora-hansgrohe in 2017) with a collection of runner-up results that had some fans worried he might fall back into a familiar rut of second-place finishes. He dispelled those concerns in the Spring Classics, however, when he won Gent-Wevelgem and then his long-awaited first Monument at the Tour of Flanders. From there, he kept his foot on the gas, collecting wins left and right all the way through October, thoroughly silencing any "Curse of the Rainbow Jersey" talk — and he'll have plenty more opportunities to shine in the rainbow bands in 2017, where he figures to feature prominently in the Spring Classics before he hunts a record-tying sixth green jersey at the Tour.

Possibly aided by his penchant for popping finish-line wheelies and making goofy commercials, Sagan was voted Rider of Year by a wide margin, wider even than the considerable margin that earned him the honor in 2015.

Sagan racked up more than eight times as many votes as second-place finisher Chris Froome (Team Sky), who took his third Tour de France win this season and was even the main protagonist in the Moment of the Year, as voted by Cyclingnews readers.

BMC's Greg Van Avermaet, winner of the Rio Olympic road race, came in just behind Froome in third.

Results

#RiderResult
1Peter Sagan11312votes
2Chris Froome1410
3Greg Van Avermaet1240
4Mark Cavendish1006
5Esteban Chaves808
6Nairo Quintana342
7Amalie Dideriksen293
8Anna van der Breggen289
9Megan Guarnier216
10Other165