While last year's leaders in this category were separated by just a few percentage points, Sagan blew away all-comers in this year's poll, bringing in nearly half of all the votes cast with 48 percent. The next closest rider, 2013 winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), collected only nine percent, and third-placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) came in at eight percent.
Sagan's popularity has skyrocketed during the 2015 season, only in part due to his daring win at the UCI World Championship Road Race in Virginia or his fourth consecutive green jersey in the Tour de France. The rest has been built on a playful nature, gregarious attitude and willingness to pick up the 'rock star' role in a sport that can always use another big personality.
Despite Sagan's bountiful success at such a young age and being a favourite at nearly every race she enters, the way the 2015 season unfolded played into a classic underdog-wins-the-day story that cycling fans have gobbled up with abandon.
Sagan collected just eight wins in 2015, which relative to previous years was below average. He took two stages and the overall at the Tour of California, two stages at Tour de Suisse and a stage at the Vuelta a Espana before he was knocked out of the race by a motorbike.
The narrative throughout Sagan's season was a string of near misses. He suffered in the classics from miscalculations, mishaps and bad luck, which caused team owner Oleg Tinkov to openly question his new rider's value. The string of second places continued through the Tour de France, although he still brought home green.
The golden boy with the big contract went into Worlds without having won a big-0ne day race that so many had predicted for him, but he took care of that in Richmond with a perfectly timed attack that allowed him to celebrate with his typical flare, tossing his bike away before pitching his helmet, gloves and whatever else he could find into the creaming crowd.
He followed it with a wedding to his longtime girlfriend Katerina that embraced Slovakian tradition and included scenes that looked like they were straight out of a Tim Burton movie. If there is one thing that's certain following the 2015 season, cycling found its rock star in Peter Sagan. And our readers acknowledged that with this runaway poll result, the first of four categories Sagan took this year.
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|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Saxo||48%|
|2||Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky||9|
|3||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||8|
|4||Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans||8|
|5||Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) Raco Liv||7|
|6||John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin||5|
|7||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha||4|
|8||Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Saxo||3|
|9||Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team||3|
|11||Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv||1|
|12||Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Wiggle Honda||1|