Cyclingnews’ readers have chosen world champion Peter Sagan as the Male Road Rider of the Year in our annual poll. The 25-year-old Slovakian dominated the contest, pulling in 50 per cent of the votes among the 10 nominees.
Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde, who rode consistently well throughout 2015, piling up wins from January through September, was second to Sagan with 12 per cent of the vote. Valverde won Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He was also second at Amstel Gold, third at Strade Bianche and second overall at Volta Catalunya before finishing third at the Tour de France. Team Sky's Chris Froome, who won his second Tour de France in 2015, was third in the voting, grabbing 11 per cent of the ballots.
Sagan’s inaugural season with Tinkoff-Saxo got off to a slow start, as he admits in his video message to the voters, with his quest for a major one-day win falling to mechanicals, tactical miscues and just plain bad luck. But the plucky rider with the gregarious attitude fought through the adversity to claim his fourth Tour de France green jersey before taking the biggest win of his career at the Richmond World Championships.
Sagan also 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 that race by an errant motorbike.
The narrative throughout Sagan's early season was a string of near misses and second-place finishes, causing team owner Oleg Tinkov to publicly criticize him in May.
“It was a very hard year, very difficult for me from the start of the season, but after the wheels turning,” Sagan said. “I am very happy to be here now with this [rainbow] jersey.”
Sagan concludes his video message by thanking his teammates, of course, and saying he looks forward to connecting with more fans out on the roads next year.
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|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Saxo||50%|
|2||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||12|
|3||Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky||11|
|4||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha||6|
|5||John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin||6|
|6||Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo||4|
|7||Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team||3|
|8||Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal||3|
|9||Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky||2|
|10||Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx-QuickStep||1|