World of Cycling: Who are the winners in the end of season awards?
Dan Lloyd is joined by William Fotheringham and Hannah Walker to look back at the best moments of the 2023 season, as they reveal this year's award winners
This week's episode of World of Cycling is out now and FREE to watch on GCN+
From Mathieu van der Poel's blockbuster victory at Milano-Sanremo to Tadej Pogačar's remarkable third victory in succession at Il Lombardia, the 2023 road racing season has had it all. We have seen Annemiek van Vleuten hang up her cleats, Demi Vollering triumph at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift and Thibaut Pinot bid two emotional farewells alongside his loyal legion of fans.
It has truly been another enjoyable year of racing and to mark the curtain coming down on the WorldTour campaign, it is time for the annual World of Cycling end of season awards. You've been voting on each of the categories via the GCN App and now it's time for Dan Lloyd to reveal the winners in this week's final episode of the season.
Former pro rider and commentator Hannah Walker provides her expert opinion, as does author and journalist William Fotheringham. Our team of analysts run through this year's winners as well as taking time to look back at some of their favourite moments of the season.
To mark this season finale, from 09:00BST on Friday 13 October we're making the episode free to watch - so you can check out the winners even if you don't have a GCN+ subscription! So here's an overview of the nominees in a few select categories. To discover who won, make sure to watch this week's episode on GCN+.
Male Rider of the Year
The Male Rider of the Year category is one of the most wide-open of the bunch, with a whole host of characters worthy of strong consideration. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) won two Monuments in Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix, before adding a third title to his bid with the World Championships road race.
But the Dutchman is not the only rider to have won two Monuments this season, with Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) also holding that acclaim with the Tour of Flanders and Il Lombardia. The Slovenian also finished second at the Tour de France and enjoyed a tremendous spring campaign.
His Tour de France preparation was stunted, however, with his crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In his absence, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) prospered and took his second title in a row, just as he did at Clásica San Sebastián. The Belgian is another strong nominee having won more Grand Tour stages than any other rider this season.
Of course, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) is in the mix after decimating the Tour de France, whilst Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) round out the contenders having picked up 34 victories between them this year.
Female Rider of the Year
© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images
Demi Vollering lets it all sink in at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift
In the women's peloton, there was a notable changing of the guard as Demi Vollering (SD Worx) beat Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) to win the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. It was a win that confirmed Vollering's status as the next hegemon in the Grand Tours, following Van Vleuten's retirement.
As the peloton's pre-eminent sprinter, Wiebes has enjoyed another fine season, but hasn't had things all her way in 2023, with Charlotte Kool stepping further into the limelight herself in her second season with dsm-firmenich. The Dutchwoman is the final nominee for this category.
Kopecky and Reusser have 26 wins between them this year, offering more than a handful of fine moments for our team of analysts to reflect on. This is yet another incredibly difficult category to whittle down.
Team of the Year
At first, the Team of the Year category may seem a foregone conclusion, with Jumbo-Visma's men's team astonishingly sweeping up all three Grand Tours this season. But look beneath the surface and you will find three other teams who have enjoyed incredible seasons of their own.
Whilst Jumbo-Visma may have achieved the unprecedented feat of the Grand Tour, they barely made a dent on the Monuments and flattered to deceive in a lot of the one-day races this year. In contrast, UAE Team Emirates have taken two Monuments through Tadej Pogačar and were in stellar form throughout the late-season Italian Classics. Their case is strong.
Neither of the teams, however, are arguably as dominant as SD Worx, who continue to go from strength to strength and grab the Women's WorldTour by the scruff of its neck. This is evidenced by four of their riders making the shortlist for the female rider of the year.
Their headline victories came through the supreme pairing of Vollering and Kopecky, who between them won the likes of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Tour of Flanders and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
Their main challenge often came from the fourth and final nominee in this category, Lidl-Trek. Led by Elisa Longo Borghini, Elisa Balsamo and Gaia Realini, amongst others, the American team benefitted from the cash influx of Lidl as a title sponsor midway the campaign and won stages at La Vuelta Femenina and the Giro d'Italia Donne.
The list of awards to be handed out also includes Moment of the Year, Performance of the Year, Cult Hero of the Year, Domestique of the Year and Breakthrough Rider of the Year. Make sure to check out this week's World of Cycling to relive the incredible 2023 campaign.