Voting is now open for the second part of Voxwomen’s Sharon Laws Rider of the Year award, 2019. In partnership with the Rouleur Classic, the world’s finest road cycling exhibition, and named in honour of the British cycling champion, who died in 2017.
Last year’s winner was the first American to take the overall prize at the Women’s Tour, Coryn Rivera.
As last year the award will be decided after two public votes to find the riders of spring and summer. The two with the most votes from each round will go through to a final round poll to find the overall winner. The two riders to go through from the spring vote were Kirsten Wild and Annemiek van Vleuten. In the event that Van Vleuten should be one of the top two again, the final vote will contain just three riders.
The overall winner will be announced at the 2019 Rouleur Classic, which runs from October 31 November 2 in central London. One lucky voter will receive a pair of weekend passes to the event, giving them the chance to see the winner crowned in person.
Those that have been shortlisted in the summer period of 2019, covering any races from May’s Tour de Yorkshire to last weekend’s Madrid Challenge, are:
Lisa Brennauer – WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling
Lisa Brennauer has been enjoying her best season since 2015, with a raft of victories this summer, including the German road race title. Her most recent win came just last weekend at the Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta. Brennauer won Saturday’s individual time-trial by four seconds, before battling it out the next day and gaining the all important time bonuses to take home the overall title as well. It was it her first UCI World Tour victory.
Lizzie Deignan – Trek Segafredo
Lizzie Deignan hasn’t wasted any time since resuming racing after giving birth to baby Orla. Strong team showings in the spring classics were followed by a blistering performance in the Women’s Tour. Third place in the race’s first ever summit finish set her up for a GC challenge, before victory in Builth Wells helped secure the result. As we speak Deignan has her sights set on Yorkshire 2019, less than two weeks away. Can she cap a golden comeback season with the rainbows in God’s own county?
Christine Majerus – Boels Dolmans
Christine Majerus earned her place on our shortlist thanks to her commandingly consistent run in the Boels Ladies Tour that delivered her first overall victory in the race. Like many of her peers, the 22-time Luxembourg national champion (across both disciplines) seems to only be getting better with age. Can she top it all with our rider of the summer prize?
Annemiek van Vleuten – Mitchelton Scott
Another appearance in our shortlist for Mitchelton Scott’s Annemiek van Vleuten, who didn’t so much defeat her opponents at the Giro Rosa as demolish them. The race only looked even vaguely competitive thanks to the presence of Anna van der Breggen, without whom the gap to a closest challenger would have been knocking on for seven minutes. No rider except “VDB” came within sixty seconds of Van Vleuten in the time-trial.
Stage five was a massacre. Van Vleuten attacked from the bottom of the final Torri di Fraele climb before subjecting herself to 21 minutes of what she described afterwards as “epic epic epic suffering.” One can only imagine how it was for everyone else…
Lorena Wiebes – Parkhotel Valkenburg
The youngest rider on our shortlist, Wiebes has won more races than any of them, and currently tops the UCI Women’s world rankings.
After a strong spring, Wiebes began the summer with a comfortable victory at the Tour de Yorkshire. She then went on to rack up the results, including her first Women’s WorldTour wins in China, with all three stages and the overall at the Tour of Chongming Island. In June she defeated the great Marianne Vos to become the Netherlands national road race champion.
There was no slowing her down in the stripes and Wiebes has so far worn them to four victories, including a controversial win at the London Classique, which saw compatriot Kirsten Wild disqualified for an illegal manoeuvre.
Marianne Vos – CCC Liv
If you had dared imagine Marianne Vos’s best years were behind her, her record in 2019 has proven you very very wrong. We don’t have room to list all of Vos’s accomplishments this season, but four stages of the Giro Rosa – including the most impressive power charge to the line we’ve ever seen – and an unstoppable surge to take victory in La Course would be more than enough for any rider to find their way onto our shortlist.
Vos is also very much still in the running to be the next woman rider to enter the Cycling Hall of Fame. Can she take home more than one prize from the Rouleur Classic 2019?