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The Cyclist Awards 2016

Felix Lowe
7 Dec 2016

It's time once again for Eurosport's Felix Lowe to hand out awards to the pros of 2016

With 2016 drawing to a close, it’s time to take a breath and recognise the moments and riders that have made 2016 another memorable year in the pro ranks...

Run, Froomey, run

Framed yellow jerseys on your wall pale in comparison to a Last Gasp gong.

Just ask Chris Froome, the triple Tour de France champion, who runs off with the inaugural Forrest Gump Award for an unlikely skill set: downhill frame hugging, crosswind attacks and mind-boggling jogging up Mont Ventoux.

Froome’s absurd Mo Farah impression was also responsible for Thomas De Gendt’s What About Me Award, the Belgian taking a stage win at Chalet Reynard that few will remember.

Also at the Tour, Mark Cavendish grabbed the Pooh-Pooh Pou-Pou Award after succeeding where Raymond Poulidor failed, by finally getting his hands on an elusive yellow jersey, while Adam Yates – floored by the flamme rouge – snared the Whoopie Cushion Award for noise after a sudden deflation.

Take my bike

We have to stretch back to January for the Good Samaritan Award, earned by the New Zealand fan who gave Tyler Farrar a spare bike and shoes during the Tour Down Under (he also nets the Missed Opportunity Award for not giving Farrar a haircut in the process).

For his WorldTour debut for Dimension Data, Farrar’s teammate Mekseb Debesay wins the Headless Chicken Award.

Proving that it doesn’t always pay off being sponsored by a GPS company, the Eritrean got lost during one of the Belgian classics – only to be taken in by a friendly Flemish fan, who offered him a shower, a meal, some fresh clothes and a lift home.

Close contact with his team car allegedly helped Arnaud Démare win Milan-San Remo in March, for which the Frenchman takes over from Vincenzo Nibali as recipient of the Sticky Bottle Award.

Also in the Classics, Mat Hayman’s surprise Paris-Roubaix triumph saw the Aussie veteran bag the Nice Guys Can Finish First Award, while World Champion Peter Sagan blitzed the Avatar Award for not bombing at the box office.

Usually so adept at staying upright, Fabian Cancellara wins the EasyJet Award for bike handling after crashing in his final Roubaix then tumbling again in the velodrome during his farewell lap of honour.

Talking of crashes, the Skyfall Prize for a faltering storyline goes to Team Sky’s men in black who, during one frenzied kilometre on the cobbles, saw Moscon, Rowe and Puccio all go down.

For his near 12th-hour victory in the Giro, that man Nibali wins the Cutting It Fine Award (sponsored by Alpecin), while Steven Kruijswijk scoops the On The Rocks Award for crashing into an ice wall while wearing pink.

Home and away

The niche Pasta La Vista Award goes to Marcel Kittel – the only rider in history to have now notched four Giro scalps without ever triumphing on Italian soil.

The final Grand Tour of the season provided the move of the year in the so-called ‘Ambush of Formigal’ which saw Froome toppled by Messrs Contador and Quintana, who collectively win the Hillary Clinton Hispanic Alliance Award.

Rolling home almost an hour down in the Vuelta’s shortest stage, 90-odd riders did enough to secure the Call My Bluff Award by not being turfed off the race for missing the time-cut.

Onto the Olympics, and the Sixth Sense Award for unexpected twists goes to Greg van Avermaet, who won a route so hilly that Sagan didn’t even enter.

The Slovakian didn’t make the same mistake twice, winning the World Championships in Doha to take the Taste The Rainbow Award and ensure a future sponsorship deal with Skittles.

Team GB’s track success in Rio followed the ousting of supremo Shane Sutton, winner of the Donald Trump Award For Back-Pedalling.

Mystery prize

There was woe for Wiggo and Brailsford, too, who pick up the Amazon Award for avoidance not evasion after walking a moral tightrope without actually breaking any rules (a mystery package will be sent their way next Tuesday).

In a tumultuous year for Sky, the Krispy Kreme Klub Award for PR gaffes goes to their ‘f***ing idiot’ bus driver, who almost knocked a commuter off his bike during the Tour of Britain.

Finally, the Any Old Irony Award goes to the clever production assistant who placed a vase of lilies between pollen-shy Wiggo and Andrew Marr during the oddest TV set-up since Lance met Oprah.

Eurosport blogger Felix Lowe is a shoo-in for presenter of the Oscars in February

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