Photo courtesy of Sporza TV (Feature photo courtesy of the Deceuninck-Quickstep social media page)

A great honour and achievement for Sam Bennett who made the nomination list (final 15) this year. The Vélo d’Or (French for “Golden Bicycle”) is a cycle racing award, created in 1992 by the French cycling magazine Vélo Magazine. The award is given annually to the rider considered to have performed the best over the year. Last year Julian Alaphilippe took the title, Bernal (2nd) and Roglic (3rd) were allowed on the podium of the Vélo d’Or. The only Belgian in the top 10 was Remco Evenepoel in 9th place. This season there are 2 Belgians among the 15 nominees: again Remco Evenepoel and (of course) Wout van Aert. Evenepoel won all stage races in 2020 in which he participated: the Tour of San Juan, the Tour of Algarve, the Tour of Burgos, and the Tour of Poland. In the Tour of Lombardy, his season ended abruptly due to a fall over a wall. This year Van Aert won Milan-Sanremo, Strade Bianche, 2 Tour stages, 1 stage in the Dauphiné, and the Belgian time trial. He also collected second places at the World Championship time trial, the World Championship on the road, and the Tour of Flanders. The last Belgian to win the Vélo d’Or was Philippe Gilbert in 2011. Tom Boonen (2005) and Johan Museeuw (1996) also won the prestigious prize.

The 15 nominee’s

Julian Alaphilippe (Fra)
Sam Bennett (Ier)
Remco Evenepoel
Caleb Ewan (Aus)
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra)
Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
Filippo Ganna (Ita)
Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr)
Marc Hirschi (Zwi)
Daniel Felipe Martinez (Col)
Tadej Pogacar (Svn)
Primoz Roglic (Svn)
Wout van Aert
Anna van der Breggen (Ned)
Mathieu van der Poel (Ned)

Last years winner and worldchamp Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) again nominated (photo courtesy of @Belga)

The podium’s of the Velo-D’or since 1992

992 Miguel Indurain (ESP) Tony Rominger (SUI) Claudio Chiappucci (ITA)
1993 Miguel Indurain (ESP) Maurizio Fondriest (ITA) Tony Rominger (SUI)
1994 Tony Rominger (SUI) Miguel Indurain (ESP) Eugeni Berzin (RUS)
1995 Laurent Jalabert (FRA) Miguel Indurain (ESP) Abraham Olano (ESP)
1996 Johan Museeuw (BEL) Bjarne Riis (DEN) Alex Zülle (SUI)
1997 Jan Ullrich (GER) Laurent Jalabert (FRA) Marco Pantani (ITA)
1998 Marco Pantani (ITA) Michele Bartoli (ITA) Lance Armstrong (USA)
1999 Lance Armstrong (USA)[2] Jan Ullrich (GER) Andrei Tchmil (BEL)
2000 Lance Armstrong (USA)[2] Erik Zabel (GER) Jan Ullrich (GER)
2001 Lance Armstrong (USA)[2] Erik Zabel (GER) Erik Dekker (NED)
2002 Mario Cipollini (ITA) Lance Armstrong (USA)[2] Paolo Bettini (ITA)
2003 Lance Armstrong (USA)[2] Paolo Bettini (ITA) Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ)
2004 Lance Armstrong (USA)[2] Damiano Cunego (ITA) Óscar Freire (ESP)
2005 Tom Boonen (BEL) Lance Armstrong (USA)[2] Danilo Di Luca (ITA)
2006 Paolo Bettini (ITA) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
2007 Alberto Contador (ESP) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Paolo Bettini (ITA)
2008 Alberto Contador (ESP) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Carlos Sastre (ESP)
2009 Alberto Contador (ESP) Mark Cavendish (GBR) Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
2010 Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Alberto Contador (ESP) Andy Schleck (LUX)
2011 Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Cadel Evans (AUS) Mark Cavendish (GBR)
2012 Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Tom Boonen (BEL) Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP)
2013 Chris Froome (GBR) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Peter Sagan (SVK)
2014 Alberto Contador (ESP) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
2015 Chris Froome (GBR) Peter Sagan (SVK) Fabio Aru (ITA)
2016 Peter Sagan (SVK) Chris Froome (GBR) Nairo Quintana (COL)
2017 Chris Froome (GBR) Tom Dumoulin (NED) Peter Sagan (SVK)
2018 Alejandro Valverde (ESP)[3] Geraint Thomas (GBR) Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)
2019 Julian Alaphilippe (FRA)[4] Egan Bernal (COL) Primož Roglič (SLO)