What's Cool In Road Cycling

Best Ride Of The Year Winner: Museuuw!

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the bunch, the peloton was quiet, not even a punch! So what better way to honor our sport than with our own Awards Ceremony! You’re all invited, the show is about to begin, we’ve got a seat reserved for you right in front (of your computer, that is….)

Today’s first installment of the PCN Cycling Awards goes to the winners of the “Best Ride of The Year” Category…

The immense task of judging was nobly undertaken by our panel of PCN experts:
– Michele Tomasi – Italian Correspondent
– Alastair Hamilton – Spanish Bureau & Podium Girl Ambassador
– Charles Manantan – Tech & Editorial “Opinions & Facts”
– Daimeon Shanks – Our US “Italian” Corespondent
– Robert Van Willigenburg – Dutch Correspondent and technical wiz behind RESULTS database.
– Rob MacNeil – “CampyMan” – Been part of the sport for 15 years in a variety of “insider” capacities.
– Erik Van Bockern – French Correspondent and long time racer, retailer, and afficionado.
– Gordon Cameron – UK-based Euro- correspondent at-large
– Stephen Cheung – Resident physiology expert & racer
– Richard Pestes – Gotta have my say too!

Ride Of The Year – Winner:
– Johan Museuuw’s Paris-Roubaix
You gotta love it when “experience” shows the young guns how it’s done. On a day when everything has to go your way, you find a way to dig deeper than anyone, and play your cards at exactly the right moment in the right order – Johan hit this one out of the park – bravo!

Photos Courtesy of:

“Johan Museuuw breaking the back of the beast that tried to kill him. Not only did Johan win in 1996, he won the Centennial version (100th anniversary in 2000) but also the Centenary version too this year, joining the
ranks of Eddy Merckx and Francesco Moser!, one more and he will share the title of King of the cobblestones with Roger De Vlaeminck.”

“Paris-Roubaix, for two reasons, Johan Musseuw’s ride showed after all he has been through, he is still the boss, the king of the classics and still going strong. The other has to be young Tom Boonen, he rode for Hincapie until you could see he was the stronger, Hincapie could’nt do it so young Tom was up the road showing the old guard he will be their replacement in the years to come, and now that he is in a proper classics team he is the star of the future. So you had the the King and the Prince in waiting all in one race.”

Photos Courtesy of:
Cycling Pictures

“Best ride of the year? Without a doubt, Johann Museeuws’ epic Paris-Roubaix. The best classics racer of the last decade in the most monumental of classics. ‘Nuff said. Close second to the gutsy performace of Tyler Hamilton in the Giro d’Italia.”

“The Lion of Flanders winning Roubaix with an epic solo break. Also a very refreshing approach to tactics in this age of radio-controlled cycling. Why did he attack solo 40 km out from Roubaix? Because he felt like it and felt he could! None of this “my DS told me to” silliness.”

“For that magic mix of guts, class, surprise and good fortune Cipo’s Ghent-Wevelgem win takes some beating. He survives the Kemmelberg and the strong headwinds, chases the leading break alone (!! – yes, we’re talking about THE Cipo’!), bridges the gap, handles the late attacks, and sees them off easily in the sprint! Magnifico!”

Back-up picks would be: Tyler Hamilton – 2nd in the Giro with a broken shoulder. What will he do if he rides fracture-free in 2003?

Aitor Gonzalez showing ‘mucho cojones’ to win the Vuelta, ‘against’ his team’s orders. Great time-trialling and solid climbing held of a charging Heras.

Lance Armstrong for winning the Dauphinй Libйrй, the GP du Midi-Libre and a 4th Tour – sustained brilliance after a decade of success.

Robert VW
“Mario Cipollini wins his first Milano-San Remo. Why is this so special? Not just because he was able to win the sprint. Because this was his way of telling everybody that this year he was going to deliver more than ever. And granted: anything he wished to touch he turned into gold, culminating in a superb world championship. And somehow the absence of
Erik Zabel meant something there too.

“Of course SuperMario. Why? Easy to say: he did his best season at the age of 35 years old. He won the race that he loves more, Milano-Sanremo, and he has been competitive in the spring classics. After the victories at Giro, with the wonderful work of his team,
he said that he was leaving, but it wasn’t true. He is a man who knows how to “work” with the media. Unluckily he didn’t get the chance to be at Tour de France, but at the Vuelta he was the best sprinter. And after the Spanish race…the World Championship. As Merckx said “he saved UCI from an embarrassing track. It was a stupid flat circuit and it didn’t merit to be the a silly World Championship”.

“Co-winners Heras and rubiera for towing Lance around the mountains in what looked like a
super slow-mo of Cipo’s leadout train that should have been there…

“Cipo bridging up to the break, the winning going away at Ghent. Leadout? I don’t need no stinking Leadout!

“Edita Rumsas for a memorable ride to the border on the penultimate day at the tour, in a gallant effort to get drugs to her ailing Mother, who needed Steroids, EPO and masking agents for what, her arthritis?

“Cipo’s motorpace training ride while in “retirement” that netted him a fine for traveling 90 KPH on the expressway on a non licensed vehicle!

“Tyler Hamilton riding 15 stages of the Giro, winning a TT, and placing second overall, on a broken shoulder. Simply the most incredible feat I have seen in the 17 years I’ve followed cycling. Keep in mind that he never
even wore the maglia rosa once, so he didn’t even have that as a motivator to keep going. In 1983, one of the Simon brothers was in the maillot jaune, fell and fractured his scapula, and continued for another 2 stages until he lost the jersey to his teammate Fignon. That’s impressive, but this is something else.

“Mario winning Ghent-Wevelgem (coolest bike race name ever) not in a bunch sprint, but by bridging SOLO up to the winning breakaway. It’s easy to win the way you’re supposed to win, it’s something else completely to show the world you’re not a one-trick pony.”

“Dede Demet-Barry winning the Montreal World Cup in her first race back from semi-retirement, riding for a small team, winning arguably the toughest World Cup event.

“JaJa announcing his retirement during the Tour, and then proceeding to go out in grand attacking style with epic mountain rides, a 2nd polka dot jersey, and then San Sebastian. Incroyable! If that’s not style and class,
I don’t know what is.

“Mario, and more surprisingly/impressively, the Italians working seamlessly and winning the World’s.”

Photo Courtesy of:
Denison Design

“Charles Dionne winning SFGP and showing up the Posties on Thom Weisel’s backyard.”

“Stephen Cheung winning the Maitland Classic in Nova Scotia on a freezing
and windy day in April, for his first ever victory in 15 years of bike
racing! So darned surprised that he didn’t even remember to use his
long-rehearsed victory salute! Sorry Richard, but this is big in my books
and I couldn’t resist!” – sadly – no photo available.

“After careful review, best ride of the year for me
goes to Cipollini and his humbling attitude on the
podium, probably dedicating his whole career to his
ailing dad.”

What Do You Think?
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