PEZ Picks 2019’s Top Ten ‘Winningest’ Riders
Top Ten of 2019: The 2019 season is over and all the results are in, so who has the biggest palmarès? Ed Hood has run his eye over the UCI results from all around the World and has put together the ‘Top Ten’ UCI race winners from the season gone, Dylan Groenewegen top… but there are a couple of surprises in there.
Two of the top men of 2019 fight it out at the Tour – 10th equal Caleb Ewan and 1st Dylan Groenewegen
Who are the ‘winningest’ (apologies to Mrs. Petrie, my English teacher) riders of 2019? – UCi races only; kermises and criteriums don’t count – Funny you should ask. . .
Dylan Groenewegen – Tour stage 7
# 1st on 15 wins: Dylan Groenewegen [Jumbo-Visma and Netherlands]
The boyish-faced 26 year-old took his first win on 10th February in Valenciana and his final one on 12th October in the Tacx Pro Classic – that’s consistency. Super Mario Cipollini had been on the beach for at least two months come October. Groenewegen took three consecutive stages in The Four Days of Dunkirk, two in the ZLM Tour and two in the Tours of Britain and France; albeit he missed the, ‘sprinters’ world championship’ on the Champs Élysées – that went to a small gentleman we’ll mention later. Groenewegen now has 50 career wins.
Dylan Groenewegen beats Deceuninck – Quick-Step
Sam Bennett Vuelta stage 14
# 2nd equal on 13 wins: Sam Bennett [Bora-hansgrohe and Ireland]
Two stages in the Vuelta and his National Championship made it another good year for the man from Wervik, yes, the 28 year-old was born in Flanders but grew up in ‘Kelly country’ – Carrick-on-Suir. He couldn’t be anything else but quick, breathing the same air as ‘King Kelly,’ he’s on 42 career wins now. And whilst Groenewegen is with Jumbo until at least 2023, there’s no official verdict on which colours Sam will sport in 2020; a dispute born of his not being selected for the Tour de France grumbles on. . .
Vuelta a España 2019 Stage 3
Primoz Roglic – Vuelta stage 20
# 2nd equal on 13 wins: Primoz Roglic [Jumbo-Visma and Slovenia]
He won the UAE Tour, Tirreno, Romandie and the Vuelta – his lowest stage race finish was third – and that was the Giro. And then he popped up in the late season Italian semi-classics to win the Giro dell’Emelia and Tre Valli Varesine. And there was us thinking he was just a strong time tester who was hard to drop in the mountains.
Best of Primoz Roglic 2019
Pascal Ackermann – Guangxi stage 3
# 2nd equal on 13 wins: Pascal Ackermann [Bora-hansgrohe and Germany]
It’s hard for a team to manage two big sprinter’s egos but the German team have pulled it off nicely with Bennett and the big 25 year-old German. He’s with the squad for another two seasons, at least. Ackermann took his first win in Almería on 17th February and his last one today, October 22nd in Guangxi – excellent consistency. Two Giro stages and the points jersey in Italy perhaps his season high point.
Pascal Ackermann takes his second stage win at the Giro 2019
Orluis Aular – Caja Rural-Seguros RGA in 2020
# 4th equal on 12 wins: Orluis Aular [Matrix Powertag and Venezuela]
We didn’t see that one coming, did we? All of the 22 year-olds wins are in UCi races (UCi AmericasTour), albeit the five consecutive stages and overall in the Vuelta Ciclista a Venezuela didn’t do his palmarès any harm. He’s also National Time Trial Champion and won a stage and the GC in the Tour de Kumano in Japan. He must be one of the few young Venezuelan talents to slip through the hands of Italian Svengali, Gianni Savio – the man from Nirgua is off to Caja Rural-Seguros RGA for the next two years.
Orluis Aular wins stage 1 of la Vuelta al Táchira
Onur Balkan – Alanya
# 4th equal on 12 wins: Onur Balkan [Salcano Sakarya BB Team and Turkey]
All of the 23 year-old, three time Turkish Road race Champion’s wins were in Turkey on the UCi Asia Tour, except one, the Tour de Ribas in Ukraine. No word on his team for 2020, though.
2nd place for Onur Balkan in the Tour of Cartier
Julian Alaphilippe – Tour’19
# 4th equal on 12 wins: Julian Alaphilippe [Deceuninck – Quick-Step and France]
This gentleman’s wins are perhaps a tad higher up the scale in terms of quality than those he shares fourth spot with – including Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo, Flèche Wallonne and two Tour de France stages. . . Can he win the 2020 Tour? Not with Bernal and Froome to beat. . .
Julian Alaphilippe – Legends Never Die
Elia Viviani – Giro stage 3
# 8th equal on 11 wins: Elia Viviani [Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Italy]
The versatile 30 year-old fast man won the European Elimination Championship on the Apeldoorn track at the weekend to add to the European Road Race Championship he won in the summer; his wins tally would have been higher had it not been for the that déclassé in the Giro – a sprinter’s success comes as much from his head as his legs. Cofidis next year for Elia but sans lead out men par excellence Michael Mørkøv and Max Richeze – it’ll be a surprise if he adds another 11 to his 78 career victories.
Elia Viviani gets his Tour de France stage win
Mathieu dan der Poel – Amstel Gold Race
# 8th equal on 11 wins: Mathieu van der Poel [Correndon-Circus and The Netherlands]
His 11 UCi wins came off just 31 race days and the quality of his victories was outstanding. He won his first road race straight off a brilliant cyclo-cross season; a stage in the Turkish Tour of Antalya then he marched through the GP Denain, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Brabantse Pijl and a stunning Amstel Gold Race. Then there were three stage wins and the GC in the Tour of Britain – but we know about The Worlds. . . What he’ll achieve in 2020 we can only lick our lips about – he stays with his team until 2022, at least.
2019 – The Year of Mathieu van der Poel
Caleb Ewan – Tour stage 21
10th equal on 10 wins: Caleb Ewan [Lotto Soudal and Australia]
Two stages in the Giro and three in le Tour, including the coveted blast up the Champs Élysées – not a bad season for the former World Junior Omnium Champion. The Belgian team – unsurprisingly – retains his services for next year; 39 is now his career win count.
Caleb Ewan conquers the Champs-Elysées
Alexey Lutsenko – Tirreno stage 4
10th equal on 10 wins: Alexey Lutsenko [Astana and Kazakhstan]
He notched up the early wins, took his national road race and time trial championships then finished the season in fine style in the Italian semi-classics with second in the Coppa Agostoni and wins in the Coppa Sabatini and Memorial Pantani. The 27 year-old remains with Astana for 2020.
Best of Alexey Lutsenko
There you have it, the 11 biggest winners of 2019 – roll on season 2020 and the continuing march of the ‘New Wave.’
And Greg Van Avermaet was the top rider on the ‘UCI One Day Race World Ranking’ – But didn’t get in the ‘Top Ten’ of winners
It was November 2005 when Ed Hood first penned a piece for PEZ, on US legend Mike Neel. Since then he’s covered all of the Grand Tours and Monuments for PEZ and has an article count in excess of 1,800 in the archive. He was a Scottish champion cyclist himself – many years and kilograms ago – and still owns a Klein Attitude, Dura Ace carbon Giant and a Fixie. He and fellow Scot and PEZ contributor Martin Williamson run the Scottish site www.veloveritas.co.uk where more of his musings on our sport can be found.