As part of our inaugural Cycling Plus Rider of the Year awards presented by Lezyne, we’re looking for the cyclist who has had the most significant impact or made the biggest difference in 2023, whether through racing, taking part in an event or adventure, leading a group or community, or any other contribution to the sport.
Your opinion counts, so click on the poll below to record your Newcomer of the Year vote.
The winner will be revealed at an exclusive ceremony with Lezyne and acclaimed local brewer Wiper and True at Cycling Plus Towers in November and in the January 2024 edition of the magazine.
So, let us know who you think should win by voting in the poll below before 13 October 2023!
Vote for your Rider of the Year
Zoe Backstedt, 2023 CX champ
Fran Brown, 2023 world champ
Craig Maxwell, charity cyclist
Dame Sarah Storey, 2023 world champ
Jenny Tough, cyclist and author
Want to vote for a newcomer? There's a separate page for that.
Here are the five Cycling Plus Rider of the Year contenders...
In 2023, Zoe has been crowned the National Cyclocross Champion in the women’s senior category, before the 18-year-old finished second at the UCI Cyclocross Worlds in the U23 division. The Welsh star races for the UCI Women's World Tour Team EF Education–Tibco–SVB, and competes across road, cyclo-cross and the track racing disciplines.
Having previously conquered the world of paratriathlon, Fran Brown took paracycling gold in the C1 scratch race, the WC1 ITT and the individual pursuit at the 2023 UCI World Championships in Glasgow in August. The 38-year-old broke the world record in the latter with a time of 3:50.
At the age of 40, Craig was diagnosed with a rare form of genetic lung cancer, EGFR+, which has spread to his bones. It’s an inoperable, incurable stage 4 diagnosis, giving Craig (40) his children, Isla (11) and Zach (7) and wife, Tracey, limited time together. He has reacted in the most positive way and set himself a £300k fundraising goal which he hopes will help others and raise significant funds for Velindre Cancer Charity and the QuicDNA (cancer genomics) project. He's since completed the CARTEN (Cardiff to Tenby 100miles cycle) and led a team of 31 riders from Cardiff to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He has already smashed his £300k target and is now aiming to get to £500k.
Dame Sarah Storey
Dame Sarah Storey won her 42nd World Title with time trial success at the UCI Cycling World Championships in August. The women’s C5 individual time trial saw her produce a time of 39 minutes 48.89 seconds over the rolling 28.2km course. Storey is competing a year on from being involved in a horror crash at a race in Quebec, when a list of injuries including a punctured lung, broken rib and concussion symptoms left her questioning whether she could get back to the top.
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