Tadej Pogacar was named best cyclist of 2021 on Thursday. The Slovenian Tour winner trumps Mathieu van der Poel, Harrie Lavreysen and Annemiek van Vleuten with the prestigious Vélo d'Or.

The 23-year-old Pogacar won the Tour de France for the second time this year and also won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour de Romandie.

He won bronze in the road race at the Olympics.

UAE Emirates rider Pogacar leaves Jumbo-Visma leaders Primoz Roglic (second) and Wout van Aert (third) behind in the election.

Last year the same riders already formed the top three, but then Roglic got the Vélo d'Or and Pogacar came in second.

The award ceremony is an initiative of Tour organizer ASO, the French sports newspaper

L'Équipe

and

Vélo Magazine

.

A jury of experts will select the winner.

Three Dutchmen nominated

The prize has been awarded annually since 1992, but has never been won by a Dutch rider.

With Van der Poel, track cyclist Lavreysen and Van Vleuten, three Dutchmen were among the twelve nominees this year.

Van Vleuten was the only woman among the contenders.

Julian Alaphilippe, who became world champion for the second time in 2021, finished fourth in the election.

He did receive the prize for the best French rider of the year.

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