It is not surprising that the winner of the Tour de France has been declared the best rider of the year by a jury of experts. But it is above all the way Tadej Pogacar managed in 2021 that ensured that he, and not other (Olympic) champions, is awarded the Velo d’Or.
Behind Pogacar, Jumbo-Visma riders Primoz Roglic, last year’s winner, and Wout van Aert finished second and third. World champion Julian Alaphilippe was fourth.
Two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion Harrie Lavreysen was also among the nominees, as were world champion cyclo-cross Mathieu van der Poel and Olympic champion time trial Annemiek van Vleuten. They missed the prize, which was awarded for the thirtieth time this year. Never before has a Dutchman, or a woman or a non-road racer, won.