Rider of the Month: February

27 Feb 2017

Rider of the Month: February

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Three stage wins, a national championship, and a podium appearance on the opening weekend of the Classics.

February wasn't bad at all, and it was tough to whittle down the nominees for Rider of the Month. Diego Rosa enjoyed a fine Team Sky debut at the Ruta del Sol, while Wout Poels racked up back-to-back fourth places at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Ruta del Sol.

In the end though, we picked Sergio Henao, Michal Kwiatkowski, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard, and it was Luke Rowe who emerged victorious, with a whopping 48% of the vote. Well done Luke!
Sergio Henao

It’s been a tough few months for Sergio Henao. All but guaranteed a medal of some kind at the Olympics back in August, the Colombian crashed out on the race’s treacherous final descent, breaking his collarbone as his Olympic dreams went up in smoke. He returned to action at the Tour Down Under and fought hard, but a puncture at the worst possible moment on the crucial stage two cost him critical time. Then, when he crashed midway through the Colombian national championships on Sunday and had to deal with another puncture, he must have wondered if his luck would ever change. But the 29 year old dug deep, fought back, and took the title by a dominant 49 seconds. Chapeau, Sergio.
The new Colombian national road race champion! (Photo: Luis Barbosa)

The new Colombian national road race champion! (Photo: Luis Barbosa)

Michal Kwiatkowski

“I didn’t expect to finish on the podium because I’ve taken a slightly easier approach to the start of this season but in the end I was right in the mix for the win.” Second place at the Volta ao Algarve isn’t bad for a man who admits he’s taking a slow start to the campaign. Michal Kwiatkowski has his eyes on April’s Ardennes Classics, but with an impressive third place on the second day in Portugal, fourth in the race’s 18km time trial, and then fourth on the queen stage, it’s clear that the former world champion could well be on the way back to his best. 
Kwiato's strong TT performance paved the way for second overall in the Algarve

Kwiato's strong TT performance paved the way for second overall in the Algarve

Luke Rowe

Nominated for January’s Rider of the Month, we concluded our piece on Luke Rowe with the line: ‘… Rowe is ready to hit the Classics campaign running.’ Well, we got that right. The Welshman was in the heart of the action over the opening weekend in Belgium, finishing sixth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad before finishing third at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and climbing onto the podium. Those two results came on the back of his fine solo win on stage three at the Herald Sun Tour, proving that the 26 year old is stepping up to the plate in 2017. Next up? The Monuments.
Luke's first Classics podium appearance bodes well for the rest of the campaign

Luke's first Classics podium appearance bodes well for the rest of the campaign

Ian Stannard

Traditionally a sprinter’s race, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne could all have been very different on Sunday - were it not for Ian Stannard. ‘Yogi’ hit the front on the Oude Kwaremont, some 80km from the finish, and used his considerable power to rip the race to pieces, forming an elite group out front that went on to compete for the win. He was right in the mix on Saturday at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad too, and although he didn’t make the top 10 in Belgium, Ian looked in fine fettle. He also had his hands in the air at the Herald Sun Tour, winning on the final day in typically powerful fashion with a late solo attack. It all bodes well for what’s to come…
Yogi won the final stage at the Sun Tour in style

Yogi won the final stage at the Sun Tour in style

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