Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) lost the Tour de France on the penultimate stage to fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogačar but his consistency and success during the rest of the 2020 season has secured him the prestigious international Vélo d’Or prize.
Julian Alaphilippe was awarded the Vélo d’Or prize for best French rider after winning both awards last year.
The Vélo d'Or prize was created in 1992 and is awarded by the French cycling magazine Vélo, with an international jury of journalists voting the rider considered to have performed the best over the year. The full results of this year’s award will be published in the December edition of Vélo on Friday.
Roglič bounced back from his defeat at the Tour de France to win the Vuelta a España and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, after Alaphilippe was relegated for deviating from his line at the start of the sprint. Roglič also topped the UCI rankings at the end of the 2020 season.
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"I went through the list of previous winners and saw it's really an important award," Roglič told L’Equipe, when the winners were announced. "I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the people who voted for me. I understood that it was a jury of journalists from all over the world, that's why it really touches me."
Alaphilippe won the road race world championship in Imola, a stage at the Tour de France, and wore the yellow jersey for three days, confirming his status as best French rider of the year. He accepted his punishment when relegated at Liège, despite thinking he had won in the rainbow jersey, and praised Roglič on winning the Vélo d’Or.
"Primoz Roglic amply deserves this trophy. Last year, I had a big, big season to win it. It is in the logic of things that he wins it this year," he said.
"Winning the Vélo d’Or Français makes me very happy, it’s nice to see that my results didn’t go unnoticed and I was again named best French rider of the year, thus getting another trophy. This season has been a special and different one, with plenty of challenges, but I managed to achieve many of my goals and I can be satisfied with what I did, the world title I won in Italy being, of course, the cherry on the top.
"The rainbow jersey is the most beautiful in the world and wearing it in a few races before the season ended made me realise what a huge honour it is to have it. This gives me a lot of motivation for next year."