Jonas Vingegaard and Demi Vollering have clinched the prestigious Vélo d’Or awards for 2023, as announced by French cycling magazine Vélo Magazine. The accolades are not only esteemed in the cycling community but are also affiliated with Tour de France organiser ASO and French sports newspaper L’Équipe. A panel of European cycling journalists bestowed the honour, recognising the best male and female cyclists of the year.
Vingegaard, part of the Jumbo-Visma team, had a remarkable year, notching up his second consecutive Tour de France win. But his triumphs didn’t end there. The Danish rider also emerged victorious in the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour of the Basque Country. Furthermore, he took the second spot in the Vuelta a España, falling behind teammate Sepp Kuss. He edged out Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel and last year’s Vélo d’Or winner, Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, to seize the award.
On the women’s front, it was a close contest between Dutch cyclist Demi Vollering and Belgian Lotte Kopecky. Vollering, riding for SD Worx, ultimately bagged the Vélo d’Or. She dominated this year’s Tour de France Femmes and clinched victories in other classic races such as Strade Bianche, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. She was also the runner-up at the World Championships.
Surprisingly, Pogacar missed out on the award this year, despite a strong season. He finished behind Vingegaard in the Tour de France but managed to win two of the five cycling monuments— the Tour of Flanders and the Tour of Lombardy. He was also successful in other esteemed races like Paris-Nice, the Amstel Gold Race, and La Flèche Wallonne.
In addition to the Vélo d’Or, the ceremony also presented inaugural awards for other categories. The Trophée Bernard Hinault went to the best French road cyclist, Christophe Laporte, while Pauline Ferrand-Prévot received the Trophée Daniel Morelon for being the best French rider in another cycling discipline. Mathieu van der Poel, although not winning the Vélo d’Or, didn’t leave empty-handed; he was virtually awarded the Trophée Eddy Merckx. Lotte Kopecky was named the best classic rider of 2023.
Legendary cyclists Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault were also honoured at the event, receiving a Vélo d’Or d’honneur as a lifetime achievement recognition.
Women’s Velo d’Or Podium
1st – Vollering 171 points
2nd – Kopecky 139 points
3rd – Van Vleuten 99 points
Men’s Velo d’Or Podium
1st – Vingegaard 142 points
2nd – Van de Poel 133 points
3rd – Pogacar 126 points