Canadian Cyclist


December 11/14 18:21 pm - Canadian Cyclist of the Year - How Does It Work?

Posted by Editor on 12/11/14

Every year, we get questions on how we come up with the list of athletes and performances that you, our readers, vote on in the Canadian Cyclist of the Year Awards. So, here is an explanation.

As with many other sports awards, this is a curated list, meaning that we have pre-selected the athletes (and performances) that you will vote for, instead of leaving it open for write-in voting (where you can submit any name you want).

Many Halls of Fame and the Canadian Press use this technique (as an aside, the Canadian Press contacts me for cycling athlete suggestions for their list). The reason is simple: We want you voting nationally for the top athletes and performances of the year across the multiple disciplines that make up cycling.

So, we start making up a preliminary list at the end of October, after the final national championships of the year. We augment it as other events take place (such as the Track World Cup or possibly Cyclo-cross World Cups). We contact others within the cycling community to see if our list has any glaring omissions; people such as national coaches. This gives us our preliminary list.

We then start compiling a list of results for the athletes, as well as a list of performances for that award. This takes considerable time, but once we have that data, we make our decisions on the final voting list, which we try to keep at 4-5 athletes each for men and women, and no more than 10 performances.

Our criteria for inclusion on the final athlete list involves a number of factors, but, basically, we are looking at international results first, ranked by importance and depth of field. We want significant results through the season. Plus, we want athletes across a diversity of disciplines. So, world championships and major Games rank above World Cups or WorldTour (unless you were talking about a Grand Tour for men).

Some examples:

Emily Batty - In almost any year, Emily's results for 2014 (Commonwealth Games silver, 2 World Cup podiums, 3rd overall in World Cup) would have put her on the ballot. However, this year, Catharine Pendrel had an even better year, winning the world title, Commonwealth gold, a World Cup and finishing 2nd overall. Realistically, if we were going to have a mountain biker on the ballot, it had to be Catharine.

Remi Pelletier-Roy - Commonwealth Games usually don't rank as highly with us, since there are a lot of big cycling nations excluded (particularly true in mountain biking). However, the track is different, since the depth of field is very good, with the Brits, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland all participating. So Remi's results there were significant, as was the Pan Am Championships.

Cory Wallace - Cory has been on our ballot before, and he certainly had a strong season, with multiple stage wins in events like the Crocodile Trophy and Mongolia Challenge (which he won overall). But, for marathon events, we also looked at Worlds, with a much greater depth of field, and Cory was 20th there.

We have also received comments that Ryder Hesjedal should not be included in balloting, since he has previously admitted to doping earlier in his career. Our decision in this case is that, rather than excluding him, we will let the voters decide. So far, he has been polling in last place.

We don't expect that everyone will agree with all of our choices - there is always room for argument - but we wanted to make clear that our selection of finalists is by no means arbitrary and based on a rational process.

The rider voting procedure also reflects the fact that it can be difficult to select just one athlete to vote for. Instead, you will be able to rank your preferences, with the top rank receiving 5 points, the second receiving 4 points, etc. The athlete (and performance) receiving the highest average "grade" wins.

From your votes we will select the top Canadian Cyclists of 2014.

Voting will close at 8:00 pm EST (5:00 pm PST) on December 17th, so Vote Now!


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