Milan-San Remo winner Wout van Aert, his Jumbo-Visma teammate and this year's Vuelta a España winner Primož Roglič, and women's road race world champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) are among the 15 names set to contend the annual Velo d'Or prize.
Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Tour of Flanders winner Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and time trial world champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) also feature on the list being reported by a number of media outlets, although French cycling magazine Vélo, which established the award in 1992, appears not yet to have officially released the names.
The Vélo d'Or is voted for by a jury of international cycling journalists, and widely considered the most prestigious cycling prize awarded – comparable to the Ballon d'Or prize given to the world's best footballer each year.
Last year's winner, Deceuninck-QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe, also features among this year's 15 contenders. Despite his victories in the road race at the World Championships and at the Brabantse Pijl, as well as a stage win and a spell in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, the Frenchman may struggle to defend his crown against the likes of Roglič and Van Aert this year, with the winner to be announced in early December.
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Three English speakers feature on the list: Ireland's Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep), who won the green jersey at this year's Tour, Giro d'Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) and Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), who won two stages at the Tour this year.
Only two women feature this year: road race world champion Anna van der Breggen and mountain bike cross-country world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot.
There are no separate men's and women's prizes, and male cyclists have only ever featured among the top three. There is, however, a separate prize for French riders – the Vélo d'Or francais – which was won back in 2000 by French track sprinter Félicia Ballanger after she took two gold medals, in the individual sprint and the 500-metre time trial, at the Sydney Olympic Games, adding to the sprint gold she'd won at the 1996 Games.
Alaphilippe won both the Vélo d'Or and the Vélo d'Or français in 2019.
The 15 riders reported to be in contention for the 2020 Vélo d'Or:
Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr)
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra)
Caleb Ewan (Aus)
Julian Alaphilippe (Fra)
Filippo Ganna (Ita)
Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
Primož Roglič (Slo)
Anna van der Breggen (Ned)
Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
Mathieu van der Poel (Ned)
Wout van Aert (Bel)
Marc Hirschi (Swi)
Daniel Martinéz (Col)
Remco Evenepoel (Bel)
Sam Bennett (Irl)
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