It's time to announce the winners of the inaugural road.cc Reader Awards! We asked you what things you liked, then we gave you a chance to vote on them. And lots and lots of you did. The polls are closed, so don't vote: it won't count and you may still be charged, or something.
Anyway, we've totted up the totals, and that means we've got some winners! There were five categories: best bike, best gadget, best innovation, best item of clothing and cycling champion. And that seems like as good an order as any to announce them in. Let's crack on!
Best bike: Bianchi Oltre XR4
We're big fans of the XR4 here at road.cc, so much so that it won our coveted Superbike of the Year title this year. And it seems there's plenty of love for it out among road.cc readers too. You get pro peloton poise and stiffness along with Bianchi's excellent Countervail vibration-damping technology.
It really is a lovely bike to ride. The Bianchi just edged the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX into second place, and the Cannondale CAAD12 was just behind in third; both of those bikes feature in our top ten bikes of the year as well. We called the CAAD12 Disc "One of the best-riding aluminium frames money can buy", and the Canyon? "Bang for buck, you'll struggle to find a better race machine".
Best gadget: SeeSense Icon
We loved the SeeSense Icon light when we reviewed it back in January last year – it's a great rear light for visibility for a start, but the Bluetooth connectivity means you can set it up as an anti-theft device too, and even get it to text your mum if it thinks you've crashed. It's packing a whole lot of tech into a very neat package.
The Icon beat off strong competition from the excellent Garmin Edge 520 GPS, which came second, and the Cycliq Fly6 rear camera which was third. All of the top three gadgets have been very well reviewed here on road.cc.
Best Innovation: SRAM Red eTap
No doubt about the winner here: SRAM's wireless electronic groupset aced this category. “If you haven't yet made the leap to an electronic groupset, now could be the time”, said Dave Arthur when he reviewed the groupset back in March last year. “It's a supremely impressive groupset, providing slick and quiet gear changes, and with an intuitive shifting layout that sets a new benchmark”, he went on to say. High praise indeed.
Zwift virtual training came in second. It's been a huge year for Zwift; when we first started exploring the island you pretty much had it to yourself; now you'll get overtaken by a peloton of a hundred riders or more every time you're logged on. It's an immersive experience. Cameras on WorldTour bikes came third: the new angle on pro racing is a very exciting development.
Best item of clothing: Castelli Gabba
A hard-fought category but there's still a lot of love for the Gabba out there. Maybe it wasn't the original foul weather jersey but it was certainly the one that sparked the trend, and you'll still see them everywhere in the pro peloton if it's a mucky kind of a day. It's been in Castelli's range since 2010; we reviewed version 2 in 2015, with tester Iwein saying “the Gabba 2 is a cracking all weather jersey, and I recommend to anyone riding in bad weather”
Sharing second place were Rapha's Merino baselayer and Gore's One GTX jacket. “Far and away the best lightweight waterproof jacket I've ever tested” was Dave Arthur's verdict on the Gore jacket when he reviewed it last year - high praise indeed. The Rapha Merino base layer got some love too: “the Rapha Merino Base Layer has become a bit of a modern classic”, said Mat Brett when we reviewed it in 2015. It's a high quality bit of kit.
Cycling Champion: Peter Sagan / Chris Boardman
We're not fudging the figures because we love both these guys: this genuinely was a dead heat. Sagan gets his votes for bringing panache (and flowing locks) back to professional cycling. In a world that's increasingly dominated by numbers it's refreshing to find someone who's more of a heart-on-the-sleeve rider, and he's brilliant to watch.
Boardman was very much a numbers man when he was racing, and he's taken that analytical approach and applied it to the issues that face everyday cycling in the UK. The result is that his voice is the most consistent and sensible in the whole of the wider debate, and we salute him for his work in being a calm and reasoned voice in a dialogue that's all too often divisive and angry.
Laura Kenny rocked up third here; to be honest it's very unusual to see her anywhere other than top spot, and it's been an amazing year for her, with two Olympic gold medals, two World Championship wins and a British Champion jersey too. Not bad.
There you go: that's your lot! Thanks for voting, and we'll see you in a year's time when we'll do all this again.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.