As 2012 draws its last breath, I thought it would be appropriate to assemble two hypothetical Teams of the Year.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:37 PM

Below are a list of riders I feel have captured the imagination from performances during the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour.

I've named an All Stars International followed by an All Stars Australia unit.

Special mentions must go to London 2012 Olympic road champion Marianne Vos for dominating the women's WorldTour and capping it off with a tremendous solo win at the UCI Road World Championships in Limburg. Anna Meares and Victoria Pendleton for the gripping battles both provided on the velodrome in London and to Cameron Meyer for his stunning come-from-behind victory at the UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne at Easter.

2012 All Stars International Team of the Yea

Bradley Wiggins
Whether or not the Tour de France is ranked the world's best Grand Tour is irrelevant when assessing the year of Wiggo. The first six months of 2012 set the platform for the Londoner's season whose British-mod fashion sense was overshadowed by his grinding skills on the bike.

On reflection Wiggins was always going to win Le Tour given his success at Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie, Critérium du Dauphiné and, to complement it all, with an Olympic gold medal on home territory cements his place as team leader.

Chris Froome
Where would Froome be without Wiggo? Where would Wiggo be without Froome? Both need the other more than they probably realise and although results are paramount so too is a reliable and efficient deputy. Froome ticks all the boxes here. Runner-up at the Tour de France behind his team boss and a couple of fourth placings (at the Vuelta a Espana and Critérium du Dauphiné) suggests Froome's time as a Grand Tour conqueror will come sooner than later. For now however his qualities as a super-domestique cannot be underestimated.

Ryder Hesjedal
This Canadian defied the odds, the critics and is blessed with the most perfect name for an elite cyclist. To watch Ryder Hesjedal top the summits in the Italian Alps and Dolomites at this year's Giro d'Italia was refreshing. What Cadel Evans did for Australian cycling in 2011 Hesjedal has done for his native Canada, and isn't the English-speaking world happy about that?

Alberto Contador
Love him or loathe him - either way the WorldTour needs "El Pistolero". Who else dances on pedals the way he does? Who else can be humbled on gradients (as was the case several times) and still reign supreme at the Vuelta a Espana? The professional peloton is devoid of many characters but for mine Contador is an important element to my team of the year. The way he won Spain's Grand Tour was inspiring, coming just weeks after completing a doping suspension.

Joaquim Rodriguez
There is no doubting "Purito's" qualities as a one-day specialist – success at the Fleche-Wallone and Giro di Lombardia is testament to that. If only he could last the full ordeal of a three-week race. That's not to say it won't happen before too long. After all, a place on the podium at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana suggests Rodriguez is primed to take his place on the top step of a Grand Tour. The winner of the Tour de France in 2013, anyone?

Peter Sagan
I doubt if a pint of beer has ever passed the lips of Peter Sagan, such is his discipline - and it shows. What a sprinter, what a punchy climber and what a winner of the Tour de France Maiilot Verde. I love the guy, he doesn't know how to lose a race.

Philippe Gilbert
A team without a world champion would be a glaring oversight. Sure, Big Phil had his issues in the first six months of the year, but all was forgiven with a late-season burst which included a couple of stage wins on the back-end of the Vuelta followed by securing the rainbow jersey. Always a class act.

Mark Cavendish
Who said 2012 is a year Mark Cavendish would like to forget? L'Equipe described him as the "best sprinter of all time." Four stage wins at the Tour de France including the first world champion to win on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées complemented successes at the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Britain and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (to name but a few.) All this despite struggling with illness at the start of the season then sacrificing himself in support of Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky at the Tour.

Andre Greipel
A team with Cavendish wouldn't be complete without the services of his former arch-rival. A total of 18 wins can be seen as quite a successful year and if Andre Greipel is not the world's best sprinter then the German is a pretty close second.

All Stars Australia Team of the Year

Simon Gerrans
Winner of Milan-San Remo wearing the national colours of Australia. That says it all.

Simon Clarke
Clarke gave it his all to become the first Australian to win the Mountains competition at the Vuelta a Espana.

Richie Porte
Delivered Bradley Wiggins to Tour de France overall success. If he wasn't a domestique in a team brimming with depth, he'd be a team leader anywhere else.

Michael Rogers
Winner of the Bayern Rundfahrt and a podium at the Critérium du Dauphiné but it was the two-pronged approach with fellow Australian Richie Porte at Sky that was a standout.

Luke Durbridge
Australia's national time trial champion, winner of the Circuit de la Sarthe, first in the prologue at Dauphine and a bronze medalist at the UCI Road World Championships. Is this guy really only 21?

Matt Goss
Created a slice of history representing Orica-GreenEDGE to win stage three at the Giro d'Italia. Finished runner-up in sprints more times than he probably cared to remember at the Tour but still a good year for Gossy.

Mark Renshaw
Arrival in a team obsessed with securing a Grand Tour result didn't quite work out of Renshaw in 2012. Still the world's best lead-out man and among the best sprinters in the peloton.

Leigh Howard
Came of age and matured as a professional. Turning his back on a track career to follow his road ambitions was a terrific move, highlighted when grabbing fourth overall at Tour of Britain.

Adam Hansen
The only man to complete all three Grand Tours suggests this guy is an "animal" on the bike. A worthy selection in any team.

Do you agree or disagree with my selections? Who would you select?