Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) was surprised at the Dutch cycling gala, being awarded a civilian honour by Dutch sports minister Bruno Bruins at the awards night.

"You are a huge fighter, someone who never gives up, someone who, after every setback, picks himself up and looks ahead," said Bruins. "In that you are an example for many, for athletes and non-athletes."

Van Vleuten, walking again after a crash during the world championships saw her fracture her tibia, was visibly emotional receiving the ribbon and cross.

Van Vleuten was beaten to the Dutch female cyclist of the year by Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans), who capped off a superb season that saw her take wins at the Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour of Flanders and the world championships.

"It was a year in which I achieved a lot of success," said van der Breggen. "It's great that I can ride in the rainbow jersey next year."

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) was awarded the men's award after a season that saw him finish runner-up at the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and world championships time-trial.

"I find it a bit unexpected, especially considering I was up against Mathieu van der Poel and Niki Terpstra," Dumoulin said. "It was a great year for Dutch cycling, and it's nice to be chosen as the best rider."

"Victories say something more, but of course I am also very proud of my second places in the Giro, Tour, Worlds time trial and my fourth place in the Worlds road race."

"I get a lot of satisfaction in particular from my performance in the Giro. That's because I had a very difficult winter. I really had trouble with my new status and I put a lot of pressure on myself to equal the performance of 2017."

Wednesday 5 Dec 2018

British-based women's squad Drops (formerly known as Trek-Drops) will continue in 2019 after confirming that they have sufficient funding to continue to race.

The British team had announced a campaign to raise as much money as possible from the community, with an announced goal of £250,000. They reached just over ten per cent of that target, but the interest brought by the grassroots campaign uncovered additional large donors and new sponsors.

It was a similar situation to Education EF-Drapac's crowd-funding in 2017, where a significant amount was raised via the crowd-funding push, but ultimately the financial security of the team came down to finding a new sponsor.