Alberto Contador has been the most impressive rider of 2014

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As the cycling season draws to a close, I take a look at which riders have ridden the best throughout the year.

1. Alberto Contador

For me, Contador has been outstanding all season and with another Grand Tour to his name, the Spaniard can finish the season in high spirits.

After suffering disappointment in the Tour de France - he was forced to retire through injury - it looked like Contador's season might be over but luckily for him he recovered quicker than many expected.

He went on to win the red jersey in the Vuelta a Espana in a race in which he was never really challenged. The result was made even more impressive by the fact he had only just returned from injury. Chris Froome was his closest challenger but the Briton was unable to match him on the climbs.

As well as winning the Vuelta, Contador finished first in the Tirreno-Adriatico (winning stage four and five) and first in the Tour of the Basque Country (winning stage one). He also came second in the Criterium du Dauphine.

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2. Vincenzo Nibali

Nibali was always going to be a contender for the overall victory at the Tour de France but I don't think many people thought he would actually win it. However, he did win it and he did so in some style.

I was really impressed by the Italian at the Tour de France because he kept his composure and continued to ride well after a lot of his main rivals crashed out.

Nibali ended up winning the Tour with ease, winning four stages of the race in the process. The victory meant Nibali joined the select group of riders who have won all three Grand Tours. Contador is also in this group.

Although the rest of the Astana rider's season wasn't that impressive, he did win the National Road Race Championships and the fact he won the Tour de France means he had a brilliant year.

3. Nairo Quintana

The Colombian impressed last season by finishing second in the Tour de France and winning the King of the Mountains and Young rider classification and he has continued to dominate on the road this year.

Quintana decided not to race in the Tour this year but set his sights on the Giro d'Italia instead. The Movistar rider went on to win the Giro as well as winning two stages of the race and being awarded with the best young rider jersey.

His success this season doesn't stop there either. Quintana won the Tour de San Luis and the Vuelta a Burgos too.

Unfortunately he had to abandon the Vuelta a Espana due to injury but overall it has been another very impressive season by the young Colombian.

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Alberto Contador
Vuelta a Espana
Tour De France
Vincenzo Nibali

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