Nacer Bouhanni’s year was dominated by his non-selection for the Tour de France and subsequent decision to leave FDJ.fr this winter.
However, the Frenchman enjoyed a fine year on the road with no less than five Grand Tour stage wins.
Bouhanni’s maiden win at the Giro may have came after Marcel Kittel’s withdrawal from the race but he still had to beat the likes of Ben Swift (Team Sky), Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Luka Mezgec (Giant-Shimano) on the slick criterium circuit.
And he didn't just beat them once, but three times in all, to bag the red jersey of points classification winner. Bouhanni also enjoyed significant Grand Tour success at the Vuelta, taking two stage wins in Spain, and finished the season with a top ten on a lumpy circuit at the Road World Championships.
The 2015 season will see Bouhanni take a step down from WorldTour level to join Cofidis, but the upside is a guaranteed role as the number one sprinter, rather than sharing the honours with Arnaud Demare.
Demare bagged more wins than Bouhanni in 2014, but none in the Grand Tours so, Tour de France selection or not, it was a great year for the rising sprint star.
Nacer Bouhanni in 2014
Race wins: 11
Grand Tour stage wins: Giro d’Italia x3, Vuelta a Espana x2
Champagne moment: Sprinting to victory on stage two of the Vuelta a Espana, a perfect response to having been omitted from FDJ.fr’s Tour de France squad.