Reading cycling magazines and websites the same names keep cropping up. Contador, Schleck, Cavendish et al are good and deserve some of the limelight but not all of it. There are three riders who inspire me not so much because of their results but because of their attitude and style.
1) Jen Voigt: he always there and already has something insightful or funny to say after each stage. This is a man who works like a dog, sitting on the front of the peloton reeling breakaways in and never gets any of the individual glory. He also writes a great blog and there is a amusing Jens Voigt fact page. And his approach to pain...play the link!
2) David Moncoutie: like Jens he has been around for a year and always seems to be thinking about retiring but never quite gets round to it, because he simply just likes riding his bike. Also, he is one of those classic French escape artists who does not want to hide in the peloton day after day but prefers to gamble on glory in breakaways. When Cofidis were going through their dark doping years Moncoutie was always in the team but always firmly anti-drugs. Bit of a pity that he likes homeopathic options though! Oh and he just looks just so damn cool on a bike.
3) Marco Pinotti: like Moncoutie, Pinotti has been a long standing critic of drugs in cycling. He is a quiet man, but when he decides to speak he does mince his words. Just read his views about some of his colleagues in the peloton! I wish a few more were brave enough to take a stronger moral stand on some of the cheats in the sport.