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Cyclist's racing moments of the year 2018

Cyclist magazine
9 Dec 2018

We've picked our favourite racing moments from the 2018 season

Anyone else already thinking about the 2019 Classics Season? Even so, this time of year is a chance to look back on the season that's just ended and try and recall our favourite women's and men's racing moments.

From Monument wins to long solo breaks at the World Championships, here in the Cyclist office we've come up with what for us were the highlights of the 2018 racing season.

If you agree, disagree or simply want to praise your own favourite cyclists, you can let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Cyclist's racing moments of the year 2018

Pete Muir, Editor

Men's: Stage 20 Tour de France: Geraint Thomas puts in a blistering time-trial to seal victory in the Tour. It was great to watch G hold his nerve, prove his quality and finally step out from the shadow of Wiggins and Froome.

Women's: Anna van der Breggen destroys the field at the Road Race World Championships. It was beginning to look like she would be thoroughly overshadowed by Annemiek van Vleuten (who won La Course, the Giro Rosa, and the Worlds Time-Trial).

A 3'42" winning margin in Innsbruck was an emphatic way to remind us all of her dominance.

Jack Elton-Walters, Website Editor

Men's: I'm not the only person to choose this option, but it's got to be Peter Sagan's Paris-Roubaix win. Clad in the World Champion's jersey – it's going to take a while to adjust to not seeing him wearing it in 2019 – Sagan rode away from his rivals, formed a very advantageous alliance with Silvan Dillier and took the win that had so far eluded him.

The best race in the calendar and a more-than-worthy winner. Bring on 2019's cobbles.

Women's: Paris-Roubaix again, wasn't the women's race great? No, because there still isn't one...

Joe Robinson, Website Writer

Men's: The way he was mobbed by the Italian media at the finish, the way he celebrated over the line despite almost being caught by Caleb Ewan, the cries of ‘grandissimo’ from his soigneur at the finish.

The racing moment of the year was Vincenzo Nibali winning Milan-San Remo and becoming the undisputed rider of his generation. Forza lo squalo!

Women's: Annemiek van Vleuten is pretty good, isn’t she? While La Course is most memorable I was more impressed by the way she won on the Zoncolan at the women’s Giro. She is in an absolute class apart when it comes to riding in the mountains.

Stu Bowers, Deputy Editor

Men's: Chris Froome’s attack on Stage 19 of the Giro. Yes it was sad to see Simon Yates being dethroned, but it was a ballsy move by Froome. He had to go all in. Do or die. And that made for some great TV viewing. I was glued.

Women's: Rachael Atherton taking her 5th downhill world title – making her undeniably one of the most dominant MTB downhill racers of all time (across both men's and women's fields) and is officially the most decorated British female MTBer of all time – with 10 UK National titles; five times Downhill World Champion, five times Downhill World Cup Overall Champion, twice European Champion and the winner of 34 World Cups.

Not that anyone would know as British Cycling doesn’t seem to shout about/publicise it.

Martin James, Production Editor

Men's: John Degenkolb winning Stage 9 of the Tour de France after two long, hard years of recovery from that horror training crash back in early 2016. His raw outpouring of emotion after crossing the line showed just what it meant to him.

Women's: Fellow Pretorian Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio finishing second at the Giro Rosa to become the first African cyclist ever to stand on a Grand Tour podium (not just African-born... sorry, Chris).

Hopefully she can go one better in 2019.

James Spender, Features Editor

Men's: Bit of a cheat this, but the best moment from this season was this season. From the Spring Classics, where Italian legends were confirmed and the rainbow stripes took Roubaix for the first time in a generation, to the Grand Tours, where a near-holy triumvirate of British riders made it three in a row, world medias erupted, words (and a fair amount of urine and spittle) were slung, tears were wept and mics were dropped.

But if I had to call one moment, it’s Froome on the Finestre. Not only was it a stunning piece of riding and tactical guile (or perhaps, an almost childish lack of it), it coincided with Yates’s tragic capitulation and thus encapsulated something cycling has been missing in recent years – pure, heroic drama.

Irishman Sam Bennett wheelie-ing up the Zoncolan in the Giro (average 11.5%, peaking at 24%) was pretty good too.

Women's: It was a stellar year for the women too, which for once received a (relatively, given the paucity of previous years) decent amount of airtime and media attention.

There is still a HUGE way to go, but that shouldn’t deflect attention from the brilliant performances of Anna van der Breggan at the Worlds and the incredible talent and resilience of Annemiek van Vleuten, who two years ago broke her back in a horror crash at the Olympics and this year swept podiums at La Course, the Worlds TT and the Giro Rosa.

But the best moment of the season was when organisers announced that the women’s prize-pots for the Tour of Britain and the Tour de Yorkshire would be equal to the men’s for the first time, and that the same would happen at the Tour Down Under in 2019.

Peter Stuart, Commissioning Editor

Men's: Simon Yates, the little engine that could, taking victory at the Vuelta was undoubtedly the best moment of the year. His attack on the major contenders on the steep inclines of the Alto Les Praeres, to take Stage 14 victory and begin to cement his lead provided an edge of the seat moment that we don’t often see from Grand Tour winners.

Women's: Annemiek van Vleuten took an amazing win at La Course this year, but more striking was her incredible ascent of the Col d’Izoard. She took the Strava QOM and the third fastest time ever, men and women, on the final 5km.

Rob Milton, Art Director

Men's: Strade Bianche in the rain and dirt, Romain Bardet making the break, attacking and showing his class, Wout van Aert showing he is the guy to watch for the future and Tiesj Benoot smashing the field to win if full style.

Women's: I'm sure others will say this but La Course by Le Tour de France. Annemiek van Vleuten's chase and catch of Anna van der Breggen coming down to the last 20 metres. One of the great finshes ever, full stop.

Sam Challis, Staff Writer

Men's: Sagan's 50km break at Roubaix that included him trying to straighten his stem on-the-go by banging his front wheel into the back of Jelle Wallays's bike.

Equally Wallays's willingness to share the work with Sagan to ensure that the move stuck in spite of the knowledge that the extra work would all but guarantee his defeat to Sagan in the sprint.

Women's: Marianne Vos winning all three stages in Ladies Tour of Norway. She's back.

Hannah Troop, Product Reviewer and Features Writer

Men's: Vincenzo Nibali winning Milan San Remo. You know when you watch back the end of a race and it gives you goosebumps, it was one of the top moments of the year.

In the last 40km as the race started to ramp up the pace there were a flurry of crashes, the most painful to watch was Mark Cavendish catapulted into the air over a central reservation bollard.

But as the race began its ascent of the Poggio the Bahrain-Merida team had its ducks aligned and ready to launch its Vincenzo shaped missile.

A classic Nibali explosive attack on the Poggio with 9km to go paired with his fearless descending saw him go solo with only the Via Roma in mind.

With the finish line in sight but a stampeding peloton only a few hundred metres behind it was the nail biting end to a race that every cycling fan prays for. Prayers were well and truly answered in Milan-San Remo 2018.

Women's: Giorgia Bronzini winning La Madrid Challenge. She has been a stalwart within the peloton over the last 16 years and has amassed over 80 victories, including two UCI Road World Championship titles in 2010 and 2011.

To see her in the final race of her career at La Madrid Challenge, and for her to take the win was the fairytale ending many chase but never accomplish.

Being lucky enough to interview her after the race it was incredible to see her emotions come to the surface and everyone in the peloton congratulate her.

As a circuit race over a flat course it’s hard for any peloton to animate this type of race, but when the break that Bronzini was in just managed to take it to the finish line without being caught, Bronzini was well positioned to take the bunch sprint.

Post race in the mix zone it wasn’t long before she had a pint of beer in her hand giving her last toast to the crowd.

Joseph Delves, Product Reviewer and Web Writer

Men's: Valverde finally winning the World Champs. I’ve not shouted at the telly that much since David Millar last won a stage.

Women's: Another winner at the World Champs who's been a long time coming. Anna van der Breggen riding 40km alone to the line.

Niche one: A scary fast Cecile Ravanel winning the Enduro World Series.

Page 1 of 2Cyclist's racing moments of the year 2018

Page 1 of 2Cyclist's racing moments of the year 2018