The 2020 season was one of the strangest in the history of professional cycling. Coronavirus inflicted havoc on the racing schedule and changed 2020 into a season unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. But it wasn’t time COVID-1 9 — this was a year full of the chaotic, the unusual, and the downright crazy.
So, with the racing season now behind us, let’s all take a deep breath and look back at all the weird and wonderful things that made this a season to remember.
The UAE Tour was cut short due to COVID-1 9.
Coronavirus first cause its presence felt in pro cycling highway back in February. Team staffers at UAE Team Emirates seemingly raised the virus with them from Italy to the UAE, leading to the eventual cancellation of the hasten, two days earlier than planned. At least 12 COVID disputes were linked to the event, and several crews pointed up being forced to quarantine in an Abu Dhabi hotel for weeks subsequentlies, with Cofidis president Thierry Vittu claiming his squad was being “held hostage”.
Spare a conceived, very, for UAE Team Emirates’ Max Richeze, whose 18 -day stint in a UAE hospital mean he missed the proposed establishment of his daughter.
Paris-Nice was cut short too.
Paris-Nice went ahead with controls around spectator numbers, leaving start and finish countries ogling a little bare. The hasten was eventually called off a day early as well, to help fight the spread of the virus.
Strade Bianche was cancelled at the last minute.
A number of units had announced they would hop-skip Strade Bianche due to COVID concerns. In the end there was no race to hop-skip — both the men’s and women’s scoots were called off really a few daytimes out from the start. With many teams already in the area, some equestrians went out and rode around the course anyway.
The racing season was halted entirely.
After a bunch of scoots were cancelled, and with the COVID situation only getting worse, the UCI finally stepped in and canned all racing for the immediate future. Many races were rescheduled for the back half of the season, several were eliminated, and some were rescheduled but then ultimately re-cancelled( e.g. Amstel Gold Race and Paris-Roubaix) as a second wave swept Europe last-minute in the year.
The Virtual Tour de France was a thing.
With scoots nullified, and with numerous equestrians locked down at home, unable to train outside, indoor razzing frisked an even greater role than ever before. The pros made part in a stockpile of virtual races , not least the Virtual Tour de France. Held in July when the Tour was supposed to happen, the virtual Tour offered the same trends and coverage for men and women. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.
Masks became ubiquitous at bicycle races.
At this phase there’s nothing too bizarre about parties wearing cover-ups, but at those first hastens after the restart it was a pretty arresting spate. And in the years to come, when we look back at photos from the 2020 season, the disguises will definitely stand out.
Fabio Jakobsen was lucky to survive a hurtle in Poland.
The Tour of Poland was one of the first hastens back when hastening resumed in August, and the first stage very nearly ended in tragedy. On a downhill sprint to the line, Fabio Jakobsen gate-crashed horrifically into the roadside railings at races approaching 80 km/ h.
Jakobsen was lucky to survive. He suffered substantial facial traumata and apparently lost all his teeth. He faces a long road to recovery. Dylan Groenewegen is expected to serve a nine-month ban for his part in the incident.
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4 weeks after the rebuilding of my upper and lower jaw it was time for the seams “re coming out”. The process of healing is going well. The implanted bone has to grow strong and conglomerate for the next 4 months now. Next surgery is scheduled in 2021. In a couple of weeks my pelvic comb is advisable to salved and strong like before again. From then I can slowly start learn on the motorcycle again !
Remco Evenepoel fell off a connect at Il Lombardia.
Il Lombardia was a strange one in 2020. Normally raced in October as the last of the Statues, the Italian one-dayer was this year raced in summer as the second Monument of the season. At simply 20 years old, in his very first Monument, Belgian uber-talent Remco Evenepoel was the pre-race favourite. He was in the elite lead group and a great chance of succes when he overshot a angle on the ancestry off the Muro di Sormano and fell from a connection.
It was a horrific moment for all the persons who checked it live. Thankfully, Evenepoel objective up with “only” a ruptured pelvis and should make a full recuperation. The happen continued to make headlines in the months afterwards as the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation probed what Evenepoel’s boasts director, Davide Bramati, took from his rider’s jersey pocket in the moments after the hurtle. Both equestrian and sports administrator were cleared of any wrongdoing in October.
Evenepoel’s crash wasn’t the only jaw-dropping moment at Il Lombardia — a private car got on the course late too, causing Max Schachmann to hurtle. The German still finished seventh, with a broken collarbone.
The Tour de France was decided in the penultimate stagecoach experience trial.
With COVID examples on the rise in France, it seemed unlikely the re-scheduled Tour de France would even start, let alone finish. In the end we got a truly remarkable edition of the world’s biggest hasten. Primoz Roglic contributed for 11 daytimes and examined unbeatable at many points throughout the race. But in the stage 20 occasion trial, Roglic’s 21 -year-old compatriot Tadej Pogacar put in a epoch contest for the senilities, leaping over Roglic on the last GC stage to acquire his entry Tour de France, with a lazy three stage earns along the way( plus the KOM jersey and best young rider t-shirt ).
The result dedicated Slovenia its first Tour de France win and the top two locates on GC. It was the most remarkable end to a Tour since Greg Lemond vanquish Laurent Fignon in the final-stage ITT at the famous 1989 Tour de France. Remarkably, Pogacar’s final triumph perimeter of 59 seconds “wouldve been” the most important one Grand Tour boundary of the season.
Also noteworthy about the Tour: Ineos Grenadiers had three former winners at their dumping but only took one, Egan Bernal. The Colombian later left the race due to a back harm. Also incredible: Wout van Aert winning bunch sprints and represent one of the race’s best in the mountains. It shouldn’t have been that surprising rendered his bags of talent, but it still left us shaking our heads.
Annemiek van Vleuten raced Macrocosms with a interrupted wrist.
On a bonkers stage 2 of the Giro Rosa, Van Vleuten rode away from everyone, effectively objective the GC battle with a week still to go. But on place 7, only two days from taking a third straight-out Giro Rosa title, Van Vleuten crashed and was forced from the hasten with a interrupted wrist.
Remarkably, she fronted up to the shelved, migrated and slimmed-down Road World Championships a little over a few weeks later, wearing a cast. She didn’t precisely roll around either — she was plenty vigorous and resolved up finishing second, behind solo compatriot Anna van der Breggen.
There were all sorts of overlaps in the second half of the year of the year.
Il Lombardia and the Criterium du Dauphine. The Tour de France and Tirreno-Adriatico. The BinckBank Tour and Fleche Wallonne. The Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana. These were just some of the WorldTour hastens that overlapped in a heavily condensed post-COVID racing block. If that wasn’t hard enough to keep track of, many of the Women’s WorldTour scoots too overlapped. It was great to have racing back after a months-long hiatus, but it was all a bit much crammed in at once.
While it was a shame to see the men’s and women’s Paris-Roubaix cancelled, it did mean we bypassed having a stage of the Giro, a theatre of the Vuelta, and both Paris-Roubaix races on the same day.
Julian Alaphilippe’s bizarre finish at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
After winning Worlds, Julian Alaphilippe came to Liege-Bastogne-Liege as a big favourite. He was there in the group of five at the end, and thought he had it triumphed. He announced up on the finish line, forearms in the air … as Primoz Roglic smashed past on the Frenchman’s right to stumble the line first.
“Loulou” was saved some extent of embarrassment by the race jury who demoted him for an irregular sprint after cutting off Marc Hirschi on approaching to the line.
Remarkably, Alaphillippe celebrated early at Brabantse Pijl the very next week and very nearly get pipped on the line again, this time by Mathieu van der Poel. Thankfully for Alaphilippe, his impatience didn’t cost him a second time — he had his first win in rainbows.
Alaphilippe hit a motorbike at Flanders.
As far as preceding trios travel, Alaphilippe+ Van Aert+ Van der Poel in the final kilometres of the Tour of Flanders was about as good as it gets. And then Alaphilippe came confused by his hasten radio and razz into the back of a hasten moto, violating his hand. It was a bizarre and unfortunate purpose to the world champ’s debut Flanders, but the race still culminated in incredible fashion.
The Giro d’Italia was flat-out insane.
Where to start with the Giro? Well, first the proposed start in Hungary was canned due to coronavirus( Sicily picked up the slack ). Then there was EF Pro Cycling’s outrageous( ly good ?) kit — the most head-turning outfit we’ve seen in years. Then Geraint Thomas hurtled out in the neutral zone on place 3, thanks to a stray bidon, after he’d firmly established himself as the equestrian to beat overall.
Then there were the other GC contenders that left the race. Simon Yates and Steven Kruijswijk both departed due to coronavirus, so too their entire teams after the first rest day. Michael Matthews left with COVID as well, as did Fernando Gaviria — astonishingly, a few seconds bout for the Colombian who likewise tested positive after the UAE Tour in February.
With Thomas, Yates and Kruijswijk gone, and with Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang a little ways off their best, there was a real vacuum in the GC battle. Twenty-two-year-old Portuguese rider Joao Almeida stunned everyone to lead the hasten for 15 periods, and then in the final week, unlikely hopefuls Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jai Hindley surfaced as the riders to beat. The scoot was only decided on the final day in Milan, with Geoghegan Hart winning the Giro by 39 seconds.
Incredibly, after losing their GC contender on stagecoach 3( Thomas ), Ineos Grenadiers went on to win the race overall and a shiftles seven stages.
The Vuelta was incredibly close too.
After being slashed to 18 theatres thanks to coronavirus( the contrived begins in the Netherlands was canned) the Vuelta purposed up being heatedly struggled more. After Roglic made red on the first day the induce converted sides a cluster of epoches. On the penultimate stage it looked like Richard Carapaz had a chance of snatching the make from Primoz Roglic. Ultimately Roglic prevailed to win his second-straight Vuelta.
The Slovenian’s final acquire boundary was just 24 seconds, representing all three Grand Tours were put in place by less than a minute — the first time that’s ever happened. It was pretty remarkable that all three Grand Tours even finished, let alone the fact they were all so close and entertaining.
Here’s an interesting #cycling statistic: for the first time in history, the time difference between the winner and the runner-up in all three GT’s is less than a instant: 24 ” #LaVuelta20 39 ” #giro2020 59 ” #tour2020
What a climax of an( in many ways) exceptional season.
— Daam Van Reeth (@ vrdaam) November 7, 2020
It’s been a hell of a year. Of direction the stopped professional cycling season is exclusively a minuscule part of the chaos that 2020 has extradited. And that chaos is a long way from over.
COVID-1 9 is already having an impact on the 2021 hastening season with the Santos Tour Down Under, Cadel’s Race and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour all stripped from the Australian time of scooting. And with countless European societies now back in lockdown, it’s not hard to imagine European scooting being affected again next year …
What else abide out to you from the 2020 scooting season? Let us know in the comments below.
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