W hen I look back on 2016, there are a few images which really stick in my mind. I’ll never forget Chris Froome running up Mont Ventoux – I think when we look back on 2016 in 10 or 20 years, the year will have been reduced to that one crazy image. But there are many more: Greg Van Avermaet breaking his recent Classics duck at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad; Geraint Thomas saving the Paris-Nice race lead on the descent from the Col d’Èze; Sagan at the Classics, above all at the Tour of Flanders, which I was lucky enough to witness firsthand; Mat Hayman winning Roubaix; Lizzie Deignan’s dominant spring; Vincenzo Nibali’s last-ditch smash-and-grab assault on the pink jersey at the Giro; Sagan, again, and Chris Froome at the Tour – my opinion is that we’re lucky as cycling fans to have seen something as extraordinary as their break on the Montpellier stage; Mark Cavendish roaring back to win four stages at the Tour; Van Avermaet winning the Olympic Road Race; Quintana finally managing to beat Chris Froome at the Vuelta...There were more obscure moments, which didn’t make such big headlines, but which I personally enjoyed. The Tour de Yorkshire was a real treat, the Giro Femminile was a very interesting race - go and watch it on Youtube - and in an attempt to make sure I got off the beaten track, I went to the Bretagne Classic (formerly the GP Plouay) for the first time. Though the winner at Plouay, Oliver Naesen, is not a big name, I think he’s going to be and I fully plan to explain that I was there at the beginning when he makes bigger breakthroughs.
This is our review of the year – we’ve looked back on all the above events, and more. Our writers and photographers were out there at the races, inside the sport, talking to people, getting the colour, watching events unfold first-hand and looking behind the headlines. We enjoyed the ride; I hope you did too.