ED­WARD PICK­ER­ING

Procycling - - Preface -

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.

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