As we come to the end of another cycling year, here in the Northern Hemisphere, the only thing you can say is that it has been an odd sort of a year. Better than 2020, but nowhere near a full calendar of events.
Many of the iconic Events and Races were cancelled, however the main stage races went ahead, and they were even run at their customary times in the year – The Giro d’Italia run in May and won by Egan Bernal, with Simon Yates coming 3rd.
The Tour de France in July – with Tadej Pogacar managing to defend his title and the Vuelta a Espana in late August with Primoz Roglic winning.
Many Races and Events were cancelled – The Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race in Australia; the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal in Canada.
Here in the UK – the large-scale event The Prudential Ride London, and the Ride London Classic were also cancelled off. Possibly, never to be seen again.
This year, results for British Riders have been very mixed, with Adam Yates and Geraint Thomas the only riders taking the top step of the podium – at the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie respectively.
A number of second places were achieved – Adam Yates (UAE Tour); Jake Stewart (Omloop Het Nieusblad) and Tom Pidock (Amstel Gold Race);
And third places went to – Geraint Thomas (Volta a Catalunya and Criterium du Dauphine); Simon Yates (Giro d’Italia) and Adam Yates (Il Lombardia).
Honourable mention must be made to Mark Cavendish, who as a late call up for the Tour de France, managed to win 4 of the stages, bringing his total of wins in the TdeF to 36, equalling the record held by the one and only Eddie Merckx.
Chris Froome, however, has not been able to regain his racing form after his disastrous crash in July 2019. The four-time winner, managed to start and finish a gruelling 2021 Tour de France, badly crashing on the first day, and finally managing to finish in 133rd place out of 141 finishers.
Looking forward to 2022.
We already know that the Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race have been cancelled. However, the Giro d’Italia; the Tour de France and the Volta a Espana, are taking place at their traditional time slots in the year.
The UCI calendar is approx. 60% full, with many of the Spring and Autumn Classics taking place.
One great piece of news is that the annual Ride London, is back. Now moved the last weekend in May, early indicators are that it is a one event, no Men’s Professional Race, and limited to the 100ml Sportive, plus some other localised events.
More news when it is available.
It is to be hoped that the Covid-19 restrictions don’t appear again, and that we can look forward to a decent years’ cycling.