The time for nominations for the 2021 end-of-year awards!


Wow, the cycling season is well and truly over! Was it when Ben Swift crossed the finish line in the race for the British Championships? I know they can sometimes run an hour later in the UK. Perhaps that was when tenth place Marie Le Net came home as the last place to score in the Women’s Chrono des Nations. I don’t think it was the Cyprus Nats, but I didn’t pay enough attention to it.

I’m so old I remember when the cycling season ended in style – notably the Giro di Lombardia – but in recent years the end of the calendar has become a place to push back races that couldn’t be rushed anywhere else. . In the last pre-COVID year, that has meant China, a place it would be good to run if it wasn’t so far from Europe. Either way, this year was the second COVID calendar, but unlike the first, it ended up looking more like a normal season than not.

Quiet on the Kwaremont
Photo by Nico Vereecken – Pool / Getty Images

Of course, the pilots attacking Flanders’ famous Hellingen heard only the roar of motorcycles and helicopters and the whine of carbon wheels, not the thousands of screaming voices they had expected. Some races – don’t ask me which ones – took a year off or simply turned to the uncertainty of the future. But the bigger and better events have found a way to continue, with only a few rescheduled away from their usual locations (hello Roubaix in October!) Add to that the slight hustle and bustle caused by the Olympic break, in Asia’s l ‘Is nothing less, and you had opportunity for chaos that didn’t really materialize. It was, in short, a cycling season.

Was it a big one? Maybe, yeah. The races that were taking place were quite remarkable, there were few scandals to note apart from the net of controversies that occur each year. The youth movement continued at a steady pace. The women’s circuit included a historic inaugural Paris-Roubaix race, and while the Tour de France kicked off its women’s program on the road, we already know that 2022 is set to be unlike anything seen since the 1980s. It wasn’t the best year for me to figure it all out, “highlighted” you might say by an American winning a classic while glamping in the Montana countryside. But with all of these caveats, I have to say I had a great time. For a world that has not yet returned to normal, I take it.

JAPAN-SHIZUOKA-OLY-ROUTE-CYCLING-WOMEN

Anna Kiesenhofer with an all-time stunner in Japan
Photo by He Changshan / Xinhua via Getty Images

Let’s make rewards!

In Podium Café Tradition, I now ask you to submit your year-end nominations for our four categories:

  1. Male Rider of the Year
  2. Female rider of the year
  3. Men’s race day of the year
  4. Women’s Race Day of the Year

Who or what day impressed you the most? What will you take away from the 2021 cycling season in ten years? Please let us know. Make it totally subjective if you like, or explain why others should agree with your appointment. The first two are self-explanatory; the latter two are limited to a single day race, for example, stage 15 of the Tour de France, or the women’s Olympic road race. Once our competitors are identified, we will vote on the categories and declare a winner. Loans, loans … GO!


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