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 / Sports

Velonews November/December 2018

Velonews brings you inside the sport of bike racing, with exclusive features, analysis, expert training advice, unbiased gear reviews and the absolute best cycling photography.

United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
Read More
9 Issues


3 min.
debate of the year

IT’S NEVER EASY, and this year was particularly challenging. Every year we name a VeloNews Cyclist of the Year, the top performing male or female rider from the past 12 months of competition. The process is fairly straightforward. We create a long list of riders who scored top results. Then we argue, scan YouTube clips, and analyze pages of Procyclingstats.com. We read race reports from our website. Slowly, we cross names off of the list until just one remains. Some years the process is easier than others. When Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won three world championship titles (mountain bike, road, and cyclocross) within the same calendar year, she was a no-brainer. Chris Froome wins the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España—done. So why was this year so tough? After days of debate, four…

6 min.
trouble at home

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the U.S. domestic road season stretched far into October. Those halcyon days are long gone. In 2018 the unofficial bookend to the racing season fell on August 19, the final day of the Colorado Classic stage race. As the domestic men’s and women’s pelotons sped laps around downtown Denver, a feeling of dread, or perhaps sorrow, crept over the various team directors and staffers. Two stalwart teams of the U.S. pro scene, UnitedHealthcare and Jelly Belly-Maxxis, were without sponsors; both squads are poised to disband at the end of 2018. Another team, Canada’s Silber Cycling, was also on the chopping block; a last-second sponsorship by Floyd Landis helped salvage elements of the squad. Holowesko-Citadel, George Hincapie’s Pro Continental team, was also hit…

1 min.
race radio

“A five-year deal in cycling is exceptional, but Egan is an exceptional talent.”— Team Sky principal DAVID BRAILSFORD, after extending Egan Bernal’s contract by five years“I have a conflicted relationship with cycling, as everybody knows, but I still like it, and I still remember what it was like to be a kid and race on a domestic team. It was some of the best years of my life.”— FLOYD LANDIS, after revealing he will use the settlement money from his whistleblower lawsuit against Lance Armstrong to establish a development cycling team“This will be the last time that Quick-Step do this race, even if we win. [It has] nothing to do with road cycling.”— PATRICK LEFEVERE, in a tweet while Paris-Tours was still in progress, reacting to the race’s new course,…

1 min.
by the numbers

19 Number of first-time WorldTour race winners in 2018, two of whom won one-day races while the remainder took victories within stage races (including Michael Woods, above). In the past decade, 2017 saw the fewest debutant wins, 11, and 2008 saw the most, 34. 28.1 Average age of WorldTour race winners in 2018. Over the past decade, the average age has only varied from 27.8 at its youngest to 28.7 at its oldest. 1990 The birthyear of the most prolific racers in the WorldTour, as determined by total Procyclingstats.com points. In fact, for each season since 2014, riders born in 1990 accrued more points than any other age group. The “class of ’90” includes Peter Sagan, Michal Kwiatkowski, Thibaut Pinot, among many others. 180 Time, in seconds, of Chris Froome’s margin of victory in stage 19 of…

5 min.
marianne vos

In 2018 Marianne Vos returned to the top step of the podium. Vos, the most dominant female cyclist in history, famously took a break from pro cycling in 2015 to recover from injury and fatigue. She returned in 2016 lacking her world-famous horsepower, and her 2017 season was marred by injury and sickness. Then, in 2018, Vos exploded with stage wins, GC victories, and one-day successes. VeloNews caught up with Vos to discuss her comeback season, and why her countrywomen have rocketed to the top of the sport. Do you feel like you are all the way back to top form after several years of injuries and fatigue? Definitely. In 2015 I was out, and 2016 I was hoping to be back on my best as quickly as possible but, of course, recovery takes…

7 min.
the 31st annual velonews awards

PETER SAGAN Gent-Wevelgem. Paris-Roubaix. Three stages of the Tour de France and a record-tying sixth green jersey. Peter Sagan enjoyed a banner year in 2018, taking major victories from January until July. Was it his best year yet? Perhaps. In any case, it was enough to earn VeloNews’s Cyclist of the Year Award. To celebrate his season, and to take you inside Sagan’s thrilling victory in Roubaix, we present an excerpt from his forthcoming book, “Sagan: My World.” HAVE YOU EVER SAT in a jacuzzi on full gas, and then the bubbles stop and it all settles down? God, I love that moment. That is the moment when you leave a pavé secteur and regain tarmac. It feels like an all-encompassing calm. The horizon goes from a lie detector graph going crazy…