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Biggest Cycling Story for 2020

ALLEZ - JV Araneta (The Freeman) - January 4, 2021 - 12:00am

The biggest cycling story for 2020 is not cycling. Yes, it’s covid-19.

For those who are fortunate enough not to feel the effects of this pandemic, be thankful, be grateful and always be ready to give a helping hand to those in need. I believe it’s the best way to help us move forward or until the vaccine is made available to us.

On the professional racing circuit, it was a weird season with race starting later than usual, but the races didn’t disappoint. Belgian Wout van Aerts and Mathiue van Der Poel showed again that they are the new faces that is going to take over the sport in the next few years. Both have been rivals on the muds and hills of cyclocross before crossing over to road racing.

Van Aert won Milan-San Remo over Julian Alaphilippe by a slim margin while Van Der Poel took care of Van Aert during the Tour of Flanders. Both races were so compelling to watch thanks to the internet!

Alaphilippe showed that his swashbuckling talents during the World Championships with a daring last lap breakwaway. Although he lost Liege-Bastogne-Liege over Primoz Roglic for celebrating too early, there was nothing to be embarrassed off. I think he needs a raise.

The Tour de France was also exciting. Feeling the heat of the second wave of the pandemic during its later half of the race, it was what ABC sports used to say, “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!”. Primoz Roglic of JUMBO VISMA seemingly was in control during the first half of the race, but slowly, he was exposed buy a young kid, his countryman, Tadej Pogacar, during the penultimate stage. It was really a pitiful sight, in fact, I couldn’t watch it, I felt so bad for Roglic. But Roglic would rebound a few weeks alter by winning the Vuelta a Espana.

Another surprise winner was 25yo Brit Tao Geoghegan Hart (TAY-oh GAY-g?n HART). TGH was ion the Giro to support Geraint Thomas, but when Thomas had a bad crash, TGH took over with the incredible help Rohan Denis. I don’t want to say this but I believe that unless TGH moves to another team, he’ll end his career as a one-tour wonder. In a team that has Former Tour champions in Thomas and Egan Bernal, ex Giro d’Italia champion Ricardo Carapaz, and that has discarded Chris Froome, it would be hard to see TGH’s talent shine as the leader.

The greatest disappointment was the crash of the Remco Evanepoel. He crashed chasing downhill the wily Vincenzo Nibali, and ended up crashing and falling down in a ravine. Luckily, he “only” suffered a broken pelvis and will be back this year. Before his crash, Remco was winning races even when half asleep. He was that good. In fact, he was the most serious, “The Next Merckx” personality in the last 10 years.

Then there was the horrific crash of Fabio Jacobsen. While it was true that Dylan Groenewegen closed the door for the approaching Jacobsen, an illegal move by UCI Rules, it was just the perfect storm. Hopefully, 2021 will be better for Jacobsen.

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