The 2020 cycling season was particularly challenging. The athletes are going to be happy when it is over. The promoters had to cancel numerous races due to the problematic occurrences. We still do not know whether health consequences will remain for the affected professionals. At the same time, the teams are struggling with financial problems. These will certainly not decrease during the next year. The road racing season has now ended and has brought many exciting insights after all.
The sport has become unpredictable in many ways. One thing was particularly evident on the big tours of the year. The time of the great dominators is over for now. There were numerous reasons for this. First of all, there are countless falls. These are part of racing, but this year was also a significant challenge in this respect. Lots of drivers got it hard. Those affected included Remco Evenepoel at Il Lombardia, Julian Alaphilippe at the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Fabio Jakobsen at the Tour of Poland. The severe injuries must now lead to a rethink in cycling for better or worse. What is needed now is more protection for drivers. Although the causes were quite different, there has never been such an accumulation. Therefore, the organizers and the cycling associations should now get together to find a solution. Under no circumstances can it continue in 2021 as it will in 2020.
But that’s not the only memorable memory of last season. It was noticeable that the tension during the big country tours has increased significantly. That was true for France as well as for Spain and Italy. Up until the last few days, the spectators did not know who will win. The best example of this was the Tour de France. There Primoz Roglic led up to the 20th stage before Tadej Pogacar took off the yellow jersey. He achieved this coup after a sensation in the time trial. The race at the Giro d’Italia was not much different. There it took until the 21st stage for the tour to be decided. Tao Geoghegan Hart took the pink jersey off Jai Hindley and won the classic. Even at the Vuelta an Espana, it took until the penultimate stage before we knew who will win. Primoz Roglic took the lead five days before the end but had to go to extremes on the penultimate stage to defend his lead. In the end, the winner and the runner-up were less than a minute apart on all three major tours.
That demonstrates how close the best cyclists in the world are right now. That is a development that the fans would certainly wish for in the future. That keeps cycling exciting and attracts more spectators. At the same time, a generation change took place this year. The best of the best keep getting younger. The winner of the Tour de France was 21 years old, the winner of the Giro d’Italia 25 years old. And that’s not the end of the story. Belgian Remco Evenepoel is only 20 years old and is already one of the big favourites to win the Tour de France next year.