• Peter Sagan and Sep Vanmarcke battle on the Paterberg during the 100th edition of the Tour of Flanders (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Some moments stick with you beyond the here and now, they become part of history and form part of the legend that fans of the sport equate with cycling. Here are the moments that lit up the 2016 season.
Jamie Finch-Penninger

Cycling Central
23 Nov 2016 - 7:46 AM  UPDATED 23 Nov 2016 - 9:32 AM

Froome runs up Mont Ventoux

There’s one image that is the iconic one of the 2016 Tour de France, that of the yellow jersey running without his bike up Mont Ventoux. Crashing into the back of Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema, who in turn had gone into the back of a motorbike held up by the press of the crowd, Froome found himself being passed by all of his rivals as he searched desperately for a replacement bike.

Seemingly in panic he set off up the road on foot, before clambering on the replacement bike that he was unable to clip into before finally getting a spare bike from the team car. In the end it was the visual that was the only lasting effect of the incident as the time was returned to Froome, he retained yellow and won his third Tour de France.

Ridiculous, farcical, sublime… everyone took something different away in the aftermath. Some blamed the crowd or the organisers, others pointed to the sheer number of motorbikes on course.

Mat Hayman’s Roubaix dream

Breaking all conventional wisdom, Hayman won Paris-Roubaix from the early move just six weeks after breaking his arm. As a 37 year old who could only train at home with his arm in a sling he wasn’t supposed to win the race and when he was dropped after taking a hard shoulder from Ian Stannard it truly looked impossible for the Australian to win his favourite race.

Surging back into contention, Hayman was then well in contention as the attacks came thick and fast within the final kilometres. Coming into the famed Roubaix velodrome, the riders' legs appeared dead and it was Hayman who led out the five man sprint and held on to win.


Chloe Hosking lights up La Course

A career-best season for Hosking was highlighted with wins all over the world but the highest profile victory came in dominant fashion on the storied cobbles of the Champs Elysees. Surging clear from the top of the straight, it was like the Canberran was in a race of her own as she powered to the line.

Only the best sprinters in the world can hope to win in Paris and Hosking is very much in that bracket these days.

World Champs reign over Flanders

It’s rare to see the women compete alongside the men in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and although there is a way to go with bringing a comparable level of coverage, it was a special moment to see the world champions Peter Sagan and Lizzie Deignan (nee Armitstead) atop the podium in their world champions jerseys.

Both were worthy winners, with each memorably out-duelling formidable opposition. In the men’s, Sagan got the jump early on Fabian Cancellara who came back strongly, only for the Slovakian champ to hold him off to claim his first ever Monument win.

Lizzie Deignan had her own battle with the evergreen Emma Johansson after attacking over the final climbs but emerged the strongest in the sprint to the line.

Double rainbow over Flanders fields
Ask your mate who’s a casual sports fan about what names they know in cycling, and you’ll get a brief list of recent Tour de France winners.

Fabs fabulous finish

Fabian Cancellara has given audiences around the world much to admire and cheer for over the years and whilst he had put himself in good positions to take victories in his swansong season, he looked just that little bit off his best. It looked like he would have to be satisfied with a Strade Bianche win for his farewell but he saved the best for last with his win in the Olympic Games time trial.

With the more favoured stars like Rohan Dennis, Tom Dumoulin and Chris Froome expected to excel on the course, it was Cancellara who gave himself a fitting sendoff as he finished the strongest in a see-sawing battle for gold.

Orica-GreenEDGE scorching hot in Aussie summer

Caleb Ewan and Simon Gerrans were the talk of the world for January as they kicked off the cycling season with a bang. Ewan was dominating World Tour opposition at the Tour Down Under and creating waves with his physics-defying sprinting style.

Gerrans showed again that he is simply too good to beat in the fight for the general classification at the Tour Down Under, a race he has now won four times.

With four stage wins, plus the People’s Classic and the overall victory, the Australian team had stamped its dominance on their home race.

Giro Finale

Out of the Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia was the only race that really ran down to the wire. The result was up in the air on the final mountain stages after the spectacular and unfortunate crash of deserving leader Steven Kruijswijk.

Esteban Chaves was in the pole position to take the first ever Grand Tour victory by an Australian team, but faded in the face of aggression from multiple Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali on the final day in the mountains.
After dropping Chaves on the Colle Della Lombarda, it was to come down to the seconds the Italian champion could make up on the smiling Colombian on the finish line.

Coming in well down on Nibali, Chaves didn’t lose his trademark smile or grace and he has established himself as a favourite in the peloton.

Olympics turn on the flair

It was easy to be jaded heading into the Olympics, with organisational problems, protests and all the negativity emanating from the Brazilian public. However, almost all the events turned out to be a great spectacle.

There was dramatics in the finales of both the women’s and men’s road races, with solo riders caught within sight of the line after the climbs formed elite selections. Greg van Avermaet and Anna van der Breggen were worthy champions, but it was hard to enjoy the women’s race in particular after the horrendous crash for Annemiek van Vleuten when in the lead of the race.

Froome in Australia

It’s always special to get to see the best up close and personal. Cycling is one of the few sports that allows such proximity to the athletes so you can really appreciate the effort that the best put themselves through.

Froome put on a show whilst he was racing at the Herald Sun Tour, drawing the crowds in the Melbourne CBD before showing his class on the road to win the iconic stage Arthur’s Seat stage and the overall.

For fans of the National Road Series, it was a slightly surreal experience to watch Froome sitting on NRS champion Joe Cooper’s wheel. Of course, it was for tactical reasons, but it was nice to think that the multiple Tour de France winner was wary of the New Zealander’s power.

2016 was a season with plenty of standouts and there were a lot of great moments that had to be left off the list. What is clear is that the women’s racing features at the top of any list of highlights despite the comparative lack of coverage and could easily produce a lot more top quality showings that would be great for live broadcast.