• Richie Porte, Lizzie Deignan edging out Marianne Vos and Tadej Pogacar (Getty)Source: Getty
It's been a turbulent 2020 season, one that saw a number of key races cancelled, re-scheduled or altered, but by the end of the international cycling calendar, we managed to get some excellent racing. Here's the Cycling Central pick of the best racing for 2020.
By
SBS Cycling Central

20 Nov - 1:51 PM 

The Tour de France was the big event that everyone within cycling was hoping would be run, for the sake of the industry mostly but also to see riders back on the biggest stage. It didn't disappoint as a race, with some of the most memorable stages set to be remembered in the folklore of the great race.

Tour de France

Stage 20

One of the most dramatic stages in Tour de France recent memory, and arguably the best time-trial performance in the history of the race. Tadej Pogačar produced a performance for the ages, relegating a stunned Primož Roglič to second place overall as Richie Porte became just the second Australian to finish on the Tour de France podium with a powerhouse showing.

Stage 17

A brutally steep bike path to the Col de la Loze made its debut a memorable one at the Tour, with a sadistic final five kilometres the apotheosis of a very hard stage that had already seen riders summit the Col de la Madeleine. Riders arrived in ones and twos as the team leaders struggled to force their weary bodies up the testing slopes to the finale more normally accessed by chair lift.

Stage 7

This was a surprise gem of a stage, born of an explosive start where BORA-hansgrohe caught the peloton unawares, before crosswinds and an INEOS Grenadiers attack in the finale threw the cat among the GC pigeons. Come the finish, Porte and Pogačar had conceded major time and the legend of Wout van Aert was forming in people's minds.

La Course by Le Tour de France

Marianne Vos – winner of the first and last edition of the women's Tour de France-staged race – was the hot favourite coming into the race. That was nearly turned on its head mid-race as a red-hot Annemiek van Vleuten looked to split the peloton to pieces, succeeding in that, but unfortunately bring some strong sprinters along for the ride. 

Vos was the prohibitive favourite, but Trek-Segafredo appeared confident, with Longo Borghini riding in support of Lizzie Deignan. It came down to a mistake from Vos opening up too early, a superb sprint from Deignan, and still a photo finish was needed to declare Deignan the winner. A thrilling finish.

Best of Le Tour

A superb montage wrap of the best moments of the 2020 Tour de France.

Vuelta a España

Stage 12

The infamous ascent of the Angliru is always a highlight when it features in the Vuelta. The mythical climb didn't disappoint in 2020, with a titanic battle between the favourites seeing Hugh Carthy emerge victorious as Roglič was able to battle through a bad moment to limit losses to Richard Carapaz.

Stage 17

The moment when the Vuelta hung in the balance came on the final climb of the race, the ascent to La Covatilla. Carapaz and Carthy came out swinging as they knew they needed a big turnaround in time to beat Roglič in Madrid. Carapaz escaped and quickly put 20 seconds into Roglič, but he knew he'd need nearly double that at the finish...

Madrid Challenge

A stage strewn with bonus second sprints meant that the calculators were out and whirring when second-placed Elisa Longo Borghini took to try and steal the overall title.

The Classics

Liege-Bastogne-Liege Women's

It's a classic match-race in one of the biggest races of the season, with star rider Lizzie Deignan off on her own, hunting her down is Australia's Grace Brown.

Liege-Bastogne-Liege Men's

An attacking race had seen the cream rise to the top in the men's edition of La Doyenne, but it was the near-farcical finale of the race that created the headlines. Alaphilippe's swerve during the sprint, then premature celebration saw Roglič claim a deserved win after Tour de France heartbreak.

World Championships Women's Road Race 

A long-range assault by Anna van der Breggen, memorable helicopter shots and a ferocious fight for the podium animated the battle to decide the rainbow bands for 2020.

World Championships Men's Road Race

If there was ever a stage to decide who was the best rider in the world, it was a knock-down and drag-out edition of the road race around a mountainous circuit near Imola. The race was poised with the main favourites all ready to attack on the final ascent of the stage, with a run into the finish to decide the world championships on the famous race course.

Tour of Flanders Women's

When you get the likes of Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen marking each other out of the race, it's always going to offer opportunities to the other riders. That was the story of the women's Ronde van Vlaanderen, a deserved win for a long-time lieutenant.

Tour of Flanders Men's

That crash, that finish... that race. The 2020 edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen was a particularly memorable one, with the two riders that many consider the best in the world fighting it out at the finish after Julian Alaphilippe's stunning crash.

National Road Race Women's

An audacious early attack from Mitchelton-Scott caught nearly the entire peloton off-guard as they went long to try and secure the win at the national road championships.

National Road Race Men's

An emotional win for Cameron Meyer in a race that had it all as the tactical and physical battle in the final laps of the race completed a memorable edition of the Aussie road nationals. 

Criterium du Dauphine Stage 5

A stage that will live long in the memory as a wide-open finale to the traditional lead-up race for the Tour de France saw a fantastic, attacking stage, complete with an unlikely winner!