The 2021 cycling season saw terrific action throughout, with great races on-road and off. We asked our commentary team and experts to come up with their favourite and most impactful races of the year, here are the results!
By
Jamie Finch-Penninger

12 Dec 2021 - 4:47 PM 

It's been a long season of covering cycling for us at SBS, from the Australian Road National Championships in February, through to the finish with the UCI Track Champions League. On the way, the Giro d'Italia rejoined the SBS roster of events, joining the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana all live and free together on SBS for the first time in five years.

The historic nature of the first women's Paris-Roubaix made it special and the weather ensured that the men's race as well will live in the memory for a long time, but it was just one of a roster of one-day classics on SBS Sport's cycling roster that captivated audiences. Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold, and the week-long of the world championships is always a fun festival of cycling.

Off the road, there were the world championships from the BMX Freestyle, BMX, Track, MTB and MTB downhill that saw the best riders in the world facing off in a battle for the rainbow bands.

You can find all of the top events from the 2021 cycling season on SBS On Demand, we also have special shelves of videos featuring the below lists of races in the one place. There were a few epic races that didn't quite fit into the lists though, scroll down to the bottom for those!

Robbie McEwen's Top Sprints

Top sprints of the 2021 season
We're looking back at some of the great races of the 2021 cycling season, with our expert commentators weighing in on their favourite moments of the year. When it comes to sprints, there's no one more expert than Robbie McEwen, and he brings you his favourite sprint finishes of the season, with links to replays on SBS On Demand.

Bridie O'Donnell's Top Moments of the Season

Moments that defined the 2021 cycling season
We're bringing together the best of the 2021 cycling season, with SBS Cycling experts and commentators bringing to life their favourites races and moments of the season just past. You can watch all the replays and highlights on SBS On Demand or peruse the articles and videos via the SBS Cycling Central website.

Christophe Mallet's Most Dramatic Races of 2021

The most dramatic races of 2021
We asked SBS television presenter and Zwift Cycling Central podcast host Christophe Mallet to come up with his most dramatic races of the 2021 road season.

Dave McKenzie's Top Men's Races of 2021

Top 6 races of the 2021 men's season
We asked SBS television analyst and commentator Dave McKenzie to come up with the best races of the men's 2021 season.

Matt Keenan's Top Upsets of the Season

The best upsets of the 2021 cycling season
SBS' Matt Keenan picks his favourite surprise victories from a blockbuster 2021 season of cycling.

Top Women's Races of 2021

Top 7 women's races of the 2021 season
Top races, great winners and the promise of even more next year! SBS Cycling Central journalist Jamie Finch-Penninger looks at the best races of the Women's WorldTour in 2021, including the replays from each race on SBS On Demand.

Top Australian performers of 2021

Best Australian cycling performers of 2021
We take a look at the top non-road performances by Australian cyclists in what was a tumultuous 2021 season of competition for the nation’s top cyclists.
Best Australian cyclists on the road for 2021
It was a mixed year for Australian riders tackling the top races around the world, with the emergence of new stars, while the established ones experienced some rollercoaster seasons.

The best of the rest

There may have been a few races that didn't quite fit into any of the lists, so we'll wrap up our best of the 2021 season with a few more selections of top races or events from the year.

Tadej Pogačar destroys the Tour de France field

One of the great things about men's road cycling at present is how many top-tier cyclists there are that you could make cases for being the best in the world. One rider that you have to include in this is 23-year-old sensation who already has two Tours de France, two monuments and a swag of other wins under his belt. 

It was a depleted general classification field after a number of crashes early in the race, but the way Pogačar demolished the hopes of the riders remaining was an awesome sight to behold, and one of the most audacious moves in recent memory as he attacked with over 30 kilometres, mostly climbing, still to come.

Tour de France Stage 8 Replay

Jay Vine's courageous comeback

This was more of a zeitgeist moment than one of the best races, but it stills hits the emotional ups and downs of cycling. Vine is a rider on the ascent, both in his career and his preferred terrain, and he was one to watch in the Vuelta, with many hoping that it might provide a breakthrough win for the Australian Zwift Academy winner. 

He was in the break of the day, one of the strongest climbers with a summit finish to come, but was brought down in a sickening crash with his team car, many thought he would withdraw for the race as he lay in obvious pain. 

We lost sight of him from the cameras, but suddenly he was back with the front group, battered and bruised, but back in the race. The Canberran fought on to finish third on the day, a tremendous performance in the circumstances.

Double trouble at the Ladies' Tour of Norway

These two races probably slipped under the radar a bit, but were some superb spectacles for the battle between the breakaway and the peloton. Watch both from about 20 kilometres, and try to think about the likelihood of the breaks surviving if you look at it with traditional logic.

Stage 1 Ladies' Tour of Norway winning moment

Stage 2 Ladies' Tour of Norway winning moment.

Storer and Haig make their move at the Vuelta

Michael Storer had shown some impressive form at the Tour de l'Ain, but it was this stage at the Vuelta that he really showed how good he could be. It was an exciting stage with a dangerous breakaway with general classification implications, Jack Haig jumped well up the standings, paving the way for his podium finish overall.

Stage 7 Vuelta a Espana Replay