the past it's generally been an easy task selecting "five best moments"
with the "five worst moments", bit in 2010 , I must admit the good has
far outweighed the bad.
Apart from Alberto Contador's meaty
misdemeanor, the elbow dramas which ended Cadel Evans' aspirations for a
Tour de France victory, and the 10-day Delhi yawn (otherwise known as
the track and road events at the Commonwealth Games), the year has been
filled with spine-tingling memories.
In fact there are so many
highlights to mention, a top 5 list would serve as an injustice to the
many thrills us "cycling junkies" got out of the year.
So I've created a "Top 10 favourite only moments". Let the countdown begin.
10. LANCE'S ADELAIDE TWEET RIDE
Lance announces on Twitter he feels like going for a social ride with
some of his closest friends, up to 10,000 decide to turn up just days
ahead of the Tour Down Under. Love or hate him, the guy is an
unstoppable PR machine and the many smiles he brought to the faces of us
"commoners" on that brilliant summer's morning, will live on with those
who joined in the party.
9. ROGERS WINS CALIFORNIA
a long time coming but Mick Rogers' breakthrough win at the Tour of
California was testament to his drive and hunger for success. While
Rogers may not be perfectly suited to conquer Grand Tours, anything less
than a 10-day race is a perfect duration by comparison. A terrific
result for one of Australia's best riders and a top bloke.
8. CAVENDISH COMEBACK
revealed what an emotional human being Mark Cavendish is. After being
trialled by members of the sport's world media for his post-race
finger-salute at the Tour of Romandie, and alleged unsavoury behaviour
with rival riders soon after, there was a bad taste lingering from fans
and foes. But when tears rolled down Cav's face in the first of five
stage wins in France, it showed his human side and started another year
of domination by the world's fastest sprinter.
7. AUSSIE GIRO CLEAN-SWEEP
so-called world's second biggest bike race could have been mistaken as
the "Giro di Australia". What a delight it was to see Matt Lloyd win a
stage and top the mountains competition, Cadel Evans win a stage, wear
the leader's jersey for a day (stage 2), and be crowned unlikely winner
of the points competition, while the previously unheralded Richie Porte
underlined Australia's new generation of champions as he graced the
podium with the Giro's maglia rosa on his shoulders for three
days and a top-ten finish, all in his first year on the ProTour. It was
an amazing three weeks for Aussie cycling.
6. CADEL WINS FLECHE WALLONE
the rainbow jersey on his back, and a new team for which to perform,
Cadel unleashed a perfectly-timed attack on the steep uphill drag to the
famous Muy de Huy climb. He was brilliant the way he left Contador in
his wake to the finish line of Fleche Wallone. The first Australian to
win the European Spring Classic as the reigning world champion was
5. CADEL'S 24 HOURS IN TDF YELLOW
the Tour's yellow jersey on stage 8. We were proud, but little did we
know the little Aussie battler had suffered a hairline fracture to the
elbow as a result of a crash before standing on the podium in Mozine. In
hindsight the performance was even more impressive and although he
collapsed in a heap he was held in the highest regard for his bravery
4. THE RISE OF RICHIE
Richie Porte may not be
named Australian cyclist of the Year in Melbourne on December 5 but he
is certainly deserving of the award. Prior to the Tour of Romandie in
May, few outside of his native Tasmania had heard of this exciting 25
year-old. He quickly proved he could climb, time trial and mix it with
the best in the business. What a revelation! And to think he could lead
his very own team in 2011 just whets the appetite for more.
3. HUSHOVD WINS WORLDS
five day carnival is one we'll never forget, but more significantly the
men's road race will go down as the best contested - at any level - on
Australian shores and so, many of us were privileged to have seen it
The brilliantly designed course kept us guessing on the
eventual winner in the weeks and months before. But it wasn't until the
final 50 metres, Thor Hushovd emerged as the deserved world champion.
2. CANCELLARA FLANDERS/ROUBAIX DOUBLE
was seven days in April Fabian will never forget. Wasn't he brilliant?
Only Tom Boonen could match the Swiss legend on the Molenberg at
Flanders, but even Tom couldn't counter a turn of speed that had him
clutching at thin air when Cancellara exploded away on the Muur. It was
decisive! And to follow the solo victory a week later over the Roubaix
cobbles a week later elevated Spartacus to new heights.
1. DROPPED CHAIN INCIDENT
was the day the Tour de France erupted into an epic battle - and one
that will go down in world cycling folklore. For me the 31 seconds of
madness was the highlight of the year. And while debate still rages to
whether Contador was or wasn't correct in not waiting for Andy Schleck,
in the end it doesn't really matter, does it?. The Tour and internet
raged with controversy, but this time it had nothing to do with doping
or dopers. To use an old cliche, for once cycling was the winner and the
events on the road to Luchon reverberated across many spheres.
2010 - a vintage year in world cycling.
At the end of each cycling year I try and collate my favourite and least favourite moments of the season.