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Dec. 31, 2014 — As we say goodbye to 2014 on this last day of the year, we take a moment to reflect on some of the finest moments of the past season in road cycling.
By Daniel McMahon
But instead of giving you our take on the year that was, we decided to ask some pros what they thought were the most standout moments.
Here’s what they told us.
“One of my favorite moments was probably Will Routley’s stage win and KOM jersey at the Amgen Tour of California.
“I always enjoy knowing guys who have just turned themselves inside out to get those results. It’s not the ‘biggest engine’ contest — they’ve had to really work for that result. It’s about hard work, persistence, and then reward. So many things have to go right for it to all come together.
“I also really enjoyed seeing Phil Gaimon take the leader’s jersey and stage at San Luis.
“Two guys I consider great riders, and even better people.”
“For me, that Cannondale merger [with Garmin] was a doozy …
“I’d say for the sport overall … Froome leaving the Tour.”
“Tough question! This past year has been such a blur …
“I’d say for any American fans, the week between when Taylor Phinney won that stage of the Amgen Tour of California, by super-tuck attacking on a downhill!? …
“And then ending the following Monday in the hospital with the nasty leg fracture. Such an awesome high followed by such a deep, dark low.”
“Without a doubt, La Course by Tour de France was both the personal and professional highlight of 2014 for me.
“What we wanted was for La Course to set a standard, to be a stepping stone for the world to see the power of women’s racing and to trigger races around the world to let the women compete at the same venues as the men …
“La Course helped inspire the Vuelta, Giro, the Tours of California, Colorado, and Utah to add more women’s events. Just goes to show that one change in one venue can lead to so much growth worldwide. And we’re not done yet!”
“Krempels King of the Road Challenge! I couldn’t be more excited about this event, which is the hands-down biggest fundraiser for the Krempels Center, an organization that supports adults living with brain injury.
“I pin a number on my back dozens of times a year and love my job as a professional cyclist. But to ride the Krempels King of the Road Challenge with my entire family — my brother, who got me into the sport, my mother, who is my biggest supporter, and my father, who is the pillar of the family and who had a stroke nearly 12 years ago — plus friends and family from around the country, it is the best day of cycling for me.”
“No. 1? Nibali’s beat-down on the cobbles — most impressive ride, for sure — if you really understand what he achieved that day, beating not only the GC guys but all of the classic specialists in a discipline that clearly doesn’t favor him.”
“I would say the most impressive performance this year was by Alexander Kristoff at Milan-Sanremo.
“He beat the best riders in the world and proved that he is the next big thing for sprinting and classics combined.”
“It was awesome to see her win.
“Also, we had our physio, Beth Duryea, as our director — she was amazing on the radio, had a great tactic, and really did a great job leading the whole team to a big win.”
“I’m going to have to go with Eric Marcotte winning road nationals. I was at Tour of Somerville, our race was over, and every pro bike racer in the parking lot was watching the race live on their phones.
“To know Marcotte personally, how hard he works, how serious and sincere he is, and what an underdog team we still were at that point, it was pretty amazing.”