But for a few far flung races, the curtain has well and truly been drawn on the 2014 season. The members of the roving cycling circus are taking a well-deserved break before gearing up for the year to come, giving us time to reflect on some of the season’s biggest moments. In this gallery, we take a look back at 2014 through the lens of Belgian photographer Tim de Waele.
It has been yet another huge season in the professional peloton, kicked off by Simon Gerrans’ victory at the Tour Down Under. The peloton moved through Europe before settling in Belgium for the spring Classics. Omega Pharma-QuickStep dominated on the cobbles, with Niki Terpstra and Tom Boonen finding success early on. However, they were outdone by a lone Fabian Cancellara at the Tour of Flanders. Terpstra would get his own back a week later, soloing to a strong victory in Paris-Roubaix.
The Grand Tours threw up more than their fair share of controversies and epic feats during 2014. Nairo Quintana’s attack on the Stelvio had teams calling foul, but the Colombian still stormed to his first Grand Tour victory. The expected battle between Alberto Contador and Chris Froome at the Tour de France was put on hold when the pair crashed out of the race within five days of each other. Their departure left the road clear for Vincenzo Nibali to complete his triptych of three-week victories. The Italian added four stages to his palmarès for good measure.
After the trials and tribulations of the Tour, there was a mouth-watering line-up at the Vuelta a España. Froome and Contador were back in action, while Giro winner Quintana was in the mix for another win. The Colombian, however, emulated his rivals and crashed out mid-way through the race. In the end, Froome was unable to match Contador on his home soil and the Spaniard came out triumphant.
The year was rounded off with the World Championships in Ponferrada. Tony Martin saw himself lose two world titles in less than a week. His first went as Omega Pharma-QuickStep handed over the team time trial title to BMC and lost his second just a few days later when Bradley Wiggins put in a phenomenal ride to take gold in the individual event. Lisa Brennauer made sure that Germany took home a time trial gold and went on to take silver in the road race, where victory fell to Frenchwoman Pauline Ferrand Prévot, as Marianne Vos finished off the podium for the first time in her career. Michal Kwiatkowski caught the peloton by surprise in the men’s race to take an emotional victory, while Alejandro Valverde took yet another runner-up prize.
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