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Gallery: Season 2012 - The cycling year in photographs

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Hitting the deck during the UCI Track World Cup in Beijing

Hitting the deck during the UCI Track World Cup in Beijing
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bradley Wiggins made history as the first British winner of the Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins made history as the first British winner of the Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP)
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A Tour de France fan states his case for cessation of doping in the professional peloton

A Tour de France fan states his case for cessation of doping in the professional peloton
(Image credit: AFP)
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The BMC team sets tempo on the dirt road ascent of Cottonwood Pass during Colorado's USA Pro Challenge.

The BMC team sets tempo on the dirt road ascent of Cottonwood Pass during Colorado's USA Pro Challenge.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Shut up legs! Jens Voigt rode alone for nearly the entire 4th stage of the USA Pro Challenge en route to victory.

Shut up legs! Jens Voigt rode alone for nearly the entire 4th stage of the USA Pro Challenge en route to victory.
(Image credit: AFP)
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The USA Pro Challenge peloton gets encouragement from some cowboys.

The USA Pro Challenge peloton gets encouragement from some cowboys.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) took the biggest win of his career as he soloed to victory on Flagstaff Mountain in the USA Pro Challenge.

Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) took the biggest win of his career as he soloed to victory on Flagstaff Mountain in the USA Pro Challenge.
(Image credit: AFP)
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BMC's George Hincapie finishes the final race of his professional career in the USA Pro Challenge's concluding time trial in Denver.

BMC's George Hincapie finishes the final race of his professional career in the USA Pro Challenge's concluding time trial in Denver.
(Image credit: AFP)
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The final jersey winners at the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, won overall by Christian Vande Velde.

The final jersey winners at the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, won overall by Christian Vande Velde.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bradley Wiggins is propelled to victory in the Olympic Games time trial by a wall of sound.

Bradley Wiggins is propelled to victory in the Olympic Games time trial by a wall of sound.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Kristin Armstrong powers to the finish line as she claims gold in the women's Olympic Games time trial.

Kristin Armstrong powers to the finish line as she claims gold in the women's Olympic Games time trial.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Great Britain's team sprint members celebrate gold at the London Olympics

Great Britain's team sprint members celebrate gold at the London Olympics
(Image credit: AFP)
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Great Britain's men's team pursuit squad was an unstoppable force as they set a new world record en route to gold.

Great Britain's men's team pursuit squad was an unstoppable force as they set a new world record en route to gold.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Victoria Pendleton with her keirin gold medal at the 2012 London Games.

Victoria Pendleton with her keirin gold medal at the 2012 London Games.
(Image credit: AFP)
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One of the many highlights of Marianne Vos's remarkable 2012 season was her victory in the Olympic Games road race

One of the many highlights of Marianne Vos's remarkable 2012 season was her victory in the Olympic Games road race
(Image credit: AFP)
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Colossal crowds turned out to watch the Olympic Games road race with its parcours in and around London

Colossal crowds turned out to watch the Olympic Games road race with its parcours in and around London
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tour de France prologue winner Fabian Cancellara resplendent in yellow at the start of the first road stage.

Tour de France prologue winner Fabian Cancellara resplendent in yellow at the start of the first road stage.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Young Slovakian Peter Sagan made a spectacular Tour de France debut, winning three stages and the green jersey

Young Slovakian Peter Sagan made a spectacular Tour de France debut, winning three stages and the green jersey
(Image credit: AFP)
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This crash late in the Tour's sixth stage exacted a heavy toll for several of the Grand Tour's favourites

This crash late in the Tour's sixth stage exacted a heavy toll for several of the Grand Tour's favourites
(Image credit: AFP)
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Not something you see everyday...World Champion Mark Cavendish on domestique duty during a hot stage of the Tour de France.

Not something you see everyday...World Champion Mark Cavendish on domestique duty during a hot stage of the Tour de France.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Time to zip up Pierre! Despite crashing earlier in the day, Pierre Rolland rode away to a solo victory in the Tour's 11th stage

Time to zip up Pierre! Despite crashing earlier in the day, Pierre Rolland rode away to a solo victory in the Tour's 11th stage
(Image credit: AFP)
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David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) gave it his all to win the Tour de France's 12th stage

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) gave it his all to win the Tour de France's 12th stage
(Image credit: AFP)
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Andre Greipel was a force to be reckoned with in 2012, pictured here winning his third stage at the Tour de France

Andre Greipel was a force to be reckoned with in 2012, pictured here winning his third stage at the Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP)
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Plenty of fans caught Wiggo-fever at the 2012 Tour de France

Plenty of fans caught Wiggo-fever at the 2012 Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP)
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Chris Froome checks on Sky teammate and Tour leader Bradley Wiggins as the pair approach the finish of the 17th stage

Chris Froome checks on Sky teammate and Tour leader Bradley Wiggins as the pair approach the finish of the 17th stage
(Image credit: AFP)
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Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins seals overall victory at the 2012 Tour de France with a win in the penultimate stage time trial

Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins seals overall victory at the 2012 Tour de France with a win in the penultimate stage time trial
(Image credit: AFP)
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World champion Mark Cavendish won for the fourth straight year at the Tour de France's final stage in Paris.

World champion Mark Cavendish won for the fourth straight year at the Tour de France's final stage in Paris.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bradley Wiggins takes a victory lap in Paris with his son after winning the 2012 Tour de France.

Bradley Wiggins takes a victory lap in Paris with his son after winning the 2012 Tour de France.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Alexandre Vinokourov was a surprise winner of the men's Olympic road race, prevailing from a late-race breakaway with Colombia's Rigorberto Uran.

Alexandre Vinokourov was a surprise winner of the men's Olympic road race, prevailing from a late-race breakaway with Colombia's Rigorberto Uran.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Denmark's Lasse Norman Hansen is ecstatic with his win in the inaugural omnium event at the Olympic Games.

Denmark's Lasse Norman Hansen is ecstatic with his win in the inaugural omnium event at the Olympic Games.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Jason Kenny earned gold in the men's sprint at the London Games.

Jason Kenny earned gold in the men's sprint at the London Games.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Taylor Phinney en route to a silver medal in the time trial world championship.

Taylor Phinney en route to a silver medal in the time trial world championship.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tony Martin powers to gold in the men's time trial world championship.

Tony Martin powers to gold in the men's time trial world championship.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Lucy Garner (Great Britain) won her second straight junior women's road world title.

Lucy Garner (Great Britain) won her second straight junior women's road world title.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Marianne Vos took a memorable road race world title on home soil.

Marianne Vos took a memorable road race world title on home soil.
(Image credit: AFP)
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2012 road race world champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands)

2012 road race world champion Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
(Image credit: AFP)
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The elite men's peloton in action during the road race world championship in Valkenburg, The Netherlands.

The elite men's peloton in action during the road race world championship in Valkenburg, The Netherlands.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) makes his winning move in the finale of the men's road race world championship.

Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) makes his winning move in the finale of the men's road race world championship.
(Image credit: AFP)
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2012 Il Lombardia champion Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)

2012 Il Lombardia champion Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
(Image credit: AFP)
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Action during the Tour of Beijing, the final WorldTour round of the 2012 season.

Action during the Tour of Beijing, the final WorldTour round of the 2012 season.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Junior world champion Mathieu van der Poel has been undefeated thus far in the 2012-2013 'cross season.

Junior world champion Mathieu van der Poel has been undefeated thus far in the 2012-2013 'cross season.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) wins the third round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium.

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) wins the third round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) en route to victory in the Namur, Belgium round of the cyclo-cross World Cup.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) en route to victory in the Namur, Belgium round of the cyclo-cross World Cup.
(Image credit: AFP)
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US champion Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) win the Namur round of the World Cup and gets one step closer to her goal of winning the overall series title.

US champion Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) win the Namur round of the World Cup and gets one step closer to her goal of winning the overall series title.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Women's time trial world championship silver medalist Evelyn Stevens (USA) congratulates world champion Judith Arndt (Germany).

Women's time trial world championship silver medalist Evelyn Stevens (USA) congratulates world champion Judith Arndt (Germany).
(Image credit: AFP)
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Do you think Omega Pharma-Quickstep is happy with their team time trial world title?

Do you think Omega Pharma-Quickstep is happy with their team time trial world title?
(Image credit: AFP)
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An emotional Chris Hoy on the podium after winning gold in the men's keirin.

An emotional Chris Hoy on the podium after winning gold in the men's keirin.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Julie Bresset (France) flies her national flag as she celebrates victory in the women's cross country at the Olympic Games.

Julie Bresset (France) flies her national flag as she celebrates victory in the women's cross country at the Olympic Games.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) outsprints Nino Schurter (Switzerland) to win the men's cross country event at the London Games.

Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) outsprints Nino Schurter (Switzerland) to win the men's cross country event at the London Games.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) held the Vuelta leader's jersey, but could not defend it through to the finale.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) held the Vuelta leader's jersey, but could not defend it through to the finale.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) earned his first win of 2012 in stage 9 of the Vuelta.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) earned his first win of 2012 in stage 9 of the Vuelta.
(Image credit: AFP)
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John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) was a force to be reckoned with at the Vuelta, pictured taking his fourth of five stage wins in the Spanish Grand Tour.

John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) was a force to be reckoned with at the Vuelta, pictured taking his fourth of five stage wins in the Spanish Grand Tour.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) took an epic victory on the Cuitu Nigru in the Vuelta's 16th stage.

Dario Cataldo (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) took an epic victory on the Cuitu Nigru in the Vuelta's 16th stage.
(Image credit: AFP)
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2012 Vuelta a Espana winner Alberto Contador

2012 Vuelta a Espana winner Alberto Contador
(Image credit: AFP)
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An all Spanish final podium at the Vuelta (L-R): Alejandro Valverde, 2nd; Alberto Contador, 1st; and Joaquim Rodriguez, 3rd

An all Spanish final podium at the Vuelta (L-R): Alejandro Valverde, 2nd; Alberto Contador, 1st; and Joaquim Rodriguez, 3rd
(Image credit: AFP)
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A local DJ kept things spinning as the race went round.\

A local DJ kept things spinning as the race went round.\
(Image credit: AFP)
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Belgian champion Tom Boonen won Paris-Brussels.

Belgian champion Tom Boonen won Paris-Brussels.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Alberto Contador took an emphatic solo victory in the Vuelta's 17th stage that put the Spaniard back in the overall lead.

Alberto Contador took an emphatic solo victory in the Vuelta's 17th stage that put the Spaniard back in the overall lead.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Specialized-lululemon won the women's team time trial championship

Specialized-lululemon won the women's team time trial championship
(Image credit: AFP)
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Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) won the women's race at the German National Road Championships

Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS) won the women's race at the German National Road Championships
(Image credit: AFP)
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It was national championship time in June as Fabian Wegmann took out the German road title

It was national championship time in June as Fabian Wegmann took out the German road title
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fränk Schleck was looking serious at the presentation of the Tour de France in Liège

Fränk Schleck was looking serious at the presentation of the Tour de France in Liège
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara has been the dominant force in preceding year's Tour prologues

Fabian Cancellara has been the dominant force in preceding year's Tour prologues
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) rolls down the start ramp for the Prologue at the 99th Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) rolls down the start ramp for the Prologue at the 99th Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissa) earns himself another yellow jersey at the Tour de France

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissa) earns himself another yellow jersey at the Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) took the biggest victory of his short career at the Dauphiné

Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) took the biggest victory of his short career at the Dauphiné
(Image credit: AFP)
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Wiggins missed out on the Dauphiné Prologue victory by one second

Wiggins missed out on the Dauphiné Prologue victory by one second
(Image credit: AFP)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) sprints to the stage win at the Dauphiné

Cadel Evans (BMC) sprints to the stage win at the Dauphiné
(Image credit: AFP)
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Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) in the yellow jersey towers above teammate Simon Gerrans

Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) in the yellow jersey towers above teammate Simon Gerrans
(Image credit: AFP)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) celebrates victory in Stage 3 at the Critérium Du Dauphiné

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) celebrates victory in Stage 3 at the Critérium Du Dauphiné
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bradley Wiggins was the man to beat in the time trials this year

Bradley Wiggins was the man to beat in the time trials this year
(Image credit: AFP)
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Yellow jersey leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in a familiar position, flanked by his teammates at the Dauphiné

Yellow jersey leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in a familiar position, flanked by his teammates at the Dauphiné
(Image credit: AFP)
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Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Torsten Gerich explains the sacral fracture that would prevent Andy Schleck from starting the Tour de France

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Torsten Gerich explains the sacral fracture that would prevent Andy Schleck from starting the Tour de France
(Image credit: AFP)
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Neo-pro Nacer Bouhanni celebrates his victory in the French Road Championships

Neo-pro Nacer Bouhanni celebrates his victory in the French Road Championships
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) notched another win in the Belgium Road Championships

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) notched another win in the Belgium Road Championships
(Image credit: AFP)
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The Tour of California hits the streets of Los Angeles

The Tour of California hits the streets of Los Angeles
(Image credit: AFP)
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Another win for Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) at the Tour of California

Another win for Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) at the Tour of California
(Image credit: AFP)
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Spent... Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) exhausted and out of the best young rider jersey at the Tour of California

Spent... Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) exhausted and out of the best young rider jersey at the Tour of California
(Image credit: AFP)
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Robbie McEwen (Orica-GreenEdge) retired at age 39, closing out his career at the Tour of California. His career was highlighted by 24 grand tour stage wins

Robbie McEwen (Orica-GreenEdge) retired at age 39, closing out his career at the Tour of California. His career was highlighted by 24 grand tour stage wins
(Image credit: AFP)
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Winners are grinners... Robert Gesink took out the Tour of California

Winners are grinners... Robert Gesink took out the Tour of California
(Image credit: AFP)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) dominated the Tour of California

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) dominated the Tour of California
(Image credit: AFP)
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Mark Cavendish (Sky) would win three stages of the Giro d'Italia

Mark Cavendish (Sky) would win three stages of the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: AFP)
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Carnage during many of the sprint finishes at the Giro d'Italia

Carnage during many of the sprint finishes at the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: AFP)
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Taylor Phinney (BMC) wore the maglia rosa for the first three days

Taylor Phinney (BMC) wore the maglia rosa for the first three days
(Image credit: AFP)
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Robert Gesink (Rabobank) wins California's queen stage on Mount Baldy which would give him the overall title

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) wins California's queen stage on Mount Baldy which would give him the overall title
(Image credit: AFP)
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Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) is awarded the 2010 Tour de France after the disqualfication of Alberto Contador

Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) is awarded the 2010 Tour de France after the disqualfication of Alberto Contador
(Image credit: AFP)
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Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) in Milan having secured the Giro d'Italia, the first man from Canada to do so

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) in Milan having secured the Giro d'Italia, the first man from Canada to do so
(Image credit: AFP)
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The fight is on... Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) ahead of the maglia rosa of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on the Stelvio

The fight is on... Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) ahead of the maglia rosa of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on the Stelvio
(Image credit: AFP)
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Michael Rasmussen (R) and his lawyer Andre Brantjes (L) arrive at the court in Arnhem ahead of his wrongful dismissal appeal against his former team, Rabobank

Michael Rasmussen (R) and his lawyer Andre Brantjes (L) arrive at the court in Arnhem ahead of his wrongful dismissal appeal against his former team, Rabobank
(Image credit: AFP)
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An unhappy Frank Schleck during the Giro d'Italia

An unhappy Frank Schleck during the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: AFP)
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Francesco Chicchi does his effort to perfection on Nokere Koerse's tricky cobbled sprint finish.

Francesco Chicchi does his effort to perfection on Nokere Koerse's tricky cobbled sprint finish.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Michael Albasini wins at the Volta a Catalunya.

Michael Albasini wins at the Volta a Catalunya.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Philippe Gilbert was labouring visibly at Gent-Wevelgem and he endured a torrid spring.

Philippe Gilbert was labouring visibly at Gent-Wevelgem and he endured a torrid spring.
(Image credit: AFP)
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All smiles for Tom Boonen as he takes his third win at Gent-Wevelgem.

All smiles for Tom Boonen as he takes his third win at Gent-Wevelgem.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Sylvain Chavanel was Omega Pharma-QuickStep go to guy on numerous occasions in the spring. Here he tracks Dimitriy Muravyev (Astana) at E3 Harelbeke.

Sylvain Chavanel was Omega Pharma-QuickStep go to guy on numerous occasions in the spring. Here he tracks Dimitriy Muravyev (Astana) at E3 Harelbeke.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara's crash at E3 Harelbeke prefigured a more serious fall at the following weekend's Tour of Flanders.

Fabian Cancellara's crash at E3 Harelbeke prefigured a more serious fall at the following weekend's Tour of Flanders.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Hold-up for Omega Pharma-QuickStep at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Sylvain Chavanel leads eventual winner Niki Terpstra.

Hold-up for Omega Pharma-QuickStep at Dwars Door Vlaanderen. Sylvain Chavanel leads eventual winner Niki Terpstra.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Simon Gerrans can scarcely believe he's beaten Fabian Cancellara to win Milan-San Remo.

Simon Gerrans can scarcely believe he's beaten Fabian Cancellara to win Milan-San Remo.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Gustav Larsson celebrates victory in the Paris-Nice prologue.

Gustav Larsson celebrates victory in the Paris-Nice prologue.
(Image credit: AFP)
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The windswept opening stage of Paris-Nice saw Sky and Omega Pharma-QuickStep seize control.

The windswept opening stage of Paris-Nice saw Sky and Omega Pharma-QuickStep seize control.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bradley Wiggins go used to yellow at Paris-Nice in March.

Bradley Wiggins go used to yellow at Paris-Nice in March.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Peter Sagan took a classy stage win in Oudenaarde to open the Three Days of De Panne.

Peter Sagan took a classy stage win in Oudenaarde to open the Three Days of De Panne.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Gregory Bauge and Jason Kenny following a controversial men's sprint final, won by the Frenchman

Gregory Bauge and Jason Kenny following a controversial men's sprint final, won by the Frenchman
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) during the 16.5 km race against the clock at the final stage of the Tour de Romandie. He won the overall.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) during the 16.5 km race against the clock at the final stage of the Tour de Romandie. He won the overall.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Maxim Iglinskiy (Pro Team Astana) nears the finish line of the 98th Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Maxim Iglinskiy (Pro Team Astana) nears the finish line of the 98th Liege-Bastogne-Liege
(Image credit: AFP)
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Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez of Team Katusha celebrates after winning the Fleche Wallonne

Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez of Team Katusha celebrates after winning the Fleche Wallonne
(Image credit: AFP)
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Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) checks the competition enroute to victory at the Amstel Gold Race

Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) checks the competition enroute to victory at the Amstel Gold Race
(Image credit: AFP)
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A moment of solitude for Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) having won Paris-Roubaix for the fourth time in his career

A moment of solitude for Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) having won Paris-Roubaix for the fourth time in his career
(Image credit: AFP)
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Before and after... the broken collarbone of Fabian Cancellara suffered at the Tour of Flanders

Before and after... the broken collarbone of Fabian Cancellara suffered at the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: AFP)
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The sprint to the finish line at Scheldeprijs, won by Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano)

The sprint to the finish line at Scheldeprijs, won by Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano)
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tom Boonen sprints to victory at the Tour of Flanders

Tom Boonen sprints to victory at the Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: AFP)
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Focus of a champion... Sir Chris Hoy before the men's sprint at the UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne

Focus of a champion... Sir Chris Hoy before the men's sprint at the UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne
(Image credit: AFP)
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Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) about to crash in her sprint final against Anna Meares

Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) about to crash in her sprint final against Anna Meares
(Image credit: AFP)
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One of the best points races you'll ever see... Cameron Meyer declared 2012 World Champion

One of the best points races you'll ever see... Cameron Meyer declared 2012 World Champion
(Image credit: AFP)
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One method of transport is slightly more comfortable than the other...

One method of transport is slightly more comfortable than the other...
(Image credit: AFP)
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Mark Cavendish (Sky) wins the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman

Mark Cavendish (Sky) wins the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman
(Image credit: AFP)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) is interviewed after his hot streak continued with the first stage of the Tour of Oman

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) is interviewed after his hot streak continued with the first stage of the Tour of Oman
(Image credit: AFP)
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Cyclists racing in the Wadi al-Awabi area, west of Muscat, pass by Omani nationals performing their traditional dance during the third stage of Tour of Oman

Cyclists racing in the Wadi al-Awabi area, west of Muscat, pass by Omani nationals performing their traditional dance during the third stage of Tour of Oman
(Image credit: AFP)
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Marcel Kittel (Project 1T4I) jubilates as he wins the six and last stage of Tour of Oman in Muscat

Marcel Kittel (Project 1T4I) jubilates as he wins the six and last stage of Tour of Oman in Muscat
(Image credit: AFP)
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Cold snap... The peloton rides past a snowman on a road in the Tramontana Mountains during the third stage of Mallorca Challenge

Cold snap... The peloton rides past a snowman on a road in the Tramontana Mountains during the third stage of Mallorca Challenge
(Image credit: AFP)
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Sven Nys receives a mouthful of cake from his son Thibault as Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo receives the Belgian team that won the Cyclocross World Championship race in Koksijd

Sven Nys receives a mouthful of cake from his son Thibault as Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo receives the Belgian team that won the Cyclocross World Championship race in Koksijd
(Image credit: AFP)
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Alberto Contador waves after a press conference in Pinto having been suspended for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Alberto Contador waves after a press conference in Pinto having been suspended for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport
(Image credit: AFP)
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Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura) walks on the road after winning the last stage of the Tour Mediterraneen

Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura) walks on the road after winning the last stage of the Tour Mediterraneen
(Image credit: AFP)
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Great Britain's Jess Varnish (L) and Victoria Pendleton (R) celebrate winning the Women's Team Sprint Final at the UCI World Cup in London

Great Britain's Jess Varnish (L) and Victoria Pendleton (R) celebrate winning the Women's Team Sprint Final at the UCI World Cup in London
(Image credit: AFP)
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"We are all Alberto" - support for Contador in his home town of Pinto following his two-year ban

"We are all Alberto" - support for Contador in his home town of Pinto following his two-year ban
(Image credit: AFP)
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Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) celebrates as he wins La Marseillaise Grand Prix

Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) celebrates as he wins La Marseillaise Grand Prix
(Image credit: AFP)
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Netherlands' Marianne Vos competes to win the women elite Cyclocross World Championship race in Koksijde

Netherlands' Marianne Vos competes to win the women elite Cyclocross World Championship race in Koksijde
(Image credit: AFP)
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World Champion Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins lead the way during Sky's training camp in Mallorca

World Champion Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins lead the way during Sky's training camp in Mallorca
(Image credit: AFP)
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Alexandre Vinokourov prepares for his final season

Alexandre Vinokourov prepares for his final season
(Image credit: AFP)
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Action from the Berlin6

Action from the Berlin6
(Image credit: AFP)
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An epic win... Will Clarke (UniSA - Australia) solos to victory in Stirling at the Tour Down Under

An epic win... Will Clarke (UniSA - Australia) solos to victory in Stirling at the Tour Down Under
(Image credit: AFP)
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Big crowds during stage 4 of the 2012 Tour Down Under on the way to Tanunda

Big crowds during stage 4 of the 2012 Tour Down Under on the way to Tanunda
(Image credit: AFP)
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The peloton rides by Aldinga Beach during the Tour Down Under

The peloton rides by Aldinga Beach during the Tour Down Under
(Image credit: AFP)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) wins stage 6 of the 2012 Tour Down Under in Adelaide

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) wins stage 6 of the 2012 Tour Down Under in Adelaide
(Image credit: AFP)
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Mission accomplished. Simon Gerrans claims the first WorldTour win for new team, GreenEdge at the Tour Down Under

Mission accomplished. Simon Gerrans claims the first WorldTour win for new team, GreenEdge at the Tour Down Under
(Image credit: AFP)
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Get your motor runnin'... Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) during his team presentation

Get your motor runnin'... Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) during his team presentation
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tom Boonen is surrounded by journalists during the presentation of the Omega Pharma-QuickStep cycling team

Tom Boonen is surrounded by journalists during the presentation of the Omega Pharma-QuickStep cycling team
(Image credit: AFP)
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Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) celebrates as he wins the sprint at the finish of the 67th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) celebrates as he wins the sprint at the finish of the 67th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
(Image credit: AFP)

2012 was a roller coaster year for cycling, packed with some great racing moments but also some damning revelations and confirmations about the past.

Cyclingnews looks back at the best racing moments over the year's racing with this giant photo gallery.

The 2012 season started under the blue skies of the Tour Down Under in Australia and then returned to Europe with Tom Boonen dominating the cobbles and Joaquim Rodriguez conquering the Ardennes with victory at Fleche-Wallonne.

Ryder Hesjedal become the first Canadian to win the Giro d'Italia after a close battle with Rodriguez in the mountains, while Bradley Wiggins became the first British winner at the Tour de France after a tour de force by Team Sky. Teammate Chris Froome was Wiggins' biggest threat and finished second overall after Team Sky also won six stages, with world champion Mark Cavendish winning three of them before confirming his move to Omega Pharma-QuickStep for 2013.

The London Olympics came just a week after the Tour de France but Wiggins held his form to win gold in the time trial and became a national hero at home. Cavendish and Great Britain were unable to complete a double in the road race however, with Alexandre Vinokourov spoiling the party with a late attack to beat Rigoberto Uran in the sprint on the Mall.

Philippe Gilbert had a disappointing early season but bounced back and silenced his growing critics by winning the world title in Valkenburg. Nobody could match his attack on the Cauberg climb and he will deservedly wear the rainbow jersey in 2013.

Marianne Vos was crowned the queen of women's cycling after her Olympic and world championship double, while the UCI finally took concrete steps to help develop women's racing by introducing equal prize money for men and women in major races.