Cycling's biggest stage race also proved the most popular among Cyclingnews readers in 2016. The Tour de France has been voted the best stage race of the year in the Cyclingnews Reader Poll.
By the end of the second week of the race, the 2016 Tour de France was no longer a particularly close contest, but the Grand Tour managed to thrill throughout regardless of the picture atop the overall leaderboard. Indeed, readers' top three moments of the season all came from Tour de France.
Sky's Chris Froome wasn't exactly a surprise winner, but his riding style – as well as a spur-of-the-moment decision to put his running chops on display on the slopes of Mont Ventoux – helped make the race plenty exciting anyway. Peter Sagan's fifth consecutive green jersey, Mark Cavendish's return to sprinting dominance, a collection of scrappy rides off the front of the bunch in the third week from breakaway connoisseurs like Rafal Majka and Jarlinson Pantano, and promising performances from youngsters like Romain Bardet and Adam Yates probably didn't hurt either.
The season's other two Grand Tours gave the French race a run for its money, however, with Vincenzo Nibali's stunning come-from-behind maglia rosa bid helping make the Giro a relatively close second. The Vuelta, offering the compelling showdown between Froome and Nairo Quintana that many had hoped to see at the Tour de France, took the third spot, with the rest of the stage racing calendar finishing well behind the trio of three-week events in the poll.
|1||Tour de France||6252||votes|
|3||Vuelta a España||3734|
|5||Critérium du Dauphiné||290|
|7||Vuelta País Vasco||185|
|8||Tour de Suisse||117|
|9||Volta a Catalunya||113|
|11||Tour de Romandie||85|