Losers of the 2017 Pro Cycling Season

To misquote Frank Sinatra, it was not a very good year for some of cycling’s biggest names. This wasn’t necessarily their fault and – unfortunately – our favourite riders are only ever one moto/pothole/idiot with a flag away from having their big races ruined.  Nevertheless, when you fail to meet your targets (especially when it’s a well-documented Giro/Tour double, spoiler alert, Nairo Quintana’s on this list) you’re going to want to forget the season as soon as possible. Here are my five losers of 2017.

Nairo-Quintana

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Five Things Chris Froome Could Do To Become More Popular

We need to talk about Chris Froome. In case you haven’t heard of him (why are you here?) he’s a four time Tour de France champion, Vuelta winner, imperious climber, first-rate time triallist, gracious runner-up, popular teammate, unpopular rival, furious leg spinner, wild elbow dancer, Team Sky poster-boy, chief motor doper, Armstrong Mark II. It’s likely you’ll only agree with a handful of those tags but it can’t be disputed that Froome is not as popular as one would expect. He comes across as a good guy, yet can’t escape the permanent cloud of suspicion that looms over Team Sky. Even ignoring the wild and not-so-wild doping cries, Froome hasn’t managed to endear himself to the cycling purists. But there’s still time! And here’s how…

Japan Criterium - Sumo Wrestling

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Bergen 2017 Men’s Road Race: Best of the Rest

Okay, so what happens if it’s not Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet or Michael Matthews? What happens if Michal Kwiatkowski goes missing or Julian Alaphilippe cracks?

The World Championships attracts anybody with even a whisper of one-day form as well as a whole host of Grand Tour stage winners. We’ve seen aggression in the U23 races with superstar-in-waiting Elena Pirrone going solo in the women’s race and both Benoit Cosnefroy and Lennard Kamna holding their advantage to the end of the men’s. I’m expecting a great race on Sunday and there’s plenty of eye-catchers further now down the list.

Albasini Rain

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Bergen 2017 Men’s Road Race: Slovakia

We’ve never seen a hat-trick of World Championship victories at either the men’s or women’s elite road race. Two-timer Gianni Bugno didn’t ride in 1993, whilst his compatriot Paulo Bettini was unable to complete a hat-trick in 2008 (the jersey did, at least, stay with Italy). On the women’s side of the sport we’ve seen Giorgia Bronzini and Marianne Vos complete doubles in the last ten years. Bronzini was dropped when going for a third straight title whilst Vos jumped early before tiring in a reduced sprint in Ponferrada. This year Peter Sagan is lining up a famous treble and the bookies are saying he’s the most likely winner.

Sagan cool

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