Cannondale’s Peter Sagan started things off with a wheelied victory at the spring Classic opener, Gent-Wevelgem, in March, breaking from a group of 10 with 4km to go. Sagan’s strong start to 2013 rolled into July where he’d retain his sprinter’s green jersey at the Tour de France.
Late spring and Garmin-Sharp’s Dan Martin, aboard his fi’zi:k saddle, recorded the biggest victory of his career to date at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. On the final climb, the 27-year-old Irishman dropped Joaquim Rodriquez and soloed to the finish line. The result secured his place at the Tour, which he celebrated by claiming a famous stage win in Bagnères-de-Bigorre.
The world’s greatest riders headed to Naples in early May for the most gruelling Giro d’Italia in recent memory. Freezing temperatures and blizzards swept over Italy, but it was fi’zi:k’s Vincenzo Nibali who warmed the hearts of home fans with a near-5min victory over Sky’s Rigoberto Uran.
Nibali didn’t race July’s Tour de France; fellow fi’zi:k user Chris Froome did. After winning the Critérium du Dauphiné, he entered the race as favorite. And in a peerless performance up hills, on the level and in time trials, Froome made it two Tour wins out of two for Team Sky. Later in the year, Froome won the prestigious Vélo d’Or as the best rider of 2013.
Next year will surely see these legends on two wheels create more memories. We’ll look into our cycling crystal ball next week to predict the stars of 2014.