Who won the classics and Grand Tours in 2014?

It occurs to me that I spend a lot more time looking forward on this website than looking back. It makes sense to look forward of course or you walk into things, but it can also be satisfying to turn your head through 180 degrees – like an owl – to take a brief look at where you’ve been.

The framework for this site is this list of the bike races which actually matter. The list is my own and is an attempt to impose some sort of structure on what is a sprawling, hard-to-understand calendar. A lot of major stage races are omitted, but it includes all the Grand Tours, all the Monuments and a select few high profile classics related to the Monuments. I think we get a decent sense of how the season went by looking at who finished on the podium in each of these races.

Typography’s a bitch here. There are too many tiers to make hierarchy clear, so I’ve had to settle for putting an asterisk next to the Monuments to distinguish them from the lesser one-day races. Hope you can follow it all.


*Milan-San Remo

  1. Alexander Kristoff
  2. Fabian Cancellara
  3. Ben Swift

The cobbled classics

E3 Harelbeke (also known as E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke)

  1. Peter Sagan
  2. Niki Terpstra
  3. Geraint Thomas

Gent-Wevelgem

  1. John Degenkolb
  2. Arnaud Démare
  3. Peter Sagan

*Ronde van Vlaanderen (also known as the Tour of Flanders)

  1. Fabian Cancellara
  2. Greg Van Avermaet
  3. Sep Vanmarcke

*Paris Roubaix

  1. Niki Terpstra
  2. John Degenkolb
  3. Fabian Cancellara

The Ardennes classics

Amstel Gold

  1. Philippe Gilbert
  2. Jelle Vanendert
  3. Simon Gerrans

La Fleche Wallonne

  1. Alejandro Valverde
  2. Dan Martin
  3. Michal Kwiatkowski

*Liege-Bastogne-Liege

  1. Simon Gerrans
  2. Alejandro Valverde
  3. Michal Kwiatkowski

Giro d’Italia

  1. Nairo Quintana
  2. Rigoberto Uran
  3. Fabio Aru

Points: Nacer Bouhanni
Mountains: Julian Arredondo


Tour de France

  1. Vincenzo Nibali
  2. Jean-Christophe Péraud
  3. Thibaut Pinot

Points: Peter Sagan
Mountains: Rafal Majka


Vuelta a Espana

  1.  Alberto Contador
  2. Chris Froome
  3. Alejandro Valverde

Points: John Degenkolb
Mountains: Luis Leon Sanchez


The World Championships

Time trial

  1. Bradley Wiggins
  2. Tony Martin
  3. Tom Dumoulin

Road race

  1. Michal Kwiatkowski
  2. Simon Gerrans
  3. Alejandro Valverde

*Giro di Lombardia (also known as Il Lombardia)

  1. Dan Martin
  2. Alejandro Valverde
  3. Rui Costa

Conclusions

Sorry to inflict so many subheadings and so much scrolling on you, but I think it’s helpful to have this snapshot of the season. A lot of people struggle to follow cycling beyond the Tour de France because there’s no clear narrative, but looking at this now, we can better see how things fit together.

For example, the cobbled classics build to Paris-Roubaix and we can easily see the relevance of the races that precede it. All three riders who finished on the podium in Paris-Roubaix had finished either first or second in one of the three cobbled classics leading up to it. Similarly, at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, all three podium finishers were familiar to us before that race and even if the Giro di Lombardia comes much later in the year, Martin and Valverde weren’t exactly bolts from the blue.

One other thing worth noting is that Marcel Kittel doesn’t feature anywhere. Road cycling’s prime sprinter won plenty of stages but no major classics and no Grand Tour points competition. Perhaps that’s something he could aim for in 2015.

Speaking of 2015…

You’ve probably noticed that the site’s already winding down for winter. I’ll have a look at the Grand Tour routes and keep my eye on other news for you, but articles will only appear sporadically for the next few months, so please do sign up for the email if you haven’t done so already. It means you won’t miss anything.

Racing recommences with the Tour Down Under in the middle of January. Hopefully I’ll have found a bit of early season writing form in time for that.