We flounder with short attention spans through the buzz of viral content and modern culture, but with one instant captured in 1/1000th of a second you sometimes need to stop, drown in the image and absorb the moment.
With so many of these moments in 2014 captured by our talented and dedicated photographers, we can look back at the pro cycling season and tumble into its most significant and pure events and see them as one, or as a whole.
For all of its elation, suffering, disappointment, scandal and magnificence that the summation of these moments depict, this is what “the beauty of cycling” means to me.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these moments in 2014 as much as we have. Thanks for coming along on the journey with us.
Tour Down Under
The 2014 season started out with a bang for Ulissi Diego, Cadel Evans, and Simon Gerrans at the Tour Down Under. Later in the season Diego tested positive for the asthma drug salbutamol, in which he had twice the permitted amount in his system.
Gent Wevelgem “photoguy” became a meme hit on social media after this foolish manoeuvre in the race
While the weather in the 2014 edition of Milan – San Remo was atrocious, it still didn’t amount to the truly epic conditions of 2013
Tour of Flanders
Fabian Cancellara showed supreme confidence mid-race while he drifted to the back of the race convoy, had a stretch, and made his way back to the front to go on to win the race
[rrsummary id=139034] Amstel Gold Race
Andy and Frank Schelck in one of their first races together after Frank’s return from suspension. Andy never returned to his previous form after recovering from injury and announced his retirement later in the season
Davide Rebellin, 43 years old now, had won a then unprecedented string of victories in 2004 with Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. He is still racing trying to reach the World Tour again and reached 13th position in the 2014 edition of Amstel Gold.
Philppe Gilbert takes his third Amstel Gold Race after making his trademark move at the bottom of the Cauberg
Simon Gerrans was chastised for not drinking the race sponsor’s beer on the podium, but one week later he was in the top podium spot at Liege-Bastogne-Liege
La Flèche Wallonne
Dan Martin was poised to win his second L-B-L in as many years when he crashed on the final corner
Ireland played host to the 2014 Giro d’Italia starting in Belfast, ending in Dublin, the race travelled across Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
They climbed the Gavia and the Stelvio, with metres of snow lining the roadside, and when it came time to descend the Stelvio in horrendous conditions, confusion struck. Some riders thought the descent was neutralised while others didn’t, and in the meantime Nairo Quintana (Movistar) got off the front in small group. He would go on to win the stage at the top of the third and final climb of the day, taking the maglia rosa from Uran, his close friend and former housemate.
Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) continued what was a dominant display from the Australians in the Giro so far, attacking on a descent with 20km to go on stage 11 and managing to stay away for the first Grand Tour stage victory in his long career.
Froome crashed heavily on stage 6, losing more than a little skin, and while the peloton waited and Froome didn’t lose any time to his rivals as a result of the crash, the crash seemingly hampered Froome in the remaining two stages.
There were no stage wins for Andrew Talansky, and no podium placing throughout the race either. Instead he was there when it counted, climbing with the best and ensuring he minimised his losses whenever necessary. He put himself in contention with a great fourth place in the first stage ITT and improved from there before making the most of a decisive break on the final day to win the overall
Tour de France
Mark Cavendish lay with a broken collarbone after crashing in stage 1 in front of a hometown crowd. He would not go on to continue the race
The crowds in Yorkshire were unprecedented. While the support was outstanding, the riders were politely outspoken about dangerous fans who got far too close to the action
With Chris Froome abandoning the race Richie Port assumed the team leadership and managed to move up to third place overall before falling ill.
After 21 years of following the biggest bike races in the world, “Didi The Devil” Senft called it quits at the end of 2014. Didi has become a true icon of the Tour de France (and many other races) since he started appearing by the roadside in the early 1990s.
Vuelta a Espana
The heat during the Vuelta brought the MLS “Ice Bucket Challenge” to Spain where riders and staff willingly took part