Looking back at 2016: CyclingTips’ most popular stories and the year that was

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It’s just a few days now until Christmas and things are starting to wind down at CT HQ. Before we all head off for a couple weeks of well-earned rest though, we thought we’d take a look back at the year that was — another massive year for all involved at CyclingTips.

We’ve published somewhere in the vicinity of 1,000 stories over the past 12 months — a lot of content in anyone’s book. Here though are the 10 most-read stories that we published in 2016:

  1. Belgian Under 23 rider becomes the first to be caught for mechanical doping
  2. Phil Gaimon begins retirement by hunting banned rider’s Strava KOMs
  3. Who is Thorfinn-Sassquatch? The mysterious case of a Los Angeles Strava legend
  4. The Secret Pro at the 2016 Tour de France
  5. Ventoso confirms disc brakes sliced his leg open, calls for action on ‘giant knives’
  6. 2017 Trek Domane SLR: full tech details and first impressions
  7. Commentary: Why Chris Froome was right to punch that spectator
  8. 2017 Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset pics leaked online
  9. Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 and 9150 – Everything to know
  10. Peter Sagan ‘kicking in some holy houses’ by not shaving his legs

In previous years the top 10 has been dominated by tech articles but this time around that isn’t the case. The new Dura-Ace groupset was of interest, so to was the new Trek Domane, but this year, as you can see, the top 10 featured more of a diverse range of stories.

What you mightn’t realise is that many of our most-read stories in 2016 were actually published before this year. For instance, the most-read article on the site this year was one we published last year and is still more than twice as popular as any other story we’ve ever published. It’s entitled “Hidden motors for road bikes exist — here’s how they work” and it got a massive spike in traffic when the news broke about Femke van den Driessche’s mechanical doping at the CX Worlds in January.

With that in mind, here are 10 of our “evergreen” articles that continue to be well-read, long after their publication date:

While we love stories that get well-read, page views aren’t the only thing we’re interested in. We love stories that have impact beyond our site — stories that other media outlets pick up and, more importantly, stories that get you and your mates talking while you’re riding or having a post-ride coffee.

And speaking of you and your riding mates, engaging with the cycling community is something we’ve worked really hard to continue doing in 2016. In addition to the comments section on our articles, we’ve been focusing on strengthening our connection with our readers beyond the walls of the website.

Here in CyclingTips’ hometown of Melbourne we’ve run a couple of memorable rides in 2016. The Amy’s Wall hill climb was a terrific spectacle the night before Amy’s Gran Fondo in September, and last month’s Giro della Donna, the second edition of our gran fondo, went even better than we could have expected. We’ve also held several physical film screenings, for Sven: The Final Year and, most recently, for Thereabouts 3.

But it’s been a while now since CyclingTips was a Melbourne-only operation. In addition to a staff member in each of Sydney and Perth and reporters in Europe, CyclingTips this year expanded into the U.S. with editor Neal Rogers and tech editor James Huang at the helm. As you can see above, many of our best-read stories of the year come from our U.S. team and we’re pleased to say we’re welcoming more and more U.S. readers to the site all the time.

Anne-Marije Rook, editor of our women’s site Ella, is also based in the U.S. and she, along with her hardworking staff, have done a sensational job over the past year in continuing to build Ella as the place to go for all things women’s cycling. In 2016 we launched our Ella Ambassador program and now have women riding in Ella colours in Australia and the U.S.

The CyclingTips Emporium continues to go from strength to strength, and our newly launched VeloClub membership program is starting to gain some great momentum. And underpinning a lot of what we do is the fact that, roughly a year ago now, we joined forces with the good folks at BikeExchange. We’ve been thrilled by the partnership and it’s allowed us many opportunities that we simply wouldn’t have had otherwise.

So, in short, it’s been a big year. You might notice that things slow down a little over the next week or so as the CyclingTips team enjoys some time off with family and friends. But we’ll be back on January 1 as our coverage of the Australian summer of cycling begins. The Bay Crits, Road Nationals, Tour Down Under, Cadel’s Race, Sun Tour … it’s a big month or so and we can’t wait to bring it to you.

Our Daily News Digest will finish at the end of this week and start back up on January 2.

In closing, we’d like to say a big thank you to all of our sponsors and commercial partners that have supported us over the past 12 months. We appreciate your support and the belief you’ve shown in us. And a massive thank you to all of you, our readers, for stopping by, checking out what we do, and engaging with us on the site and beyond.

We all get a huge buzz reading your comments and emails every day, and catching up with you at the events we put on. So thanks for coming along for the ride — we certainly don’t take your support for granted.

On that note, how did we do in 2016? Are there certain things you’d like to see more of? Things you’d like to see less of? We’re always open to constructive feedback so feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email.

Have a great holiday period with family and friends, make sure you get out on the bike, and we hope you’ll join us again in 2017!

Want to know what our favourite stories of 2016 were? Coming on Wednesday this week, exclusively to VeloClub, the CyclingTips and Ella editors will each be nominating their favourite story from the year. Click here to find out more about VeloClub and to sign up.

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