The Road Book 2021 Cycling Almanac

The Road Book has put weight back on for the Fourth Edition reflecting a cycling calendar that has bounced back from an eviscerated 2020.

At last we get to review the 2021 edition of The Road Book, the definitive record of the major races of 2021 UCI Road Cycling calendar, following a COVID hit end of year of our own.

The Road book has entered its fourth year. It has put on a good deal of weight and girth over the 2020 edition after COVID regulations put road cycling on a harsh diet. 2021 by comparison is a veritable Jan Ullrich after the off-season of a book this year though it does still show signs of how cycling continued to be impacted by COVID regulations.

Few sports enjoy an almanac as comprehensive as The Road Book, the nearest equivalent is the 158 year old Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac, a breeze block of a book with 1500 pages. The Road Book 2021 might have a more ‘conservative’ 800 odd pages but it is jam-packed with detail, carefully edited by Ned Boulting a cycling journalist and TV presenter with an encyclopaedic knowledge of cycling.

In a world that is increasingly online having a cycling resource in the form of an actual hard copy book is a real pleasure. No doubt some will preserve this book in pristine condition but others will cover it with post-it notes and annotations.

The book which focuses primarily on the UCI World Tour and Pro Road season, and does so in rich statistical detail, also includes a section on the Men s and Women’s Olympic road races, The British domestic scene, National Titles and even the Cyclo Cross World Cup. Races are grouped by month. The impact of COVID regulations is illustrated perfectly by January, comprising a solitary race, the 1.1 GP Cycliste de Marseillaise on January 31. Absent are the major Australian season openers. Thereafter though the season almost looks normal.

The section for each race has at least the top-20 results while those for bigger races include a re-cap of the major events with daily results and re-cap of each stage for the major tours.

There is much more to the Almanac than tables of results though with the compilers slipping in articles by  winners of a  Road Book Rider of the Year Awards, along with little Easter Eggs throughout the book. Some are very quirky such as the charts tracking the Dominant Kit Colours on page 73.

A very useful and large section in the latter half covers the Men’s and Women’s World Tour and Pro Continental Teams.

It’s not all stats though. The mid-section comprises a selection of great race pictures of the greats in action.

In summary The Road Book is an invaluable record of each unique season, enjoyable and accessible, though reading glasses are vital for those of a certain age. It is hard to imagine not having it, especially given the strange times we are enduring. Vive Cyclisme, Vive la Road Book.

Buy it here: https://www.theroadbook.co.uk/shop/ priced £50

Paris-Roubaix 2021 Postponed

According to the French newspaper Le Parisien “The famous cycling race cannot be run on the scheduled date due to the worsening health situation in Hauts-de-France”.

Scheduled for April 11, the race was planned to be run within a ‘bubble’ but over recent days the belief the race would have to be postponed until later in the year were growing stronger as the COVID epidemic was scene to be growing in the North of France to levels above the national average. This comes after the event was cancelled in 2020.

Despite plans put forward by race organisers ASO which included the santitary bubble, and the closure of high density crowd areas such as the Trouée d’Arenberg, on Tuesday the Ministries of Sports and Health expressed reluctance to devote resources to a bike race, even one as significant as Paris-Roubaix. While evidence of meaningful outdoor infection remains scant most authorities across Europe have opted to heavily restrict spectator presence and a featurr of Paris-Roubaix is the intense close proximity of fans to riders along the narrow course.

Previously the race had only been cancelled due to war and even then organisers still managed to run it during World War 2 in 1943 and 1944 durng German occupation.

Le Parisien reports that the orgnaisers are hoping to use the newly extended UCI season to find another race date possiblty in October. Normally the season would finish on 19 october but it the UCI has extended it to 31 October and that weekend offers a possiblility that a postponement won’t turn into a cancellation.

The delay means 2019 winner Phillipe Gilbert enjoys a few more months as champion.

Stuyven’s takes the win at Milano-San Remo with daring attack.

SANREMO, ITALY – Jasper Stuyven of Belgium and Team Trek – Segafredo celebrates victory at the 2021 Milano-San Remo (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Trek-Saegrafredo’s Jasper Stuyven was not the Belgian pundits were expecting to cross the line first on The Via Roma in San Remo, but it is Stuyven nonetheless who became the winner of the 112th Milano-San Remo, La Primavera, just holding off Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and 2020 winner Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma).

How the finish Unfolded

Much of the day had been the preserve of a group of eight riders who went away with just three kilometres of the 299km race covered and comprising Filippo Tagliani, Mattia Viel (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec), Andrea Peron, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen (Movistar Team), Nicola Conci (Trek – Segafredo), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CSF Faizane’) and Taco Van Der Hoorn (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux).

Behind them life in the biunch was largely uneventful, excepting crash when Team Arkéa Samsic teammate Thibault Guernalec took down Nacer Bouhanni on a corner after hitting some rutted road surface. Bouhanni was more angry than hurt and easily managed to rejoin the peloton.

The break enjoyed a lead that went above five minutes but it was never going to last and it was Van Der Hoorn the last rider to be reeled in by the peloton on the Cipressa climb, 24km before the finish.

The Cipressa may have done for the break and broken up the peloton but it was still a very large group that reached he foot of the Poggio and started the climb amongst the ramshackled green houses. The speed of the climbing meant that thought of attack was largey futile, though Alaphilipe did attempt one, so it came to the descent to create separation.

One surprise survivor of the relentless pressure was Caleb Ewan. If it came to a bunch sprint it was Ewan the odds one favourite. Tim Pidcock of Ineos Grenadiers then pushed descent speeds hard hoping to rule sprinters out of contention but it was still a high density group that was approaching the foot.

It was then with two kilometres left while the favourites looked and schemed their solution to the issue of a bunch sprint that Stuyvens said ‘adios’. The only man who could match his pace was Soren Kragh Andersen (team DSM).

The gap was closing down rapidly but Stuyvens raced on to hold off a de facto bunch sprint which was unsurprisingly won by Ewan, with Wout van Aert third, and Peter Sagan and Mathieu van der Poel in fourth and fifth place respectively.

“I just knew I had to try, all or nothing. I prefer to do this than gamble for the sprint and finish in 5th or 10th place, so I prefer to go all-in. Most of the time it’s nothing; sometimes it’s all, and today it was all. It’s incredible. I don’t realize [what I’ve done] yet. I am just incredibly happy”, said Stuyven

2021 Milan – SanRemo Route
2021 Milan- San remo Profile

Top 10 Results

Full results here

Alaphillipe gives fillip to French Cycling with World Championship win

Frenchman Julian Alaphillipe is the 2020 Elite Men’s road race World Champion after taking a solo win in Imola. The 28 year old is the first French World Champion since Laurent Brochard in 1997.

Alaphillipe took the win after launching a solo attack on the last Cima Gallisterna climb crossing the line 24 seconds ahead of Belgian Wout Van Aert with Swiss Marc Hirschi edging Pole Michel Kwiatowski by a wheel rim to claim the bronze.

The new holder of the rainbow stripes, added to a palmares that includes Milano San Remo, Strade Bianchi and five stages of the Tour de France, said:

“For this moment it’s really hard to say something. I want to say ‘thank-you’ to all my teammates who really believed in me today. Everybody did a great job. It was a dream of my career. Sometimes, I was so close, and I was never on the podium. I came here with a lot of ambition and it’s just a dream day for me.”

The 258.2 km race featured nine laps of a circuit that the ladies had already tested and proved a tough challenge the previous day. Each 28.8km lap featured two climbs, Mazzolano (2.8km at an average gradient of 5.9%, with a maximum of 13%) and the Cima Gallisterna (2.7km at 6.4%, 14% max.) whose summit is placed 12km from the finish line. There was hardly a respite between the two summits and with 550 metres of ascent each lap, the day offered 5000 metres of climbing.

Elite Men’s Road Race Profile, Imola UCI World Championships 2020

Representing 43 countries 174 riders started the race at 10am from the Autodromo and almost immediately there was a seven man break. Jonas Koch (Germany), Torstein Traeen (Norway), Marco Friedrich (Austria), Daniil Fominykh (Kazakhstan), Yukiya Arashiro (Japan), Eduard-Michael Grosu (Romania) and Alfredo Ulises Castillo Soto (Mexico) with the latter three their countries sole representatives.

One lap down and the break had gained 5’54’’ on the main group led by the Slovenian, Swiss and Belgium national teams. The gap between attackers and peloton fluctuated during the first part of the race: 6’34’’ after the second lap, 5’07’’ after lap three, 7’07’’ at the end of the fourth and 5’41’’ after lap five. By now Friedrich and Grosu had been distanced by the breakaway group.

During the sixth lap the complexion of the race was changing fast as the main group increased its pace. The break had disintegrated leaving Jonas Koch and Torstein Traeen out in front with Arashiro bravely flying the flag for Japan in no-man’s-land. 2’37’’ behind him the bunch was in one long line driven by Denmark national team.

The breakaway finally ended with 68km to go, just after the seventh passage on Cima Gallisterna thanks to a powerful acceleration by the French national team.

Slovenian hopeful, 2020 Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar, gave his country a pause when he had to go for a bike change but promptly got back into the favourites’ Gruppo Compatto of around 50 riders. The next lap he was off the front making a daring attack on Cima Gallisterna about the same distance from the line as Anna van der Breggen did for her win the day before.

Chased by Belgium, Pogačar gained 10 seconds with 40km to go and then increased his advantage to 25 seconds with one lap remaining. It wasn’t enough though as he was caught by Dutchman Tom Dumoulin and then all the main group on the Mazzolano ascent.

After a day staying quiet in the bunch the Italian national team attacked with Damiano Caruso and then with Vincenzo Nibali with 20km to go hoping to make the World Championship a home win.

The day had taken its toll and after 240km the field had been culled ruthlessly ahead of the last Cima Gallisterna climb. Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet pushed hard on the first part of the ascent, then it was the turn of the Swiss Marc Hirschi and 2014 UCI World Champion Michał Kwiatkowski from Poland.

It was Frenchman Alaphilippe who finally seized the day, chased by Hirschi, Giro di Lombardia winner Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark), Van Aert, Primož Roglič (Slovenia) and Kwiatkowski. With 5km to go, Alaphilippe had taken a 12-second advantage and pushed full gas until the end, claiming his first UCI World title in front of Van Aert and Hirschi, 23 years after Laurent Brochard in San Sebastián, Spain.

2020 Elite Road World Champions:

Women Elite ITT @AnnavdBreggen, Netherlands

Men Elite ITT @GannaFilippo, Italy

Women Elite RR @AnnavdBreggen, Netherlands

Men Elite RR @alafpolak1, France

Anna van der Breggen doubles up in Imola with Elite Women’s road race win.

Imola, Italy, 26 Sept 2020.

Netherlands/Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team’s Anna van der Breggen took her second 2020 UCI World Champion Gold Medal with the win in the Road Race to go with her Individual Time Trial victory on Thursday.

Anna van der Breggen- Elite Women's UCI Road Race Champion 2020
Anna van der Breggen- Elite Women’s UCI Road Race Champion 2020

“It’s incredible”, Anna van der Breggen rejoiced after her victory. “It was a really hard race, we were fighting from the beginning. The climbs were really tough. In the fourth lap, I felt strong. We made the race hard and I just went for it. I felt good but it was really hard. The circuit had some flat parts but it was very hard. I never expected this. This season is pretty good for me so far.”

Imola continued to be deliver success for Anna van der Breggen and Dutch cycling as she dominated the Elite Women road race of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships. The Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team star took her third gold medal at the Worlds in Italy, after claiming victory in the 2018 road race in Innsbruck and in the individual time-trial this Thursday in Imola. She’s only the second rider to win both events the same year, 25 years after France’s Jeannie Longo’s double triumph in Duitama (Colombia).


A 145-rider peloton started from the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari with a beautiful sun shining along their first pedal strokes. They immediately tackled the circuit that would later crown the 2020 UCI World Champion: a 28.8km loop with two climbs to be faced five times, for a total of 143km of racing and 2,800m of elevation.

The climbs up Mazzolano (2.8km at an average of 5.9%, with 13% slopes at the bottom) and Cima Gallisterna (2.7km at 6.4% and a maximum of 14%) wore down a peloton which was quickly reduced to around 100 riders.

A group of nine riders eventually got away with Jackson accompanied by Amy Pieters (Netherlands), Katia Ragusa (Italy), Lisa Brennauer (Germany), Christine Majerus (Luxembourg), Tayler Wiles (USA), Hannah Barnes (Great Britain), Mavi Garcia (Spain) and Juliette Labous (France). Italy started pacing behind them with 63km to go and a gap up to 2’. Meanwhile, Eugenia Bujak (Slovenia) bridged the gap to the front group on her own.

The Orange train increased the tension in the penultimate lap. First, Anna van der Breggen seriously upped the tempo in the Mazolano climb. Over the top, the gap was down to 10” and some 30 riders were still in the bunch. The attackers were caught in the next climb, with Marianne Vos (UCI Road World Champion in 2006, 2012, 2013) and Annemiek van Vleuten (winner in 2019) accelerating.

Van der Breggen launched an attack with 42km to go, and never looked seriously challenged despite a concerted effort by Annemiek van Vleuten and Elisa Longo Borghini, eventually winning the race with a gap of 1’20’’.

Annemiek van Vleuten and Elisa Longo Borghini continued their duel right to the line in a sprint that saw Borghini throwing an elbow at The Dutchwoman. Van Vleuten held her line and, despite a cast on her arm from a crash ten days ago that saw her abandon the giro Rosa, took the silver medal. Marianne Vos held off a four-woman group at 2’01” to make it three Dutch in the top four.

Van Vleuten dominates the restarted 2020 Elite Women’s Season

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) has dominated the re-start of the 2020 Women’s Elite season with four wins and leads the UCI rankings.

Two wins came from the Vuelta Navarra. In the first race, 2nd Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa (1.1), 118 km from Pamplona to Lekunberri, she took a solo win 18 seconds ahead of Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana) with Anna van der Breggen (Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team) third.

Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) wins in Lekunberri
Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) wins in Lekunberri
Photo: vueltanavarra.com

Win number two came at the second of the two-race Navarran series, the 2nd Clasica Femenina Navarra (1.1), 122.9 km Pamplona to Pamplona. This time the win was even more emphatic with van Vleuten soloing 1’14” ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo Women) with the peloton led in by Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling) at 2’06”.

The Dutch runner Van Vleuten is crowned again in Navarra

The passage of the cycling world champion through Navarra has been tremendous. The Dutch rider has won the two classic UCI World Tour for women that have been held in the Autonomous Community. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) won yesterday with authority in Lekunberri and today she did the same in Pamplona, ​​on a 122.9 kilometer stage with the beginning and end in the Navarran capital. The current world champion has once again entered the finish line alone, this time ahead of the Italians, Elisa Longo (Trek-Segafredo), second at 1’14 ”, and Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Cera Tizit-WNT) , third, at 2’06 ”.

The day began with 24 teams in the race and a peloton made up of 143 runners. With several walls of great unevenness and the height of El Perdón near the finish line, a restless day was expected. And so it has been. Nervous stage, with a lot of heat and wind and some runners who were flying. The average speed of the first hour of the race was 40 kilometers. The steep slopes, the walls and the wind have been breaking the group over the kilometers. The race has been broken from the wall of Tirapu. Ane Santesteban was the first to leave until Elisa Longo caught up with her.

With the Italian runner ahead, Van Vleuten jumped out of the pack and both, after a beautiful passage through the cobbled slopes of Artajona, continued paired. It was at kilometer 100 when the world champion took an energetic blow to leave alone on the way to Pamplona. The distances were increasing each time and a new victory for Van Vleuten was a matter of time. With impeccable authority, she has crossed the finish line in Pamplona alone, thus achieving her second consecutive victory and crowning herself in Navarra as what she is, the cycling world champion.

Mühlberger wins 2020 Sibiu Cycling Tour

Sunday 26 July 2020: BORA – hansgrohe dominate the standings at the 2020 Sibiu Cycling Tour with Pascal Ackermann triumphs on Piața Mare to take final stage and Gregor Mühlberger securing the overall.

Pascal Ackermann wins ahead of his lead-out  man Michael Schwarzmann (BORA  - hansgrohe) and Eduard Michael Grosu  (NIPPO DELKO One Provence)
Pascal Ackermann wins ahead of his lead-out man Michael Schwarzmann (BORA – hansgrohe) and Eduard Michael Grosu (NIPPO DELKO One Provence)
Photo: Focus Photos Agency

Gregor Mühlberger (BORA – hansgrohe) has won the 2020 Sibiu Cycling Tour. The 26 year old Austrian who secured the race lead with his second stage win at the morning’s Stage 3a ITT stayed out of trouble through the final stage 3b, 109 kilometres around Sibiu to finish 1’01” over teammate Patrick Konrad with Matteo Badilatti (Israel Start-Up Nation) third at 1’52”. It is the first general classification victory in his professional career.

The final stage ended with an uphill sprint on the cobblestones of the Historical Centre of Sibiu, and it was Pascal Ackermann who had the best kick to win ahead of his lead-out man Michael Schwarzmann (BORA – hansgrohe) and Eduard Michael Grosu (NIPPO DELKO One Provence).

The overall podium of the 2020 Sibiu Cycling Tour (L-R): Gregor Mühlberger, Patrick Konrad (both BORA – hansgrohe) & Matteo Badilatti (Israel Start-Up Nation)
Photo: Focus Photos Agency

Stage 3b and Final General Classification

Full Results here

Porn Industry Cyclists Ride 4 Pride

PornPedallers is inviting all cyclists to join them in a virtual charity ride in support of Pride on Saturday 13 June 2020.

London, Friday 12 June 2020

PPCC, the adult industry cycling club formed over a beer in Amsterdam in September 2016, joins Cycling UK, Emily Chappell and Pride Out in their call to get people out on their bikes nationwide on Saturday to spread a socially-distanced message of love, alliance and inclusivity.

Club founder Chris Ratcliff stated: “‘Our Pride Ride’ is open to everyone. No bike, distance, or level of sporting endeavour is stipulated. So, dust off your boneshaker, pump up the tyres and hit the road in rainbow colours… In line with current guidance, Porn Pedallers is simply asking people to ride solo or in small socially-distanced groups. Everyone is encouraged to post their ride to social media with the hashtags #OurPrideRide #RideTheRibbon4Pride. “

Pornpedallers include Tindra Frost (centre) and Lacey Starr (Far Right) in their ranks

Saturday’s event follows on from the club’s successful 2019 ‘Ride The Ribbon’ World AIDS Day fundraiser and sees Porn Pedallers renew its commitment to leading HIV charity, Terrence Higgins Trust. Last year, PPCC rode an ambitious season of endurance events and raised £15,000 for THTto promote better sexual health for all, fight HIV stigma and raise awareness of the fact that people on effective treatment can’t pass it on.

“All of us at Terrence Higgins Trust are so very grateful to the Porn Pedallers for their consistent support – needed more than ever in the current climate!” says Terrence Higgins Trust CEO, Ian Green.

The porn peloton, and cycling pornstar Tindra Frost, will also be ‘Riding The Ribbon 4 Pride’ on virtual cycling platform, Zwift, at 18.00 BST on Saturday 13 June. Follow Chris Ratcliff (PPCC) on Zwift for an open invitation to join the meetup. The Zwift ride will be streamed live on Twitch www.twitch.tv/ppcyclingclub.

You can support their fundraising efforts by making a donation:https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RideTheRibbon4Pride

Paris – Nice 2020: Stage 3

Chalette-sur-Loing  ›  La Châtre   (212.5k)

García Cortina pips Sagan in bunch sprint to take first Paris Nice win

Bahrain-McLaren’s Iván García Cortina erased his close run second on Stage 2 in 2019 to take the top step of podium in this year’s edition’s first bunch sprint. He held of Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) who is still looking for a first win in 2020, with Andrea Pasqualon (Circus-Wanty Gobert) taking third. The closing kilometres saw a few main sprint rivals ruled out of the fight, notably Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step) going down in a crash with 500m to go, and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) suffering a mechanical.

 Iván García Cortina (Bahrain - McLaren) takes the win on Stage 3 of the 2020 Paris Nice
Iván García Cortina (Bahrain – McLaren) takes the win on Stage 3 of the 2020 Paris Nice
Photo: A.S.O./Fabien Boukla
Continue reading “Paris – Nice 2020: Stage 3”

Paris – Nice 2020: Stage 1

Maz Schachmann won a cold and wet opener in Plaisir to the lead ‘The Race to the Sun’ on his first participation.

08/03/2020 – Paris-Nice – Etape 1 – Plaisir / Plaisir (154km) – Stage winner Maximilian SCHACHMANN (BORA – HANSGROHE)
Photo: ASO/Fabien Boukla

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Maximilian Schachmann seized Stage One of the Paris-Nice in a four-way sprint against Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren) and Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) after he and Tuens linked up with the others with just a couple of kilometres to go. In the overall standings, Schachmann leads Benoot by two second and Teuns by four.

Max Schachmann wins sprint against Dylan Teuns and Tiesj Benoot with Julian Alaphilippe fourth.
Photo: ASO/Fabien Boukla
Continue reading “Paris – Nice 2020: Stage 1”