With the final racing of the season taking place last weekend, the VeloVoices team is taking a look back at the performances of our selected riders to watch in 2012. I’m following a god of cycling, a future god of cycling and a god of the track: Fabian Cancellara, Taylor Phinney and Geraint Thomas.
WorldTour ranking: 37th, 134 points.
Well, Cancellara had a shit season of #unluck and he called it a day after the Olympics, choosing not to go to the World Championships and has been laying low in Switzerland ever since. Rumour had it that he had his lawyers trying to break his contract with RadioShack-Nissan but to no avail, either because he couldn’t or wouldn’t buy himself out (said to be about €2m). I started a #FreeFabs campaign and have been buying lottery tickets for the express purpose of buying him out of his contract myself. (I’d put him in a KittyFondue sponsored jersey …)
He’s been mighty quiet on the tweeting front as well, although it was telling that he started to tweet again as soon as Johan Bruyneel was pushed/jumped/fired from RadioShack. Since then, he’s tweeted about snow-capped mountains and his day at the zoo with his daughter – in Fabianese, of course, so I was totally charmed.
Let’s hope Spartacus is back on form next year for the spring Classics to take on Tom Boonen.
Results: Won one stage at USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Silver medal in both the World Championships team and individual time trials. 3rd in Chrono des Nations.
WorldTour ranking: 118th, 22 points.
That boy Phinney has had a sterling year and he finished it off in style with a third place in the Chrono des Nations. But the highlight of the last part of the season for him (and for us) was his performance in the World Championships. His BMC team took silver in the newly resurrected team time trial (for trade teams, not national teams).
Then he gave a thrilling performance in the individual time trial, trading the virtual lead with Tony Martin as they were both on the course in one of the closest ITT races we’ve seen in a long time. Both men were mere husks by the time they crossed the line and collapsed – both left absolutely everything out on the road. And Phinney finished just five seconds behind Martin. Heartbreaking – and riveting – stuff. He’ll be a force to be reckoned with next year. Can’t wait!
I’ve had a lot of close calls this year and think that changes your mindset as you go forward. You start to think of the little things you can change in your everyday routine in order to get that one second or that five seconds or that three seconds you might have missed the year before.
Results: 2nd in individual time trial at Post Danmark Rundt.
WorldTour ranking: 120th, 22 points.
Thomas came back from his Olympic success to do a few races before he ended his season in October. Although he did not ride the World Championships as part of Team GB, he did participate in the trade team time trial for Sky, where they finished ninth.
He ended his season with a strong showing at Post Danmark Rundt, a few races in Canada and, his final race, Paris-Tours.
Next year Thomas will be concentrating on road racing again instead of track as he did this year, so we can expect to see a lot more of him!
Previous updates: August 9th, June 22nd, April 11th, February 21st
Rider profiles: Fabian Cancellara, Geraint Thomas
Websites: Fabian Cancellara, Taylor Phinney, Geraint Thomas
Twitter: @f_cancellara, @taylorphinney, @GeraintThomas86
Have to say that one of the highlights for me of the season, was to see Fabs in tears following the Olympic RR. Not in a pleased manner, but the fact as successful, wealthy, being a dad etc as he is, he just looked like a little boy lost and needed a shoulder to cry on and for someone to put their arm around him and say “there there, it’s all okay”. The pain of a ‘poor’ season just came flooding out as well as the obvious pain from his shoulder injury.
Bizarrely, I agree with you, John. He showed that he was human and that it really mattered to him. If only I’d been the shoulder he was crying on…