It’s that moment in a race when your spidey sense goes off and you just know that something amazing is about to happen. And then it does! Those moments that have you jumping up and down, screaming at the TV and scaring the neighbours. Yep, it’s the award for Spine-tingling Moment of the Year.
Previous winners: 2015 – Taylor Phinney’s return
Contador/Quintana break, Stage 15, Vuelta a Espana
Kathi: Alberto Contador rages against the dying of the light and catches Chris Froome and his entire Sky team snoozing as the Spanish rider goes full gas at the start of the stage to form one of the most formidable breakaways in Grand Tour history, including the red jersey Nairo Quintana. Baby Blackbird’s flight reminded us why having him healthy in a race is a spectator’s dream (attack! attack!) but it was Q who reaped the final reward as Bones lost handfuls of time that he never made back …
Nibali’s comeback, Stage 19, Giro d’Italia
Sheree: Vincenzo Nibali started the Giro as red hot favourite before becoming Il Flop – at least in the eyes of the Italian press – after losing buckets of time in the Dolomites. On stage 19 to Risoul, he was over four minutes down on race leader, Steven Kruijswijk but the latter’s crash on the snowy descent of the Colle dell’Agnello, and a long chase back on, led to a reversal of fortunes. In addition, Nibali cracked Esteban Chaves on the final climb in each of the last two mountain stages and, on the penultimate stage, rode into Italy and into the maglia rosa. The Shark was back!
Cavendish’s win, Stage 1, Tour de France
Ant: Being a Cavendish fan, my favourite moment of the year was seeing him take that first win of this year’s Tour de France. If I’m honest, I didn’t expect it, and that made it all the more enjoyable. Who said he doesn’t have the legs anymore?
Jakob Fuglsang and the Men’s Olympic road race finish
Midge: Not only was this hands down the best race of the year, but beloved Dane Jakob Fuglsang finished with a silver medal around his neck. As Jakob and Greg van Avermaet hunted down Rafal Majka in the final kilometres I chewed nails, I screamed, I shouted myself hoarse. Swept away on a tide of happiness I will never be able to explain and I cried like a baby when the medals were handed out. It still makes me smile now and I don’t think anything will top it…ever. Isn’t that what this crazy sport is all about?
Froome/Sagan breakaway, Stage 11, Tour de France
Panache: Stage 11 of the Tour de France was one for the ages. The last 10kms were some of the best in memory. World champion and green jersey leader Peter Sagan decided on a daring late-race attack with yellow jersey Chris Froome in tow, catching the rest of the field off guard in gusty cross winds. Sagan won the stage and Froome gained valuable seconds on his rivals. Froome described it as a “dream scenario for me. This is bike racing at its best, for the GC leader to take the guys on in a flat stage like this”. Meanwhile, Sagan just laughed, “Today is something you cannot plan. The green jersey and the yellow jersey at the front? It was crazy!”
The green and yellow breakaway from the Tour de France took the prize with 36% of the vote; Contador and Quintana took 28%. Then it was Cavendish’s TdF stage win, Nibali’s Giro comeback and Fuglsang’s silver medal at Rio2016.