Over the past 12 months a lot has happened in cycling. There is no doubt it will go down in history as one of the most memorable.
Cycling has experienced is high points, such as Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Englishman to win the Tour de France, but also been scared for life by the Lance Armstrong shambles.
We take a look at what made cycling stand out in 2012.
Wiggins Makes History
Wiggins made history in 2012 by becoming the first British rider to win the Tour de France, heading a British one-two with Chris Froome. The performance of Team Sky made the feat more impressive by dominating the race from the start.
Sky came out with a total of six stage victories, with Cavendish being on fine form in the sprints and Wiggins tearing apart the time trials. Their performance was rewarded on the Champs-Elysees as Union Jacks were on every inch of road-side.
His yellow jersey wasn’t all that he won in 2012. Wiggo finished first in Tour de Romandie, Paris – Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné. He was cheered on by 1000′s of his own countrymen to win Gold in the Olympic Road TT and was awarded with the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year. To top his year off, he was also named in the New Years Honors list and will soon become Sir Wiggins.
Boonen can’t stop winning
Wiggins wasn’t the only person to grab all the headlines in 2012. 2012 was the year for Quick-Step rider Tom Boonen aswell. Throughout the Spring classics, he could not be beaten. Wins came in Paris – Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Gent–Wevelgem, E3 Harelbeke and Paris–Brussels. All this was on top of the Tour of Qatar GC win earlier in the season.
Boonen opted not to participate in the Tour de France, in order to prepare for the Olympic Road Race, where he finished 28th after missing the crucial breakaway.
The Lance Armstrong Fiasco.
Lance Armstrong has got to be one of the most talked about atheletes in the world over the past few months. With a heap of evidence about his doping activity finally gathered, the bubble burst on the 23rd August when Armstrong announced that he would not fight the charges which the United States Anti-Doping Agency filed against him.
Several of his former team-mates testified against him and the US Postal and Discovery Channel staff in one of the biggest Anti-Doping investigations in the history of Cycling.
Armstrong never admitted to Doping, despite the mass of evidence which is against him. Armstrong was stripped of his seven yellow jerseys by the ASO, and the bronze medal he won in the Olympics.
What’s Franky doing?
One of the least coveraged contriversial stories this year is the elder of the Schleck brothers positive drugs test in the Tour de France. Frank tested positive for a diuretic in a test after the 13th Stage of this years TdF. He quit the race at the end of the 15th stage while he was in 12th spot in the general classification after his B-Sample also came back positive.
Schleck claimed that either the sample was contaminated or the presence of the diuretic was accidental. He voluntarily withdrew himself from competition at the start of October.
He will find out his sanction on January 30, 2013.
Hesjedal looks good in pink
2012 was a good year to be a rider from the previously thought as ‘non-cycling nations’. Usually Grand Tour winners have come from places such as France, Spain and Italy, but not this year. Ryder Hesjedal became the first ever Canadian winner of a Grand Tour when he claimed the maglia rosa on the last stage. 16 seconds was what separated him and second place.
Hesjedal was awarded the Canadian male athlete of the year in December.