Culture

The top 10 VeloNews stories from 2020

Here we present, not necessarily the happiest stories, but the 10 most-read pieces of the year. In sum, it is a snapshot of 2020.

While many things were in short supply this year — toilet paper, indoor dining, time spent with friends and family — a few things rained down in abundance, namely bad news.

For this retrospective, I looked back at our Google Analytics report for January 1 through today to see which stories earned the most attention from you, our readers. And, I’m afraid, the majority of the most-read stories weren’t tales of joy. However, it’s part of our job to cover the news, and you voted with your eyeballs about what was of interest this year.

Our British colleague Jim Cotton went to the UAE Tour this spring and ended up literally locked inside a race hotel during the first major coronavirus outbreak to rock the sport. I’ve joked that our 2021 content strategy is to send Jim into harm’s way and have him continue his excellent reporting, as the formula seems to work. (Jim didn’t laugh, either.)

There were also bright spots among our Top 10 stories. Andrew Hood did a great piece on Sean Yates, who now enjoys a very different life than he did as a marquee professional.

And story number 10, well, just happens to be the quintessential story of cycling in 2020. Here is our Top 10 list, and here is to a happier, healthier 2021 for all of you.

10. Should I wear a mask while riding?

Back in April, our nurse-turned-editor colleague Betsy Welch weighed in with an explainer on when, where, and why cyclists should wear a mask. Fast forward to the end of December, and we’re in the same predicament.

9. We went to Germany to test popular bike chains

Lennard Zinn has spent three decades of writing for VeloNews, and it that time has often looked to quantify chain wear through a laboratory test. Accurate third-party quantification of it has evaded him, so he resorted to looking around among chain manufacturers, who have in-house chain-durability testing facilities. In that vein, Lennard spent a few days at the Wippermann/Connex chain factory in Hagen, Germany.

8. Report: Garmin ransomed for $10 million in a cyberattack

If your late-July weekend rides didn’t upload from your Garmin device – you weren’t alone. GPS technology giant Garmin battled an outage for days before settling the matter.

7. Technical FAQ: Chloé Dygert’s disastrous front-end wobble

Chloé Dygert before the crash at the 2020 UCI road cycling world championships. Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images 

Lennard Zinn analyzes how geometry, braking, and tire choice could have played a role in Dygert’s world championship crash.

Jim Cotton reports from inside the media hotel placed under quarantine in Abu Dhabi, with participating teams locked down in neighboring accommodation.

5. French police search Quintana’s room during the Tour de France

Two people were in police custody after an investigation was opened into suspected doping at this year’s Tour de France by the Arkéa-Samsic team, French prosecutors announced. Quintana said he has ‘nothing to hide’ and denied any wrongdoing.

4. The bikes of the Tour de France

A look at the 22 team bikes raced at the 2020 Tour de France.

Four years after an agriculture accident nearly took his life, Brit Sean Yates lives a rustic lifestyle without electricity or running water in the Spanish countryside.

2. Pedro Delgado: No one wants to speak well of Lance Armstrong

Former Tour de France winner said he considers Lance Armstrong the winner of the 1999-2005 editions.

1. French lead chorus of doubt in wake of Tour de France

The Planche des Belles Filles was the final hurdle of this year’s Tour de France, with ramps over 20 percent at the summit.

Active and retired French riders raise doubts over the performances during the 2020 Tour de France.