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What will you remember from the 2020 racing season?

Jim Cotton, Andy Hood, and Fred Dreier weigh in on what they believe will stand out decades from now.

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Jim Cotton headshotJim Cotton | European Correspondent

The impact of COVID-19 will undoubtedly dominate the entry in the history books for the 2020 cycling season, just as it will for a discussion of any other matter this year. From the mid-race abandonments of the UAE Tour and Paris-Nice, to the months of uncertainty and riders on indoor trainers through the spring, this year has sure ripped up the script. The images of Tadej Pogačar on the final podium at the Tour de France with a face mask on will likely be the enduring symbol of this crazy COVID-19 season, not just because of the drama of the youngster’s incredible victory and that time trial, but also due to the very fact that the Tour managed to go ahead in the shadow of a pandemic in the first place.

Andrew Hood b&w headshotAndrew Hood | European Editor

I will remember 2020 as the year that cycling dared to challenge a world pandemic. Perhaps it will also be remembered as a one-off, but it was one of the few instances in recent history that cycling’s disparate parties — teams, race owners, and the UCI — came to the table and worked together to find a solution. The fact that cycling pulled off the Tour de France in the midst of a world crisis and delivered a thrilling race is something that will stand out over the history of the race. Only world wars have stopped the Tour, so to have the race successfully conclude in Paris without a major mishap is a testament to the sport that will be remembered, yet hopefully only as a one-off.

Fred Dreier | Editor-in-Chief

Yes, the pandemic and its impact on the cycling calendar will definitely shape how we remember 2020. I think that history books of the Tour de France will take a different approach. This year will mark the bookend to the domination of Team Sky/Ineos at the race, and it will serve as the end point for the most dominant period in race history by one team. I see the rise of Tadej Pogačar and of the Jumbo-Visma team as bringing about an end to the Sky era, which ran from 2012 through 2020. While Ineos-Grenadiers has a new star in Tao Geoghegan Hart, I don’t see the team dominating any longer. Going forward, riders from Colombia and eastern Europe will win the race, and Team Sky/Ineos will no longer be a shoo-in to win.