This year, some of the world’s greatest bike races were captured on Strava… here’s a review of what Strava Pros achieved in 2014.
There is a point in every year when it’s time to hang up the race wheels and survey how the road season has gone. For each of you out there, there will have been good experiences and successes, and no doubt some times when things didn’t turn out quite as planned. Strava Pros, too, have had quite a year – and many of their impressive feats have been captured for posterity on Strava.
Among the highlights of 2014 are a huge win in one of cycling’s Monuments, the Queen of the Mountains at the Tour of Britain, Tour de France KOMs and the men’s road world champion recording his ride. Take a moment to check out our guide to the amazing accomplishments of the Strava Pros – It’s never too late to give them Kudos!
Early Season Highs
The season quickly got off to a good start – for Strava cycling fans at least – when Team Sky stalwart David Lopez posted ride data and Instagram snaps from a Team Sky training camp in Mallorca. If you want to know what really happens on a training camp, from the kilometres ridden to the coffees consumed, look no further.
It wasn’t long after that the first Monument win was posted on Strava – by Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Niki Terpstra. In April he won the fabled cobbled Classic Paris-Roubaix, AKA the Hell of the North and, on top of the money, cobblestone trophy and his name in the record books for ever more, got a record amount of kudos at that point (7,945 and counting) for his effort. Later in the year, Lars Boom won a slippery, slidy and muddy Stage 5 of the Tour on almost the same pavés – he now has upwards of 8,407 kudos!
The Women’s Tour
In May Strava partnered with the Women’s Tour of Britain and backed the first ever Women’s Tour Queen of the Mountains competition in The Women’s Tour of Britain, a race that instantly established itself according to many of the riders as the best women’s stage race currently on the calendar. Among the athletes taking part in the 5 days of racing around the east of England was the legendary Marianne Vos, who won three stages as well as the overall leader’s jersey.
Also uploading her rides was the United Healthcare rider Sharon Laws, whose gutsy performances won her the coveted Strava orange-polka dot jersey.
The Tour de France
The season galloped on, and soon it was time for many male riders’ main focus – the Tour de France. Some of the top athletes in the peloton uploaded their rides after each stage, including the popular and talented young Frenchman Thibaut Pinot. Pinot finished an amazing third place overall and finished second on two stages, including on the notorious climb of la Planche des Belles Filles, as well as winning the white jersey given to the Tour’s best young rider.
There was also Laurens Ten Dam, one of Strava’s most popular pros who always entertains with his uploads. His commentary on his rides let everyone know just what was going on – take a look if you want to see what a top-ten finish in the world’s greatest bike race looks like.
Spare a thought, too, for Ted King, another popular Strava Pro. He was unfairly eliminated in the 2013 race and came back to France with a point to prove. Unfortunately injuries sustained in crashes forced him to withdraw – you can read his thoughts on the rest of the Tour in his blog here. Thankfully Ted is now all healed up, as is Taylor Phinney, whose terrible crash in the American National Championships kept him off the bike for most of the season.
Late Season Triumphs
In the last of the year’s great stage races, the Vuelta a Espana in August, Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider Carlos Verona blogged for Strava, providing us with an insight into riding his first Grand Tour – check his final journal instalment here. Meanwhile, Movistar pro Javi Moreno posted a stage win in the Vuelta’s team time trial – it was his home Grand Tour – and Annameik Van Vleuten, Marianne Vos’s right-hand lady, took stage wins and the overall in the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour.
But did the Strava pros save the best for last? At the UCI World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s young Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski made a daring late solo move to win the Men’s Road Race. He will be proudly wearing the World Champion’s rainbow stripes next year, as will Evelyn Stevens – in team time trials at least. She won the women’s TTT with Specialized-Lululemon and uploaded her course recce here.
A big congratulations to all the Strava Pros for their achievements, and also thanks for sharing their efforts with us – they are motivating and awe-inspiring in equal measure!
Here’s a full list of Strava Pros to follow.