Cycling News

A Winter Doldrums Brain Teaser: What Is Cycling’s Most Intriguing Skill?

50th Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta 2024 - Stage 4

OK, hear me out. This is NOT my favorite couple weeks of cycling. I have always been a bit down on Paris-Nice, a frigid march across quiet areas of France with a lot of sprinting involved before the final weekend (which frequently ends up being thrilling, but still). Being in central Italy Tirreno-Adriatico would maybe interest me a bit more, but just a bit, except it tends to start and finish awfully early for someone in the Pacific time zone. I am content to monitor the results, catch a few highlights, maybe watch the weekend stages if there’s no skiing to be done (update: there is skiing to be done). I won’t quibble with anyone who is thrilled by the action — it is cycling, after all — and for us fans States-side the Jorgenson win might be a watershed moment for him, but between the Strade Bianche adrenaline hit and the real start of Classics Season, I will choose to pace myself. [I see you there, Nokere Koerse.]

So today’s fun is about looking into the upcoming/slightly underway season at large. I know we finished up last year talking about how 2024 was looking like one of the most exciting seasons in a while, where the talent tsunami reaches its full power and washes over the sport. That’s totally happening! But exactly what is it that is driving this excitement? Beyond just saying “that guy’s awesome!” what is the awesomeness exactly? Whose superpower is going to lift this cycling season to the next level of greatness?

Here is a list. As with all of my listicle posts, it’s my starting point and I heartily invite you to supplement it. Or shred it. It’s a free country, last I checked.

Photo by Dario Belingheri/Getty Images

Remco’s Time Trialling

This one is a favorite of mine, bringing up the love/hate dynamic that every sport needs. For people who don’t like Remco Evenepoel, and there are a few (cough), you might see this as your biggest annoyance. But Evenepoel is blessed with a body type that fits time trialling the same way Mark Cavendish’s frame made him the world’s best sprinter for quite some time. Add in some truly elite power numbers, and… well, you won’t see the current World Champion don a standard Quick Step skinsuit anytime soon (unless he gets bored wearing Belgium colors, but hey, he’s not a monster).

Evenepoel’s skills extend beyond time-trialling, to the kinds of attacks on…

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