10 things we're really looking forward to in 2016
We know 2015 isn't over yet, but we're impatient - here is a list of the cyclingy things we're most looking forward to in 2016
1. Sir Bradley Wiggins in the Olympic Games
We're looking forward to the Olympic Games as a whole, of course - who isn't - but we can't hide that one of the real highlights will be seeing Sir Brad attempt to claim one last medal.
Wiggo has been training hard with the GB team pursuiters and judging by his long turns at the front during recent outings on the boards, he has still very firmly got what it takes, even with a big beard.
It's just a shame that we're denied the treat of seeing him in the individual pursuit since that was removed from the Olympic programme. But we can't have everything.
2. A decent summer
Us Brits had a summer that was very disappointing. It started so well in early spring 2015, with sunshine and the promise of rides without 5kg of windproof/waterproof clothing.
But then May came around, and our hopes were washed away with the rain. There was possibly a week in mid-July that saw us remove the mudguards and arm warmers, only to wish we hadn't bothered. The trusty Cycling Weekly barbecue also only saw the light of day once, and that was cut short by a plague of wasps.
Come on 2016, you can do better than that.
3. Riding the London 'Crossrail for Bikes'
Transport for London's super-fantastic new East-West Superhighway route for cyclists is set to be completed in 2016, and we're looking forward to riding the full distance of the segregated lane through central London.
>>> Superhighways, Crossrail and Quietways: A complete guide to London cycleways
A safe route for cyclists in London is long overdue. The tantalising notion of riding through the world's best capital city without having to literally rub shoulders with cabbies, buses, tipper trucks and over-caffeinated car drivers with very important jobs to go to is almost too much to cope with.
4. A chance to ride some new tech
The past decade has seen the dominant emergence of carbon-fibre as the material of choice for bikes and components, but in many respects the rest of bike technology has been lagging behind. Our houses have become ever more wire-free, but our bikes are still stuck with distinctly 20th-century cables.
We're really looking forward to putting in some proper miles using new cycling technology on the horizon, not least SRAM's Red eTap wireless shifting system, which looks like a ground-breaking piece of kit (we know about Mavic Mektronic before you fill in the comments section below in disgust - we mean wireless shifting that actually works).
Crowd-funding websites have also quickly formed into the place to see some truly ground-breaking ideas to aid cyclists, some of which will hopefully come into fruition.
5. Steve Abraham completing his annual mileage record attempt
All being well, cycling superman Steve Abraham should set a new world annual cycling mileage record in (or by) 2016. Judging by his current form, Abraham will not only smash the ancient record of 75,065 miles set by Tommy Godwin in 1939, but he'll also set the bar so high his record could also stand for another 75 years.
Abraham had one set-back in March 2015, when he was hit by a moped rider and broke his ankle, but he now seems to be back on track. Go Steve.
6. Seeing Marcel Kittel back on form
The professional race scene missed Marcel Kittel in 2015. After winning the People's Choice Classic in Australia in January, the German sprint sensation faded fast with a lingering illness that blighted his entire season.
His non-selection for the Tour de France seemed to signal the end of a working relationship with the Giant-Alpecin team, and Kittel has jumped to Belgian outfit Etixx-QuickStep for 2016.
What we want to see is a straight-up sprint scrap between Kittel and Mark Cavendish at the Tour de France, with both riders in peak form. And you can throw in André Greipel and Caleb Ewan if you like too.
7. Isle of Man CycleFest
The Isle of Man is hosting its inaugural 'Cyclefest' in May, which will be a celebration of all things cycling on an island that has produced more cycling greats per capita than any other place in the world (possibly).
There's all sorts of cycling going on, including the opening round of the Tour Series, a Gran Fondo, a hill climb, family rides and lots of other cycling and non-cycling goodness to entertain us.
8. The Tour de France
Every year we look forward to the Tour de France, and 2016 is no different. It looks set to be a good edition from several perspectives. The route was revealed in October, and includes some exciting new climbs for the GC men to get stuck into in their quest for the coveted yellow jersey.
Of course, the race is only as good as the racers - and you could argue that the potential line-up of overall contenders will not be matched again for a few years, given the impending retirement of Alberto Contador.
Can defending champion Chris Froome be the first rider since Miguel Indurain to win consecutive editions of the race? Can young pretenders Tom Dumoulin, Simon or Adam Yates make their mark? Will Geraint Thomas win if Froome falls off? Will we miss having a team time trial?
So much to look forward to crammed into three short weeks in July.
9. The Women's WorldTour
In its move to generate greater parity between men's and women's professional racing, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has formed a Women's WorldTour calendar for 2016. The old World Cup has gone, to be replaced with the new-look series.
>>> New WorldTour part of a shake-up of women’s road racing
We're looking forward to seeing women's racing continue to grow with some momentum, and see more and more coverage of women's racing across the media.
We're also secretly looking forward to seeing Lizzie Armitstead win the inaugural Women's WorldTour as well as the Olympic road race. Place your bets.
10. Seeing more people out on bikes
We can never get enough of seeing fellow cyclists out on the road. The number of people enjoying cycling has steadily grown over the past decade, and we'd love to see that trend continue for the foreseeable future.
More people on bikes means better cycling facilities, safer roads, more bike shops and best of all, more cycling cafés. It doesn't matter that we return home from our rides with an aching shoulder from waving at all our fellow riders, there's no such thing as too many cyclists.
What are you looking forward to in 2016? Tell us below.
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Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.
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