A run-down of your favourite stage races, single-day races and cycling television coverage of 2017
Welcome to the results of Cycling Weekly’s reader poll, which closed on November 20. The outcome of the 2017 edition has thrown up some surprising results compared to previous years. Your voting signals a change in pro cycling, with new names and events rising in popularity.
Most exciting international stage race
1 Giro d’Italia
2 Vuelta a España
3 Tour de France
Last year’s winner: Tour de France
Not only was the 2017 Tour de France not your favourite international stage race, it wasn’t even your second favourite. Could the shine be fading on Le Tour? The Giro certainly proved to be an entertaining battle, with eventual winner Tom Dumoulin and his Colombian rival Nairo Quintana fighting for the pink jersey to the bitter end. Of course, you simply cannot deny that Italy provides a sensational backdrop to the racing — it was an event that had it all.
After winning the Tour in July, Froome was pushing it to attempt victory in the Vuelta just weeks after standing atop the podium in Paris. He took the overall lead on stage three and never relinquished it, despite a couple of shaky moments. The Tour de France is third here, in a year that it was really outclassed by the other two Grand Tours. Must do better.
Most exciting international one-day race
2 Tour of Flanders
3 Milan-San Remo
Last year’s winner: Paris-Roubaix
Paris-Roubaix is more firmly fixed in its top position in this category than one of its famous cobblestones. Once again, you voted ‘the Hell of the North’ as the most exciting single-day race on the calendar — and quite right too, it’s a race that seldom disappoints. Greg Van Avermaet secured his first Monument victory from a five-man sprint at the end of a gruelling day in northern France.
Fellow Spring Classic, the Tour of Flanders ranks as your second-fave one-day race. Philippe Gilbert refound his Classics mojo, attacking on the Oude Kwaremont and keeping the chasers at bay to take a fine win. In third is Milan-San Remo, which finished with Michal Kwiatkowski edging out Peter Sagan for a memorable triumph.
Most exciting British race
1 Tour de Yorkshire
2 Tour of Britain
3 Women’s Tour
Last year’s winner: Tour of Britain
Upset alert! For the first time in our annual poll, the Tour of Britain has been usurped in your affections for the best British race. The Tour de Yorkshire came of age in 2017 in its third edition with a fantastic route, great start list and exciting racing. Its status can only be increased in 2018 with the addition of an extra day for both men’s and women’s events.
The ToB slips to second spot in CW’s poll, but still gathered a significant number of votes. The eight-day race’s popularity certainly does not seem to be waning, with the roadsides as packed with spectators as ever. The Women’s Tour rounds out the top three. The race’s fourth edition saw it further establish itself as a high point of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar.
Best cycling TV broadcaster
Last year’s winner: Eurosport
They call it the ‘home of cycling’, and you seem to agree wholeheartedly. There’s no denying that Eurosport has the monopoly on coverage of pro cycling and has a solid team of commentators, special guests and expert analysis to keep viewers entertained during lulls in the action. This year we were blessed with start-to-finish Tour de France coverage, which saw Eurosport’s commentators take on a tag-team approach to a marathon stint on the microphone.
British channel ITV4’s cycling coverage is in second. Although ITV covers fewer races than Eurosport, those that it does cover — the Tour and Tour of Britain in particular — it does very well. Featuring in our poll for the first time ever, Belgian channel Sporza is in third place.