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I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see the back of January. I’ve never been a fan of what feels like the darkest and coldest month, but lockdown took it to a whole new level this year.

I’m sure lots of you feel the same, and while I’m pleased my family and I have remained healthy so far, and that I don’t have to home-school (I’m dreading maths home work in future years) there’s no denying it’s been tough.

But February offers some hope. It’s a short month, and by the end of it you can clearly see the daylight hours extending, and, best of all, the racing starts.

While some early season races have been postponed we’re all hopeful that by March we’ll be in a better place, and elite racing will take place as it did last year.

No doubt because of current restrictions it feels like the anticipation and promise of the Spring Classics and the build up to the Giro and beyond is more exciting than ever, and this week’s season preview is the perfect accompaniment to that.

Over 18 pages we look at the most exciting plot lines for 2021. Can Ineos retake the Tour crown? Will Wout van Aert and MVP light up Paris-Roubaix and have EF-Nippon come up with the best kit again? Read on, and look forward to brighter times.

Simon Richardson

Cycling Weekly magazine editor

My highlights this week

- Pidcock just misses a CX Worlds medal

- British Cycling’s mock races cause a stir

- Bowman Palace 3 race bike on test

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Richard Windsor

Richard began working with Cycling Weekly in 2013 alongside the then web editor, Nigel Wynn. Taking over as digital editor or Cycling Weekly and mbr in 2014, Richard coordinates site content and strategy with the team.