The 2021 cycling season has already begun, and this season there is a whole new roster of top riders to keep an eye on through the Tour de France and onwards.
Tadej Pogačar – UAE-Team Emirates
This young cyclist has impressed and even shocked many over the previous few seasons. With wins at tours in 2018 and 2019, he popped up on the radar of many cycling enthusiasts as a rider to remember for the future. Few people expected his win at the Tour de France in 2020.
He will go into this season with defending his title as his main priority, and as a bookmaker’s favourite, but at only 22 years old, he still has plenty of opportunities ahead of him to add to his already impressive trophy cabinet.
Wout van Aert – Jumbo-Visma
Since this rider decided to dedicate his efforts to road racing exclusively, he has gone from strength to strength and has all the makings of a future champion. Last season was his best yet, and the Belgian added to wins at Milan-Sanremo and Strade Bianche with two stage wins at the Tour de France.
Missed opportunities seemed to define his performance last season, with second-place results at the Tour de Flanders and the World Championship Time-Trial and Road Race so he will certainly be aiming to build on last season’s record this year and in seasons to come.
Remco Evenepoel – Deceuninck-Quick Step
Everything seemed to be falling into place for this talented young cyclist last season, with an almost perfect performance throughout the year setting him up for his first Grand Tour at Giro d’Italia in 2020. Unfortunately, a horrific accident sidelined the Belgian for the rest of the season after he crashed into a wall and fell into a ravine at the Tour of Lombardy.
He has recovered strongly from his injuries, which included a broken pelvis, and is looking ready to build on his impressive pre-accident form and will probably be one to watch at the Olympics in the Summer.
Chris Froome – Team Israel Start-Up Nation
This experienced and older rider looks set to give cycling a perfect sporting story as the 35-year-old attempts to build upon his already impressive history and add to his trophy cabinet which must be bursting at the seams.
If it wasn’t for a crash during a warm-up session at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné he may have already added another Tour de France title or two to his name, and he knows it. Expect Chris Froome to give it all he can to show that there is plenty of life in the old dog yet this cycling season.
Marc Hirschi – UAE-Team Emirates
This young cyclist was a fan favourite at the 2020 Tour de France, with his animated rides attracting a lot of attention throughout the Tour. He came very close to victory on many of the stages and finally bagged himself a win at Stage 12 to the applause of many.
He had been racing for SunWeb, and when they suddenly and unexpectedly released him from their contract in January it shocked many in the cycling world. It only took days for UAE-Team Emirates to make contact, however, and they soon added him to their impressive roster of riders.
This season of cycling looks to be a great one for spectators and participants alike. These top riders are definitely ones to watch this season, and we will likely see one of them take the yellow jersey in France.
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