With the dramatic finishes of the Vuelta a España and the Tour of Britain, comes the end of a sensational string of European cycling grand tours. Teams of riders tested their cycling speed and stamina on hill climbs, flat stages and sprints in these two races, as well as the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. A rider who has had a particularly impressive year is Chris Froome, who became the first rider to win both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España in the same year since 1978. Tom Domoulin cycled to victory in the Giro d’Italia, while Lars Boom won the Tour of Britain. Here’s a look back at 2017’s magical season of road cycling.

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Giro d’Italia

Over 23 days from May 5th to 28th, riders rode 3,609 kilometres from Sardinia to Milan in the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia. At first, things seemed promising for Team Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin as he wore the overall leader’s pink jersey for nine days. However, a succession of hilly stages saw Movistar’s Nairo Quintana take the lead, going into the final stage. After an incredible individual time trial result in Milan, Dumoulin beat Quintana, defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and Thibaut Pinot to win the Giro. Quintana finished in second place, 31 seconds behind Dumoulin.

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Tour De France

This year, the German city of Dusseldorf was the location for the Tour De France’s Grand Depart on July 1st. From there, the riders cycled on through Belgium, Luxembourg and France before finishing in the French capital of Paris on July 23rd. From the start of the race, Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome held on tightly to the lead. Thomas was in the lead in the early stages until Froome took the yellow jersey in stage 5. However, Team Sky’s chances were dinted slightly in stage 9 when Thomas crashed out of the race. Fabio Aru took the yellow jersey from stage 12 but Froome won it back in stage 14. The Team Sky rider eventually emerged victorious overall, making this his fourth Tour de France win in five years – an exceptional achievement.

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Vuelta a España

The 72nd edition of the Vuelta a España, which ran from August 19th until September 10th, began in Nîmes, France before proceeding through Spain, via Andorra, and finishing in Madrid. Froome first wore the leader’s red jersey in stage three and his lead continued to go from strength to strength in the stages that followed. He did face a slight setback in stage 12, when he crashed twice, but he remained in the overall lead. Nibali was the closest contender to Froome throughout the race, but his efforts were not enough and Froome won the overall race. With this race win, Froome became the third rider in history to win the Vuelta a España and the Tour de France in the same year.

Tour of Britain

From September 3rd to 10th, riders raced across the United Kingdom, from Edinburgh to Cardiff, in the Tour of Britain. In the early stages, the leader’s green jersey passed between Team Orica-Scott’s Caleb Ewan and Team Sky’s Elia Viviani. In stage five, however, Lars Boom of Team Lotto NL-Jumbo won the time trial and took the overall lead. Despite Ewan’s win on stage 6, Boom’s lead continued through to the end of the race. After securing an eight second overall lead on the final stage, Boom clinched his second Tour of Britain title. Thomas was the highest-placed British rider, finishing in seventh.

If you are an avid road-cyclist yourself, perhaps you have been inspired by these cycling tours to set yourself a new cycling challenge and do your own road racing. The Insurance Emporium’s Cycle insurance offers such Optional Benefits as Competitive Use, which would protect you against loss, theft or accidental damage to your bike while it is used competitively. If you think that this could help you keep your cycling dreams on track, stop by The Insurance Emporium today.

© 2017 image copyright Christian Ferrer and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

© 2017 image copyright Filip Bossuyt and licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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