Cycling not only allows you to increase your fitness level, it also gives you the…
This is the ultimate cycling race which incorporates stages of some of the best cycling races and one day classics in the world and is held over a period of nine months and covers four continents – Australasia, Europe, the Americas and Asia. Eighteen ProTeams are selected through various criteria, including ethical, financial, administrative and sporting.
It began on 21st January 2014 with the opening stage of the Tour Down Under which took cyclists from Nuriootpa to Angaston in Australia, and it finished on 14th October with the final stage of the Tour of Beijing – Tiananmen Square to Bird’s Nest Piazza.
18 PRO TEAMS
2014 saw nine different countries entering the UCI World Tour, with both France and the US competing with three teams each. Italy, Russia, the Netherlands and Belgium had two teams apiece and the UK, Australia and Spain had one team. National teams are able to enter individual events at the discretion of the organiser of that particular event.
The different races are exceptionally diverse and challenging for the participants. After the initial opening of the race in Australia in January, the teams had a time to relax before the beginning of the European segment of the race in March. ‘The Race to the Sun’, Paris to Nice, was split into eight stages covering 1,447 km (899.1 miles) and all 18 ProTeams had to enter, so there was only space for an extra three teams.
The UCI World Tour incorporated sections from the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. The teams also competed in the Quebec and Montreal Grand Prix for 2014. In September, all 18 teams were required to compete in the Team Time Trials at the World Championships in Spain.
Thirty four year old Alejandro Valverde of Spain won the individual section with 686 points. Valverde, who has a three year contract with the Movistar Team, has had an amazing year, and was asked if 2014 was the best year of his twelve year career. “By a mile. No doubts about that. I’m more than satisfied with what I achieved this season. I would be more than happy to repeat that in 2015.” Valverde’s only disappointment this year was not being on the podium at the end of the Tour de France. He achieved well at the beginning of the Tour de France but faded towards the end. Valverde will add this to his goals for 2015.
Spain also took second place in the individual section, with Alberto Contador amassing 620 points. Third, was Australian Simon Gerrans with 478 points.
The Spanish Movistar Team came first with a total of 1440 points, 686 contributed by Valverde. Second was the BMC Racing Team from the States with 1212 points and third was Team Tinkoff-Saxo from Russia with 1186 point. It is worth noting that Alberto Contador from Spain was riding for Team Tinkoff-Saxo from Russia.