The end of the 2022 road season is upon us.
Here, we look back on the standout victories and performances from Campagnolo-using WorldTour teams.
What a year it’s been for those of you who, like Campagnolo, look to dream bigger, to ride stronger. Each pedal stroke has created memories that will live forever, both at recreational and elite level.
For the former, well, we’ll leave that to you to reflect on your successes of 2022. For the latter, here we chart the many highs of Campagnolo’s elite roadriders this season.
UAE TEAM EMIRATES
Up to mid-October’s Tour de Langkawi, UAE Team Emirates had won 47 times and were third in the UCI rankings. Not surprisingly, the rider who stacked up the most victories was one Tadej Pogačar, who uses Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Bora Ultra WTO wheels.
Take a breath and absorb the Slovenian superstar’s season of success.
In February, Pog won the overall title at the UAE Tour after winning two stages. He then won Strade Bianche after an unforgettable 50km solo attack on a rolling downhill section. Further wins followed at Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour of Slovenia – both after winning two stages apiece.
The 24-year-old finished second at a memorable Tour de France – after winning three stages – before further one-day victories at Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal and Tre Valli Varesine.
He finished things off by retaining his Il Lombardia crown after outsprinting Enric Mas. In short, incredible.
Other team highlights from the Campagnolo-collaborating team included Marc Hirschi’s return to form with three victories, plus consistent performances from the likes of Brandon McNulty, Matteo Trentin and Juan Sebastian Molano, who bagged multiple victories between them.
But arguably it was a third place that proved as big as a victory when then 19-year-old Juan Ayuso served notice of his seemingly unlimited potential with a podium spot at the Vuelta a Espana. This on GrandTour debut.
The Spaniard was a year younger than Pogačar when the Slovenian took third on GrandTour debut at the 2019 Vuelta a España.
A hint of things to come..
Cofidis, another world-class team who use Campagnolo’s array of world-class gear, including Super Record EPS, enjoyed a successful season.
Their 19 victories was over 50% more than their 2021 tally of 12. Benjamin Thomas accumulated the most success with four wins, although the highest-profile victory of the season came at the Vuelta a España when Jesus Herrada took out stage seven, a 190km ride from Camargo to Cistierna.
“It’s crazy,” said Herrada at the time. “I had to be patient in the last kilometre, following wheels. I knew there were fast men in the group but I trusted my sprint.”
But it was Simon Geschke who captured the hearts and minds of cyclists around the world thanks to his mountainous exploits at the Tour de France. The experienced German displayed pure grit as he dug deep to hold onto the polka-dot jersey for nine days before missing the breakaway on stage 18 and seeing his 12-point lead evaporate.
Still, the 36-year-old’s climbing exploits will live long in the memory.
UAE TEAM ADQ
In their debut season, the Campagnolo-using women’s team won 17 times with seven of those coming from the legendary Italian Marta Bastianelli. Arguably, the pick of the bunch was the 35-year-old’s victory at Omloop van het Hageland.
You can find out more about Bastianelli in Campagnolo’s Portraits series.
Spain’s Mavi Garcia also enjoyed a fine season with four victories including a stage victory at the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas.
AG2R CITROËN TEAM
The Campagnolo-using French team won 11 times in 2022 with Marc Sarreau claiming four of those, making it a very French affair by claiming a hat-trick of victories at Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine, plus the one-day Cholet-Pays de la Loire in March.
Australian Ben O’Connor, who finished an incredible fourth at the 2021 Tour de France, unfortunately couldn’t repeat the feat due to a series of crashes, the team pulling him out before stage 10. As is the Australian’s way, he picked himself up, dusted himself off, recovered and rode to top-10 (eighth) at the Vuelta a España.
Benoit Cosnefroy went oh so close at the Amstel Gold Race, missing out on victory by a whisker to Michel Kwiatkowski. A photo finish separated them.
But the most beautiful and poignant victory of 2022 came via Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels at the Tour de France. The 30-year-old rose to prominence in 2017 after winning a stage of the Giro d’Italia and further enhanced his reputation a year later by winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
But then a belatedly diagnosed arterial endofibrosis wiped out two seasons and it looked like his career could be over.
Then Jungels fended off Thibaut Pinot on stage nine of the 2022 Tour de France to put all his injury woes behind him and mark his comeback.
Next week, we reflect on a stellar season for Campagnolo and the world of gravel riding.
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