We reflect on the many triumphs of our riders, both on the track and the road.
What a season 2021 proved to be for Campagnolo-using WorldTour teams and riders with 69 victories spread between UAE Team Emirates, Lotto-Soudal, AG2R Citroen Team and Cofidis, Credits Solutions.
The Covid-hit season started in February with the UAE Tour and concluded for most at Il Lombardia in October.
The main equipment that helped the world’s best shift and roll faster and more reliably than ever before was Campagnolo’s Super Record and Bora Ultra WTO wheels.
It proved its worth whatever the weather, whatever the terrain – just like the 116 riders across the four teams.
2021 proved a spectacular year in the velodrome, too, with the postponed Olympics and this year’s World Championships where Campagnolo’s revolutionary Ghibli disc wheel performed so impressively.
Here, we look back at a memorable year in track and road cycling for our Campagnolo riders, charting the magical moments that’ll live long in the memory.
TRACK: OLYMPICS AND WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The irrepressible Elia Viviani (32) enjoyed a fine Olympic Games, winning bronze in the men’s omnium to add to his gold-medal-winning omnium performance at the 2016 Rio Games.
Then, in late October, the Italian won his first-ever world title in the elimination event, held at the Jean-Stablinski Velodrome in Roubaix, France.
Campagnolo rider Simone Consonni can also look back on the delayed 2020 Olympic Games with fond memories, being part of the Italian team that won gold in the team pursuit. Just for good measure, Consonni and his team set a new world record in 3:42.032.
The 27-year-old also shone at the recent UCI Track World Championships, claiming team-pursuit gold and madison bronze.
AG2R CITROËN TEAM
On the road, AGR Citroën Team finished the season 10th in the UCI world rankings after racking up 13 wins, including three from Benoit Cosnefroy, all on home soil at the Tour du Finistere, Bretagne Classic and Tour du Jura Cycliste.
Arguably the highlight was the 26-year-old’s Bretagne Classic victory where Cosnefroy outsprinted current road-racing world champion Julian Alaphilippe.
The French team enjoyed a cleansweep of GrandTour stage victories, winning stages of the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
First up came Andrea Vendrame’s triumph in stage 12 of the Giro after riding aggressively in the Apennines hills. Vendrame was the first to attack from the break over the top of the final climb before reading the finale beautifully to beat Australian Chris Hamilton in a two-up sprint.
Ben O’Connor took centre stage next, winning stage nine of the Tour de France. The 25-year-old Australian rode the final 17km solo to rein victorious over the 144.9km parcours from Cluses to Tignes.
The result would ultimately help O’Connor to fourth overall – the highest GrandTour finish of his career.
Finally, chapeau to AG2R Citroen Team’s Clément Champoussin who won the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a Espana, a mountainous 202km from Sanxenxo to Mos.
Elsewhere, Dorian Godon won one-day races Paris-Camembert and Tour du Doubs, while Greg van Avermaet rolled back the years with third at the Tour of Flanders.
COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS
Cofidis finished the season 14th in the UCI world rankings after 12 wins. The prolific Viviani continued his stellar career, winning five times including twice at Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine.
That made it 85 wins since his first back in the Presidential Tour of Turkey in 2010.
In the GrandTours, Guillaume Martin showed impressive consistency, finishing eighth and ninth overall at the Tour and Vuelta, respectively.
The 28-year-old also showed impressive durability, not finishing his season until the recent Veneto Classic where he placed eighth in a race won by Samuele Battistella.
“I think I’m a bit of a race addict,” Martin smiled after the race.
Chapeau also to Victor Lafay who enjoyed the team’s sole GrandTour stage victory of the season during stage eight of the Giro d’Italia.
Lotto-Soudal finished the season 18th after 12 wins.
Caleb Ewan racked up six season stage victories including two at the Giro d’Italia where he held the sprinter’s classification jersey after stage seven. PThose were the 27-year-old Australian’s 10th and 11th GrandTour stage wins of his career.
Ewan also won the points classification at the Tour of Belgium after winning stages three and four, the fifth stage of the Benelux Tour and stage seven of the UAE Tour. His best one-day result came at Milan-San Remo where he won the bunch sprint for second.
Tim Wellens started the season well with two stage wins and overall victory at Etoile de Besseges, while Florian Vermeersch served notice of his huge potential, finishing second at October’s Paris-Roubaix, losing out in a sprint to Sonny Colbrelli.
UAE TEAM EMIRATES
UAE Team Emirates enjoyed another fantastic season, securing 32 wins to finish fifth in the UCI rankings.
Of course, that only tells a part of the story as Tadej Pogačar (then 22) became the youngest rider in history to win two editions of the Tour de France. His extraordinary ability to recover and go again saw him destroy the competition.
Can anyone challenge the now 23-year-old in 2022?
Pogačar’s Tour triumph was sandwiched between victories at the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Il Lombardia.
As for Pogačar’s teammates, there was much to celebrate. Rafal Majka won stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana, while Diego Ulissi won four times.
As did Juan Sebastian Molano, who enjoyed double-stage victories at both the Vuelta a Burgos and Giro di Sicilia. Alexander Kristoff enjoyed two wins in his UAE Team Emirates farewell season, while Marc Hirschi won his first stage for the team at Tour de Luxembourg.
Overall, an outstanding season for Campagnolo and our riders.
Here’s to more of the same in 2022!