A new season of road cycling is upon us! And with it come so many fresh chances for the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Whet your appetite with our favorite finishes in bike racing.
No. 12: 1984 Summer Olympics
In the first-ever women’s Olympic cycling event, and after nearly 50 miles of racing near Los Angeles, American Connie Carpenter out-sprinted compatriot Rebecca Twigg in a photo finish.
No. 11: Stage 15, 2014 Tour de France
Ever had a crummy day at work? Try spending 135 miles in a two-man breakaway, and then come up 80 feet short of sweet victory.
No. 10: 1994 Tour of Flanders
In Belgium’s biggest race, Italy’s best rider, Gianni Bugno, just gets it. (Watch from 3:30.)
No. 9: 1999 Milan-San Remo
After 7 hours of racing, Russia’s Andrei Tchmil boldly went solo, upsetting favorites galore.
No. 8: 2009 Milan-San Remo
The only rider who could hope to beat British sprint ace Mark Cavendish was Australian Heinrich Haussler. After 185 miles of racing it came down to about 4 inches. (Skip to 11:30.)
No. 7: Stage 4, 2013 Tour of Poland
American Taylor Phinney, channeling his inner Spartacus, versus the field of sprinters.
No. 6: 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
It was three against one, with the best bike racers in the best bike-racing country attacking the lone Englishman, Ian Stannard. (The fireworks really start at 17:40.)
No. 5: Stage 7, 2012 Tour of Turkey
Iljo Keisse was pedaling along nicely to his first win as a pro. Then he crashed.
“He’s gonna get caught!!”
No. 4: 2004 Milan-San Remo
After 7 hours of racing, Germany’s Erik Zabel was totally, absolutely going to win his fifth Classicissima. But Spain’s Óscar Freire would teach him a wicked lesson.
No. 3: 1992 Milan-San Remo
After nearly 6.5 hours of racing, Italy’s Moreno Argentin was cruising solo toward the finish line and looked set to take a sweet victory. However, Irishman Sean Kelly had other plans.
No. 2: Stage 3, 2007 Tour de France
It was looking like just another field sprint, until Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara, in the race leader’s yellow jersey no less, was like, “Watch this.” Hardest. Interval. Ever.
No. 1: 1989 Tour de France
After 87 hours of racing, France’s Laurent Fignon looked certain to win his third Tour. To beat him, all American Greg LeMond had to do was ride the fastest time trial in race history.