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Ride Solo

Soigneur Tekst Soigneur Gepubliceerd 22 March 2020

Ride solo. 

That is the prevailing wisdom from the authorities in those lucky countries that have yet to be locked down. We would all do well to heed it. 

Hard as it is to miss our first sunny rides with our friends as spring arrives, it is up to us to avoid being confined to the rollers.

Not to worry. Cycling alone is wonderful. You have more time to look around and lose yourself in your own thoughts. More often than not, by the time you arrive home, you have put all your troubles in perspective.

Still, it can be hard to go fast when you don’t have a buddy to push you on.

So, we have compiled some of cycling’s greatest solos for your inspiration.

Annemiek van Vleuten | 2019 World Championships

In Yorkshire, Annemiek van Vleuten attacked with over 100 kilometres to go and rode alone to the finish to win the rainbow jersey. Her ride will be remembered as one cycling’s greatest performances.

Chris Froome | 2018 Giro d’Italia, Stage 19

Everyone knew that Chris Froome was going to attack on the Colle Delle Finestre, the Cima Coppi of the 2018 Giro. No one could ever have predicted what an attack it would be. Froome rode away on the gravel slopes of the climb 80 kilometres from the finish. No one saw him again. By the time he crossed the line, he’d made up over three minutes on  GC and had earned the maglia rosa.

Fabian Cancellara | 2010 Ronde van Vlaanderen

While Cancellara’s solo at Paris-Roubaix a week later was longer, we had already seen him win countless time trials. His attack on the Muur van Geraardsbergen at Flanders was more impressive. Well over 200 kilometres in to De Ronde, he made Belgian hero Tom Boonen look like a flailing junior. By the time he got to the finish, he was the only one in the picture.

Jacky Durand | 1992 Tour of Flanders

A 212-km breakaway—Jacky Duran was in his element. The Frenchman set out expecting to be caught, but this time, the cycling gods smiled down on him. When he dropped his breakmates on the Bosberg, he knew he could win a monument.


Eddy Merckx | 1969 Tour de France, Stage 17

Eddy Merckx had all but won the 1969 Tour de France by stage 17, but the Cannibal wasn’t finished. On a day that included the climbs of the Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet, and the Aubisque, he launched a 130-km solo attack on the descent of the Tourmalet. By the time he got to the finish, he was seven minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

Fausto Coppi | 1949 Giro d’Italia, Stage 17

In 1949, Fausto Coppi rode 192km alone through the Alps to secure the maglia rosa and his third Giro victory.

“Un uomo solo è al comando, la sua maglia è bianco-celeste, il suo nome è Fausto Coppi!” 

There’s a man alone ahead. His jersey is white and blue. His name is Fausto Coppi!