As Vincenzo Nibali claimed Tour de France victory in 2014 there was the conspicuous absence of Chris Froome and rival Alberto Contador from the overall standings.
Both had crashed out of the race – Froome at stage five, Contador at stage ten – but the pair will reignite their rivalry during the 2015 Tour.
It is one that Froome, an Olympic time trial bronze medallist at London 2012, says keeps him motivated and driven to go the extra mile.
And as he seeks to win his second Tour de France title the 29-year-old admits the challenge to defeat the Spaniard will be one of the toughest of his career.
"When I'm out training, I'm thinking, 'I wonder what he's up to today, I wonder how hard he's training'," said Froome.
"Alberto can smell weakness. He can smell it when you're having a bad day.
"Alberto and I have both got mutual respect for each other as rivals, we don't glower at each other or try to put each other off the road or anything.
"And even from a sportsmanship point of view, if one of us punctures, or has a mechanical problem at the wrong moment you're not going to be racing off the road to benefit from that.
"I respect that side of Alberto. He is an extremely tough rival for me. If anyone knows how to win the Tour de France, it's him."
© Sportsbeat 2015