Cycle Sport November is available in newsagents from today, Wednesday September 29, and it’s full of the best writing and photography of professional cycling available, all for £4.25.
We’ve got an exclusive interview and photo shoot with outgoing world champion Cadel Evans from his home in Switzerland.
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We found Evans in reflective mood after his year in the rainbow stripes. He had one of the best years of his career, taking spectacular wins in Flèche Wallonne, and the strade bianche stage of the Giro d’Italia, and riding well from January onwards. But illness just took the edge off his overall challenge at the Giro, while a crash lost him the Tour, after he’d worn the yellow jersey into the Alps.
Evans tells us about training on the hill on which he won the Worlds, gives an honest appraisal of his BMC team’s performance, and gives the inside story of his two Grand Tour challenges.
“When I won the worlds, my objective was to honour the jersey,” Evans told us. “I managed to do that.”
Also in the magazine…
Following his tragically early death last month, our writer Lionel Birnie presents an appreciation of Laurent Fignon. Fignon was a one-off, a unique talent and individual whose colourful and quirky features were an integral part of the 1980s cycling landscape. Few Grand Tour winners since have attacked with so much verve, and he was the last of the Tour champions to try and win Paris-Roubaix.
Birnie writes: “This is the study of an icon, someone who was as French as the Eiffel Tower, but was not guaranteed a place in the affections of his compatriots. He was a man who encapsulated the alien quality of a deeply European sport for an English-speaking world that was just discovering its charm and beauty in the early 1980s.”
Our 32-page picture supplement, Images of Cycling, includes 14 pages of rarely-seen photos of Fignon from the Cycling Weekly archive. These candid portraits and exciting racing shots best sum up one of the true stars of the sport.
We’ve also gone Behind the Scenes at the Vuelta with a 14-page picture special of Spain’s Grand Tour. You’ve seen the racing images and television pictures – we’ve gone into the team buses, hung around with the riders before and after the stages, and got in among the fans for a unique angle of one of the best races of the year.
We’ve got an interview with Garmin’s leadout man, Julian Dean. The quietly-spoken New Zealander tells us about the constantly-changing tactics and skills of taking Tyler Farrar into a winning position. But he’s also had some good results himself this year. When Farrar withdrew, injured, from the Tour, Dean stepped up and got two second places. Dean also has some hilarious anecdotes – in the last two seasons alone, he’s been shot by a BB gun during a race, been on the receiving end of Mark Renshaw’s headbutts at the Tour, and been rugby tackled by a gendarme.
Saxo Bank’s Richie Porte stunned us all when he finished seventh in the Giro d’Italia. He infiltrated the big break in the rain to L’Aquila, took the pink jersey, then rode out of his skin to stay in the top 10. Rumoured to be changing teams for 2011, Porte tells us about starting out in cycling, fighting culture shock, and surviving as a young pro.
We look at one of the most intriguing teams of 2011 – the partnership between Garmin and Cervélo. We’ve spoken to both teams’ managers about how the partnership happened, why Cervélo didn’t continue as an independent sponsor, and looked at the team line-up for 2011. If anybody’s going to beat Cancellara at Paris-Roubaix next year, it’s one of these guys.
Xavier Tondo was one of the revelations of the Vuelta, finishing sixth overall, and even looking like a potential winner going into the last week. We’ve interviewed Tondo about his career, and unearthed one of the most fascinating stories in cycling. Tondo’s been scrabbling around for years in minor teams in Spain and Portugal, picking up results here and there before he finally hit the big time with Cervélo. He tells us about his painstaking ascent to the top level.
We sent Alasdair Fotheringham to the Tour of Poland to see what he would make of it. As a sporting contest, the Tour of Poland isn’t the most exciting race in the ProTour, but as a cultural experience, it takes some beating. This is the only race to winch a grand piano into the finishing area every day, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin’s birth. It’s the only race whose post-race party takes place down a salt mine. And it’s the only race where the peloton will make a visit to Auschwitz.
Iconic Places visits the Passo di Gavia, Italy’s most famous climb. Renowned for being one of the hardest climbs in any Grand Tour, and made legendary by the snowstorm that hit the 1988 race, we look at the Gavia’s place in Giro history, and tell the story of some of the riders who have climbed its slopes.
Pro Performance asks the question, how hard is a Grand Tour? Ruddy hard, is the conclusion we draw, by looking at the powermeter readouts of Chris Anker Sorensen.
Plus…all our regular features – Graham Watson picks his best pictures from this year’s spectacular Tour of Spain; Shop Window; Team Issue has a look at Nicolas Roche’s Kuota KOM bike; Post-Race Banter analyses the Vuelta; Broomwagon; Toto; Allan Davis: Best Sprinter In The World (who hasn’t won a race yet this year) Q&A with former Paris-Roubaix winner Servais Knaven; Clash of the Month; Most loyal riders in the ProTour; Tour of Britain, Top 10 races that aren’t on the ProTour calendar and much, much more.
That’s nine major in-depth features, plus 32 pages of superb photography, and all the extras, for £4.25.
Cycle Sport November is on sale in the UK from Wednesday September 29, and will be available later in the US.