Cycle Sport August is now in UK shops, featuring incredible photography, the best writing and the most original coverage of professional cycling. This month’s magazine features an in-depth, behind-the-scenes account of Bradley Wiggins’ victory at the Dauphiné, and a look at the greatest ever moments in Tour de France history.
Words by Cycle Sport staff
Wednesday July 6, 2011
What’s it really like for a bike team who are competing for the win in a high-profile stage race? We found out at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where Lionel Birnie was embedded with Team Sky for the entire week.
Bradley Wiggins became only the third Brit in the history of the Dauphiné to win the event. The television coverage and results sheets told the basic story from the outside, but Cycle Sport brings you the story from the team bus. Birnie has produced a fly-on-the-wall reportage of the week, showing what the team were doing, what the support staff were saying and what happened once the television cameras were turned off.
Birnie reports the conversations and interactions between the eight riders and 16 team staff, and observes their behaviour and actions. We tell the story of Sean Yates’ 5:30am bike rides, the minor breakdown in communication that left Wiggins without a carer after the Grenoble time trial, how the team dictated who would be in the break of the day and how much time they would be allowed to gain, but most of all we paint a colourful picture of how a team functions and interacts. This is a unique piece of writing.
Also in the magazine…
We presume you are enjoying the 2011 Tour de France as much as we are – there have already been some exciting moments. But how many of them compare with those contained in our special feature on the greatest moments of the Tour de France?
The Tour is 108 years old this year, and every year throws up exciting stories and we’ve scoured the history books for the best ones. We could have included a thousand, but forced ourselves to pick our favourites without deciding beforehand how many there would be. There happen to be 126, which we’ve organised chronologically, so that there is no ranking or countdown.
We included some of the famous ones, like Anquetil and Poulidor’s battle on the Puy de Dôme, but we also dug out some more obscure stories, such as that of the first mountain time trial of the Tour, a 64-kilometre event which crossed the Col de l’Iseran. By the end of July, how many new moments will have been added to the ones on our list?
We’ve interviewed Thomas Voeckler, the two-time Tour stage winner and former yellow jersey, about his tactics and racing style. Voeckler is neither a sprinter nor a climber, yet has managed to win an incredible eight races in 2011. He does so in the style of the classic baroudeur, but he reveals there’s more to his decision-making process than putting his head down and attacking. He explains his methods, tactics and how he attacks the peloton by using little more energy than they are, yet can still escape successfully. Voeckler has yet to win a stage of the 2011 Tour, but it would be an incredible achievement if a rider of his skill set could win stages in three consecutive Tours. He was caught less than two kilometres from the stage finish in Cap Fréhel – how many more times will we see the Frenchman off the front of the bunch in this year’s Tour?
One of the most outspoken and intelligent riders in the bunch, and one of its best-kept secrets, is BMC’s hilly classics specialist Karsten Kroon. Dutch journalists know him as one of their best sources of gossip and opinion, and he shared some of his insights with Gregor Brown. Kroon tells us about his views on “Ocean’s 11” (the threatened breakaway faction of teams), doping and his own career. Unfortunately for Kroon, injury has derailed his 2011 – he broke his collarbone in spring, and didn’t make the BMC Tour selection.
Jakob Fuglsang is going to be Frank and Andy Schleck’s right-hand man at the Tour de France. The Dane is one of the most talented climbers in the peloton, and many see him as a possible future winner of the Tour himself. Ellis Bacon interviewed him about his role at Leopard-Trek, and found a modest, laid-back rider who will nevertheless be putting the Schlecks’ rivals in difficulty over the next few weeks.
Blogger Matt Walsh spent a week at his local race, the Tour of California, looking at the race from the point of view of one of the smaller teams, UnitedHealthcare. The American team were the underdogs at the event, but they weren’t overawed by their WorldTour-level rivals, and their rider Rory Sutherland managed to finish with Andy Schleck and Levi Leipheimer on the steep climb of Sierra Road. We tell the story of his struggle to maintain his place in the GC and how the team punched above its weight to keep him there.
Walsh also sent an eyewitness account of one of cycling’s newest summit finishes, the terrifying Mount Baldy, where stage seven concluded. The atmosphere on the steep climb was as lively as any European mountain stage, and the stage saw a tussle between the young and old American riders, which was won by the elder statesmen. Levi Leipheimer won the stage, while Chris Horner cemented his place in the yellow jersey.
Iconic Places visits the Alpine climb of La Plagne, scene of one of cycling’s greatest ever comebacks, when Stephen Roche almost caught Pedro Delgado on the line after falling a minute behind on the climb, thus saving the Tour de France, in 1987. We look at the history of the climb, its unique challenges and its atmosphere.
Plus…All our regular features – Shop Window, with the latest blinging bike kit; a look at all 22 team jerseys in the 2011 Tour; Graham Watson looks at the Dauphiné and Tour of Switzerland from a photographer’s point of view; Broomwagon; a Q&A with Tour yellow jersey Thor Hushovd; Top 10 Grand Départs; Marianne Vos and lots more.
Cycle Sport August is on sale now in the UK and it’s available at the outrageously reasonable price of £4.25. The magazine will appear approximately 10 days later in the USA.
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