When the reigning Tour champion fails a drugs test, keeping a low profile is impossible. But while Alberto Contador’s fate was awaiting a decision, he kept media interviews to a minimum. Following the repeal of his provisional suspension, Procycling caught up with him in Spain. He talks frankly about life since his positive test for clenbuterol at last year’s Tour and how support from fans pulled him back from the brink of quitting the sport.
Like Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov divides opinion too. Exciting road racer, unrepentant ex-blood doper or both? Either way, his is a fascinating story shaped as much by his own strong will as the tumultuous era in which he has competed. We explore the various stages of Vinokourov’s career.
Garmin-Cervélo’s Christian Vande Velde is far less controversial but no less engaging because of it. An eloquent, humorous and open interviewee, we get to know the man whose fourth place at the Tour in 2008 vindicated years’ of struggle and cemented his place as one of the most respected members in the peloton.
Regular Procycling contributor Richard Moore has written a book about the fascinating dual between Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond at the 1986 Tour. We’ve got an extract from the book and we also ask if it was the best Tour ever – some of our other contributors beg to disagree.
It’s available in newsagents from today.
Enjoy the issue!
When Multipower visited to show us the nutrition range that keeps Liquigas-Cannondale going, operations editor Jamie Wilkins helped himself to the energy bars, gels and juice on offer and went for a ride with the brand’s ambassador, triathlete Will Clarke. Here’s how they got on
James Moss, riding for Endura Racing is back from a tough Tour de Bretagne, bloodied but unbowed. After the team lost the jersey on Stage 3 and a disastrous stage 4 in which four of the team took a tumble, René Mandri was still in with a chance of winning the overall. Here’s how the action unfolded in the final stages.
Sprinters are not known for their cosy relationships and the latest contretemps to emerge is between André Greipel and Kenny Van Hummel, after the latter was accused of hitching a ride on the hills in previous stages of the Presidential Tour of Turkey.
Procycling is currently following the Presidential Tour of Turkey, which made a symbolic crossing of the Bosphorus Bridge on stage 1, linking Europe with Asia.
James Moss, a rider for Endura Racing is racing the Tour de Bretagne at the moment. He gives us his view from inside the peloton.
This month, our operations editor Jamie Wilkins has been putting the new Schwalbe Ultremo tubular tyres through their paces – and through some potholes by the looks of things. Here’s what he thought.
One of the best jobs at Procycling is producing the Route Guide – the feature in which we preview an upcoming race by riding a section of the race with a current or retired pro. What could possibly be better than travelling to Europe, unpacking the bike and hitting the road to shoot the breeze with someone from the sport’s highest level? Not much, actually.
It’s not all a lark, though. It’s a pain to organise. A journalist, a photographer, and a rider all have to align perfectly to meet in some corner of Europe with all the gear needed to complete the mission. And don’t get me started on lugging a bike through London to catch a plane. I’ve just been in Luxembourg and had to empty my carry-on baggage (full of sweaty cycling gear) in front of a queue of irritated travellers. Their pursed lips said it all.
Sometimes, no, almost all the time bikes are for travelling, not racing. In the early part of the 20th Century, bicycles allowed people to go further and get there faster than ever. They played a role in the emancipation of women and allowed men to travel further for work. In short, they were literally and figuratively a tool for social mobility.
By Jamie Wilkins
In a bid to go up hills more rapidly and make the rest of the team look silly, our operations editor, Jamie, has been trying out a slimming potion called iShot this month. Here’s how he got on.