The latest issue of Procycling is out now, featuring an exclusive interview with Vincenzo Nibali ahead of his Giro d’Italia title challenge. He reflects on a difficult 2015 in which his Tour de France defence fizzled out quickly and he was ejected from the Vuelta a España for taking a tow from a team car. Plus, there was the damage to his reputation caused by the spate of doping cases that hit his Astana team in the second half of 2014. He tells the magazine he felt “massacred” by the media all last season. No wonder he “felt a need to get back” to his national tour.
Could the Giro, arguably the world’s most beautiful race, move to July and go head to head with the Tour? That’s the scenario many heavyweights in the sport believe could happen if the on-going standoff between the Velon faction and the UCI on one side and Tour organiser, ASO, on the other isn’t resolved. Procycling looks just how likely that is and also previews the race in detail. The magazine assesses both the parcours and how favourites such as Nibali, Sky’s Mikel Landa and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) are shaping up for the first Grand Tour of the year.
Staying with the Giro theme, Procycling interviewed the 2012 winner, Trek-Segafredo’s Ryder Hesjedal about pulling off the biggest result of his life and looks back at Roberto Visentini’s 1986 win. Visentini was talented, impetuous and a perennial Giro favourite and it took him nine attempts to finally win the maglia rosa.
Procycling also spoke to Rabo-Liv’s Marianne Vos to find out the real reason behind her difficult 2015 season and found that sometimes mind over matter – usually a great champion’s greatest ability – sometimes lead to a total physical collapse. “I felt that all the success proved me right. Call it stubbornness but I knew what I was doing,” she said, but was then forced to abandon her season and rebuild from scratch.
Elsewhere, there’s a photo essay from the sun-kissed Critérium International on Corsica and reportage from Gent-Wevelgem, where Antoine Demoitié was tragically killed after he was hit by a motorbike. While the coming months should see an investigation into in-race traffic to prevent future tragedy, at the time, all his team wanted to do was mourn their friend.
Plus in Procycling’s new Debrief section, the team take a data-driven look at results from the Belgian cobbled Classics, starting with an analysis of the sensational Tour of Flanders, won by Peter Sagan – his first major Classic.
The magazine’s diarists – Dan Martin, Joe Dombrowski, Hannah Barnes, Matteo Tosatto and Matt White – take us to the heart of the peloton with their stories and experience from the past month and there’s a priceless anecdote from White about a mid-stage café stop and a box of Magnum ice creams at the 1998 Giro.
The latest issue is available in newsagents and as a digital version right now.