The March 2018 edition of Procycling is now available to buy in UK shops. The issue features Michał Kwiatkowski, one of the strongest riders of 2017 and already one of the most successful riders of 2018 on the cover and we travelled to his native Poland for an in-depth interview with the 27-year-old Sky rider.
Last year, Kwiatkowski won Strade Bianche and his debut monument at Milan-San Remo, and as the cobbled Classics get underway and the first monument of 2018 rapidly approaches, the Team Sky rider goes into this season's spring campaign brimming with confidence. After becoming world champion in 2014 aged 24, Kwiatkowski is arguably now in the form of his life. Fresh from a win in Volta ao Algarve earlier in February, the Pole heads into the spring season aiming to go even better than he did last year. "I want to win more Classics. I want to win Liège, I want Flèche, Amstel. I want all of them," he told Sam Dansie.
While in Poland, Kwiatkowski also took Procycling to visit the academy he set up to help young cyclists in the area try to fulfil their dream of becoming professional riders. The school is where Kwiatkowski himself got his start in the sport, and this month's Counterpoint feature looks into how the then young, ambitious rider's journey to the top unfolded.
As February comes to a close, Rohan Dennis already has two time trial wins under his belt this season, at the National Championships and Abu Dhabi Tour. The BMC rider started life on the track and as a former Hour record holder and specialist against the clock, he knows how to manage his power and has a big engine to match. However, Dennis tells Ellis Bacon about his bigger ambitions and how he's transforming himself into a general classification rider. While the 27-year-old has proven pedigree in challenging for the overall in week-long races, he explains there's still work to do for him to go further and target Grand Tours.
Few riders are more Belgian through-and-through than Flemish duo Iljo Keisse and Yves Lampaert. The pair have established themselves as fixtures of the Quick-Step Floors team's highly competitive Classics line-up, and both live and train in Flanders on the roads that define the spring cobbled races. As the Flanders races are soon to be underway, Sophie Hurcom sat down with Keisse and Lampaert at the Quick Step training camp to talk about life in Belgium, excelling in the Classics and riding in rival training groups.
Although much is known about the physical and technological gains a rider can make to improve their performance, little is discussed regarding the impact psychological wellbeing can have. As Richard Abraham finds out in his feature exploring the subject, many teams and riders are looking to psychologists to improve mental health and help riders better perform on the bike. A number of riders and team managers, past and present, share their experiences of dealing with stress and anxiety, how confidence and motivation affects how they perform.
2018 is the ninth season of Adam Blythe's professional career, during which time the 28-year-old Yorkshireman has ridden for some of the biggest teams in the peloton. Now with Irish Pro Continental squad Aqua Blue Sport, Blythe started his career at Omega-Pharma Lotto in 2010, during which time he benefitted from a friendship with Philippe Gilbert. He moved to BMC and endured the highs and lows that came with a relocation to Monaco, before enjoying stints at Tinkoff working alongside Peter Sagan and Orica-GreenEdge. Procycling visits Blythe near his home in Northern England, ahead of his season debut in the Middle East, to hear stories from the teams of his career so far.
The foundation of the women's peloton may be getting stronger, but much remains to be done in terms of investment in the sport to ensure it keeps growing year after year. Canyon-SRAM's Tiffany Cromwell is one of the most vocal riders on the subject, and as well as discussing her personal goals for this year, the Australian shares her thoughts on what more needs to be done to improve women's racing coverage.
Also in the magazine are our regular features: a Q&A with LottoNL-Jumbo's Danny van Poppel, Dimension Data's Nicholas Dlamini on his breakout ride at the Tour Down Under which saw him win the King of the Mountains jersey at on his debut in the WorldTour, while sports lawyer Dr Gregory Ioannidis discusses why Chris Froome's adverse analytical finding for salbutamol shows the current anti-doping process isn't up to scratch. Ahead of this year's Paris-Nice, we turn the clock back to 1989 and 1990 editions of the Race to the Sun to relive Stephen Roche and Miguel Indurain's closely-fought battles. We indulge in some of the latest, best-looking and highest performing bike tech around in Wish List, before taking a closer look at Aqua Blue Sport's radical single-ring 3T Strada bike.
In their first diary entries of 2018, Steve Cummings, Cecile Uttrup Ludwig and Dylan Teuns tell us all about how their preparations for the new season have gone and how it feels to be back racing again, and our regular contributors Dan Martin and Jens Voigt share their thoughts from the past month.
Plus, all the data, insightful analysis and stunning photography from the best photographers in cycling.
Procycling March 2018 is priced at £5.50 and is available in UK newsagents now. To subscribe, and get your copy before it hits the shops, click here.