The Tour de France has only just started its second week, but already Fernando Gaviria has had one of the races of his life. The Colombian sprinting sensation, still only 23 years old and making his debut in the world's biggest race, won the opening stage to take the first yellow jersey of this year's Tour, spending a day in the maillot jaune before winning his second stage three days later.
Procycling sat down with the rider who has long been hailed as sprinting's next superstar, and found that behind all his victories – 34 before the Tour began – Gaviria is a complex and enigmatic character. As well as discussing his competitive streak and acclimatising to being a Colombian rider far from home on a Belgian team, Gaviria also told Patrick Fletcher about coping with fame in a wide-ranging interview.
"At the start, no one wanted an interview with me, no one wanted a photograph with me, because no one knew me. Now I have to take much more time out – time when I could be resting – to share out between journalists or fans," Gaviria says. "It's all time that I'm losing, but at the same time I understand that I'm winning because they're the people who allow us to grow as sportspeople."
From one sprinter to another, Sam Bennett enjoyed his Grand Tour breakthrough at the Giro d'Italia this May, just as Gaviria did the year before. Bora-Hansgrohe's Irishman has long been a prolific winner, but has been hunting for the really big victories that would elevate his career to the next level. After repeatedly coming so close but falling short at last year's Giro, he finally got the monkey off his back on stage 7, sprinting to the win ahead of Elia Viviani, and would go on to end the race with three stage wins, including the final day in Rome. He tells Sam Dansie how he changed his fortunes.
With the Tour de France in full swing, all of the riders on the start line will have hoped they got their training right, and have peaked their form perfectly for one of the biggest races of the year. But just how does a rider time their form so they hit their best at the exact right moment? Sam Dansie finds out how riders get the balance right when managing their condition.
Geraint Thomas is one of those riders currently racing at the Tour. But before he arrived in the Vendée, Team Sky's Tour 'plan B' to Chris Froome's 'plan A' secured the biggest stage-race victory of his career to date at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Daniel Friebe was there to witness Sky's heir-in-waiting win, and to assess the significance of the result and what we can learn from the race itself.
How do you win a bike race? That's the question riders and team managers ask themselves on a daily basis. Pedalling fast will only get you so far. Peter Cossins speaks to some of the best tacticians in the sport, who masterminded victories in sprints, up mountains, in crosswinds and in time trials, to find out how they did it.
Currently supporting Vincenzo Nibali at the Tour, Heinrich Haussler is back racing at the top after emerging from one of the most challenging years of his career. The Australian suffered from a debilitating knee injury in 2017, which almost put an end to his career and pushed him to some of his lowest points mentally. Fresh out the other side, and with a renewed energy for racing and a fresh outlook on the future, he tells Sophie Hurcom why he wants to make the most of every moment on the bike.
Lotta Lepistö won her seventh Finnish national road race title in June, as well as a stage at the Women's Tour. But, despite her natural talent, winning didn't come easily for the now 29-year-old sprinter earlier in her career, and, in her first years with Cervélo-Bigla, Lepistö struggled to find her form. Edward Pickering speaks to Lepistö and those closest to her at the Danish team.
In this month's Retro feature, William Fotheringham turns the clock back to the 1992 edition of the Tour de France. Won by Miguel Indurain for the second time, the race is also remembered as the 'Euro Tour' having taken place just months after the Maastricht Treaty was signed to form the European Union.
Plus, all the regular features and analysis from the last month of racing, the latest products in cycling and an update from our diarists: Dan Martin, Dylan Teuns, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Steve Cummings.
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