Procycling April 2021 issue out now

Procycling April 2021
(Image credit: Future)

Heading into her 16th season in the professional peloton, Marianne Vos transferred teams for the first time in 2021, switching to the new Jumbo-Visma women’s squad having spent the entirety of her career within the same structure. In an exclusive interview with Procycling magazine, the Dutchwoman discussed her glittering career, in which she has won almost every race going, and explains why she’s still as motivated as ever.

Despite the pandemic affecting last year’s racing, Vos had a very successful 2020, winning three Giro Rosa stages, to take her total at the race to a staggering 28. The cover of our April 2021 issue reflects how Vos is cycling’s most prolific winner. With the Olympic Games and World Championships in Belgium on the horizon this year, Vos explains why she’s so motivated to keep on going, and how she’s managed to stay at the top of the sport for so long.

“I just love riding my bike,” Vos told Sophie Hurcom. “I think the biggest motivation is just trying to get the best out of myself. To try and every day stand up and think, what do I do today to get better? 

"Of course, you do two steps forwards and sometimes one step back, but in general, it’s really nice to think about how I can improve and now, in this new team, I’m excited to race with those new team-mates." 

Another star of the women’s peloton, Tayler Wiles, talks to Edward Pickering about needing to be constantly on the go, her upbringing in Utah, and her relatively late start in cycling. The American also discussed what makes her good in her role at Trek-Segafredo.

“I’m really good at suffering,” Wiles said. “No matter how I feel, even if I have really sh*tty legs, I can pretty much do everything possible to do my job for the team. I think I have a good head that way. Physically I’m an all-rounder, and it depends on the day. I’m a good stage racer and I really like long stage races, so it’s a shame that on the women’s side we don’t have so many of them. I can do just about anything besides sprint.”

April 2021 was supposed to contain the first ever women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix, but with a worsening covid situation in northern France, the race could be at risk of cancellation for the second year. However, the Procycling team took a look at why the Hell of the North is so loved by riders and fans, with interviews with protagonists from races past and present.

Among the luminaries interviewed were two former winners in Niki Terpstra (2017) and Jean Forestier (1955), as well as riders who have animated the race, such as Roger Hammond and Evaldas Šiškevičius. There is also insight from photographer Graham Watson, and author and Roubaix native Pascal Sergent.

Hammond said: “I absolutely loved the race. You don't do Roubaix because you're paid to, you do Roubaix because you love it. Otherwise nobody would go there.”

It is the turn of Great Britain for our State of the Nation series, as Richard Moore takes a look at the road cycling scene in Procycling’s own home country. As the most dominant grand tour nation of the last decade, he explores the current condition of British cycling, taking into account the difference in culture from mainland Europe and the impact of Brexit.

Also in the magazine, Emil Foget inspects the art of descending, which has become more and more central to the modern sport. Among the contributors to the piece are a psychologist and a descending coach, as well as some of the professional experts, such as Vincenzo Nibali and Matej Mohorič.

One rider who is seemingly skilled at every part of cycling is Max Schachmann, one of the new generation of German riders bursting through in recent years. The two-time Paris-Nice winner spoke to Barry Ryan: “I also like to entertain the spectators, all the people at home watching it, because in my opinion, this sport is better if someone tries something instead of just being there and waiting for the final 100 metres.”

Elsewhere, we have an interview with Michael Mørkøv, the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider widely considered one of the best lead-out men in the peloton. While on the road the Dane may sacrifice himself for his team-mates, he is also one of the world's best on the track, and is one of the favorites to take gold in the Madison at this year's Olympic Games. After more than 10 years in the sport, he told Chris Marshall Bell his experience counts for a lot.

“I focus on myself and my own development because it’s not easy, definitely not. But sometimes when I look back at a sprint, I think how easy it actually was, in terms of getting the right position, the sprinter delivered. But I can only credit that to experience and all of the years I have already done, as well as basing what I do on instinct.” 

Dion Smith, a rider who took the long way round to make it to the WorldTour, spending time with One Pro Cycling and Wanty-Groupe Gobert on his way to BikeExchange. He told Edward Pickering: “At ProConti level, some guys are trying to make it to the WorldTour, so there’s a bit of selfishness. And sometimes there wasn’t too much direction. I was more than happy to work with people, but not all the guys were happy to work for me, so it could be a bit cut-throat. Not that anyone was nasty, but you had to do what you had to do.”

James Witts takes a look at how female professionals train, and how this is different from their male counterparts. In this month’s Retro feature, William Fotheringham looks back at the Tour Féminin and Maria Canins' back-to-back wins in 1985 and 1986.

The April issue also features all our regulars, including diarists Kevin Reza, Brodie Chapman and Charlie Quarterman, as well as Dan Martin and our columnist Laurens ten Dam. 

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Adam Becket is the staff writer for Procycling magazine. Prior to covering the sport of cycling, he wrote about ecclesiastical matters for the Church Times and politics for Business Insider. He has degrees in history and journalism. A keen cyclist himself, Adam’s favourite race is the Tour of Flanders or Strade Bianche, and he can't wait to go to the Piazza del Campo for the end of the race one day.