Chris Froome is back at the Tour de France this July for the first time since 2018, as he attempts to refind his former level two years after the crash that almost ended his career. The most successful grand tour rider of his generation is featured on the cover of Procycling magazine's August 2021 issue, talking about his recovery and newfound perspective on the sport.
The injuries Froome suffered in his crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June 2019 were so severe the seven-times grand tour winner Froome has been a different rider since returning to the peloton last year, frequently finishing in the grupetto. However, despite the odds increasingly stacking against him, the 36-year-old remains motivated that he can still return to his former level in the future with the aim of once again winning a grand tour.
“It was just a line drawn straight from where I was previously in my life, and my career I guess, so it was a huge adaption,” Froome told Procycling. “But there are so many positives I can take away from it. I genuinely feel as if I’ve been given a second chance now, I’ve been given a second chance to come back to the highest level of professional cycling."
A rider who has been enjoying contrasting fortunes this season is Demi Vollering, who won Liège-Bastogne-Liège - her first major one-day race victory - and more recently La Course. The Dutchwoman has been one of the stand-out riders in the peloton this year and now at SD Worx is regularly considered a successor to compatriot Anna van der Breggen, who is due to retire at the end of the season.
“I don't really think about being compared to Anna,” Vollering told Adam Becket. “Of course, it's a big compliment that people see me a bit like her. If I can achieve everything she has achieved in her career then I would be really happy about that.”
With just four male riders from the USA starting the Tour de France this year, and many North American road races folding over the last few seasons, the road racing scene in the USA is enduring a difficult time. In fact, road racing has always struggled to break America, even as the country has dominated the sport. In the latest of our State of the Nation series, Joe Lindsey looks at the relationship between racing and a country that could love it, but doesn’t.
The popularity of cycling in South America, meanwhile, will have continued to grow this year after Egan Bernal’s victory at the Giro d’Italia in May. Since taking the yellow jersey in the 2019 Tour, Bernal has been beset by injury and doubt. But his comeback win in the Giro put him back at the top of the sport. Barry Ryan was there to chronicle his victory, in which supreme climbing strength was underpinned by a formidable team.
Luxembourg might not be a country with as big of a presence in the peloton as Colombia, but the nation has a significant past with cycling thanks to Elsy Jacobs, the first-ever winner of the World Championships women’s road race. The nation’s flagship event, Festival Elsy Jacobs is a club-run, international-level stage race with a community feel and a big history. Owen Rogers was there this spring to find out more.
The Tokyo Olympics are looming on the horizon and success by the Great British team is almost expected these days. But it wasn’t always that way. Nige Tassel rewinds back to 1996, and Team GB’s performance at the Atlanta Games, which saw two bronze medals on the road and set the trajectory for success.
Elsewhere, Richard Abraham looks at the factors that ensure Deceuninck-Quick Step remain the most successful team in cycling, in terms of wins, every year since 2013, while Liv Cycling’s Alison Jackson tells Sophie Hurcom about growing up on a bison ranch in Alberta, Canada, and her journey through cycling. And Astana Premier-Tech’’s Hugo Houle speaks to Nick Busca about the biggest challenges of his cycling career, and how they've not been those faced on the bike.
In this month’s Retro feature, William Fotheringham looks at the careers of Marc Madiot, Vincent Lavenu and Jean-René Bernaudeau managers of the three most prominent French teams. It just so happened the ‘Three Musketeers’ also raced at the same time in the 1980s. And don’t forget to keep up with Procycling’s diarists Kevin Réza, Brodie Chapman and Charlie Quarterman, as well as Dan Martin and our columnist Laurens ten Dam.
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