Tao Geoghegan Hart was the winner not many people saw coming at the Giro d’Italia last year, who took the pink jersey after the final day time trial in Milan for his first grand tour victory. Procycling magazine's February 2021 issue features an exclusive interview with the Briton, and also comes with a 66-page booklet that previews everything you need to know about the 2021 season.
Geoghegan Hart has long been touted as a future Grand Tour winner, and he confirmed in February that he will be following his Giro win by making his Tour de France debut this July. But along with his own race ambitions, the 25-year-old Londoner has other plans on the horizon, about how to help get more young people into cycling in the UK.
“It's a very difficult sport to access, it’s definitely not available to everyone and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and still developing how I’m going to work out the way I’m going to try and be a protagonist in that, and lower those barriers to entry, if you want to put it really economically and unromantically,” Geoghegan Hart tells Procycling.
“Without wanting to put too much on the table I would love to see a big event back in London. A real event that resonates with the public and young people especially. That’s something I’m working on at the moment.”
Another young rider who had a stellar 2020 was Lorena Wiebes. In just three seasons, the Dutch sprinter has emerged as one of the fastest riders in the peloton. Last year Wiebes, who doesn’t turn 22 until March, transferred to Team Sunweb (now Team DSM), where she’s adapting to a new lead-out train.
Thomas Olsthoorn spoke with Wiebes: “At Sunweb they want to make me into the best sprinter I can be. What does that mean in my eyes? Being unbeatable in a sprint. If it will work, we will have to wait and see.”
As an under 23 rider, Geoghegan Hart raced for Axel Merckx’s Axeon Hagens Berman team, and another of the squad’s alumni, João Almeida, also enjoyed a breakthrough at the Giro last autumn. The Portugese spent 15 days in the pink jersey, before finishing fourth overall.
“It was special to be in the pink jersey, I grew up a lot mentally in this Giro, and I think it was really positive for the future,” he tells Adam Becket. “I learned that a grand tour is frigging hard, it's all about your mind.”
While the final week of the 2020 Giro d’Italia was dramatic and exciting, won by Geoghegan Hart on the final day, it underscored the painful truth about Italian cycling in general. As Vincenzo Nibali prepares to leave the stage, Herbie Sykes asks what – or who – next for Italy, in the second of our special series diving into the state of cycling nations.
Still, one of the jewels in the Italian racing crown remains Strade Bianche, among the newest one-day races on the calendar that in it’s 14-year history has quickly become one of the most important races in the world. Adam Becket how evoking the spirit of the past has helped ensure the race’s future.
Elsewhere, Rebecca Reza profiles the evolution of Movistar’s women’s team, who secured a major coup last year in securing the signature of Annemiek van Vleuten for 2021. Sophie Hurcom interviews Cherie Pridham, who made history as the first woman to become a full-time directeur sportif at a mens’ WorldTour team with Israel Start-Up Nation, about her experience as a pro rider and time as manager of the Raleigh team.
James Witts looks into why so many young riders are winning major races to see if the youthful revolution in cycling is more than just a coincidence, and this month’s Retro looks back at the Dutch Team PDM.
The February issue also features all our regulars, plus introduces our new diarists for 2020; Kévin Reza, Brodie Chapman and Charlie Quarterman, while Dan Martin and our columnist Laurens ten Dam return.
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