Issue 105 - Mountains
Our mountains-obsessed edition: Rouleur’s favourite climbs; the mighty Angliru; mysterious tunnels and magnificent structures; Skiing, cycling and cross-training; Tackling the wonderful Passo Dello Spluga; Colombian star Sergio Higuita; Alison Tetrick goes gravelling at Unbound; Plus columnists Orla Chennaoui, Ned Boulting and Trek-Segafredo’s Toms Skujiņš.
We celebrate the majesty of mountains in this altitude-focussed edition. Big or small, steep or gentle, our love-hate relationship with conquering challenging peaks and scaling the seemingly insurmountable is never-ending. Climbs make the heart beat faster, literally and figuratively.
The mighty Angliru, a beast of an ascent that has become an iconic climb in the Vuelta a España, is one the steepest in pro bike racing. Photographer Francis Tsang became intrigued by its savage ramps and the racers who attempt to conquer them. He captured their contorted faces of exhaustion 20 years apart, documenting two decades of change in the sport. A remarkable project.
Tunnels, those wondrous feats of engineering that permit access to otherwise unreachable heights. Who built them? And why? Most importantly, what goes on in the dark? Richard Abraham goes on a fantastic voyage into the mountainside.
Skiing and cycling may not be the most obvious bedfellows, yet an increasing number of racers get their winter fitness kicks on the slopes. And we barely even mention Primož Roglič… Our Rouleur Italia editor Emilio Previtali is an accomplished skier too, so riding up the dramatic Passo Dello Spluga, then donning a pair of skis at the top, might just be a whole new branch of biathlon invented by our man in the Italian Alps.
Rouleur contributors weigh in with their favourite climbs, and they are far from obvious. Our Peaky Blinders range from a pimple in south London to a 4,300-metre monster in Hawaii. It’s the memories that resonate.
Elsewhere, we have young Colombian climbing sensation Sergio Higuita on his journey from gang-lord ruled hometown to the WorldTour, expertly profiled by south American cycling aficionado Matt Rendell – Valentino Campagnolo on 88 years of innovating and improving the legendary brand – Collage artist Miguel Soro on his art and life as a cyclist before picking up a brush – Alison Tetrick takes us through her Specialized gravel rig and what it takes to rock the 200 miles of Unbound in Kansas – Desire features Nopinz, Assos, Fara and Specialized.
And our talented columnist line-up this issue stars Orla Chennaoui, Ned Boulting and Trek-Segafredo’s lovely Latvian Toms Skujiņš.
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Extremely well written, and throroughly engaging. Definitel worth the read!