Issue 111 - Youth
The Kids Are All Right – As a new generation of talented young men and women sweep through the peloton, ripping up the rule book and brushing the old guard aside, we dedicate this issue to the brilliance of youth. Hungry for success, utterly determined, loving their bikes and loving their racing, the likes of Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel, Tadej Pogacar and Elisa Balsamo have reinvigorated the sport.
Meet the Backstedts
When dad is a Paris-Roubaix winner and mum a former British champion, the chances of Elynor and Zoe Backstedt being brilliant racers were certainly increased, but far from guaranteed. At home in Wales with the cycling-mad family whose front room resembles a cross between a bike shed and a service course. The multi-discipline, multi-medal winning young women who also give the parents a run for their money playing Twister..
Marco Brenner: Profile of a Prodigy
The 19-year-old German talent is adjusting to life with the big boys having swept all before him in the junior ranks, and being allowed time to develop by Team DSM. The fresh-faced kid who’s a killer climber.
Not exactly a young ‘un, but a new man on the gravel block with a brilliant backstory. Mrs Kangangi insisted her son focus on herding cows back home in Kenya, as it paid better than bike racing, but he’s now making the grade in ultra-distance events like the Migration Gravel Race. Writer Frank Lopez goes to Kenya to find a shining star of the scene.
Tadej Pogacar put his money where his mouth is after winning the Tour de France by backing this youth team back home in Slovenia. There’s more talent in the pipeline from this tiny Central European country, with Pogacar as their guiding light and inspiration.
Alex Dowsett: Little Bleeder
Dowsett is not only the sole haemophiliac professional bike racer but, to his knowledge, the only professional sportsman with the condition. His parents tell us how they coped with raising an easily-damaged child whilst encouraging his sporting exploits. A story of possibilities and determination: not what you can’t do, but what you can do.
Joe Laverick: School of Belgian Hard Knocks
The British 21-year-old races for the famed Hagans Berman Axeon development team this season, but he’s done his fair share of getting a kicking in small Belgian races as a teenager. Crashes, non-finishes, lining up against Gilbert and Alaphilippe, and Belgian hospitality – a humorous take on a tough biking education in his own words.
Two Volcano Sprint
Five day race across southern Italy from the frequently-active Mount Etna to the legendary Mount Etna, in a raging storm... You don’t have to be mad, but it helps.
The smart American closing in on Grand Tour GC contention with Jumbo-Visma, the talent-packed squad with numerous options. Could he be their number 1 for a three-week race this season?
Explore: Forged in Solitude
A 650km gravel journey along the famed Camino Ignaciano, from the Basque Loyola to the Catalan Manresa, in the company of Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Luis Ángel Maté.
A 12-page pull-out special for the young and young at heart: puzzles, quizzes, “Where’s Wout?” and design your own team kit. Fun for all the family.
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