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 / Sports

Velonews May 2016

Velonews brings you inside the sport of bike racing, with exclusive features, analysis, expert training advice, unbiased gear reviews and the absolute best cycling photography.

United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
Read More
9 Issues


1 min.
depth of field

FAB FOUR The U.S women’s pursuit team of Sarah Hammer, Jennifer Valente, Kelly Catlin, and reigning junior world road race champion Chloé Dygert captured world championship gold in London’s Lee Valley VeloPark in March. The quartet rode the 4,000-meter event in 4:16.802 to beat Canada in the final. It was the first world title for any American team pursuit squad, male or female, and came after the team set two new American records on the way to the final. “I’ve been waiting my whole career to get a world championship with a team,” said Hammer, 32, who has won five individual pursuit and two omnium titles at previous championships. “You don’t do what we did tonight without a special group. We are a team in the whole sense of the word.” Nikon…

2 min.
fast times

BECAUSE IT’S THE FIRST of the grand tours, the Giro feels like an early-season affair. The truth, though, is that it marks the midpoint of the cycling calendar. By the time the Giro concludes in Torino, it will have been 19 weeks since the Tour Down Under and will be 19 weeks until the world championships. We’re already deep enough into things to get a sense of how the season is going. As I write this, it’s becoming clear that 2016 will go down as a transition year for cycling. That’s not a bad thing. Quite the opposite. Dynasties come to an end, and others are born. In the unsettled interim, there’s really no telling what might happen. That’s exciting. Among some of the riders leaving the sport this season: Fabian Cancellara…

5 min.
marcel kittel

He still has the hair and the high-wattage smile, but does Marcel Kittel still have the kick that made him cycling’s top sprinter in 2014? Etixx-Quick-Step made a big bet that he does. The 27-year-old German made an acrimonious departure from his longtime home at Giant–Alpecin after illness and poor training knocked him out of the fast lane. With just one victory in 2015, Kittel went sailing straight into the open arms of Etixx. He began the 2016 season with a bang, winning four stages and the Dubai Tour overall in his first 10 days of racing, but went off the rails at a cold, wet, and difficult Paris-Nice. His ultimate goal is to regain the top spot as the fastest sprinter of them all, and he’s confident he’ll be king of…

2 min.
race radio

“In that first moment in the water, I thought, “Ah, it’s ending.” You don't know. Then I swam to the edge, but with much pain.” —ARNOLD FIEK (Christina Jewelry), who plunged 40 feet into the chilly waters of Lake Lugano after overshooting a corner at GP Lugano. He swam to safety despite a fractured hip. “I do sometimes feel a little bit like the elder statesman, because there’s a lot of guys riding the track now whose dads I rode with.” —BRADLEY WIGGINS, 35, who is looking to end his career with world championship and Olympic gold medals on the track. He and partner Mark Cavendish won the Madison world championship in March. 1 “You don’t know your limit until you hit your limit. I think I found it today.” —EVELYN STEVENS, upon setting a…

6 min.
puerto at 10

In a sport numbed and battered by a never-ending string of doping scandals, the decade-old Operación Puerto was a game-changer. In May 2006, agents from Spain’s Guardia Civil uncovered what became cycling’s biggest doping ring ever. It had tentacles extending across Europe, and implicated nearly 60 riders from a half-dozen teams. Salacious details of hotel-room blood transfusions involving some of the biggest names in the sport, including 2004 Olympic time trial gold medalist Tyler Hamilton, left the peloton in tatters. Nine riders from four teams were ejected before the 2006 Tour de France, including pre-race favorites Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, and Alberto Contador. And, of course, that race ended three weeks later with the devastating doping positive of Floyd Landis. “Operación Puerto was a watershed moment in cycling,” says Cannondale manager Jonathan Vaughters.…

7 min.
california dreaming

Nearly three decades before his turn as an improbable, bombastic presidential candidate, Donald Trump was the equally improbable sponsor of one of the biggest events in American cycling history. Even then, his knack for ambitious proclamations was already well formed. “This is an event that can be tremendous in the future, and it can really, very much rival the Tour de France,” the real estate mogul told NBC at the inaugural 1989 Tour de Trump. It was a strong statement, brimming with the sort of saying-it-will-make-it-so confidence we now recognize as a Trump hallmark. Remarkably, though, even a European contingent still skeptical of American racing had to admit there was something to it. Dutch climber Gert-Jan Theunisse told the New York Times that the race “could be bigger than the Tour de…