What’s inside the May issue
On the cover: Alberto Contador has overcome many things over the span of his short career, including a brain aneurysm and an intrasquad fight for leadership with Lance Armstrong during the 2009 Tour de France. And just as he overcame those, along the path to winning five straight grand tours, Contador also appears poised to overcome a doping infraction for clenbuterol. On February 15 the Spanish cycling federation cleared Contador of any anti-doping violation; the following day he was racing in Portugal, and within a few weeks he’d won the overall at the Vuelta a Murcia. VeloNews European correspondent Andrew Hood was there, and reports on how Contador manages to overcome any and all obstacles in his path.
Grand tour season begins May 7 in Torino, Italy, with a team time trial at the Giro d’Italia. We take a look at the course, the favorites, and the race’s passionate director, Angelo Zomegnan, who feels compelled to “make the Giro spectacular, every single day.”
VeloNews reporter Brian Holcombe and photographer Brad Kaminski were in Italy to cover Tirreno-Adriatico, a mid-March stage race run by Giro organizer RCS. They returned with stunning photography and an analysis of the race, which serves two purposes — to prepare the strongmen for the spring classics, and prepare stage racers for their GC ambitions.
With several domestic teams such as UnitedHealthcare, SpiderTech and Team Type 1 focusing on European racing, and last year’s dominant V Australia team revamped, the 2011 domestic racing circuit is a wide-open, season-long road trip. In a nine-page season preview, we rank the top teams, riders and races to watch on local roads.
This year’s Amgen Tour of California has not one, but three stages that offer definitive changes on the general classification. Back is the Solvang time trial that Levi Leipheimer has won three times, all leading to overall victories. Added are summit finishes in San Jose, atop Summit Road, and at Mount Baldy in the San Bernardino Mountains. VeloNews editor at large John Wilcockson analyzes these stages and compares the new summit finishes to a pair of Tour de France climbs, Puy de Dome and l’Alpe d’Huez.
In our award-winning Tech section, Lennard Zinn tests four brands’ aluminum handlebars against their carbon-fiber counterparts. The results may surprise you. And Caley Fretz rounded up eight pairs of riding glasses from different manufacturers and put them through their paces.