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Velo magazine — February 2013

The 2013 world cyclocross championships are coming to U.S. shores and with them, the February issue of Velo and Velo’s official guide to the Louisville ‘cross worlds come to newsstands near you.

With the sport reeling from the fallout of the Lance Armstrong scandal, many are asking, “what’s next?” Velo reporters, editors and contributors take you through a five-point plan to find opportunity in all the chaos and save the sport of professional cycling, starting from Kilometer Zero.

In the rush to rebuild cycling and purge the sport of the elements and players of the EPO era, the sport must ensure that some parts of its DNA remain intact. In the lede VeloNote, contributor Ryan Newill examines what should stay and what should go, and highlights elements of cycling that make the sport unique and, most importantly, desirable.

In Racing this Month, Newill explains why the 100-year-old discipline of six-day track racing, despite losing events and lacking big-name stars, still has such lasting appeal.

Setting off from the starting line at Kilometer Zero, contributor Mark Johnson delves into the vacuum of leadership in which professional cycling does its business. Three other major sports — two in the United States and one on the world stage — have thrived on the back of strong leadership and cohesive organization of the various commercial elements involved. How can cycling, a sport that dates back to the late 19th century, learn from these examples? Johnson examines what cycling needs in a captain for this multinational, off-course ship.

The riders whose efforts turn the wheels of the sport need a voice, too. The time is ripe for somebody to step up — or in — to make sure the athletes have a say in the direction of the new cycling, but who could do so? Johnson looks at the examples set by other professional sports and enlists expert opinions to take you through the case for a strong a rider’s union and how it could develop in the first place.

In cycling, few hands hold the biggest pots of money. No more, writes business consultant and Velo contributor Steve Maxwell. If the sport is to grow from Kilometer Zero, four stakeholder groups — organizers, team owners, riders and the governing body — must meet and make a concerted effort to share revenues and, as Giro d’Italia director Michele Acquarone has said, “understand how the cake can become bigger for everyone.”

Crucial to the betterment of the sport is legitimacy. With performance enhancing drugs posing the greatest threat to cycling’s legitimacy in the eyes of sponsors and spectators, policing and promotion must be made separate. Right now, a single governing body polices drug use in cycling with one hand, and promotes cycling to the world with the other. Velo reporter Matthew Beaudin explains why this is a conflict of interest — and a threat to the legitimacy of cycling — and how best to resolve it.

In the fifth element of Velo’s Kilometer Zero package, tech editor Caley Fretz makes the case for using technological innovation to rope in the fans and broaden the appeal and entertainment value of cycling. In recent years, a single, little-known UCI technical rule has snuffed out a number of potentially game-changing innovations — one of which nearly revolutionized coverage of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California. What rule was this? Pick up the February issue of Velo to find out.

February also means ‘cross worlds, this year held in the U.S. for the first time. Velo’s official guide to Louisville 2013 takes you inside the favorites for Derby City gold, with a special look at the American hopefuls for the rainbow jersey.

Dan Seaton, Velo’s man in the Belgian mud, takes a look at the flight of big names of European cyclocross heading to Louisville and sheds light on their efforts to adjust to racing in America.

The top favorites for ‘cross worlds already wear rainbow jerseys, and Velo takes a look at the men, women, and under-23 riders vying to steal the stripes in February. Read on for managing editor and 2012 masters worlds silver medalist Chris Case’s look at how the largest city in Kentucky became the first American host of ‘cross worlds.

Velo tech writer Lennard Zinn presents his seven-month VeloLab water bottle test. The methods alone will surprise you, and Zinn’s testing reveals which bottles’ marketing claims actually hold water. And in At the Back, treat yourself to a Dan Wuori classic on making a winter spent indoors more bearable. Did you know he once had a pet hamster?

Read it all in the February 2013 issue of Velo magazine, available now at booksellers and bike shops near you and on Apple Newsstand or Zinio.

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