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Velo Magazine — January 2014

As we head toward the new year, it’s always a good time to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and look forward to new cycling adventures. Let our special Rides of Passage issue of Velo help you aspire to bigger and better adventures in 2014.

The issue begins with a look at the rise of the gran fondo and what it means for the future of categorized racing. Will it sound the death toll, or strengthen the sport we love? Matthew Beaudin investigates.

A new year also means new rider contracts and another chance to turn the pages of history. The 2013 season was marked by old-guard cyclists quietly bowing out of their racing careers. Ryan Newill explores the uncelebrated retirements of a number of top riders, including Andreas Klöden and David Zabriskie, as well as how this will affect next year’s top teams.

Not all rides are created equal, and the staff at Velo has scoured four continents to bring you a list of rides that are worthy of any cyclist’s bucket list. From the most demanding mountain bike stage races and most grueling and beautiful road races, to more casual group rides through the countryside and a replica of the “Hell of the North,” our list includes something for everyone. These 10 rides — including BC Bike Race, Paris-Roubaix Challenge, L’Etape du Tour, and La Ruta de los Conquistadores — provide more physical challenge and emotional reward than any others and will bring your relationship with cycling to a new level. Truly, they are rides of passage.

In this month’s Sitting In, editor in chief Neal Rogers talks with Todd Wells, one of the most diversely skilled and successful riders on two wheels. The former mountain bike and cyclocross national champion talks about his personal rides of passage, and the rides that he still wants to do.

As the seasons change to winter, rides are starting to feel frosty. This month Velo’s award-winning tech department brings you our top picks for one of the best winter apparel pieces money can buy: thermal bib shorts. Our team puts five pairs of shorts through the paces to help you find out which works best for your budget.

And whether you’re ramping up for mountain bike season or putting in base miles for racing next summer, the new year is often a time to reevaluate goals. Trevor Connor explains why patience and consistency are key if you want to reach your cycling goals.

All this and more in Velo’s Rides of Passage issue, available on newsstands or in the Apple iTunes store.

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