As beautiful and multifaceted as professional cycling is, it’s the characters of the sport that make it so much fun to watch: Those with grit, or a sense of humor, or those who can’t help but say what they’re thinking, no matter how controversial.
For the third year in a row, we’ve dedicated an issue to these individuals — to showcasing their human sides, and making them accessible to our audience. The Personalities Issue has become an off-season tradition to bring you inside the sport, to reveal the players, their qualities, and the things that make them tick.
The advent of social media has produced a new generation of riders — guys like Peter Sagan, Marcel Kittel, and Taylor Phinney — with a different view toward accessibility and public relations.
On the cover? Phinney, the fashionista of the peloton, strutting his stuff in an Yves Saint Laurent jacket. While we focus on the athletes who provide us with the exciting race action that unites the sport, we also chose a few lesser-known folks, including two journalists, Rupert Guinness and Mike Ferrentino.
After all, cycling is a community: the athletes, team managers, race promoters, sponsors, marketing directors, shop owners, and, yes, other journalists make up this beautiful sport. Some folks stand out above the crowd as larger-than-life characters. Besides the three aforementioned personalities, we’ve focused on Geraint Thomas, the Tough Guy; Marcel Kittel, the Gentle Giant; Katerina Nash, Miss Congeniality; Laurens Ten Dam, the Dutch Vagabond; Oleg Tinkov, the Russian Billionaire; Nacer Bouhanni, the Fighter; Vicente Tortajada, the Stickler; Hans Rey, the Trailblazer; Alex Howes, the Intellectual Pugilist; Emma Pooley, the Equalizer; and Gianni Savio, the Silver Fox.
Some of them you may have heard of; others work behind the scenes. But all of them are singular, intriguing characters worth learning more about.
But there’s more to this issue than charm and bravado.
Our science and training expert, Trevor Connor, takes an in-depth look at the long-term effects of doping on athletes. Is doping the gift that keeps on giving?
The VeloLab crew headed back to the speed lab to find the cheapest speed money can buy: lube. They’ve put together a list of the fastest lubes on the planet.
The tech department also takes a look at road tubeless tires. Are they worth the hassle? It seems you shouldn’t overlook the technology just yet.
All this and more in Velo’s Personalities Issue, available on newsstands or in the Apple iTunes store.