With the first of the grand tours right around the corner, the May issue of Velo features our full-fledged celebration of the radiant cycling culture of Italy, as well as the Official Guide to the Giro d’Italia. From a detailed look at the Italian tour to an investigation of Italian-made cycling gear, pick up the newest issue of Velo and get in touch with your Italian side.
Before we dive completely into Italian cycling, head writer Matthew Beaudin takes a provocative look at the line between doping and hunting for legal advantages. While not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, is the use of xenon gas doping? Read on and let us know your opinion on our Facebook page.
In Racing this Month, Ryan Newill begs the question of whether the Giro is truly a required training ground for hopeful Tour de France contenders. Nairo Quintana is racing the Giro this year, with hopes of winning, but he’s not being sent on terms of experience, but rather strategy. Teams cite a range of reasons for sending riders to the Giro before the Tour, but a Giro win doesn’t necessarily equate to Tour success.
European correspondent Andrew Hood explores the ties between a flagging economy and a decline in Italian cycling in “Italy at a Crossroads.” The home of the Giro and Milano-Sanremo has long been at the pinnacle of bike racing, but modern cycling in Italy is in crisis. Italy is experiencing its worst recession since World War II, which has seen the nation’s representation at the sport’s top level reduced to two teams. Despite the financial woes, though, it’s no doubt the rich history of Italian cycling culture will continual to radiate.
In “Favorite Son,” head writer Matthew Beaudin profiles Italy’s latest star, Vincenzo Nibali. Known for his timeless approach to racing, “The Shark of Messina” is the defending Giro champion and is plotting a run at the Tour’s yellow jersey. Often the protagonist, Nibali searches for exciting opportunities in the moment — and that’s precisely what makes him so unique, and beautiful to watch.
In our Official Guide to the Giro d’Italia guide you will find much of what you’ve come to expect from Velo’s annual guide to the Tour de France, including a breakdown of all 21 stages, a discussion of this year’s contenders, a rundown of the top-division teams contesting the race, and a look at the Irishmen set to take part in their home-country kickoff.
What, exactly, does it mean to be made in Italy? Tech editor Caley Fretz explores the question in “Fatto a mano,” in which he transports readers to quaint Italian towns, where the handmade industry is prominent and full of passion. While some notable Italian brands — including Campagnolo and Selle Italia — are among the most technologically advanced in the cycling industry, they simultaneously maintain a sense of romanticism based on the passion of the hands that craft their equipment and apparel.
Find all this and more in Velo’s May 2014 issue, available on newsstands or in the Apple iTunes store.